It is mid-December and it had been a while since my last photo shooting. You might not get it, but for us photographers (and by the term I don’t mean the business-oriented fellows with no fantasy that only raise their camera just for money) this is far too long. I was in the mood for a good photo and I would do almost anything to get one. I did my research and had a couple of locations in my mind. Being mostly a landscape photographer I had some difficulty in finding something “nice” in the city. I know that it was almost Christmas and the city was decorated with all the lights the economic crisis allowed to glow, but I found it ordinary and overused. At last I decided to head for Mikrolimano in Piraeus, a little marina full of light and opportunities.
Even then, I had to find my way and get there on time provided I would use the public transportation system of Athens, so I packed lightly (3 lenses, my camera and a tripod with a spare battery and a cleaning cloth plus a WB cap I had recently bought for testing) and scheduled my route. It took me about one and a half hour to get to the place and as soon as I get there I begun scouting the location for the best spot. I actually wanted to shoot from a high point of view, but I faced two problems: the ideal point of view was inside a café’s balcony, but the café had run out of business, but the next door café was open! Still, there was no way I would go straight to the balcony, shoot a dozen of shots and just leave! The other problem was that there was no similar point of view to fit the whole bay below my feet and every other building which was not a home was demolished from that side.
|View from the right branch of Microlimano|
|I love this time, when the street lights start to light and the day goes away...|
It almost took me another hour to decide it was impossible to shoot from above, at least not the way I wanted. And if I could not have it the way I wanted then I did not want it at all, it would just frustrate me in the post processing. So I headed to the right branch of the marina, hoping that the view would not be a shallow part of Castella. I arrived a little early and I had some time to play with the settings, the white balance cap and some impressive coloring of the sunset tones popped out. It worked as I liked, even though I somehow doubted that! The yellow pale tones turned to vivid orange and red and I was immediately introduced to a new way of thinking away my framing. Having all the tones I wanted, I only had to recompose with that colors in my mind, thus creating the mood I wanted.
|One of my favorites! This is how I like my blue hours, with lots of orange and yellow lights|
|Zoomed to get a better view of the houses and architecture of Castella|
After a few moments the sun gave way to the blue colors of the early night. Such vivid blues and yellows were the joy of the photographer to be shot. I took every frame a couple of times (even four sometimes) and spent the next hour recomposing, changing lenses and zooming in and out (only to find at post processing that the shots I wanted, were the ones I always knew I would shoot. Well, all shots except one!)
And even though I spent most of my time tampering and fine tuning my camera for my main theme, I looked around to see some more opportunities like the Peace and Friendship Stadium some couple of hundred meters away. It was a very challenging shot as the misty atmosphere was not making things any easy. When I returned home I was glad to find that with a very strict filtering of the photographs I shot, there were 5 keepers (actually 80% of the shots were very good, clean, crisp and well framed, but were similar!).
|Don't forget to look around! I spent most of my time for my main theme, but the Peace and Friendship stadium was also a good night theme|