New Destinations • Portugal’s Coastline

When you are living the dream, there are often prices to pay, even for a pro photographer. However, little can compare to the excitement of discovering a new location

There was a time when I hoped that one day I might be able to quit my day job and start doing landscape photography full time as a pro. This would allow me not only to do the work I really love but it would also allow me to travel the world.

Fast forward a few years and that day is now, today. Well, this day actually passed a few years ago. I am now a pro photographer, I run workshops and help people improve their skills, and I travel all over world. To top it off, I publish and edit one of the most successful magazines in the world. So, as one would say, I am living the dream – and one wouldn’t be far wrong.

However, there are some prices to pay for all of this. One of which is the amount of hours that I now have to work in order to ‘live the dream’. Am I complaining? On the contrary, I love what I do – although back then I thought I would be working significantly fewer hours as a pro photographer. Another price to pay is living out of a suitcase. This is the result of travelling the world all year round, either running workshops, searching for new locations or simply taking a holiday.

New destination

As I type this I am off to Athens – it was only two weeks ago that I flew back home from Athens, having run a photo tour on Santorini. This time I will be spending a few days with family and friends, before I fly to Portugal for more location searching. I wanted to find an area for a dedicated photo workshop on long exposure seascapes – pictures such as the one featured in this month’s article are the reason for this. Portugal is ideal for this type of photography due to its long coastline and warm, dry climate during the summer months. Some might say that the UK offers miles of similar coastline, but it doesn’t offer the same weather conditions. I can already visualise the scene with plenty of coves, sandy and rocky beaches, majestic sea stacks, and Atlantic tidal surf caressing the coastline.

Blank canvas

Upon my arrival in Portugal I will be meeting my good friend Mike Bell. It is always nice to have some company while away, for a variety of reasons. Mike has been taking care of the itinerary for this new destination, as he has done with previous destinations, and he always does a very good job with the research. So, I have no idea exactly where we are going and when, but I prefer it this way. It means that I can only imagine how the places might look, and that I start the trip with a photographic blank canvas.

One thing I am very excited about is the fact that the entire Portuguese coastline is facing west, guaranteeing many decent sunsets and, most importantly, many early morning shoots. I love photographing on west coasts during sunrise. Some of you might think that this is odd, but I assure you, the early morning light on the west coast can deliver stunning results, as the entire coastline is often bathed in a gentle and defused glow with a pale pink colour on the horizon. I am already excited for this trip.

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    Hello Dimitrios.

    I highly recommend Portugal. I had the pleasure of laying eyes on Portugal in 2015 (my first year in Europe). The Benegal Cave is what drew me initially, but I discovered there was so much more to see and photograph (as a very amateur photographer). I went to the Algarve coast in January; there were very few people on the beach and the weather was in the 50s and 60s, which was actually very nice. There were surfers coming and going. Prices in the community are very reasonable and I found an adorable little BnB that served fresh-squeezed orange juice.

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