Beach Morning Glory
I was exploring the wild dunes during one of my sunrise sessions in Rosolina Mare (see my What a meaningful world... for information about that peculiar location). This was sort of a discovery for me - a whole new world I had previously seen only through the work of several of my Flickr friends, mainly from Northern Europe.
The dunes were graced by a gentle touch of Mediterranean scrub - a tamarisk on the left, some sea hollies (Eryngium maritimum), and a lot of sparse creeping vines sporting graceful rosy flowers that I think are, quite aptly, called Beach morning glory (Convolvulus soldanella or Ipomoea pes-caprae), here caught as they were beginning to open. It is well known that the seeds of this plant, unaffected by salt water, can float for long distances.
It was an exciting discovery: the place could have been two light-years far from the nearest touristic beach! And as I was enjoying (and capturing as well) the silent miracle of the sunrise my soul was singing. The sun was wrestling his way between the clouds and the world was bathed in a soft, golden light. And as the rosy lips of the flowers were gently opening I was wondering where the seeds of those plants came from. As I was keeping shooting I could almost hear their thin voices greeting the first lights of the day by whispering stories from distant countries.
I have obtained this picture by blending an exposure bracketing [-1.7/0/+1.7 EV] by luminosity masks in the Gimp (EXIF data, as usual, refer to the "normal exposure" shot), then I added some final touches with Nik Color Efex Pro 4.
I have had some unexpected luminance noise here, so I tried hard to clean up; Dfine made a discrete job, but left here and there artifacts I was not able to avoid. In the end I found that the better job was done by Noiseware Community Edition.