A paradise just around the corner. Holiday first, photography second.
My trip to the Dolomites received a setback due to worst possible weather forecast and a knee injury that I could no longer disregard. The circumstances forced me and my partner to rethink in the short term. We decided to go for the exact opposite of a moody mountain location with lots of hiking. Instead we traveled to a location with warm temperatures, where sunny weather was guaranteed.
I was really looking forward to travel to Cimolais in the Dolomites and to spend some days in the region that I haven’t been able to travel to for more than a decade now. I couldn’t wait to shoot Lago di Braies, Lago di Misurina, 3 Cime di Lavaredo and the Seiser Alm. But this had to be postponed. In fact, I plan to catch up on this in October. But after all I realized how much I needed the beach location and a simple relaxing vacation. I reduced the amount of photography to a minimum to consider that I travel in company and to full enjoy the sea, the beaches and the warm weather. Nevertheless, there was a time and opportunity to also take pictures and it was a pleasant distraction to shoot different motives in other light conditions that I normally shoot.
After a two-hour flight we landed in Thessaloniki, Greece. The transfer to our hotel took another hour. For the next 7 days we spend our time in a region called Chalkidiki. It is a peninsula with the form of three fingers. We were located on the second finger called Sithonia. It is the less touristic area of the first two fingers. The third finger must not be traveled by women. Mount Athos in Greece may be the largest area in the world from which women are banned. The reason why, is that this was the simplest way to ensure celibacy. The thing that makes Athos different from other monasteries is that the whole peninsula is regarded as one huge monastery.
Pretty much all the time we’ve been pampered with sunny weather. So, I had to stay up at 5 in the morning and wait until half past 8 in the evening to get good light condition for taking pictures. I decided to embrace the high sun during the day that turned the calm water into turquoise caribic like colors.
Only on the second evening I decided to leave dinner early to find a good spot for a decent sunset shooting. I think I found a good composition that allowed me to capture the orange and pink colored sundown as well as some typical Greek cliffs and olive trees. The light was perfect, and I was shooting for more than one hour and liked almost every shot that I took. The sky and clouds were working in my favor and so the horizon was soaked in multiple colors.
Other than that, I went for no more particular photography spot. I just had my camera with me when we were driving around Sithonia looking for the next awesome beach. And there were many. It seemed like every new beach was an even better and more spectacular encounter. We were cruising around the peninsula by car and by boat. We’ve seen, enjoyed and sometimes photographed lonesome blue lagoons, empty beaches and crystal-clear water.
When I checked the pictures that I’ve taken in Lightroom I realized how much different these pictures were compared to what I tend to shoot normally. No moody landscapes, no fog or dark scenery. Beside the sundown shooting most of the pictures were taken during harsh daylight. I do not only recommend Chalkidiki as a vacation but also as a photography destination. The peninsula has lot of versatile motives to offer as long as you ready to go along with the saturated colors and (in terms of vacation time) the good weather.