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First, I’ll talk about the castle, and then I’ll talk about the photograph. 


Castillo de la Muela is a castle in Central Spain, sitting above the town of Consuegra, and adjacent to another famous landmark that you’ll also see in this calendar, the windmills of La Mancha. This castle is old. Like a millennia old. It was gifted by Alfonso VIII to the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem in 1183. Many of the most relevant features of the fortification date to a number of expansions in the 12th and 13th centuries. 


Those who really know me, know that nothing gives me chills quite like something from the middle ages that involves ‘knights’ and ‘fortifications’. Seeing this was an experience. And best of all, I was virtually alone wandering around this castle. One of the staggering bits about being in Europe is the living history that is all around you. Once you get off the beaten path, there is very little red tape between you and the exploration of some of these sites. It is hard to describe what that feels like. It is almost transcendental, as your imagination takes you places you simply can’t go in a book or a photograph. You can feel the weight of centuries within the walls of some of these places. 


This photograph is a joyous marriage of an exquisite sky and location. In the business, we call these parking lot skies, because the gods of photography like to spite us with wonderful skies in the worst locations. But sometimes the gods take pity on you and your camera and you’re treated to a moment like this. Standing there with my camera amidst the whipping wind and fading light, I thought about how many generations of people watched the setting sun behind that castle. 

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