Zagoria and Sithonia, Northern Greece : one week photography tour
The majority of our time (the first 4 nights) will be spent in the spectacular and unspoilt Zagoria region. Thick forests, mountain scenery, rocky canyons and ravines make up the landscape, together with the stone arch bridges that link the old passes and routes together. We are staying in one of the prettiest and most characterful villages in the area, looked after by charming hosts at a fabulous little hotel.
Zagori, in Slavic, means ‘the place beyond the mountain'. It consists of 44 isolated villages scattered over the region’s mountains. From the 16th to 19th century the region was part of the major trade routes from the East, and wealth poured in. However, since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the destruction of villages inflicted by retreating German troops in WW2, the infighting during the Greek civil war (1944-49) and the modern trend towards urbanisation of major cities, means both wealth and population numbers have declined here.
Today it is a peaceful, tranquil destination that has largely escaped the post war development seen elsewhere in the West. Provincial towns and villages in traditional architecture coexist with the vast swathes of forest and wild animals, including bears and wild boars.
Another highlight of the region is the Vikos gorge; listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the deepest canyon in the world in proportion to its width, and second only to the Grand Canyon in depth.
We hope to enjoy a few misty dawns and the odd atmospheric sunset, as well as learning how to get the best out of the light at all times of day. You will undoubtedly see some great vistas but we will also be concentrating on the smaller, more intimate details to be found within the landscape - looking at ways of capturing our surroundings with more abstract interpretations, helping you to get out of your comfort zone and try a few different techniques and approaches to photographing this wonderful area of Greece.
The second part of our workshop will be spent on the coast of Sithonia (or Chalkidiki) where we will enjoy wonderful beaches, sculptural rock formations, pine trees and the magical backdrop of Mount Athos on the next peninsula along. It is a fantastic stretch of coastline and we're very excited to be taking a group here for the first time.
If time, we also plan to use a little time on a digital skills session, where we will show you the fundamental techniques required to process your photographs, including exposure blending, using layers and masks and how to work efficiently in both Lightroom and Photoshop. The emphasis is on encouraging group discussion and lively debate between all participants and we also hope to use this time to look over and review some of the photographs from our outings.
Our workshops are very much informal in style - we like to work with our group to ensure we give you the best possible experience and are flexible in our approach to ensure you have a fulfilling and rewarding workshop. We also feel enjoying the food and culture of the places we visit is very important and we have been treated to some wonderful hospitality in Greece.
This is a Tripod Travels workshop - running in conjunction with good friend and super photographer / teacher, Alex Hare. Alex and I have thoroughly enjoyed working together for several years now and I’ve included a link to Alex’s website here. Also, for more information about my approach to photography workshops, please have a look at this page. If you'd like to see a few testimonials from previous clients, then please look here.
How do I get there?
A number of airlines offer flights to Thessaloniki, though we play to fly with Easyjet, and we'll be letting you know arrival and departure times once flights are released.
How fit do I need to be?
Although there are a few roadside locations in the area, some of the best locations involve a reasonable amount of walking; a few of the paths are rocky and some are steep in stretches. There will always be options to sit out any of the more strenuous walks as the scenery at the start point gives one plenty to play with. If in doubt, please ask us for more detail.
What level of photographer does this workshop suit?
Photographers of any level are welcome - whether a beginner or with many years experience. With a small group of only seven participants, and two tutors, there will be more than enough opportunity to cover everything from the basic skills of landscape photography (if required) to more advanced, creative techniques. We are there to give you as much help as you would like.
What should I bring?
A camera and a selection of lenses - ideally covering ultra wide angle to telephoto. A spare camera if you have one and/or a small compact camera or smart phone. Tripod, spare batteries and memory cards. A laptop if you possibly can - it's really worth doing so for our processing and review sessions.
Good walking boots and clothing for any kind of weather. Comfortable backpack and waterproofs for you and your gear.
Water bottle and thermos flask would be handy as at times we will be out for long stretches, with only limited access to shops and cafes. If you are partial to a particular type of tea, then you might want to bring your own provisions!
Where will we be staying?
We will be staying at a beautiful and historical hotel, Archontiko, in the conveniently situated and beautiful village of Dilofo. Breakfast is included and we will usually have our evening meals in the village as well. We will be staying in a small coastal town for the second half of the trip..
Can I borrow a Lee filters kit?
You are welcome to borrow/share a Lee filter kit - including big stopper, little stopper and ND grads. Please note this is at your own risk, although we've had no breakages to date! Please ask in advance and advise of the filter ring sizes of any lenses you may be bringing.