Dragons Thrive Best Here!
"Shall we begin?" (the title & this quote are from Rhaenyra and Daenerys Targaryen - source)
The final series of Game of Throne kicks off today, so here's are a few shots of the real Dragonstone that I got on my holidays in the Basque Country in July 2018. In reality, its the islet of Gazteugatxe - and no I haven't a clue how to pronounce it either!- near the town of Bermeo - more at The Best of the Basque County Guide. The chapel on top, Gaztelugatxeko Doniene or (San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Spanish) is dedicated to St. John the Baptist who is even reputed to have visited! It has been rebuilt several times and originally dates from the 10th century . . . when maybe there were dragons! It has been used as a defensive refuge by the Lords of Biscay and it was also attacked by Sir Francis Drake who looted it and the threw the hermit living there into to sea! Unexpectedly, of course, it was also raided by the Spanish Inquisition looking for witches who were reputed to hold ritualistic meetings there.
The first two shots were taken on my first visit there during the day when my son & I climbed the 241 steps in 80m to the hermitage. The first one is a stitched panorama taken for 10 seconds at f16 and 17mm at ISO 100 with my Lee Filters "nine-stop" combination (6 stop Little Stopper plus the top end of 3 stop graduated filter). The second one is an automated panorama I made with my Huawei P20Pro as we started back down. As they were daytime shots, I had to clone out quite a few people!
This was such an incredible site that I went back early the following morning to get the remaining three "golden hour" shots. On this north facing coastline, the sun rises high enough over the landward hills to light up the islet at about 6am. The third and fifth shots were exposed for 120 seconds at f11 & f16 with the same combination of filters, while exposure of the bridge arches was for 30 seconds.
Keywords: arches, bridge, Daenerys Targaryen, Dragonstone, Games of Thrones, Huawei P20Pro, islet, John Coveney Photography, Jon Snow, landscape, Lee Filters, long exposure, panoramea, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, seascape, silky water, The Basque Country, Tyrion Lannister, www.johncoveney.ie
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