It’s nearly impossible to get a true taste of Greek culture without exploring its vibrant isles. Here, Jimmy shares some of his favorite spots to capture local life and landscapes, and offers helpful hints for scoring some expert shots of the country’s spectacular sunsets.
“The optional excursion to Chania was such a surprise highlight. Considered a resort town, the colorful settlement is wrapped around a beautiful harbor on the northern side of Crete. The spacious patios of the many cafes spill out into the sunshine, overlooking the water. Further inland, there is a large marketplace full of local products and mazes of small streets and alleys lined with buildings in varying architectural styles.”
Fort Londsa in Oía “Oía is a can’t-miss for anyone who visits Santorini—this is where you’ll see the iconic blue-domed buildings. My favorite vantage point was from the Fort Londsa, which offered an amazing view of the crater.”
The lighthouse in Chania “During our free time in Chania, I had the opportunity to walk out onto the jetty to the lighthouse. From there, you can see the whole village and marina across the water.”
The windmills in Mykonos “The windmills overlooking Little Venice in Mykonos are another iconic sight. They are great to photograph themselves, but the small hill on which they are located is also a great place to capture the town and harbor.”
Philopappos Hill in Athens “Also called ‘The Hill of the Muses,’ Philopappos Hill is just opposite the Acropolis and offers a new angle on the Parthenon. The hill itself has many beautiful features and you can also see all of Athens spread out below.”
Don’t treat the sun like a subject
Consider the sunset a lovely setting, not as the focus for your photo. Use the changing light to show how beautiful a place can be, not how beautiful a sunset can be.
Understand the light
At the beginning of the sunset, the light is still very intense. If you want the colors in the sky to stand out, chances are that the buildings and other objects close to you will be in the shadow. If you want the details in the shadow to stand out, the beautiful colors of the sky will be washed out. If you want both to be visible, you’ll have to wait for the intensity of light in the sky to diminish.
Bring the right equipment
By the end of the sunset, you’ll probably want to use a tripod. The final moments of the sunset create the most beautiful shots, but there is not a lot of light. You need to use a slow shutter speed to capture as much light as possible, but will also create a blurry image if the camera is not held very still. Luckily for traveling photographers, there are plenty of little accessories that can replace a full tripod—you can even rest your camera on a railing in a pinch.
Want to learn more about the Greek Islands tour? See the full tour itinerary here!