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Soul of Serenity

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 12 May 2020 in Landscape & Rural.


These rocks are well known to photographers who traversed the north coast of Cantabria in Spain. They are called Urro del Manzano and they were my main reason to stop near Liencres. This is the evening prior to the sunrise photo from Arnia that I posted recently. This bit of coastline consists of many interesting rock formations, rugged cliffs and they are all within short distance of each other. After scouting areas around Arnia and also further beyond to the west, we returned to this spot before sunset, hoping for some evening colours and light. Clouds were quite promising but right at sunset a band appeared just over horizon, which meant that only a faint glow of sunset colour remained in the scene. It provided a lovely break from otherwise cold evening tones and cast enough light on the foreground rocks to give them a touch of warmth.

There are few different compositions possible at this location. I could isolate the rocks by themselves or I could use various foregrounds provided by the cliffs. If there was a bit more side light I would have moved a bit further to the left to photograph more of the rock face facing the sunset. In the end I settled for this composition because I liked the foreground elements that it provided and also the natural framing of the sea stacks. The various rocky outcrops point towards the stacks from different angles and I think it helped to focus the attention on the main feature.

In terms of exposure, I knew that I wanted to shoot a long exposure and the conditions that we encountered allowed me to follow this idea through. This is also where I further confirmed my composition choice. The water movement around the stacks was minimal and I just did not feel that it justified photographing the rocks on their own. Here the long exposure created just enough of streaks that linked the foreground to the stacks and also created a dreamy background of smooth water and soft clouds. The resulting peaceful and tranquil mood was exactly what I hoped for. There are different emotions that one feels in moments like this from the basic joy of just being out there to see and photograph new places to more profound feelings of peace and serenity that such landscapes can evoke.

One thing that can easily be forgotten when one is out photographing the world and that is to enjoy the moment and take the time to actually see and feel the world that surrounds us. When I take photos, I stop every now and again just to look beyond the scene in front of me. I often find it a surreal experience to comprehend that I am actually there and that I am seeing the beauty of nature with my own eyes. When I return home, I want my photos to reflect that feeling when I look at them later on. I want to bring back the memory of these moments and to feel like I am back there again. This photo definitely takes me back to that evening at Urro del Manzano and I get exactly the same goose bumps looking at it now as I did when I was there in person last year. I hope these feeling transcend through to you as well.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 357 seconds F/16.0 ISO 100 24 mm

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