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La Courtine d'Etretat by Paolo De Faveri

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This is La Courtine, one of the most beautiful cliff I’ve ever seen. La Courtine is part of the amazing rocky coast around Etretat in Upper Normandy, France, altogether known as Les Failases d’Etretat.

I took this picture last August, on a very windy – as usual over there – late afternoon.
I wanted to have the sea looking as much smooth as possible, but I was in full daylight, as it was around 19:30 hours. Even with the overcasted sky, and even full stopping down the lens, the exposure time was only 1/2 seconds, a too fast time to move the sea surface.

Using a polarizer and a 8x ND filter I gained 5 more stops, obtaining therefore, with a slight over-exposure, 20 secs of exposure time. Finally, I used a graduated filter to darken the sky, while keeping a correct exposure on the cliffs and the sea.
This allowed me to give the sea surface a watercolour paint look, and I also obtained a slight movement in the clouds, thanks to the strong wind.

I hope you enjoy it, thanks for dropping by.


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  • igotmeacanon
    igotmeacanonabout 6 years ago

    brilliant photo, great description of your techniques used

  • CinB
    CinBabout 6 years ago

    beautiful! lovely composition, fantastic work.

  • Kenart
    Kenartabout 6 years ago


  • Marvin Collins
    Marvin Collinsabout 6 years ago

    Great photo!!

  • Dave  Miller
    Dave Millerabout 6 years ago

    makes you wish that you were walking along the cliff that evening – beautiful

  • Robert Mullner
    Robert Mullnerabout 6 years ago

    Another superb shot Paolo…the mix of colors are brilliant..what a view..!!

  • margieacosta
    margieacostaabout 6 years ago

    Dramatic. Brilliant contrasts between land and sea!

  • Luke Meers
    Luke Meersabout 6 years ago

    incredible stuff. great techniques used to create a stunning image. love the lighting on the cliffs

  • Kirk  Hille
    Kirk Hilleabout 6 years ago

    Stunning shot , great colors

    KEITH R. WILL...about 6 years ago

    absolutely brillant

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