Ilha do Mel is a small island off the coast of Paraná, one of the southernmost states in Brazil. The location is somewhat significant, because it means that even in the height of summer (we were here for Christmas), it rains. A lot. And often, quite unexpectedly.
Looking at the resulting pictures, it can be hard to believe that all of them were taken over the span of three days - so different the light and the atmosphere between them. It actually became a pretty good showcase of the most common types of natural lighting you can get around these parts.
Day One - Lighthouse and Praia do Farol
light: clear skies
Our first day on the island was spent exploring the surrounding area, trekking up to the local lighthouse - one of the main attractions on this side of the island - and watching the sunset on the beach right beneath it.
There were few clouds and lots of unrestricted sunlight, creating a bright and highly saturated environment with strong contrast and bold colours.
This was the last time we were going to see blue sky.
Day Two - Fortress and Praia da Fortaleza
light: soft and hazy
The second day started out dramatic and cloudy, but with more and more rain throughout the day, the air became less transparent, the sky melted into an almost absolute white, and the whole world just became filled with tiny raindrops acting like a diffuser and creating a hazy, dreamy atmosphere.
The following two images capture the mood of the day perfectly, and I opted not to apply lens correction in post in order to keep the dark vignette and slight distortion, which I think adds to the overall atmosphere.
Day Three - Grotto/Gruta das Encantadas
light: clear and dramatic
The Enchanted Grotto is located on the southern side of the island, where the ocean appears to be more blue and also just a little more violent. Sharp waves crashing against the jagged rocks that surround the shoreline and breaking into layers of bright white foam enhance visual contrast, creating a more saturated and powerful effect. The air is crystal-clear, making the clouds hanging heavily in the sky more visible and defined, creating a very strong and dramatic look.
This little island exemplifies exactly what this part of the country is like - rapidly changing weather, wild nature, remnants of Colonial rule scattered through the jungle and, most of all, water. Water everywhere - falling from the sky, under your feet, hanging in the air, water eating away at every surface with salt and mold and sheer force of violent waves thrown against the shores by the never-ending wind. It's heavy, it's dramatic, and I'll take it over sunshine and dry heat any day.