There is so much joy in discovering an amazing photographic opportunity.
We spent a day on the beach at Valdoviño. There was a hidden cove that was accessible via a staircase carved into the rocks on one end. A path worn through the gorse from the parking lot branched off and ended right at the top. Although it was incredibly beautiful I didn't feel very inspired photographically.
Later we ventured on to another cove and wandering along the cliffs we came upon Virxe do Porto. A chapel built on the rocks overlooking the ocean and separated from the main land by a rock beach. It was clear that it would only be accessible while the tide was out.
It is difficult to describe the emotions that come along with these discoveries. There is a flood of wonder and awe as the senses are ignited all at once. It takes time to lose yourself and swirl around in all of it. The visual framework distills slowly out. Sometimes you know there is a beautiful image to be made but it takes time to discover it. Sometimes it just hits you like a wave.
This was a wave moment. Standing on the edge of a cliff with the sea crashing below on the rocks and the wind pushing against me. The sun diving towards the horizon. Blue, green, pink and orange. In the center of it all was a small chapel resting on a rock plateau. Singular and giving the sense that everything else had been put there just to adorn it.
I did my best to compose and capture while the sun was descending. Sarah looking for treasures on the beach. The perfect composition didn't seem to exist. Each angle, each view was nothing more than another beautiful scene.
At home, I made my edits and prepared to share my new images. I needed to know the details about the place so I did a quick web search. I guess I wasn't surprised to find hundreds of images on the web of this place. So many of them just stunning. Although it seemed that we were the first people in all the world to stumble on it, it turned out to be well known and well loved.
I have to admit that my first reaction was to feel deflated. There was a realization that what I had captured was not so extraordinary but in fact had already been experienced by countless others.
While still processing the knowledge that my images were not as special as I had thought I remembered that my job was nothing more than to make images that were true to my own vision. Everything has already been photographed. Our images only need show the world from our own perspective and are probably more about who we are than what we think we are showing the world.