Passions

It’s been a while since my last post – closing in on 3 months to be precise. Throughout the 3-year lifetime of this blog, I’ve never managed to skip a month, until now. I would have otherwise been disappointed, if the culprit for my tardiness wasn’t my new passion in life – cycling. Over the last few months, I’ve decided to take cycling a bit more seriously and so I forked out a small fortune and bought myself a new shinny road bike. As a result, all the free time I had on the weekends is now being consumed by riding around and recovering in bed thereafter!

I am not disappointed though for 3 primary reasons. Firstly, it’s something that I really enjoy, which is the main reason as to why I picked up photography in the first place. So I don’t feel like I am cheating, as there is nothing wrong with sharing the love! Equally as important, is that I have now managed to visit places in Cyprus that I had never been to before. Given how I constantly moan on this blog that I need to go out and discover Cyprus, it seems that I have finally found my answer! Last but not least, I am finally learning how to be a morning person! Yes, cycling does that to you. I never thought I would be up at sunrise on the weekends. When I get up I am still really grumpy, but once I hop on that saddle, the sheer feeling of riding in the morning breeze is second to none.

This picture is from my trip to Milos this past May. Nothing beats island sunsets. Perhaps, my next post will be that of a sunrise, from a new place I bike to in Cyprus.

Milos Sunset - 1920c

Shot handheld with my Canon 60D and Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OS lens, at ISO 200, F14 at 1/100 sec.

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Summer holidays

Summer is in full swing. Time to relax by the beach, swim in the refreshing turquoise Mediterranean waters and enjoy fresh fish under the moonlight. And what better place to enjoy all these, than the beautiful Greek Islands.

Alas, I have different plans this year. Given that I live on an island and I am thus spoiled for choice when it comes to which sunbed I will be lying flat on every weekend, I have decided to spend my summer vacation this year in a more educational manner. I won’t say more; suffice to say however that my camera will get quite a bit of use in the next couple of weeks.

Happy summer holidays everyone!

Pollonia Marina - 1920cPhoto taken in the small village of Pollonia on Milos island. Shot with my tripod mounted Canon 60D and my Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC HSM lens, at ISO 200, F8, at 6 secs.

Milos Seascapes

Last week I was fortunate to visit the Greek island of Milos for a mini-vacation, where I got the chance to drive around and sample everything this beautiful island has to offer. Being part of the Cyclades, Milos was one of the many Aegean islands formed from the catastrophic eruption of the volcano in Santorini. Its volcanic nature therefore, makes it the home of stunning multi-coloured rock formations and beautiful seascapes.

On the first day of our arrival, we ran into some bad weather. The photographic instinct in me however, saw an excellent opportunity to head down to the beach for a couple of shots. The picture below is from the beach of Sarakiniko, on the north shore of the island. As I was exploring the lunar-like landscape of this particular beach for a photo opportunity, I accidentally stumbled onto this amazing sight. I immediately set up my tripod and screwed on my 10-stop ND filter, in an effort to slow down my shutter speed and capture the motion of both the waves and clouds. The strong winds made the task harder, as I had to firmly hold down the tripod to avoid any camera shake.

Sarakiniko Rock - 1920c

Shot with my tripod mounted Canon 60D and my Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC HSM lens, at ISO 100, F10, at 6 secs, with a B+W ND3.0 filter.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls

Happy New Year everyone! Wish you a healthy and prosperous 2014!

Got back last week from a short 5-day holiday in Thessaloniki, where I have to admit I didn’t get much of a chance to go out and photograph. My sole attempt was on the eve of my departure, when the family decided to go on a day-trip to the Edessa waterfalls – approximately a one hour drive west of Thessaloniki. From a weather perspective and by contrast to the rest of my stay in Greece, I have to admit that we chose to do so on perhaps the worst possible day.

For anyone who’s been there, the best vantage point for a photograph of the falls is from all the way down looking up, which meant that we had to drive off a long beaten path to get there. When we arrived, the only accessible place where I could actually set up my tripod and camera, was very near the falls which meant that both myself and the equipment were being hammered by a ridiculous amount of mist – so much in fact, that after every shot I took, I had to wipe down my camera lens and filters. Not the best conditions to take this shot, but this was the best I could do given the weather that day and the fact that I had to drag a hungry bunch with me (aka my entire family) while overdue for lunch by a couple of hours. Special thanks to my cousin and gear caddy Simos, who was patient enough to help me set up!

As for the picture, not my best work to be honest. Shooting with a very small aperture (to slow down the shutter speed and capture the movement of the water), also meant that even the slightest drop from the mist would show up on the image, which meant significant loss of sharpness and more work for me in post-production.

Edessa Waterfalls - 1920c

Shot with my Canon 60D and Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC HSM lens, at ISO 100, F25, 0.5secs, with a 2-stop ND grad filter.

Lake Boat

Over the Christmas holidays, Daria and I flew to Thessaloniki (Salonika) in Greece to spend a few days with my cousins. The plan was to stay in the city for a couple of days to do some late Christmas shopping and then head to Florina (a town on the northern most part of Greece bordering FYROM) for the rest of the week. We would then use Florina as our base to explore the surrounding area.

I have to admit that this part of Greece is truly spectacular. I can honestly say that the scenery of western Macedonia has nothing to envy from the Swiss Alps. Snow-peaked mountains, forests and lakes as far as your eyes can reach. The picture below was taken at Vegoritida lake which we visited while taking the scenic route from Thessaloniki to Florina.

Taken with my tripod mounted Canon 60D and Canon 24-70 F2.8L lens at ISO 100, F8.0 at 1/320 and bracketed at -2/0/+2.

Boat in lake - 1920c