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Broken Realm

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 17 April 2020 in Landscape & Rural.


Northern coast of Spain, from the Basque region, through Cantabria and ending in Asturias, has been on my mind for a long time and it was great that were able to travel there last year. Coast unlike any I have seen so far with big cliffs, many different rock formations, jagged shores and beautiful beaches. So familiar in principle to an Australian and yet so very different to the coastlines that I have seen at home. One of the things I did not know was that to access most beaches one had to climb down good 20-30 metres via steep steps to get to the shore. "Hard work", especially when going out for sunrise, but the views and the coast itself more than made up for that "effort" ;-)

When we went to Barrika Beach, near Bilbao, for the first time, we were greeted by gloomy conditions and overcast day. The tide was at its low point and I was able see the broken rocky shore stretch out before my eyes. It was interesting to see how sea and wind erosion had shaped this coastline. The were rocks scattered all around with many placed in different directions and at different angles. There were wavy lines and ridges leading all the way out to see (these will be more prominent if photos from Liencres that I will post later). I was immediately taken in by the shapes and textures around me. Once I walked over the rocks out a little bit, I was surrounded by this "broken realm" and no matter which was I looked, there was something interesting to see.

I took a number of long exposures and this was mainly because the clouds did not have that much definition to them to have an impact during shorter shutter speeds. Also, the water movement was not that exciting close up with low tide and small swell keeping the action and drama to minimum. Going for longer exposures allowed me to work the mood of the moment a little better. In my opinion, clouds and water look better in this dreamy/misty effect than they did otherwise. This further allowed me to concentrate on the detail provided by the stones and rocks. The main interest in this scene was definitely created by the rock textures and the mosaic formed by various boulders.

This photo did not require much processing work. Conversion to black and white and then mostly dodging and burning to work on the balance of light in the scene. I wanted the eyes to catch the interest in the foreground before working their way through towards the misty water and ending on the high cliff in the distance. For me the end result is this timeless strange landscape, ancient and brooding coastline that seems almost raw and untouched by civilisation.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 180 second F/16.0 ISO 50 14 mm

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