Friday, February 25, 2011

Brazilian photographer Marcio Cabral shares these views of one of his country's best photo destinations

From his home in Brasilia, capitol of Brazil, Marcio Cabral has focused recently on conducting photo workshops and expeditions both inside his own country and beyond. "Landscape photography has become my passion," says Marcio. "I'd like to share my experience photographing one of the most exquisite places I have ever visited, Fernando de Noronha, which is a small archipelago off the coast of Brazil in the equatorial South Atlantic Sea. There are 21 islands in the archipelago -- all are the visible peaks of a range of submerged mountains. It’s considered one of the world's best spots for diving, and it’s surrounded by marvelous beaches with crystalline water and a great variety of fish. The main island consists entirely of volcanic rocks and has a number of very mountainous seascapes that offer outstanding opportunities for landscape photography. That makes it an ideal place to use my Singh-Ray filters.

"This first image was taken with my Canon 5D II and 17-40 lens early in the morning when the light was perfect and the great force of the waves helped make the scene appear even more dramatic. I used my Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue to deliver an almost magical effect. I adjusted the filter to create just a little more blue on the ocean and the most intense gold in the sky. I adjusted the color balance in Adobe Camera Raw to correct for the filter's magenta effect, so I was able to increase the blue tones in the sky to contrast with the very warm clouds. To balance the bright light of the rising sun with the dark foreground, I also used a Singh-Ray 3-stop Reverse Graduated ND filter to control the brilliant sun and a second 3-stop soft-step ND Grad on the water to help define the waves.

"This next picture was taken along Boldro Beach. I wanted to include the mountains in the background to contrast with the water movement on the coral beach. The low tide made it possible for me to include much more of the coral reef. The mid-day light was a bit harsh but waiting for better light wasn’t an option because the waves would be gone by then. So it was either take the picture as it was or come home without a picture. Fortunately, I had the Vari-N-Duo filter in my bag. I was able to use a long exposure to smooth the water at the same time I used the filter's polarizing feature to increase the color saturation in the sky and foreground. Without the Vari-N-Duo, I could not have taken this picture.

"I took this image after sunset from to top of a cliff that provided an amazing view. The higher clouds were lighter and warm in tone. The lower clouds were darker which created outstanding contrast. I used my Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizer along with a Reverse ND Grad and a 3-stop soft-step ND Grad to balance most of the sea and sky and capture more detail in the rocks and waves.

"These 'Twin Brothers' are a popular symbol of the island. They are located at Cacimba do Padre Beach, which is well-known to surfers for its great waves. Late in the afternoon, the sun lights these rocks for a very dramatic effect. After searching for just the right place from which to photograph, I discovered the very interesting shoal on my right. To capture the movements of the waves in these rocks with a long exposure, I used my Vari-N-Duo to capture the movement of the waves and also polarize the sky. I also used a 2-stop soft-step ND Grad to balance the sky and the light in the hills. I was very pleased with the color saturation over the entire image.

"This picture features Pig's Bay, which is -- in spite of its name -- one of the most beautiful viewpoints on Fernando do Noronha. From this viewpoint it is possible to observe numerous sea birds and dolphins. Since this site is one of the most photographed on the island, I wanted to make a composition that would be slightly different from the traditional postcards of this location. I decided to include a small cactus and a shrub to frame the sky. With such strong shadows in the foreground, this was a perfect situation to use my LB Warming Polarizer together with a 3-stop soft-step ND Grad to achieve a perfect balance of light to highlight the details of the foreground and enhance the various colors of water and rocks."

Marcio's has gained considerable recognition and awards for his work, and has been published in a wide variety of nature and tourism publications. You can see more of his work on his website. He also was the first Brazilian to produce underwater spherical panoramas -- be sure to visit his portfolio of panoramic work.

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