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PT Gui Pro Photography Blog

Greek Island of Fourni

January 9th, 2011

The Greek Island of  Fourni is one of the most eastern of the group of Greek Islands known as the Cyclades (kick-laad-es), or the “white Islands” as they are often called, due to the classic little white houses that are always associated with Greek Islands.

Fourni is a small greek island in the east Cyclades

The main local transport of Fourni Island

It is also one of the smallest and least visited by tourists, mainly due to its distance from Athens and the limited number of Ferries that visit it.  As a result life in Fourni goes on pretty much as it always would have with very little concern for the outside world.  The locals are friendly and relaxed, always up for a chat, a coffee or something stronger, more people on the island have a boat than have a car, and it’s not unusual to see 4 people perched precariously on the same scooter putting up the main street.

A short scooter ride (with only 2 people on it) from the township of Fourni, the main town on the Island of Fourni, is this amazing beach called Petrokopio.  What makes this beach unique for me is that rather than sand, the beach is covered with rounded worn pieces of marble, from the ancient marble quarry right behind the beach.  If you look carefully on the right hand side of this image (click on the image to enlarge) you can see the discarded half finished pieces from the stone masons, huge square blocks, segments of pillars over a metre across, a stone basin and a huge alter table, complete with scrolled ends, all carved and chipped out of the natural marble dug from the quarry many hundreds of years ago.

Petrokopio beach on the Greek Island of Fourni

Petrokopio beach Quarry, Fourni Island at Twilight

I was unable to find out exactly how long ago this quarry was in use, but i did find out it was the source of stone for a large Athenian temple on a neighbouring island that was built many hundreds of years back, and the discarded half finished pieces were from that project.  In any other place this would be the roped off  site of  an archaeological dig or a museum, but In a country like Greece, where any where you dig you unearth ancient ruins, this is nothing of significance, just another old quarry on a pretty beach… The biggest problem the Greeks had when building the underground in Athens was not the engineering required, it was that they kept running into archaeologically priceless ancient ruins!  in a brilliant solution, each underground station is now an ancient history museum, with the artefacts still half buried in the walls.

For those who are interested, this Image shot on the Canon 5d with the 16-35mm f2.8L lens at 16mm.  Its 13 double exposure pairs aligned in PT Gui Pro, then manually blended.

Greek Island of Ikaria

January 7th, 2011

Last year in June/July i had the opportunity to go to Greece with my girlfriend Electra, who is Greek.  Greece is one of the places i’d always wanted to go but had never made it to… it’s a long list!  We stayed only 4 weeks, which is not long enough to really explore Greece, but seeing all of it wasn’t the objective, but to experience the life and culture of Greece a little, hear the language and eat the food…  and eat more of the food… Greek food is great, usually quite simple, but really good!

One of the places we visited was the Island of Ikaria, not one of the main tourist islands, and right over near the coast of Turkey. Ikaria was quite different to what i expected Greece to look like, and very different to the other Greek Island we visited on that journey, more on the other island later.

Trapalou Bay, on the Greek Island of Ikaria.  Greece

Trapalou Bay, on the Greek Island of Ikaria. Greece

I had always thought Greek Islands would be more like Rottnest Island,  off the coast of Fremantle, and many of them are, very rocky, dry and windswept with low scrubby vegetation and small white painted houses.  In contrast to this Ikaria is green, forested and has beautiful gorges with rivers and waterfalls, and the houses are not painted white!

One thing that was as i expected it to be was the crystal clear water of the Aegean Sea with it’s amazing deep aquamarine blue colour that just invites you to jump in, which i did on many occasions, including just after making this image here, which is the bay of a tiny fishing village at the end of a long rough dusty dirt road (it was a hire car…).  I cant remember the name of the place, but when we finally arrived it was around midday and the whole town (all 15 houses) was asleep for the afternoon, so it was quite eerie, like a ghost town, we had the whole place to ourselves.  So, we went down to the bay and swam around naked! It was lovely.

By the way, this shot was taken on the Canon 5D Mk II with the 16-35mm f2.8L lens and the awesome Really Right Stuff pano head.  It’s composed of 13 portrait format shots stitched with PT Gui Pro and the finished file comes in at 1.9Gb…  It makes nice big sharp prints.

Stay tuned for more on the Greek Island of Ikaria and Greece in general.

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