Pico do Arieiro at Sunrise

Pico do Arieiro at Sunrise

With height of 1818 meters, Pico do Arieiro is 3rd highest peak on Madeira island. The fact there is car parking just about 20 meters from the peak makes it easily accessible by car or taxi during sunrise or sunset. And it’s really worth to shoot from there as when you are lucky you can have clear views all the way to the sea level.

From Pico do Arieiro you can take a trail towards highest peak of the island – Pico do Ruivo. It’s a few kilometers long hike along mountain ridge offering some fantastic views along the way. I just did short part of this trail (which is arguably most beautiful) as I had other hikes planned for that day.

I got to Pico do Arieiro about half an hour before sunrise to take some blue hour shots. Unfortunately there were some clouds blocking the view slightly but I still managed to take some interesting photos. In the photo below you can see one of the peaks on the way to Pico do Ruivo. Blue haze in the background works very nicely with soft light on the rocks in front.

On Location Photography Tips

  1. Don’t spend too much time on the Pico do Arieiro peak itself. There is huge NATO radar there blocking the view so it’s better to go a few dozens meters towards Pico do Ruivo. Beginning of this trail is really beautiful and offers some amazing unobstructed views. One of which you can see in the photo below.
  2. This place is fantastic for shooting sunrise photos and it’s easily accessible.
  3. Have a steady tripod with you – it can get really windy there.

Pico do Arieiro at Sunrise

Taking photo and post-processing

  • Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review)
  • Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
  • Focal length: 80 mm
  • Aperture: f/4.0
  • Exposure time: 4.0 s
  • ISO: 200
  • Number of exposures: 1
  • E.V. Step: n/a
  • Flash used: no
  • Tripod: yes
  • Filters: no
  • Technique: n/a
  • Software: Magic Lantern, Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC 2015, ON1 Effects 10.5

Editing this image was fairly easy (I love images that don’t require too much time to make them 🙂 ). As you can see, original image (before) was very bright despite being taken before sunrise. The reason for this is that I often expose to the right – I make sure histogram of my photos is as close as possible to the right without clipping any highlights. Big benefit of doing so is minimizing noise, which is most prominent in the shadow areas. In post-processing I can then move exposure down to get the image I really wanted.

And that’s what I did here. I decreased exposure and highlights to make sure they are darker. I also applied some contrast and increased vibrance.

Then I used ON1 Effects 10 to enhance details, add some local contrast and slight vignetting.

2017-01-17T19:42:23+00:00 August 30th, 2016|Posted in: madeira|