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Distant Dawn

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 18 May 2020 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


Playa Gueirua was another top seascape location that we wanted to visit as we progressed west along the northern coast of Spain. The rock formation here were just out of this world. Especially the "needles" sticking up in the distance. This is a very tide depended spot and I took this photo not long after the high tide with the water slowly starting to recede. We were lucky to have been able to get out there for two sunrises and a sunset, which allowed good exploration of the beach. At the lowest tide, the sea reveals fantastic detail that is not visible here and I will have more from Gueirua to show in the future.

I chose this one to start with because of the only hint of beautiful morning (or sunset) light that we were able to see. This location is great in almost any weather conditions but still we strived for that beautiful light of the golden hours. I was really happy to see a least a glimpse of it on that morning. It is a bit of a walk and hike down to the beach, so this made it even more worth while. I was a little worried when we descended down that the tide was going to be very unfavourable but between our arrival and the sunrise, the sea pulled back far enough to be able to find a spot just under the cliffs and to look for possible interesting compositions.

We arrived when it was still dark and had to be extra careful when we walked down with our torches. I like getting to sunrise locations very early. One reason is that I can secure a good spot before others arrive and more importantly I have the time to take in the scenery around me before setting down for photography. Some of the best moments of my photography trips are the ones where morning light starts to dissipate the darkness and reveal the landscape around me. There is something really magical to that regardless of whether sunrise will be spectacular or not. I mentioned it before but in locations such as this one (or even in most locations but especially in dangerous spots), it is so helpful to be able to explore the area a day before. It makes getting there in the dark so much easier when you have at least some idea what you will encounter.

I wanted a little bit of a foreground element for this photo and the rocks on the left and stones on the right gave be a good balance for that purpose. I did not mind the water covering most of the shore as it gave a chance for the light and colours to reflect in the surface and the movement of the sea around the rocks added some nice texture too. I have to admit that I just love the rocks and cliffs in the background. They just make this place and they definitely lived up to my expectations.

It was a very simple photo to process with mainly working on the colour and contrast as well as the usual dodging and burning. I have also been slowly getting into colour grading and I find that aspect of post processing very artistic and interesting. As always, I hope you enjoy the final result and you are all staying safe and well.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 8/5 seconds F/8.0 ISO 400 35 mm

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