This photo shows the Arrifana beach at sunset on a December afternoon. This beach is in the municipality of Aljezur and is part of Portugal's Southwest Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park. Arrifana is quite popular with surfers all year round, thanks to the reliability of its well-formed sets of waves.
While on a trip through the region, I stopped at a lookout point that affords a great view of the beach and its tall cliffs. The day was coming to an end, and the light had that wonderful golden quality that all landscape photographers pursue.
After setting my camera on the tripod, I decided to use a wide-angle lens to include the whole bay in the frame. This is a location I know very well from previous visits, but I never tire of this beautiful view. To enhance the feeling of timelessness, I also decided to use a 10-stop neutral density filter; thus, the total exposure time ended up being 25 seconds.
From this distance, it looks like the smoothness of the waves is in synch with the rounded shapes of some of the hills. And even though the waves have been smoothed out, some of their structure has been preserved, so there is a hint of their energy in the resulting image. The line of the coast also contributes to the dynamics of the photo because it forms a "V" shape with the apex to the left. Finally, the soft clouds lead the way towards the somewhat hazy cliffs in the distance.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor