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Magic of Dawn

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 6 May 2020 in Landscape & Rural.


Continuing along the north coast of Spain into Cantabria, we had lovely soft glowy morning light when we ventured out for a sunrise session near Liencres , not far from Santander. This is the view overlooking the rugged shore of Playa de la Arnia. We explored this bit of coastline before sunset the day before, so I had this location picked out in my mind. Getting a little bit of colour was a wonderful bonus, as the sky looked fairly bleak when the first light appeared over the horizon. The contrast between busy evening and quiet morning was also very stark. I found that even during busy tourist seasons, one can usually find early morning to be very quiet and peaceful in a lot of locations.

One of the reasons for using this spot were the flowers in the foreground. As we walked around, I was looking for an interesting foreground element and I think this worked nicely for this photo. It was not an easy scene to photograph for me, as I find it easier to shot intimate seascapes where I can get closer to the rocks and water. Photographing wider, grander scenes is quite different and I find it harder to pick out good compositions, especially when there are many different elements in the field of view. What I try to do is to make sure that I have sufficient time to slow down and observe the landscape in front of me before settling on a composition.

I like the natural leading lines here, the ridges sculpted by nature in the rocks, and how they converge towards to brightest part of the scene. These ridges were just fascinating and it was interesting to see that in some places they were perpendicular to the main shore while in others (such as here), they were parallel. It is really amazing what nature can create. My point of focus was on the top of the flowers and this is a single frame, not a focus stack. My main aim was to get the immediate foreground and the rocky ridges in focus and I was quite happy to have a slight focus fall off towards the rocks on the horizon. It gave the area directly under the source of light an extra touch of dreamy glow.

We had only one evening and one morning to explore this area. What I would have loved was to be able to climb down to the water level and explore various compositions that lower perspective would present. This would have required additional preparation and planning. I am used to very little change between high and low tides where I live. In calm conditions the change is usually below one meter. In many other places, such as the Spanish coast, the difference can often be good few meters and this obviously impacts heavily on the scene and also has personal safety implications. At hight tide, the rocky shore in the middle of this scene would be all covered by water and I like the additional interest that it provides here so I was glad that we were there when sea was below its highest point.

I hope that you are enjoying these images, that they help you all to get through current tough times and that they also bring the world a little bit closer when travel is so restricted. I know that they help me to take my mind off things and to re-live our trip from last year. It feels just like being there again.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 20 seconds F/16.0 ISO 400 16 mm

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This image has been featured in 2 Remix collections.

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