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In the last few years, I have been walking along several trails of the Rota Vicentina, a network of walking and cycling paths in the Alentejo and Vicentina Natural Park. This network consists of around 750 km of trails in both coastal and interior areas, that allow visitors a unique close contact with the unique characteristics of the region. This photo was made in late February along one of the interior trails, near the village of Monte da Estrada, in the municipality of Odemira.
It had rained recently, after a long period of drought, so the countryside was looking green and fresh. I noticed the big oak near the curve of the road, and I thought of framing the curving road leading towards the tree and the village in the distance. As it was close to sunset time, the slightly overcast sky had acquired a warm tonality, which complemented nicely the greens and browns of the field and path.
I chose my telephoto lens and zoomed in until I had the composition I had envisaged. The overcast conditions worked to my benefit, lowering the contrast and contributing to the somewhat soft and tranquil mood I had envisaged for the scene. I chose an aperture that ensured a good depth of field encompassing both the foreground and the background, and shot a few frames, with the help of image stabilization. I had made this trek a few times before, but this was the first time that the fields were actually green, thanks to the rain.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor