Ponta de Sao Lourenco
What about another Madeiran beauty today? Ponta de Sao Lourenco is a beautiful peninsula in the east part of Madeira island. Unlike other parts of Madeira which are full of lush green trees and remind of tropical forest, Ponta de Sao Lourenco is very rugged, almost desert like with 180 meters high red and brown cliffs. It offers nice (but sometimes a bit demanding) hike with some spectacular views over Atlantic ocean and endless photo opportunities for landscape and fine art photographers as there are plenty of huge rocks standing out of the sea that look spectacular with right sunset or sunrise light or when treated with long exposure.
I went there to shoot some sunset and blue hour photos and today I would like to show you one of them. It’s a single, long exposure frame taken well after sun already disappeared below horizon. Very soft blue hour light made reds and oranges of Ponta de Sao Lourenco’s cliffs really stand out against deep blue colors of water and sky helping me in creating very clean composition.
On Location Photography Tips
- Getting to a nice spot in the area at sunrise might require some hiking experience. So if you don’t have it or you’re afraid of walking in the dark you can try shooting nearby Ponta do Rosto instead. Thanks to a parking just next to it, it’s much easier accessible and still offers some fantastic views.
- If you intend to shoot sunset there, be prepared for walking in a sun as there is virtually no shade on the way as there is no single tree on the peninsula.
- It’s a great place to try long exposure photography. Rough sea hitting peninsula cliffs and rocks screams for some long shutter speed treatment.
For more general landscape photography tips, visit my free landscape photography tips tutorial.
Taking photo and post-processing
- Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review)
- Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
- Focal length: 40 mm
- Aperture: f/9.0
- Exposure time: 15.0 s
- ISO: 100
- 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
It’s another image that took me just a couple of minutes to make it look the way I wanted. I started editing it by cropping slightly as there was too much space around the cliffs and it wasn’t contributing in any positive way to the image. I also applied lens correction and chromatic aberration reduction.
Next, I changed white balance to make the temperature a bit cooler. After that I restored highlights by moving them all the way to the left. Then I slightly increased vibrance to boost saturation of water and sky without affecting saturation of cliffs too much.
After that I opened my image in Photoshop where I started by adjusting midtones contrast using luminosity masks.
Final step was to apply ON1 Effects plugin to increase details, contrast and add some small vignetting effect to draw more attention to the cliffs (instead of water for instance).