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Old Jul 7, 2011, 1:34 AM   #1
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Default The View From Fogo Island

I have been bedridden for most of the past two months, but yesterday my daughter Jacqueline somehow talked me into making a climb with her up the side of Fogo Head, a small mountain on the outskirts of the town of Fogo, near our home. Jackie does this climb every day, as part of her comprehensive physical endurance training program, in preparation for her upcoming Royal Canadian Mounted Police training.

I have always wanted to climb up there since we moved to Fogo Island four years ago, yet I knew it would be hard on my bad spine, so kept putting it off every year. Well, yesterday was the day. The sun was shining, and it was quite warm (27C) and humid, but there was a nice breeze blowing off the sea, so we packed our camera gear into the backpack, slathered on the bug spray and sunscreen and off we went. I am so glad that she pushed me into going with her. Now, anyone on this forum who knows me and my work, already knows how stunningly scenic my little oasis in the middle of the North Atlantic is. After all, tourists come here every summer from all around the globe to witness firsthand our traditional fishing villages, scenic trails, wildlife, icebergs and rugged coastal vistas. But to really get the whole Fogo Island experience, one needs to climb up high to get a bird's-eye view. We used to live in British Columbia, but even that scenery pales in comparison to what I witnessed yesterday on that climb! Mere pictures do not do it justice.

I never did make it to the very top, but came so close it wasn't funny! I can't for the life of me understand how Jackie can do it every day, let alone follow it up with a run of several kms! (consists of 400+ steps to the top, in addition to many steep, rather treacherous sections between each set of stairs) I got to within about 75 steps from the peak, and was so physically exhausted that I could not take one more step. I sat down right then and there to catch my breath, and was absolutely stunned by the view in front of me. Not another living soul as far as we could see; just rugged coastline, and blue, blue sea. No planes overhead; not a sound to be heard, other than the occasional seabird calling. I consider myself so fortunate to have this unmatched beauty literally on our doorstep. To be able to live in such a place as this, in this day and age, that is still completely free of crime, noise, traffic and pollution, is very special indeed.

I'm paying the price today however. The muscles in my legs are so pulled I can barely walk at all. You should see me trying to get up and down the stairs in our house; looks like I'm a hundred years old... and I feel like it too! But give me a few days to recuperate, and I want to take another crack at it. Jacqueline assures me that the view from the very top is even more spectacular.

The first two shots are from yesterday's climb, taken handheld with my Sony A550 and Samyang 8mm fisheye, at ISO200, 1/640th sec, f/8. I have also included another high-up capture from last summer, showing some similar scenery. That's Jackie sitting on the rock at Lane's Lookout, the highest point of land on Fogo Island.

I wish that all of my forum friends could come and see this special place!


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Old Jul 7, 2011, 10:53 AM   #2
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Beautiful pictures of a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

Hope you make it those last 75 steps next time.

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Old Jul 7, 2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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Nice shots! I like #1, fisheye?
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 1:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cmoy View Post
Nice shots! I like #1, fisheye?
Thanks Cmoy! As previously mentioned in the post, the first two were indeed captured with the Samyang 8mm fisheye lens.

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Old Jul 7, 2011, 4:40 PM   #5
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Love 1 and 2. I too have just ordered the Samyang 14mm prime 2.8. It's on it's way from Poland and am very excited to get this one. I've heard great reports concerning it and you can't beat the image quality and sweet $400 price tag compared to Canon's $2400 for the same thing.

It took a lot to do that walk but it was good of you to create that memory with your daughter.
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