Sea Stacks Aplenty

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Leaning Tower. The angled layers of rock in this sea stack make its longevity appear more tenuous than it is on Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 120mm, 1/500 sec, f/13, ISO 500.

This week we feature images from a few more locations along the beautiful coastline of Portugal. The Atlantic ocean ruthlessly pounds the cliffs; for a time, sea stacks like the one above endure, but eventually they will succumb like untold others before them. As mentioned in previous posts, I can only imagine the violent scene when the sea is actually angry.

One interesting feature along at least this stretch of cliffs was the fish-topped posts like the one above that marked specific fishing spots. This spot was equipped with a sturdy, well-constructed ladder that descended to a small round room with natural windows in the rocks. I think that casting a line from here would be tricky, but it was a safe and cozy spot for it, to be sure. It was not an easy place to take good photographs from, but it was a nice spot to take a break from the wind.

Zone of Arc. The incoming surf forms a curve filling a cove on Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 48mm, 1/90 sec, f/11, ISO 64.

In the image above I liked the curving arc that leads the eye from the bottom left to the sea stack in the upper left. I also like the way that the churning water is almost completely covered in foam.

I selected the following two images from 140 taken in the same spot over twelve minutes. Every time the waves would come in I would take another burst. Of course no two are the same, and I settled on these two for the blog. The first is taken shortly after the wave has hit the rock in the center—it is visible in the shadows now hitting the cliff to the right—and the foamy water is now pouring down off the ledge. The second was taken with a slower shutter speed as the wave hit the rock and shows both the spray itself and the resulting rainbow in the mist. These are two very different images from the same composition; in fact, the tripod was not moved at all between these two shots.

Cascade Rock. Water pours down off of a sea stack along Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 42mm, 1/750 sec, f/11, ISO 500.
Rainbow Rock. A rainbow forms in the spray from a crashing wave on Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 42mm, 1/4 sec, f/11, ISO 64.

Looking at the picture below, I can only think that this is a lee shore of nightmares. I have to believe that more than a few wooden sailing ships of old met their doom along this stretch of coast.

Death of a Sailsman. The Atlantic surf rolls into the cliffs and vicious rocks along Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 75mm, 1/45 sec, f/11, ISO 64.

Finally, we will wrap up this week’s post with more dramatically layered rocks. The ones featured last week were leaning out over sea, whereas these are leaning away from the sea, but both are examples of the wonderful and dramatic geology of this coastline.

Resistance. Steeply inclined rocks stand against continual abuse from the hostile sea along Portugal’s Silver Coast.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 120mm, 1/2 sec, f/11, ISO 64.

We have almost, but not quite, wrapped up this series of posts about my trip to Portugal. Next week will feature the beautiful walled city of Óbidos!

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4 responses to “Sea Stacks Aplenty”

  1. Bravo to you Jim!
    So helpful for all to learn of your approach and method. Your ‘unraveling process’ is admirable. Congratulations!