I had been on the Greek island of Mykonos before as a tourist (gosh, that was decades ago) and loved the place, but this time I was heading there with one thing in mind, photography. I couldn’t really remember how the island looked like but it is bound to have ample opportunities, right?
Once there I quickly realised that there was something for everyone. The island embraces thousands of tourists every day during the summer. A street photographer would be in his/her element and would have the ability to capture limitless numbers of images. Close-up, portrait, landscape, seascape, you name it, a little bit for everyone.
My aim was to capture some classic scenes but also some close-up of details, textures and contrasty colours as well as seascapes. However, in this article I will concentrate on seascapes only. There is a variety of coastline that changes from location to location. On one beach you will find beautiful white sand, on the next one pebbles and just further away, rough and jagged rocks. However, no matter where you are, you are always facing that gorgeous blue water and sky of the Mediterranean.
I had already captured quite a few seascape images during the first days there but I wanted something of a more Spartan look, something different, something I hadn’t really tried before. At the time I din’t own any dark ND filters, the only one in my possession was a 3 stop pro glass. I could also use one of my ND grad filters as ND if fully pushed into the filter holder.
On one of my walks near the new harbour I spotted this rock that was sitting there on its own. This was the best case scenario as I could use the rock’s isolation to my advantage.
The sun was going down fast and so was my shutter speed. My only problem was that at this time of day you have many boats going in and out the harbour and that can cause problems. Boats in the frame and unwanted waves splashing everywhere. I opted for the 45mm tilt & shift lens and aimed to have the rock and the far island in focus, everything else didn’t matter as the water was going to be a blur anyway.
After a couple of test takes I realised that in order to avoid problems such as boats, waves and so on, I had to opt for a shutter speed of more than two minutes - anything less and there was evidence of them in the frame. The time was getting on and it was almost 9pm, a gorgeous afterglow was everywhere in the sky, something one would expect on a Greek island. Although I hate using f/22 aperture due to diffraction, I had to compromise in order to achieve the desired shutter speed. 150 seconds later I had what I was after, one take was enough.