Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | June 21, 2011

Blog is moving

After many months of waiting, coding, customization my new website  is nearly finished, so this blog will also be moving to the new domain. Posts and media have been migrated the layout has been set and we are ready to go!

The new website can be found over:

http://www.kostaspetrakis.com/blog

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | May 11, 2011

Photography and hiking

It’s not secret that often the most breathtaking landscape views (not always the rule though) are to be found in remote isolated and less easily reached places.
If you are into landscape photography and you are passionate about it there will be times where you will be faced with the choice of visiting places which require some hiking either on cold or warmer weather conditions.
The most important factors is to dress properly for those situations, to protect your health and make sure you enjoy your visit in nature the second most important factor is to balance your load, so that you wont feel exhausted once you reach your objective waypoint.
But if you are not familiar with hiking or mountains you naturally don’t know what you should be wearing or buying for those circumstances. Read More…

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | May 7, 2011

Her silent language

Nothing beats the opportunity of having a few days away from the office, I took the chance asked a few good friends and we headed towards the mountain of Parnassos, although close to Athens and one of the most historical spots of Greece it has long lost its glory in terms of respect, nowdays it’s the escape destination for all of those wealthy people seeking some fancy mountain refugee. Yet there are still a few spots around this mountain that you can still embrace nature and purify your soul with the surroundings.
When I woke up and started packing I realized my first photographic yet biggest mistake, I had forgotten my precious 70-200L lense at home and I now I was only carrying my 17-40L wide angle, I initially felt like I was chosen to visit hell, I knew due to weather that my 70-200 would be a valuable tool that days, yet it was not located in my bag…A few minutes later I realized again that the most important joys of life is actually enjoying the journey and not its purpose, so a few minutes later I was back in my “nirvana” state of mind, trying to enjoy nature, company and the few days I had away from office pressure.
We started over the morning towards Sarantari refugee spotted at 1800 meters altitude, it was cool morning at nearly sea level but definitely colder at the height we where about to reach, thick snow and clouds where covering the area and the temperature was already at -12 degrees, a nice warm layering system of clothes ensured that I would stay nice and warm while venturing around.
Although the thick clouds did not allow any special landscape captures the surrounding did provide a few appealing subjects for photography. A lonely tree with a small line formation of rocks hidden under snow did provide the means for an interesting capture, the distant peak of Kelaria just being visible added to the atmosphere of the capture.
It surely was not a perfect photographic day, but yet it was a thrilling day enjoying nature once again in one of its finest dresses…
I hope someday the government in Greece will realize the crime that is committed (once again) in one of the ancient mountains of Greece, I truly hope that people will be able to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of nature that resides in Parnassos…only a few km’s away from the capital of Greece..

Parnassos mountain during snowstorm

Canon 5D Canon 17-40L f/4 Focal Length: 27mm Aperture: f/16 Shutter: 1/20sec ISO: 100 Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Parnassos / Central Greece Date / Time: 17/12/2010 15:54pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | April 14, 2011

Thy Gift

After a very bussy start in 2011 I am eagerly waiting for my first official brake, my first encounter for 2011 in nature, it’s been a while since I last had the chance to feel the essence of life, to touch the gold rays of the sun and smell the clean and fresh air, the air that makes you dream, gives you hope and courage to strive on with everyday madness.
I have been bussy as hell, unfortunately not for my passion (photography) but for the sake of my future (which in Greece gets darker and darker everyday), the workload is so huge that the upcoming escape feels like preparations for a trip to paradise.I always envy people who managed to escape city madness, away from unhappy faces, stress, pressure which mesmerizes your body and soul.It was October but still feels like yesterday, I can even feel the delicate nature odours as if I was there right now, the images or even better the paintings of nature, walking around and admiring a divine creation. On the other hand, I always wonder if short brakes to paradise are better, if this procedure does actually allow your brain to stimulate and react to madness, how would you understand how a paradise feels if you haven’t seen hell?
I was wandering back in October among the scapes of Pindos, it was cold and getting late, the scape was so magnificent and enchanting that made me not think of my cold hands, I had my tripod setup and I was shooting my last pictures as the sun (which was hidden above the overcast sky) was starting to fade and soon I would have to return to my camp, I was trying to frame a picture I had in mind when suddenly I felt a sweet and warm feeling to my right side, it was the sun breaking through the overcast sky and “showering” everything around me, such a magical moment, it was as if the painting changed, as if everything was not like before, soon my tries where abandoned, I turned my tripod towards a small glade that was bathed into the sunlight. The only thought in my mind was how glorious can nature be, how colors, trees and leaves can change your mood in only a few seconds…a divine gift.

Valia Kalnta, Pindos, Greece

Canon 5D Canon 70-200L f/4 Focal Length: 104mm Aperture: f/16 Shutter: 1/4sec ISO: 100 Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Pindos / North Greece Date / Time: 28/10/2010 16:25pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | April 12, 2011

Twin peaks

It’s been a long time since my last submission, been bussy with my nearly ready personal website (http://www.kostaspetrakis.com), I was wondering through my gallery and found a few unpublished pictures from last winter, a lovely time in the Northern parts of Greece (Epirus) which in my personal opinion holds some of the best landscapes in this country.
I never miss the chance to wander around the lovely scapes and every time I have the opportunity I pay my visit to the fairy tale like  places around there. This year I am already planning my easter to be back on the wild and still well preserved mountains of Pindos and Epirus in general, I eagerly waiting for it…

Papingko, astra peak during sunset

Canon 5D Canon 70-200L f/4 Focal Length: 70mm Aperture: f/16 Shutter: 0.6sec ISO: 100 Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Papigko / Epirus Date / Time: 13/2/2010 6:07pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | January 24, 2011

Layers of color

The stormy weather is breaking up, the rays of the previously hidden sun start painting on natures canvas..
Pindos, autumn 2010

Autumn at Pindos 2010 - Kostas Petrakis landscape photography

Canon 5D Canon 70-200L f/4 Focal Length: 70mm Aperture: f/16 Shutter: 0.5sec ISO: 100 Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Papigo / Epirus / North Greece Date / Time: 13/02/2010 18:04pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | January 10, 2011

One perfect sunset

Although the folder of captures from Pindos is still full of unpublished ones, I felt the urge to post something different, it’s been nearly 1 year since my last submission from Papigo and I have already been there 2 more times since that last snowy session.The mood of the holidays and the lack of cold in Greece gave me a nostalgic feeling, although in the meantime I had my time at Parnassos (a mountain close to Athens) and a few degrees minus yet it couldn’t compete the magical view of Epirus and Astraka.This was shot the same day as waiting for the light, I just had a magnificent evening, God arranged everything from heavy snowfall all day and a clear dramatic skies in the evening as the sun was fading to oblivion.I had already scanned the area, not difficult to find new spots, as the mountains surrounding the place are truly something you surely need to see once in a lifetime, I had made a few captures and I knew the sun would be diving somewhere among the distant mountains, I just had to wish for a clear view where I could frame and capture the view I was anticipating.
Yet nature did it’s miracle one more that day and made my wish come true, the strong light would be a small problem, but then again it would add to the calming and magical feeling of the moment. This is a picture of 4 vertical stitches double exposed and manually blended with Tony Kuypers Luminosity masks.

P.S Title was inspired by “One perfect sunrise” from “Orbital”…

Sunset at Papigo / Epirus / North Greece

Canon 5D Canon 70-200L f/4 Focal Length: 70mm Aperture: f/16 Shutter: 0.5sec ISO: 100 Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Papigo / Epirus / North Greece Date / Time: 13/02/2010 18:04pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | December 20, 2010

Garden of stones

Our first day in Pindos finds us in a state of “nirvana”, the journey was long and waking up in the middle of the night to pack and mount the equipment inside the car is not that fun at the specific moment, travelling for a few hundred kilometers and then spot finding where you should base camp, unpacking and pitching tents inside the cold makes you even more tired, but this really doesn’t stop us from unleashing our minds and hearts into the wilderness once we were good to go!
Finding a photographic spot in Pindos, is really no problem, every single meter there is a new subject, be it colors, be it abstracts, or the magic of nature itself it’s full of subjects! We soon find ourselves near a small stream (at least it used to be back in summer) that has now transformed into a more powerful and charming little river, the place is full of possibilities, water, trees, colors, even macro shots jump out of the frame. I started shooting various subjects in the specific location and few minutes later I moved to a another location which was laying behind me, the first impression of that spot felt a bit boring, but further searching revealed a nice location where the stream would fall on the rocks and bring some action into the frame! I moved inside the water, standing on a sunken stone, trying to keep the water level under my boot height so that I could continue to shoot dry!

Valia Kalda autumn 2010

Canon 5D Canon 17-40L f/4 Focal Length: 22mm Aperture: f/16 Shutter: 1/4sec Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Vovousa / Pindos Date / Time: 28/10/2010 16:19pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | November 29, 2010

Veil of tears

I always admired Joe Cornish works, I always found fascinating how he could transform a simple image into a photographic masterpiece, frames full of emotions and thoughts that “drag” you inside of them and just let you eyes suck every little detail available in them.
When I was at Pindos over summer, I had seen a small stream in the places we explored, back at that days the stream was really a boring subject, with no flow, little color contrast but yet again it was a promising spot for a future autumn visit.
So in the end of October when I re-visited Pindos, I took the chance to shoot at that place, got myself the gear and mounted my 70-200 lens, I wanted to experiment more with tight frames and the light conditions in combination with the scape in front of my eyes where just screaming for this kind of shooting.

Pindos autumn 2010

Canon 5D Canon 70-200L f/4 Focal Length: 135mm Aperture: f/22 Shutter: 2sec Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Valia Kalda / Pindos Date / Time: 28/10/2010 15:47pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

Posted by: Kostas Petrakis | November 21, 2010

Mystical End

The day started like a photographer would wish, colors, overscast conditions to filter the strong daylight. Pindos is full of surprises, even if I visit her a thousand times I always find something different, the warm weather back in Athens is long gone, and now I am in front of pure autumn colors, I stop and stare at the greatness around me, leaving nature do the rest…
After a few minutes a cloud is lower than the rest, it covers the distant peak like a veil among the color madness, autumn is finally here, I now can feel and experience her…

Canon 5D Canon 70-200L f/4 Focal Length: 81mm Aperture: f/16 Shutter: 1/5sec Tripod: Benro C-169 / Vanguard SBH-300 Filters: B+W CPL Location: Valia Kalda / Pindos Date / Time: 28/10/2010 16:44pm Mirror Lockup + remote control

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