Tag Archives: Greece

Our year through the lens

29 Jan

Two thousand and eleven – what a year it has been. Mel and I have been able to see and do some amazing things that we feel very grateful to have had the chance to do. However this was the year that I took my photography to another level. Instead of simply pointing and shooting and not giving the images an extra thought, I finally decided to bite the bullet and sign up and complete an online photography course. Last year was the year I was to start ‘creating’ my images and not just capturing them. I started an online course in January and after completing this course in December, I was able to learn many new skills on how to craft great pictures. Two of the images below were taken for my course assessment, but the other 10 were selected because I really like how they are composed and know what effort was involved in creating each shot. Each photo is a representation of something we did in each month of the year and I have added a variety of images to spice things up. Please enjoy the images and feel free to make comments as I am always learning and it helps to have extra eyes look over and critique them. Bring on 2012 with a new camera and lens, so everyone and everything better look out!

Click images for larger size.

January: Wild Deer in Richmond Park, London

 

February: Boario Terme, Italy

 

March: Carwash night club, London

 

April: Cappadocia hot air balloon ride, Turkey

 

May: North Greenwich University, London

June: Santorini, Greece

 

July: Portraiture, Mel with lavendar, London

 

August: Edinburgh Tattoo, Scotland

 

September: London Eye looking over Houses of Parliament, London

 

October: Hardknott Pass, Lake District, UK

 

November: Constitution Arch, Hyde Park Corner, London

December: Northern Lights, Inari, Finland

 
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Postcards from Greece

2 Jul

The mention of ‘Greece’ conjures all kinds of images in one’s mind: cliff-top villages made up of white-washed houses and buildings, the crystal clear Aegean sea lapping stunning beaches, arid landscapes with conifers, low shrubs and olive groves, brown bikini-clad bodies lying on beach loungers… Believe it all, because it’s true. This is Greece in all it’s postcard-beautiful glory.

The buildings in Greece are probably one of the most photographed. The stark contrast of the blinding white buildings against the deep blue sky is a stunning sight. This is a church we stumbled across in an old village on the island of Santorini. We had to make our way through a labyrinth of narrow streets and climb stairs to reach it. We were on our way to the beach at the time and went on a detour to do some exploring… we were mesmerized with what we found.

The landscape of Greece is beautiful in its own unique way. The land is hilly, dry and, in summer, seems to radiate heat. Low shrubs and conifers dominate the landscape with an olive grove or two thrown in for good measure. Dirty-white farm houses sit on the hills. There is probably a small herd of goats in there as well, essential in order to produce traditional and delicious Greek feta for the equally delicious Greek salad. This pic was taken on the island of Paros – while on the back of a scooter, hence the movement in the shrubs at the bottom of the picture. We hired a scooter for two days to get around the island. A total of 60km of roads circumnavigate the outside of the island, but we crisscrossed through the middle of the island to beaches and back again and we got to see most of the island.

The olive oil in Greece is to die for – we ate plenty of bread smothered in the gold liquid. This pic of an olive tree was taken in Athens on our way up to the Acropolis to get up close to the Pantheon. Olive oil and tourism are two of the main industries in Greece and with their current crumbling economy, these are the industries that will no doubt survive.

The sunsets and the weather in Greece made us feel like we were back at home. It was warm with a cool sea breeze on the islands and sweltering hot in Athens, thanks to being surrounded by concrete. We captured this sunset while at dinner. We had a smorgasbord of fresh seafood, alfresco style and just across the road was the beach and this sunset. No need to say anything more – just look at the picture. It was stunning and not a bad way to end the day.

Mouth-drooling fresh seafood we gorged ourselves on at the restaurant while watching the sunset. Most restaurants offer some sort of fresh and frozen seafood. Everything we eat in Greece is delicious – bread with olive oil for entrée, Greek salad, souvlaki, gyro, battered cheese, squid and calamari, varieties of fish and tender meat is all on the menu. We physically couldn’t finish off this seafood meal and there were eight of us.

Ancient ruins – another thing that makes Greece so beautiful and eyebrow-raising interesting. This is the Ancient Agora in Athens. It is a place that is described as a ‘market place’, a public meeting place and also where the court of law was located back in BC times. The ruins in Athens are dotted throughout the main city area, which allowed us to visit most of them in one day. Typically, we chose the hottest day to run around the city as well with temperatures in their low 30s. Needless to say we were sweating the whole day until the soothing cool of the night set in. The heat was exhausting (I think our bodies have acclimatized to the London weather – anything above 25 seems to knock us about now).

The beaches in Greece are so stunning but I think this has a lot to do with the perfectly clear waters that lap at their shores. The water gently meets the sand and we lay there listening to the tiny waves from our beach loungers. This is the first trip we’ve been on in Europe where we’ve just sat and stayed still; relaxing and spending time doing nothing much at all except for looking at the map and deciding which beach to visit next. This pic was taken at Punda Beach Club, located on the island of Paros. It was so beautiful and relaxing. We dropped in to this beach on our second day on Paros to check it out, it was so good, we returned for a couple of hours the next day to get in more relaxation time before we had to catch our ferry to the next relaxing island.

The beaches on Santorini are beautiful in a different way. They are made up of rocks thanks to the island’s volcanic past. This picture of Red Beach is located right next door to White Beach and Black Beach a bit further down. It’s so unique and it really is this red. There is another black-sand beach further up the island called Kamari – one of the best on the island where we spent time walking along the smooth pebbles and going for a dip in the beautiful clear sea.

Last but not least, Santorini and its cliff-top villages. This place is where postcards were invented. The whole island is just gorgeous and these photos overlooking Oia (top), a village on the northern tip of the island; and Fira (bottom), the main hub of Santorini are the closest we could get to capturing exactly what Greece is all about. The whole place is like a myth, like something we’ve read in books but never quite knew if it was real. We only had two nights in Santorini, but we could have easily spent a whole week soaking up the laid back atmosphere, eating in alfresco restaurants by night and visiting beaches by day.

Greece is right near the top with being our best trip yet; I think it’s easy to see why. It really is the ultimate destination and it certainly lived up to our expectations. This is one country we’d definitely re-visit if we could.

You can see the rest of our Greece photos here: Mykonos/ParosSantorini; Athens.

today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian Writer in (North) Germany

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