Monday, September 7, 2009

Why That Santorini Church Looks So Familiar

My last post showed a couple of images of a church on Santorini that has had a lot of film, pixels, and professional travel photographers and photo editors dedicated to it over the years. If you've looked into traveling to the Greek Islands before, there's a good chance you've seen this church prominently highlighted in several travel guides and articles. 

For example, it made the cover story of Conde Nast Traveler magazine in July 2008...

And the left cover image of National Geographic Traveler's 2nd edition on Greece...

And Lonely Planet's cover shot for an older 'Greek Islands' travel guide...

(You'll find the latest LP publications on Greece here.)

And a Dorling Kindersley (DK) guide book on the Greek Islands... 

These are excellent sources of information on Greece and the Greek Islands, and I recommend them all. But I do hope that this beautiful little church on Santorini somehow gets a little compensation for being the star of the show here. It clearly must be helping these publishers sell guide books and magazine issues.

(The images above are the property and copyright of their respective publishers, and I include them here for informational purposes only.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Classic Santorini Church and Sunset

This Greek church landscape scene on Santorini is the subject of countless travel photographs (including travel book and magazine covers), but it's not that easy to find unless you know where to look. I stayed here for about an hour or so, taking lots of shots before and after sunset. This one was just after sunset - around 8:15 PM.

The cruise ship is now leaving port, having done its job of giving its passengers one last look at a sunset panorama that they will not soon forget.

And here's the same scene in a vertical format, showing more of the blue dome and more of the sky. I think I like the vertical shot better. 

[Click on the photos for larger views.]


I toyed with the idea of brightening up just the blue and white of the church in these images, but the reality is, this is pretty much exactly how I remember this scene - everything was getting darker by the minute at this point. Within a few minutes of taking these images, I was packed up and heading back to our hotel.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Santorini Sunset - Dinner on the Caldera Edge

I came across this scene while on my way into town on Santorini one evening near sunset. I was on a mission to secure cat food for this cat, and stopped along the way to grab some shots of anything interesting I could find. (With camera in hand, even running a mundane errand can be interesting.)

What's interesting to me about this image is the visual suggestion that the restaurant is literally hanging over the edge of the Santorini caldera, and the repetition of lines in the middle and background of the photo. And of course, the two young women totally engaged in their conversation, seemingly not very interested in the incredible sunset about to occur across the water.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Santorini Sunset Cruisers Returning to Port

This was the typical post-sunset scene every evening outside our hotel balcony on Santorini. Two 'sunset cruise' ships quietly returning to port after showing their guests one of the most amazing sunsets in Europe, in the large water-filled caldera of an ancient undersea volcano.

For us this was a very relaxing part of the day, accompanied by a cool Mythos beer or a glass of local white wine, local cheeses and olives, etc. A great way to transition between daytime activities and a late dinner at one of the Greek restaurants in town.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dark Gray and White Cat on Mykonos


This is a straightforward shot taken just a few minutes before I photographed the 'Black Cat Waiting for the Painter' during a morning photo walk. I decided to post this image since it includes the characteristic whitewashed building, with a faded 'Greek blue' shutter behind the cat. A typical setting on Mykonos, and the Greek Cyclades islands in general.

Notice the clump of wet fur sticking up from the middle of his tail. I'm pretty sure I interrupted a grooming session as I approached to photograph him. Greek cats, like cats everywhere, like to keep their tails looking just right, so he probably went back to work on it once I walked away.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Garden Cat Peering Around a Corner

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you will probably recognize this cat. I featured her 'In the Garden' in a February post, and then again as the partially-hidden star of 'Cat Tail and Water Pail'. Here she is peering around a large white vase/planter in that same hotel garden on the island of Mykonos.

On a technical photo composition note, I'm not thrilled with having that planter in the background, directly behind the cat. I shot this photo at an aperture of f/8, which didn't help fade the background much at all. I was using a great Pentax 35mm prime lens that would have been fine at f/2, f/2.8, or f/4, so I would shoot at one or more of those apertures (to defocus the background more and therefore isolate the cat better) if I could do this one over again. Or I would shift my position a bit to the right or left, but then I might miss the classic blue shutters in the background. I'm guessing that 90% of shutters in the Greek Cyclades islands are painted this color blue, or something pretty close to this color.

Anyway, you don't always have much time to work the subject and backgrounds during these unplanned photo shoots, so sometimes you just take what you can get.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Black Cat Waiting for the Painter

I came across this cat during an early morning photo trek on Mykonos. It was a little bit after sunrise, and I wasn't having much luck finding 'good' cats to photograph until I saw this one relaxing on a white ledge in front of a painter's art studio.

As you can see near the upper right of the photo, the green door to the studio was locked. My thought was that maybe this cat was waiting for the studio to open, in hopes that the owner/operator might set out some food and water for him (this would not be at all surprising). Or maybe this guy was just resting for a while, plotting his strategy for the rest of the morning, or daydreaming about the mouse that got away, etc. Who knows?

Also, I was tempted to clean this guy up a bit in Photoshop, but then decided against it. The cat has bits of white/gray hairs mixed in with his black coat, dirt and sand on his face, and other 'beauty' issues that are so typical of the stray cats of Greece. Some are in really great shape, and others look pretty rough around the edges. This guy was in between, but still photogenic enough for me.