This shot was taken in early spring this year near the village of Messejana in Alentejo, Southern Portugal. Its kind of number 2 in a loose series of panoramic landscape shots, the first being [link]
I dont expect this to be popular here, but its an image I personally like a lot, and it breaks up the waterscapes in my DA gallery.
I often travel through the countryside on my way to Algarve in the south of Portugal, and Im usually on the lookout for good locations for photography. Early this year, we were taking the smallest roads we could find on our journey south, when we entered this beautiful valley of rolling hills. Usually, places like this in Portugal are ruined by power lines or telephone poles, but this valley is pretty much perfect
the problem being that we were passing through in the middle of the day when the light was really poor.
In early Spring, as we were returning from the south, we took the chance to return to the valley late in the afternoon when the light was nice, but unfortunately the skies were completely clear, which isnt ideal for landscape photography.
So most of the shots I composed were looking down into fields from the hilltop, cutting out the sky.
I hope to return here next spring to shoot at sunset and sunrise, its a location with a lot of possibilities.Technique
Theres not a lot to say about the technique here.
I basically stood on the hill top looking for compositions where the light would emphasise the rolling hills and bring out texture in the grass. The tree provided the point of interest.
The aim with composition was to use the shadows caused by the hills above and below the tree to frame the image and emphasise the strip of green
Im not sure why, but with shots like this I tend to think of letterbox panoramic composition first.
I had to zoom out to 200mm to get this close, and even then Ive cropped quite heavily into the picture
I really need to get a 400mm lens for shots like this.
It was also pretty windy and even with a tripod I was worried about camera shake, so I selected a wide aperture (theres no significant depth of field in this shot) to give me a fast shutter time.
Other than that, I just took a matrix meter reading of the whole scene (no significant range of contrast here), and underexposed by half a stop to darken the shadows at the top and botom of the picture.
I also used a polarizer to saturate the grassPost Processing
First of all I cropped the image down to the letterbox format that I love so much for landscapes.
Then it was just a case of tweaking contrast to push the green out against the shadows, and then vibrancy tweak for the mid-tones in the tree.
Finally the image was resized for the web, and then sharpened.Metadata
Taken near Messejana, Alentejo, Portugal
Nikon D80 | Nikkor 18-200VR | Nikon cable release
Manfrotto 190XProB w/ 322RC2 ballhead
Hoya Pro 1 Polarizer
1/125 | f6.7 | 200mm
Workflow in Apple Aperture. Title in PS CS