I captured this image in the near deserted village of Stefanos Greece.
The village is located on the edge of the Stefanos volcano on the island of Nisyros in the South Aegean Greece.
Over the years the village had almost been vacated entirely due to the volcano but a few people still remain.
One such brave resident was this lady whom I unfortunately did not get the chance to speak too.
She was blind and lived alone in her home above the crater with her herd of Goats.
As we approached the location and the scene in front of us unfolded someone described it as being biblical which I think was a perfect description.
Last week I finally got around to shooting some models to be able to complete several images I had captured from my latest trip to Greece.
Casting the right models for a shoot together with right styling is always something that needs careful consideration to work well.
On top of that because this image was a composite the actual photography needed very careful planning as lighting, light quality, perspective, colour amongst many other things all needs to come together for the final image to work seamlessly.
Even with all the best planning however the odd curve ball can still pop up. Despite preparation the night before one of the models shirts got a little creased on route to the shoot.
Normally this would not had been an issue except the studio iron decided to retire itself ! Fortunately I knew a digital solution and with the schedule being tight I decided this would be a better than have a delay acquiring another iron.
The background image was captured pre dawn and created from around 27 frames stitched together in post to allow for a more pleasing perspective with a 41mm lens and deliver a wider dynamic range.
I decided during the final stages of the composite to change the colour of the female models top from blue to a more contrasting orange to help draw the viewers eye to the models.
Today was one of those morning where everything seems to work for you seamlessly and you come away feeling blessed.
I arrived at Lyndos village pre dawn to capture a couple of locations and came across this stunning side street with a beautiful white washed church and the sunrise lit bay behind.
As I finished the image a street cleaner arrived jet washing the cobbles adding an even better surface for the dawn light to bounce off.
I decided to reshoot the image again especially as the colours had further intensified from the rising sun. A fabulous morning of exploring and shooting some stunning locations.
It’s been a another busy year shooting assignments especially video work.As a result fitting in shoots and producing new work for my book has had to take a back seat.
Finally this last few weeks I’ve had a break from commissions and produced a shoot with a couple of models, stylist and makeup artist for my travel lifestyle work.
Ive also had time to commission a complete rebrand and update the website to reflect the changes.
Also coming shortly are some beautiful custom promotional packs that will be sent out early next year to individual clients.
So this shoot was shot in two stages.The backgrounds were shot on location in probably my favourite place the Greek island of Rhodes.
My love affair with Greece goes back many years and taken me to many parts and this was my 3rd visit to my favourite place of all.
I had planned to shoot some Aerial work but decided against it as to do what I had planned legally was going to cost a lot of money to get permissions needed so maybe that’s a plan for another visit.
I planned the locations I wanted to shoot before leaving England and once on the ground set out before dawn to get the best light and of course avoid the bloody tourists !
Rhodes did not disappoint I was rewarded with some incredible views and gorgeous light and my job of capturing was easy.
Once I had returned it was time to edit my collection and create several backgrounds to which I planned to place the models.
The image below of Lyndos was created with 18 images.The reason was I wanted to use a longish focal length lens rather than a traditional wide angle that is often used for landscapes.
This would allow me to capture my interpretation of what Greece is all about, historic temples, mountains and of course the sea.
The longer lens would compress and bring all these elements closer together creating a softer more tranquil look that helps make up my style of work.
The second image below is captured at Mandraki Harbour in Rhodes town and was a multi image composite.
I was around 22 years old when I came here for the first time and spent the night at Mandraki harbour while waiting to catch the early morning ferry to Kos.
My memories of the place where of the statues at the entrance to the harbour and these distinctive arches.
Memories are a funny thing and the image below fits perfectly with that but the reality was that the locations were not as close together.
Not a problem I removed the car park and positioned my tranquil memory of the harbour entrance in position.
I also replaced the rather plain floor with something more elegant.
I realise none of this is something that would be tolerated if shooting to promote the location for a visit but hey it’s how I remember it !
Below are a few behind the scenes images shot here at our studio base. Not as glamorous for the models as being in Rhodes (or as warm as it was late October).
The location was perfect enabling me to concentrate on capturing the correct light quality, shadow quality,perspective etc to blend the models into the backgrounds.
A great team is vitally important to to pull everything together.I called upon Natasha Musson who I have worked with before to organise the styling and makeup artist Suzanne Peppard.
The models were supplied by Gingersnap who Ive also worked before on many Business Lifestyle shoots over the last few years.
Our models Katie and Sal were great professionals even when the cold took it’s toll.
My wife and I purchased a holiday home in Turkey 8 years ago and so I have traveled to the Bodrum area of Turkey a fair bit.
On one such “Working Trip” (as I tell my wife) myself with several of my friends popped across to the beautiful Greek island of Kos for the day.It was during a tour around the Castle that I was drawn to this delightful man called George who was offering his services as a tour guide.
I knew straight away I had to photograph him so I sat out of the blistering May heat on a marble bench with him and struck up a conversation.
I mentioned we where over from Turkey where I had a home and he got slightly animated telling me why you should not trust the Turks !
It’s no secret there is a lot historic bad blood between the Greeks & the Turks and being in his 80’s he had obviously see a lot of it.
We continued to chat before my friends caught me up, so I captured his portrait and we said our goodbye’s.
I adore meeting,chatting and photographing people like George after all they have been there seen it and done it all.
If you ever find yourself on Kos keep an eye out for George although I suspect he might no longer be with us.