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Abandoned Palm Tree At Sunrise

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This morning was a great morning for a walk and was perfectly chosen by Anthony and his family who joined me for a Private Nature Walks. We saw and heard plenty of things as we walked my now famous Eagle Ridge route and yes we even spotted a Short Toed Eagle albeit very briefly. Of course, the Bee-Eaters were everywhere and to my amazement, I even spotted some new tunnel holes on my land, more about this soon!

However, whilst most were sleeping, I actually was up before sunrise this morning and decided to head out to a nearby Palm Tree that is next to a ruin that has been left to nature to capture the sun as it appeared above the ridge.

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Abandoned Palm At Sunrise
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A New Day In The Algarve Serra

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Yesterday morning I was up before the sun as I had to get ready for a 1-to-1 Workshop, the skies were clear and it was looking like a good sunrise so I gulped down a Coffee and headed outside.

Although sunrise was 7:14am, it took over 20 minutes before it appeared over the ridges of the Serra and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

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A New Day In The Algarve Serra
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The Sun Was Trying To Hide This Morning!

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I was awake at around sunrise this morning, I looked out of the bedroom window, which faces south, and couldn’t understand why the sky looked grey, but there wasn’t a cloud in my view. So I moved to the Northern side of the house and it was a different view completely.

We are having hot air coming over from Africa currently with temperatures yesterday reaching 43 degrees, it could get even higher over the next few days with rumor of it reaching 50! This warm air is also bringing dust and combined with a small cloud masking the sun, I could see an amazing sunrise coming.

Still in my “Oscar the Grouch” bed shorts (maybe too much info!) I grabbed a camera, lens and tripod and headed outside. Just a few moments later, this was the stunning view!

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Hide and Rise
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Misty Sunrise

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A few weeks ago, I was up before sunrise to get some mist filled valley shots but the mist was just too thick, you may remember this post.

I stumbled across another photo which at the time I didn’t like so never published anywhere, however, I have now changed my mind and here it is. The sun was rising to the right of the photo causing a purple haze to shine through the mist. The trees are Cork Oak and you can see where the bark has been harvested at the bottoms.

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Misty Sunrise
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Misty Morning

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After (more) rain yesterday and a slight increase in temperature, I thought that we’d get a misty morning in the hills this morning. The forecast was for clear skies, so a perfect opportunity for photographs looking over misty valleys.

I was up way before first light and headed to high ground in hope I would be above the mist, I wasn’t. It was thick mist everywhere, the sun came up and I couldn’t tell the difference. I gave up and reverted to Plan B. I pointed the camera at an old dead Cork Oak Tree and waited until the sun was strong enough to just about shine through.

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Cork Oak in the Sunrise Mist
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Sunrise Over São Marcos da Serra

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What to do when the persistent rain keeps coming? There is always the option of photographing the rain but as I’ve only just about dried out after our very wet Nature Photography Walk, I have been practicing my Lightroom and Photoshop skills. I have recently started to play with “Luminosity Blending” which takes two (or more) images shot of the same scene with different exposures and blending them together by selecting dark and light areas. The idea is to achieve a photo that is closest to the dynamic range that a human eye can see whereas a camera sensor cannot. If you want to see what I mean, take a photo inside your house including the inside and the outside through a window. The camera will struggle to expose for the outside light and the inside dark but your eyes will see it all fine.

This technique of blending is similar to HDR however, it has far greater control of the blending.

So here is a photo that I took back in October 2017. It is made from 2 exposures, 1 exposed for the sky so the foreground and village were underexposed and another exposed for the village so the sky was overexposed. They are blended together to use the sky from the first exposure and the foreground from the 2nd exposure.

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A New Day Begins
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Photography Workshops For All Abilities...!
Are you looking to move away from your camera's Auto setting and be more creative with your photography?
Why not attend one of my Digital Photography Fundamentals Workshop. Full day easy-to-understand Workshop with both theory and practical sessions for only €45!
If you don't currently own a suitable camera and want to learn the fundamentals first? There is a limited availablility of Nikon Bridge Cameras available at no extra cost!
Private sessions including 1-to-1 and 1-to-2 also available! Read more...

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