Travel Photographer of the Year 2017: Highly commended in the Primary Colours category and finalist in another two categories.
Commended photographer in the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition.
Based on number of views and sales, this is my most successful picture so far.
What you see in the shot is Mount Pico. Located on Pico Island, part of the archipelago of the Azores, it is the highest peak in Portugal (2351 metres).
Locally known as Montanha do Pico, this stratovolcano is dormant and last erupted in 1718.
I totally have to thank my wife Dania for this shot. She was driving home when she saw this unique cloud and shouted at me while still in the car. - Hurry up and take a shot of the Pico! -
I am so happy she gave me a shout. I was working on my computer and had no idea such a unique cloud was forming on the volcano.
Cloud hats (technically, lenticular clouds) on the summit of Mount Pico are not uncommon, but good ones are extremely rare. This one looked more like a turban and, to the best of my knowledge, it appears to be unique!
This photo received an Editor's pick on GuruShots.com and, in the same website, was also featured in the article 31 Random Amazing Photographs That Will Put Your Imagination Into Hyper Drive.
I believe there is a strange kind of contrast in the image. Nothing to do with shadows and highlights, it is the contrast between the peaceful golden hour and the turmoil in the cloud.
I have seen that contrast before, but it was not in a photograph. Rather, I saw it in the eyes of a human being that could not have been more important to me.
Dedicated to my Mom.
(Anna Villa, 13 August 1935 - 10 August 1994)