Quick Shot: Greece Beach

I was trying to pick from a stack of photos for today's quick shot and figured this one would be perfect because it will be in great contrast to some of my next photography subjects..... a week from today I'm setting off for an expedition in the arctic circle to capture the aurora! With that said, what could be in greater contrast to snow and sub zero temperatures than a beach scene?!

I took this photograph in Mykonos, Greece. Little boats like this line the marina and beach, and their bright colors make them a natural subject to photograph. I decided to use an aperture that would give the boat mostly in focus, but lightly blur the background so that it wouldn't distract from the main subject, which was this beautiful and rustic vessel. With the bright colors and golden sand, it was a photograph that took itself - I just had to push click!

Quick Shot: Windmills

I don't really need to tell you where I took this photograph - there's only one place in the world that has such a unique look. 

A decade ago, I visited these windmills in Mykonos, Greece with my parents and I took a quick photograph with a little 1.5 megapixel camera that (at the time) was cutting edge. I love that photograph - it's actually not a great photo by any means - but the memory associated with that photograph is what makes it so special. 

When I returned to Mykonos this fall, I wanted to visit those windmills that I had such fond memories of photographing 10 years ago. To put a fun twist on a commonly photographed sight, I waited until sunset and snapped off a series of photos precisely as the sun touched the top of the hills on the horizon. It took mere seconds for the sun to disappear completely, but I was able to get a few where there was a nice burst to the sun.

Photographer tip: The camera by default will always want to expose for the sky, so when taking photos like this, you have to be smarter than the camera. In this case, I set exposure compensation of -1/2 stop to help preserve shadow details in the windmills and metered against the windmill before lining up the shot. That made the sky darker and windmill lighter without having to use special filters or post processing. The other way to get this sort of photograph is to shoot a burst and process them together afterwards (called HDR), but the image here is a single shot.

Quick Shot: Greek Coast I

I visited Greece about 10 years ago with my parents, and one of the most memorable things was in the coastal resort city of Mykonos. There are houses and buildings on the edge of the water there.... I literally mean the EDGE of the water. There is no sidewalk, no lawn, no beach separating these buildings from the crashing waves. I remember thinking "that must be a real pain to maintain!"

My recent trip through Greece would take me back to that same spot in Mykonos, and I knew I wanted to take several shots capturing the beautiful coastline. The first image of the Greek Coast that I'll share is this one, which captures the nature of the waves on the coastline. I shot this using the super wide angle Nikon 14-24mm lens and used a special filter (called a neutral density filter) to allow me to slow down the capture so that I could get the blurring from the waves crashing. 

The final image captures all the things that made an impression on me a decade ago ..... the rocks, waves and buildings that are along the coast. There is a sort of harshness yet tranquility to the whole thing that I absolutely love.