I love to photograph when I travel and explore new places or destinations. And of course I want to take some great photos. I’ve had my current camera for more than a year and it’s not always easy to learn all the amazing features that are in it. I practice as often as I can and not only when I’m on holiday in Greece. Often my composition in the image is perfect, but the colors in the picture are not always as expected. A lot of hours of practice and many photos later provide experiences, so here are my tips for beginners.
My best non-technical tips for beginners:
The light is alfa and the omega as the greeks says, and makes the difference between a good photo and the best photo. The image tends to get sharp shadows and shapes when you take it in the middle of the day, specially during the summer. The best light is available in the morning or in the afternoon, the “golden hour” is often the hour before the sunset.
But often when we travel, we do not have the luxury to be in place early or late in the day. I usually look for a shadow to stand in and shoot from that spot, it gives my photos a softer impression and bring some more colours in my picture.
Another tip is to shoot the image from several directions. For example, on a street, I shoot the picture in two different directions. Sometimes the difference is seen immediately in the camera or mobile phone and sometimes you see it when you export the picture to your computer.
I grew up in Stockholm, in the middle of the city. Landscapes views and nature were not around the corner. It was usually up to date on summer holidays when we went to Greece. The exception is my earliest childhood year when I lived with my grandparents in a small mountain village. As the years goes by I’m drawn to the mountains like a magnet and love the views of the those hilly landscapes…
In the region of Epirus, in the north west of Greece, you will find the 46 stone villages in a magnificent landscape, just one hour drive from the city Ioannina. Zagori means beyond the mountains, from the Slavic za “behind” and gore “mountain”. The area had its greatness during the Ottoman period and that is evident in the architecture of the houses, the unique bridges and monasteries. Kalderimi is the name of the cobblestone paved roads around the stone villages in Zagori. They are designed for foot and hoofed traffic and tie together many of the villages in the region. Zagoria or Zagori or Zagorochoria (villages of Zagori) is divided into three regions, western, eastern and central Zagori. Here is the attractions you do not want to miss.
West Zagori: The villages you must visit here is Megalo Papingo and Mikro Papingo, its the villages in the photos above. From Mikro Papingo you can start your hiking up to the mountain top of mountain Tymfi and reach the top Gamilla with an altitude of 2436m. The famous lake Drakolimni is also on the way up to the top and about 4,5 hours from Papingo. Between the two villages you find he natural swimming pools of Rogovo, recommend you to take a swim here during the summer. On your way to the village Aristi, stop at Aristi bridge and perhaps join the rafting groups for a pleasant rafting tour in the river of Voidomatis.
Central Zagori: The main attraction here is Vikos gorge, listed as the deepest gorge in the world by Guinness Book of Record. It begins between the villages of Monodendri and Koukouli and ends near the village Vikos. The village Monodendri has the most tourists as you have a spectacular view to Vikos gorge from this point. In the centre of the village you have Rizario Exhibition Culture Centre with nice handcraft and photography exhibitions. Central Zagori has the most famous stone bridges and monasteries in Zagori, don’t miss them if you are nearby. Villages like Dilofo, Kipoi are just some of the 20 villages in this section.
East Zagori: Consist of 16 villages which has the oldest villages in the area. This part of Zagori is for nature lovers, hikers, scouts and hunters. On your way up to the very east you find the villages Greveniti, Elatochori, Vouvousa and Perivoli among others. I have been to Vouvousa twice as its at least a few hours drive from Ioannina city. Here you can enjoy the national forrest of Pindos and the river Aoos which flows through the village.