Photographing Magoito Beach in Portugal

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In the first article about Photographing Portugal, I showed you the beautiful town of Azenhas do Mar. Today I take you a few kilometers North to Praia do Magoito. Photographing Magoito Beach was another goal I had set for myself and after doing the scouting I knew exactly, which conditions I would need.

Unfortunately, during the 10 days I spent in the area, I did not get those. As I share in the video at the end of the first article, clouds would have been essential to create balance in any wide-angle photo I could have taken down at the beach. But we had clear blue skies for our complete stay, so photographing down at the beach was not an option.

Photographing Magoito Beach with a long lens

So, what to do, if there is no interest in the sky? Exclude as much of it as possible and the easiest way to do so is by using a telephoto lens like the Canon RF 70-200 f/4, for example. Below I show you three photos taken from the viewpoint up at the parking lot. Those photos were taken at noon, before sunset and during blue hour.

Photographing Magoito Beach at Noon

Photographing Magoito Beach at Sunset

Photographing Magoito Beach at Blue Hour

You can see how the light shapes the landscape and helps create very different atmospheres. You also see that with a long lens you can even photograph around midday if there's, for example, spray in the air. This creates beautiful depth in a photo.

When to photograph Magoito Beach

The example photos you see above were all taken close to low tide. During this period the rocks you see in the bottom of the photos are visible, while at high tide most of them are submerged. This would take away a lot of interest from the scene, which is why I recommend to photograph Magoito beach around low tide.

This is even more important, if you want to photograph down at the beach. Then you'll find plenty of foreground interest in those rocks and you can move far to the right with your camera to get a good view of Cabo da Roca lighthouse. During high tide you'd be confined to the sandy part of the beach close to the cliffs, which makes creating a balanced composition nearly impossible.

To check the tides for Magoito, you can head over to Tides4Fishing here.

Behind the scenes


As with the first article, I also have a behind the scenes video to share with you for the photo shoot I did at Praia do Magoito. In it I also share tips on photographing with a long lens and I show you other spectacular views along the Sintra coastline.


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