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"Walk those steps, and don't be afraid, after all it's just your soul."

José Ramos © http://www.joseramos.com

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The image and its story:

This was quite an interesting day. The weather in Portugal was extremely stormy during those days. As usual, while driving I tried to find the best spot to shoot, considering the sun orientation and some sky areas which seemed to be starting to let the sun pass through the clouds.

God is an extremely unpredictable and temperamental illumination assistant, and when I reached this place the wind was incredibly strong and rain was falling intermittently. Would there be light or not? Oh yes there was, and what a light! It was one of those special moments...

To reach this pier you have to descend about 50 meters, through man-made steps. There's a parking lot near it and it seemed that nobody risked in going down there. Even though you can feel a serene feeling in this image, due to the long-exposure, waves were clashing into the pier with incredibly fury, and the scene was quite apocalyptic.

Obviously, I immediatly felt those waves screaming for me, and telling me "come come... you will risk loosing your gear and you will freeze, but perhaps I'll let you leave with some good images...".

This is the first photo of that afternoon. It was taken halfway, still on the steps.

That white substance/foam you can see in the bottom half of the image is sea foam, projected by the very strong winds.

I used a 3 stop ND soft filter for the sky and a 9 stop ND filter to be able to use a longer exposure.

f/11
15 second exposure

RAW conversion with adobe camera raw, and slight adjustments in post-processing on color balance, dodge and burn and final sharpening

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