Meteora & Pindos Landscape Photography Workshop 2016 - Part 2 - Pindos

Following our second morning shooting the dawn breaking over the monasteries of Meteora we set off on the 3 hour scenic route to the next location of our 7 day landscape photography workshop in Greece.. a little village in the heart of the Pindos Mountains called Monodendri.

The late departure meant we only had time for a couple of stops along the way for the briefest of photo opportunities, such as these panoramics hastily put together at the Aoos Springs Lake..

 aoos springs lake photographed during our landscape photography workshop to meteora and the pindos mountains in greece

aoos springs lake photographed during our landscape photography workshop to meteora and the pindos mountains in greece

 mountain view from aoos springs lake photographed during our landscape photography workshop to meteora and the pindos mountains in greece

mountain view from aoos springs lake photographed during our landscape photography workshop to meteora and the pindos mountains in greece

After our early morning pre-dawn start and our meandering drive over the mountains to the next location of our 7 day landscape photography workshop to the heart of Greece... we were quite tired and so opted for an early night.. following as usual a fabulous meal at a local taverna of bean soup and goat stew.!

Next morning saw us up early again and off to spend the day practicing our long exposure photography at a small and very narrow river canyon where the water is crystalline and falls through a series of small waterfalls cutting its way through the limestone rock... soothing and smoothing the rough hewn stone in it's path... iPhone to hand again for some "behind-the-scenes" photos.... and a final image...

 Small river canyon photographed during our landscape photography workshop to meteora and the pindos mountains in greece

Small river canyon photographed during our landscape photography workshop to meteora and the pindos mountains in greece

Both a good thing and a frustrating thing about shooting during the winter months is the shortness of the days... good because dawn is that little bit later allowing for a slightly longer sleep-in and bad because the few hours of daylight you do have are over so quick... especially when absorbed in taking long-exposure photos..! Six hours we spent in the canyon and it seemed to just fly... back to the hotel for a quick download and review then out to dinner again.. Lentil soup and oven cooked beef joint in tomato sauce..! yum..

Over the next few days we explored the region photographing the beautiful old stone bridges that linked the villages in bygone days before any roads existed...we explored one of the cleanest rivers in Europe.. the Voidomatis River... and its crystal turquoise water..

we visited an ancient forest and photographed the imposing buttress towers of Mount Tymfis at sunset watching the changing colours reflect over the massif...

...and on our final day we spent the entire day at a magical location... well off the beaten track.. very unknown... and very beautiful...

and just a few of the final images from this wonderful place...

After that finalé it was time to go home... new friends made... wonderful places visited... fab photos made... until next year..!

Join me in 2017 on our next landscape photography tour and workshop to Meteora and the Pindos Mountains in Greece and I'll take you there..!

g

Meteora & Pindos Photo Workshop/Tour 2016 - Part 1 - Meteora

In the brief respite between Christmas and New Year, I thought I'd write up the trip reports from our trips last month to Meteora & Pindos for a landscape photography workshop and to Kerkini for our winter birds photography tour... so here we go...!

Pick up from Thessaloniki airport went smoothly with no delayed flights or cancellations which meant we could get going with our trip on time..! a 3 hour drive later and we arrived under the cover of darkness at our hotel in the village of Kastraki. Despite the darkness of the night, the hulking shadows of the Meteora dolomites could still be discerned against the ink black sky which gave us a hint of the views which we would be enjoying the following morning,

A very cold 6am rise next morning and still the dark of winter cloaked the mountains for our 15 minute drive up to the first sunrise location... by the time we had driven up and scrambled over the precarious rocks to start setting up tripods and cameras, the slimmest light of dawn had begun to sneak over the horizon.

 George assisting a guest as dawn spread over the horizon as we set up for our first sunrise shoot at the Meteora during our autumn landscape photography workshop to Meteora & Pindos in Greece

George assisting a guest as dawn spread over the horizon as we set up for our first sunrise shoot at the Meteora during our autumn landscape photography workshop to Meteora & Pindos in Greece

The sunrise shoot at Meteora is always a challenging one as the sun rises directly behind the Monasteries meaning multiple exposures to capture the beauty of the valley and monasteries as well as the breaking dawn sky... thanks to Tam for the above pic she took of me on her iPhone assisting Ciaran to set up for the shoot.

We were so lucky with the sunrise shoots as on both mornings we had sun and on both mornings the mist came rolling through the valley to grant us a fantastic opportunity to photograph the monasteries "floating" in the clouds...

 Cloud and mist roll through the valley beneath the Meteora during the first sunrise on our landscape photography workshop to Meteora and Pindos Mountains in Greece.

Cloud and mist roll through the valley beneath the Meteora during the first sunrise on our landscape photography workshop to Meteora and Pindos Mountains in Greece.

Dawn over the monasteries was followed by a return to the hotel for a well deserved and hearty breakfast and gave us the opportunity to shake off the cold from the morning's outing... wasn't long though before we were out again and up the mountain once more to photograph some of the other monasteries...

 Another panoramic taken this time on my own iPhone.. Tam & Ciaran photographing one of the monasteries of the Meteora perched seemingly impossibly on a dolomite.. during our Landscape Photography workshop to Meteora and Pindos mountains in Greece, 2016;

Another panoramic taken this time on my own iPhone.. Tam & Ciaran photographing one of the monasteries of the Meteora perched seemingly impossibly on a dolomite.. during our Landscape Photography workshop to Meteora and Pindos mountains in Greece, 2016;

After a brief stop for an amazing lunch in the village below (no soggy sandwiches on our tours..!) we were back up the mountain for a third time in the day... this time to catch the sunset... which is always spectacular at Meteora... I've been coming here for many years and have yet to be disappointed.. somehow Meteora is such a mystical and magical place and always seems to deliver what I like to call, "a God moment"...

 Photographing sunset over the Meteora monasteries during our Landscape Photography Workshop to Meteora and the Pindos Mountains in Greece, 2016;

Photographing sunset over the Meteora monasteries during our Landscape Photography Workshop to Meteora and the Pindos Mountains in Greece, 2016;

 Magical and mystical Meteora... during our Landscape Photography Workshop to Meteora and the Pindos Mountains in Greece, 2016;

Magical and mystical Meteora... during our Landscape Photography Workshop to Meteora and the Pindos Mountains in Greece, 2016;

...and Tam even found time to "Zen" out a little...

 Tam's Zen moment watching the sun set over the monasteries of the Meteora... during our Landscape Photography workshop to Meteora and the Pindos Mountains in Greece, 2016;

Tam's Zen moment watching the sun set over the monasteries of the Meteora... during our Landscape Photography workshop to Meteora and the Pindos Mountains in Greece, 2016;

A very successful first day at Meteora..! ....evening back at the hotel and after yet another amazing meal in the village and a quick review of the day's images the team was enthused and thirsty for more.. so a decision was taken to delay the drive to Pindos by a couple of hours the next day and spend the next morning up at Meteora again but this time from a different vantage point with the sun behind us... once again the Gods did not diappoint... the sun came out, the mists rolled in, and fab photos were made..!

Back down to the hotel again after another very satisfying morning.. full Greek breakfast and onward to the Pindos Mountains....!

Lake Kerkini Video

Hi all... just a quick video I put together from various clips shot over the last year that we have been visiting Lake Kerkini on our Wildlife and Landscapes photography workshops and tours.. hopefully give you a brief idea as to why I love it so much up there and might even persuade you to join me on a trip to possibly the best wetland in Europe for getting up close to nature.

Our next available trip is in April.. though with only 4 places per trip they do fill up fast so please get in touch or sign up to receive our newsletter with all the latest news and upcoming courses.. hope to see you soon..

george

 

Winter Landscapes & Wildlife Photography workshop 2013... part 2

The last half of our winter landscapes and wildlife photography workshop/tour of Lake Kerkini proved as successful as the first half with great weather, fabulous viewings and successful photography... including... the amazingly impressive pair of resident White Tailed Sea Eagles, Greater Spotted Eagle, Greater Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Marsh Harriers, Kestrels and Black Stork, Widgeon, Green-Winged Teal, Egyptian Geese, White Fronted & Greylag Geese, Shelduck, Pochard, Feruginous Duck, Ringed Plover, and one of our favourites the Kingfisher.. to mention but a few of the 62 species we managed to spot and photograph in one week in December.... a few samples of which you can see below...

The latter half of the week included another 4x4 trip, this time into the forests of Mount Belles at just under 2000m; we looked at site selection for hides, pitching a hide and then spent some hours watching and photographing from the hide.. the photo below of the Greater Spotted Eagle was one of the shots taken from the hide as it swooped down to have a go at some mallards in the canal we had staked out.. fortunately for the ducks but unfortunately for him.. he was unsuccessful...  and for us waiting to capture the killer shot.

Next trip due at the end of January and into February 2014 to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans as they start coming into season and the males start getting their courtship colour.. still a few places left so please get in touch if you'd like to come out and experience it for yourself....

Winter Landscapes & Wildlife Photography workshop 2013

Quick post as we approach the half way mark of our winter landscapes & wildlife photography workshop at Lake Kerkini in Greece.

The first few days have been quite eventful with fabulous weather on all but one day so far.. the Flamingo flock is at around the 3500 mark and we have enjoyed some great success photographing them both from land and from our boat trip onto the lake.

We were lucky enough to be overflown by a Spotted Eagle at quite close distance offering great photos and had great viewings and photo opportunities with a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker who was so intent on making his little hole he paid us scant attention and let us approach to within 30 feet.

Real excitement this afternoon too when we made a last minute decision to take a late evening tour of the lake delta by 4x4 land rover and were treated to a fantastic sighting of a beautiful wildcat as well as Spotted Eagle, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Cormorants, Spoonbills, Avocets, Pochard, Pelicans and Mute Swans...

A selection of photos below...