Parga Holidays – What Is Parga Really Like?

I have just returned from a two-week holiday to Parga Greece.

This first post is titled Parga Holidays – What Is Parga Really Like? Having spent two weeks there I can tell you that Parga is a great place to visit if you like a lively resort full of bustling streets with all sorts of lovely shops, bars and restaurants. Parga is also great base from which to explore places both on the mainland and in the Ionian Sea.

This is a series of three posts which will appear on my photography blog.

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

Different I know but something that I have always wanted to do.

What is in part 1?

Part one includes getting there, and then doing not a lot during the day but exploring Parga at night.

Where is Parga?

Parga is on mainland Greece, directly opposite the wonderful Greek Island of Antipaxos separated by the Ionian Sea. The closest airport to Parga is a modern airport called Preveza Airport. The red X marks the spot!

Where is Parga

Where is Parga

Who am I?

I am Rick McEvoy, and I am a photographer, writer and website creator and lover of travelling with my wife and best friend Nickie. Mrs M. Or M for short!

About my holiday journal.

I wrote a daily journal, which you can read in these posts pretty much as I wrote it. All I have done is corrected grammar and spellings.

I wrote this journal every day on my iPad sat on the hotel balcony having a cooling Mythos or a nice Mojito.

My writing studio!

My writing studio!

Here we go then - Sunday 11th August - getting there

Get up at 6am, drive to Gatwick, drop the car off, check in and get on our Titan Airlines plane.

Problem number 1. Our luggage was over our paltry 20kg allowance. Now my camera gear might be small these days but some stuff I took weighed quite a bit. My book “Mastering the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 is surprisingly heavy”! (.8 kgs would you believe).

Our persistent but polite pleas to not have to pay £75 for three extra kilos (each) pays off – we end up just dropping the bags off and go on our way without having to pay any extra. Our charm offensive was a complete success!

Security is busy – the collection of stuff in my camera bag often gets me stopped by security. I think it is the combination of the iPad, tripod, cameras lenses and camera batteries.

Those straight metal tubes cannot look good on an x-ray, especially next to blank spots which are my camera batteries!

The lounge at Gatwick

The lounge is good. I enjoy a few small glasses of beer and some snacks. We shop separately, I just get a few things to read including the inevitable newspaper that I always buy for a holiday but never get round to reading!

I should have said, we get 6 lounge passes a year with our Barclays Bank account so that is why we are in relative luxury. Not that we are trying to get away from the masses in the madness that is Gatwick South!

Lets get on the plane!

We walk from the lounge the usual long walk to the outreaches of Gatwick – just a 15 minute walk for this flight!

And now it is time to get on the plane.

We get on the plane and sit in our extra legroom seats. Very nice they are. We have three TUI staff in front of us, who are there to assist the Titan crew and ensure we receive the full TUI experience which to be fair we do.

Plane – we are all good to go but the airport are not ready for us.

So we wait on the plane for about 40 minutes, and then before we know it we are taxiing to the runway. Whilst I am trying to turn off the WiFi on my iPad I am told off for having my table down and my iPad on!

No problems with the flight and we get to Parga just fine.

Parga Airport

Parga Preveza airport is a new airport sandwiched between two bodies of water – check it out on this Google map extract!

Preveza Airpor

Preveza Airpor

I know!

It is a nice slick transition from the plane to our coach through the very modern airport. We get out of the airport to be greeted by that melting heat!

The coach transfer takes too long, although we are treated to the sun very slowly sitting in front of us, and when we get to the coast there is Antipaxos and just to the north Paxos. Reunited with my favourite places is a good feeling.

Drop offs

Drop offs seem to take forever, including one drop off where the rep had to escort the guests down a hill!

We get to the hotel and check in. Our room is boiling hot and there are issues with it.

We unpack

And then go to the bar for milk and Metaxa. Not to have together of course!

A very uncomfortable night later and it is 9am local time. We seem to have an issue with the air con.

Day 2 – 12th August

We drink tea and brave the heat, and boy it is hot.

We go to the welcome meeting at the hotel across the road. Our rep is 10 minutes late which is not good. Nickie has toast with OJ for breakfast. I have a diet Coke.

After that we walk into Parga to get supplies.

Walking into Parga

Our hotel is called the Alea Resort. It is on a hill. We knew that when we booked it.

We walk the long way down to Parga missing the steps that we needed to take, walking down the twisting turning road.

We get to the front fine if not a little hot and sweaty. I just put the clothes on I travelled in yesterday which went straight in the wash when we got back.

Beer’o’clock

Time for a lovely beer on the front at the bar Geoker, which served excellent snacks of cheese, bread stick and olives. 9.50 euros for two beers and snacks which was absolutely fine and very nice indeed.

Here is my first photo of a pint!

Yamas from Geoker

Yamas from Geoker

We sat on a table at the front of the bar, and noticed how people had a tendency to virtually walk into us, even with that very wide frontage path to walk on. Quite bizarre.

The supermarket

There is a supermarket across the road from the taxi rank. It is called Dallas Supermarket. They seem to have everything that we need, and the prices are not too bad.

Holiday essentials are wine, beer, water and snacks. Well we are on holiday!

Taxis in Parga

And then after a 2- minute wait for a taxi and an argument with an English group who insisted on telling us where the queue was even though the were clearly at the taxi rank sign and they were not it was back to the hotel. After the taxi driver cleaned down the leather seats with a leather and water that is!

Pool time

We drop the stuff back at the hotel and then it is finally off to the pool. We find two sun loungers in a corner and I collapse into a rapid sleep. The afternoon is spent dozing, before a 4.30 livener at the bar with a v nice club sandwich. We are not leaving the hotel today, so are disappointed to find out that the hotel is not operating a full menu so we have a small selection from the snack menu – this is ok for one evening.

Time to start writing

Back to the room at 6 which is where I start writing this, on the balcony with a mojito and my favourite afternoon sun.

I showed you my offce earlier.

And this is the view.

View from my balcony in Parga

View from my balcony in Parga

From the balcony I can see (the end of) Valtos Beach, the Ionian Sea, Antipaxos and Paxos, the forest and the Ali Pasha Castle on the hill to the right.

Not bad eh?

Is it hot in the evening?

Yes. 6.30pm local time is meltingly hot even with the strong breeze our hillside location gives us.

Time to go out

After showers it is off out for food. We decided we did not want the snack menu at the hotel so have to find somewhere else.

We walk down to the Med Club Parga, which has stunning views of the castle on the left and Valtos Beach to the right. This very stylish restaurant is built on the side of the hill and has stunning views courtesy of the curved construction and glass forming the outside walls.

This is a photo I took with my iPhone!

The view walking down into Parga

The view walking down into Parga

 Med Club Parga

Service is excellent. We have baked feta cheese with honey to start, followed by sea bass with shrimps and linguini Bolognese. The food is all good and with drinks, wine, beer and water and a complimentary dessert this bill is 50 euros. Check out their website here.

Walking back to the hotel

Then we have a walk up the hill back to the Alea which caused cold showers before waiting for the air con to kick in and get some sleep.

Day 3 – August 13

The air con was much better tonight and we got a decent nights sleep, surfacing at 8am ish.

I say 8am ish as it turned out my watch was about 45 minutes behind actual time. This we did not realise until some time in the morning. No wonder I was so relaxed about the 10am breakfast deadline – I was nearly in another time zone!

Breakfast

We had breakfast at the hotel this morning, better than yesterday when we managed to get to about 4:30 without having anything of substance.

It was a buffet breakfast, lovely coffee and help yourself sausage, bacon and eggs. Although it was all a bit cold (ironic in this heat) it was all good.

Cold beans

Yes cold baked beans.

We did query this to be told that is how people eat them!

It turns out that the Alea does not get many British guests staying, so this preference or misunderstanding comes from the majority of the guests being Italian or Scandinavian?

I don’t know.

The very nice waitress assured us that she would get the chef to warm beans for us if we wanted. Breakfast is 10 euros each.

Where are the food photos?

Still no photos of food – I am not into the swing of this properly yet!

And so it is time for the sun loungers.

We have found a spot in the corner.

About the sun loungers!

The sun loungers are fixed to the floor which is news to us! Lets see how this works.

It is of course hot. When I say it is hot I mean it is hotter than we expect it to be in Greece in August.

Back to our day at the pool.

This morning the pool area is nice and quiet so not a problem.

We get chatting to an English couple in the pool, and agree that showers without hooks is a bit odd! So it is to the Parga equivalent of B&Q later to see if we can get some clever hooks for the shower. Not a problem for me hair washing as I don’t have any, but Mrs M would appreciate the shower being fixed to the wall.

Time for a beer.

A lazy morning ends with a beer at the pool bar. It is Corfu Beer here, not the usual Mythos. It is a bit hoppier than Mythos but nice all the same. Getting a bit too close to the craft beer end of things for me but like I say I will adapt!

Here is a part drunk pint (well half litre).

Corfu Town Beer

Corfu Town Beer

Lunchtime

Another hour and then it is time for lunch, which is a beer each accompanied by a salad and tuna sandwich. 22 euros 50 cents for this lot which was very nice
And then back to the pool for an afternoon of reading, dozing and dipping into the pool to cool down.

Sundowners

Ok it’s a bit early for sundowners, more like late afternoon drinks.

5pm arrives suddenly – Nickie goes for a Mojito and I have a beer. 12 euros for these. It gets a bit lively around the pool so we head back to the room – Nickie to cool down and me to melt on the balcony writing this drinking a can of Mythos.

That’s better!

Tonight we are going to Parga for some nice food by the seafront – I am ready for my first Stifado of this holiday.

An evening in Parga

We walked down to Parga just as the sun was dropping over the hills to the west giving some welcome respite from the strong direct sunlight.

Rather than walking the long way this time we went past the Med Bar and keep going down the hill finding the steps we were looking for. Stunning views to the right of Valtos Beach and all the lovely bars, restaurants and hotels nestled on the hillside.

Parga Old Town

We walked through the old town which was very stunning – completely charming and packed full of places to discover. As we have to walk through here to get to the centre of Parga plenty of opportunities to dine here, so we walk on.

Finding a restaurant from Trip Advisor

We were on a mission tonight so we kept walking down to the waterfront. We were looking for a restaurant called Nikola’s Greek Taverna– we walked past it the other day on the way in down the long winding road.

Unfortunately we were not sure where it was!

Google Maps was a bit hit and miss but we found it in the end, about five minutes walk up from the taxi rank on the way back (the long way) to the hotel.

Nikola’s Greek Taverna

We were welcomed by Nikola. Nickie explained that her name was Nicola, to which he replied that his grandfather (the chef as it turns out) was also called Nikola!

I said hi I’m Rick!

We had feta cheese with honey again, followed by my beloved Stifado for me and a very nice moussaka which Nickie enjoyed. We had a beer and half a carafe of wine.

It was quiet, but the food was authentic and lovely, with Nikola giving just enough attention.

Then we came to pay – he did not take cards and we did not have enough cash (ridiculous I know) so Nikola insisted that we pay the next day, which was very nice of him. We did offer to go back to the cash machine but he charmingly insisted that we come back tomorrow to pay.

And the bill? 29 euros would you believe – excellent value for excellent food and drinks.

Nikola ordered us a taxi and we went back to the hotel for Metaxa and cold showers.

The taxi toom some time to arrive, much to his frustration!

Day 4 August 14

Today we are going to Valtos Beach. We set alarms for 7am, but turned them off after a not great nights sleep again. We wake up at 10am.

Yamas from Valtos Beach!

Yamas from Valtos Beach!

Bugger!

Not to worry – a quick cuppa, a quick coffee and we walked down to the beach later than planned.

We decided to get some brunch first, which we had at the Yacht Club Snack Bar and Café

We had a beer each to start with – here is mine!


Accompanied by a club sandwich which we shared, which was very nice. And here that is.

Club Sandwich!

Club Sandwich!


And 12 euros for the lot which was excellent.

Next we found some sun loungers, paid the 10 euros and sat down.

Valtos Beach

Valtos Beach is a popular beach – yes that is code for busy, with all the usual activities like bat and ball (do adults actually play this at home??) and music from a distant bar giving the soundtrack to the day.

The sea was lovely, cool at first but that is just cos I am pathetic at getting into the sea. I will update that to refreshing, which is what it was. Very clear and very nice water.

We bought a lilo from the shop next to the restaurant, which they eventually blew up for us. Apart from the bits that they did not inflate!

7 euros at a shop on the beach is good value.

We returned to our sun loungers and had a very nice afternoon there, cooling down when required and taking it nice and easy reading.

Ammos Beach Bar

We went to the Ammos Beach Bar for snacks, which were a beer each (small for Nickie large for me) which was Mythos this time, and shared a falafel wrap and cheese and bacon and chips (my choice).

The Falafel was in a wrap with coleslaw and was excellent. 22 euros for a very nice lunch on the beach was very good value for money.

The excellent water taxi service

After a bit more relaxing we wandered over to where the water taxis are (I thought). An English couple told us we had to wait on the left hand side, even though there was a boat to the right filling up with people. They also asked us what colour tickets we had.

I had no idea what they were talking about!

The boat arrived, so I climbed up the jetty with the pink lilo on one hand and my yellow bag in the other and got us two tickets back to the town of Parga.

A very nice short boat transfer and well worth the 2.50 euros each – this is the water taxi from Valtos Beach to the main jetty in Parga.

Bank problems

We got off and went to the cash machine to finally get some cash. Unfortunately in all the hustle and bustle we got the cash but Nickies card was swallowed by the cash machine (a quick thank you to Barclays Bank for the very efficient dealing with this through the app).

Paying the bill

Nickie waited at the taxi rank and I went up to the restaurant and found Nikola who I think remembered me from the night before, and paid our bill with tip.

Taverna Nikolas in Parga

Taverna Nikolas in Parga


I shook hands with him and walked back down the hill to the taxi rank.

This is the restaurant right on the road down into the centre of parga.

I returned and a taxi appeared which we shared with a Norwegian couple stopping just up the road from us.

How much is a taxi in Parga?

To the Alea Resort from the taxi rank in the centre of Parga is 5 euros, an absolute bargain with those hills in that heat.

Back to the room for a relax in the air con before I go out on the balcony to write this.

Dinner at Taverna Stefanos

Showered and time to walk down to the old town, which we are very much looking forward to.

We ended up eating at Taverna Stefanos. This restaurant has a magnificent view overlooking Valtos Beach. We got a table downstairs, which had an ouzo each for us sat on the table which was nice.

This is the view taken with my iPhone.

The view from Taverna Stefanos

The view from Taverna Stefanos

Prawn Saganaki at Taverna Stefanos

Prawn Saganaki at Taverna Stefanos

We sat down and ordered some red wine which was very nice. The waiter was very nice and informative, telling us that the red wine would be better in 40 minutes. I told that we would not be!

Starters were prawn saganaki which we shared, which was the best prawn saganaki certainly that I have ever had. This was accompanied with some lovely bread and garlic butter.


The mains unfortunately were not so stellar. I ordered lamb kleftiko, which was served in an oven dish with a crusty top. This was not to my liking unfortunately. Nickie ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad, which came with a big load of mayo on top. This dish was not good, which we sent back. They accepted that we did not have to pay for this, so we left disappointed. The bill for this was 49 euros (without the salad).

Where is that reggae music from???

Find out in part 2 next week on my blog.

And here is the video of Parga

I recorded a video of me walking from the front up to the taxi rank, which you can view on the Rick McEvoy Photography YouTube Channel here.

Summary

Rick McEvoy

I hope that you have found this post about holidaying in Parga interesting. I know that this is not photography related but I will touch on that in parts 2 and 3. And I have included lots of photos from my travels!

I have been wanting to do some travel writing for a while now, so lets see how this is received.

And if you are enjoying my travel writing why not check out my website Paxos Travel Guide – I loved the place so much I made a website all about it!

Rick McEvoy

 

Photographing Sunrise In Parga With My Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2

Hi all. I have recently visited Parga on the Greek mainland for a well-deserved break.

Whilst I was there I got to do my favourite thing – photographing the sunrise. So this post is quite simply about photographing the sunrise in Parga with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2. I will tell you what it is like photographing the sunrise in Parga, and how I got on with my new Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2.

And I will talk about my favourite photo, which is the only photo that I have edited so far. The photo that I wanted to get.

And here it is!

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

The buildings of Parga at sunrise by Rick McEvoy

And there’s more!

I recorded a video live in Parga where I talk about what it was like photographing the sunrise. I will add a link to this video on my YouTube channel later in this post.

And there is my usual video which accompanies this blog post which is also on my YouTube channel.

Who am I?

For those of you who don’t know me I am Rick McEvoy, a photographer, writer, blogger and website creator. As well as this website I have a website called Paxos Travel Guide, and another website called Photos of Santorini.

The content of these websites should be self-explanatory!

As well as my love of travel and photography, back in the good old UK I specialise in architectural photography. Well the photographing of buildings at any stage in their life cycle.

That is enough about me – check out my website if you want to find out more, but I suggest you read this post first! Here is a link to my travel photography portfolio.

Where is Parga?

Parga is here on mainland Greece, across the Ionian Sea from my beloved Paxos and Antipaxos. Check out my other website Paxos Travel Guide to find out all about these two wonderful Greek Islands.

Here is Parga on a map – X marks the spot!

Where is Parga?

Where is Parga?

Have I been there before?

Yes. On a holiday to Corfu we went on a TUI excursion from our hotel to Parga and Paxos. That was our introduction to Paxos. This led to two holidays in Paxos and a fortnight in Parga, with a day trip to Gaios.

That excursion has a lot to answer for!

Where did I take the photo?

Here is the exact location that I took the photo featured on this blog post. I have not worked out how to use the get-tagging feature on the Olympus App yet, so am relying on the locational data from my iPhone.


Where I took the photo from

Where I took the photo from

I know – its such a struggle these days!

Basically this photo was taken from the main jetty in Parga, the one that the boats pick up and drop off all those eager holidaymakers from.

What time did I have to get up?

Early. This is the extract from my journal. Yes I write a daily journal on holiday!

“My alarm goes off at 5am. I put it on snooze. I make it up at 5.45, having spent some time debating do I really want to do this?

Not really is the answer, but I force myself out of bed. I get so much material from a sunrise shoot and have been looking forward to this – once I am up it is not that bad.

Honest.

I put on my Salomon walking shoes which I have promised myself I am going to replace when I get home -the soles are worn out now (and there is a hole in the side), and head off into the darkness, kissing Nickie goodbye before I leave the room.”

Once I am out of the room that is that – I do not have a spare key.

What is it like on holiday at that time?

Warm and quiet. “The moon is out so I get down to the front quickly. I told myself that I would not take any photos on the way down to the waterfront but can’t resist taking a photo of Valtos Beach and the bay in the darkness illuminated by the moon. My photos are rubbish as I am rushing things, so I abandon that and get back to my plan, cursing myself for allowing me to get distracted.

I have decided on the two shots I want and need to get them before I do anything else.

I get down to the front to join all the early morning activity, passing a bar that is open on my way down.

People still out at this time?? Well I guess I am a bit old for that now ha.”

What gear was I using?

(Please be aware that the links below are Amazon Affiliate links – if you buy something having clicked one of these links then I get a small commission).

ricmcepho-21

Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Lens

Three legged thing Corey tripod and Air Neo ball head

Three Legged Thing Universal L Bracket

That is it – I do not need anything else. This is all I need.

I sit down on the jetty and assemble my gear on a bench in the moonlight.

I even take the time to connect my camera to my iPhone again – the missing piece in how I am going to take the photos is that.

What camera features was I using?

I decided to trial the high res feature on the EM5 Mk 2.

What was I trying to capture?

Well I wanted the famous Venetian styled buildings of Parga illuminated by the sunrise. Not a sunrise shot per se, but a shot taken at sunrise.

And rather than capture the whole scene I went for this tighter composition.

Later on in the day the sun obviously gets higher in the sky and the buildings are in shadow long before sunrise, so this is the best time of day to get this photo.

This is the photo that I wanted the most, from my first sight of Parga on that day trip from Corfu three years ago.

And I love the effect of the water, which the camera has done taking the eight exposures. More on this later.

What time was this photo taken?

About 8.30. Long after sunrise. I write more about the trials and tribulations of travel photography and photographing the sunrise later on in this post.

But this was the moment when all the buildings in the scene were illuminated by the sun, the shadows to the right still present as the sun rises above the hills behind.

What camera settings did I use?

This is a single image capture using the high-resolution feature on the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2.

The camera takes eight pictures, moving the sensor very slightly for each shot. The camera then puts the images together, creating a 40 mega pixel image!

Cool eh!

More on this in future posts – I don’t want to get down in the tecchie weeds in this post!

So the camera settings were

  • Shutter Speed – 1/640th second

  • Aperture F8

  • ISO200

  • Focal length 30mm

  • Aperture priority mode

The exposure was assessed using the wonderful EVF – Electronic Viewfinder – I love the fact that I can assess live the changes exposure compensation makes to a composition.

I focussed using the touch screen about a third into the scene.

All I needed to do then was hit the shutter button on my phone. I used the Olympus Share WiFi app as a remote release for my camera, to make extra sure that there was no movement of the camera.

I had also preset the delay to four seconds to allow the camera to settle down and minimise movement.

Small margins that can make a big difference.

And then I was done!

A bit about high resolution mode on the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2

This is a single JPEG image created by the camera. I did not know that I had to tell the camera if I wanted a RAW file as well – I worked that out during this morning shoot. I had forgotten to change that setting!

With the camera in high res mode the image stabilisation is automatically switched off which is a great little feature.

What processing have I done to get this image?

Basic processing in Lightroom only to be honest, taking me a couple of minutes tops!

This is what I want – great high resolution images that I can process quickly.

What problems did I encounter?

Not problems, but things that I had not thought about until I got down to the waterfront.

Firstly, there were a lot of delivery vans around.

And a lot of bins being emptied.

Well they have to do this sometime don’t they! And this is when they do it as I found out!.

Oh yes, and earlier, before the sun rose, I was on the steps on the outside of the waterfront harbour wall. That was when someone started washing out wagons - the water was flowing around me and the feet of my tripod which was nice!

And there were the inevitable sunrise swimmers, two old ladies who turned up, waded out about 10 feet and stood in the sea chatting slap bang in the middle of my composition!

A word about Parga at sunrise

Because of the topography of Parga these buildings did not all see sunlight until about 8.30.

I returned the next morning as I wanted to take photos using the high-resolution feature and get RAW files as well as JPEG.

So the next morning I returned, and this is when the yellow boat appeared. I was stood on the harbour wall with my camera sat on my tripod waiting for the boat to go – it must have been pretty obvious what I was doing, and my body language must have oozed “can you get out of the way please I am trying to take a photo”.

There is a single gap between the moored boots which gives me two shots, one of the buildings of Parga including the castle, and a close up of the buildings with their colours reflected off the water.

But the yellow boat was there in the gap, hanging about.

IMG_2195.JPEG

20 minutes later another man appeared and walked down the steps giving the man driving the boat a carrier bag with supplies in – he dutifully went away again, but for more supplies as it turned out.

The bloke driving the boat kept looking at me but was not for moving, so I just had to wait. Another 5 minutes and the other man reappeared with more supplies and thankfully this time got on the boat, and off it went. I waited another two minutes for the wake to settle and got the photos I was after.

How was the sunrise shoot in Parga? Lessons learned.

Well to be honest it did not start well. I was not as well prepared and more out of practice than I would have liked to be. So I sat myself down and got everything sorted, like the Wi-Fi.

I had words with myself.

I have to remember that I have not spent anywhere near enough time with my new camera, and this was me getting back into it.

But once I had taken 10 minutes to get everything how I wanted it the camera was an absolute joy to use.

What to I think about the OlympusOM-D EM5 Mk 2 now?

I like it more than before I went to Parga, which is of course good.

There are so many things that I like about this camera, but these are my standouts of this morning.

The fully articulated screen.

This was just excellent, especially once I had fitted the Three Legged Thing L Bracket the wrong way round so is did not conflict with the screen. It worked just fine then, just the other way round.

And the screen is so bright and clear that I used it for most of my compositions, and I could even review images properly being able to see them on the screen, and read the data on the screen.

Remarkable with my ageing old eyes!

The EVF

The EVF is a truly wonderful thing – I still freak out at being able to look at an image that I have taken through the viewfinder, so bright, sharp and clear.

The Wi-Fi

I have had bad experiences with Wi-Fi and cameras, but with a bit of time and practise I was absolutely loving it, getting around the issues I had with HDR and high res modes and the self timer.

I got very quickly into a very productive and enjoyable groove using the App on my iPhone.

HDR Mode

There is a button on the top of the camera that I press to go into and out of HDR mode – very very helpful and useful.

I will assign another button to High Res and then I will be good to go. Well I say that – I haven’t found a way of being able to do that yet. A question for my contact at Olympus.

The Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens

I love the sharpness of the 12-40mm F 2.8 lens. I love using this lens, it is a joyous piece of equipment.

The Three Legged Thing Corey with ball head.

I have used this tripod to record videos for my YouTube channel. I have not used it that much in anger, and have not taken to it to be honest. Until today that is – I have never used a ball head all the time before and have been using other tripods for so long all it needed was for me to use it.

The combined weight

The camera and tripod form a wonderfully compact and lightweight combination which I loved carrying around and using.

My Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Still great after many many uses and even better with the smaller gear in.

So all in all, after a bad and grumpy start an excellent sunrise shoot.

How to keep up to date with what I am doing

I already mentioned my other websites, Photos of Santorini and Paxos Travel Guide. The only thing I wanted to add here is that you can subscribe to my photography blog from my home page, and also subscribe to my You Tube Channels which are

Rick McEvoy Photography

Paxos Travel Guide

And you can follow me on Pinterest where I have a few different boards showing a selection of my stuff as well as other people’s photos.

And there are also two videos that accompanies this post

Photographing Sunrise In Parga With My Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2

On location in Parga talking about photographing sunrise with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk2

which you can watch on my You Tube channel

And next week on my blog?

Next week I am going to publish something completely different for me, a travel blog post all about our holiday to Parga. I have not tried this before so let’s see how this goes.

Me and my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 on location in Parga

Me and my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 on location in Parga

And after that I am going to get stuck into the photos I took on Parga. I am looking to get 12 photos for a new page on my website called, erm Parga. It will go with the other web pages that I have featuring photos from my travels.

As well as publishing my favourite photos of Parga (taken by me) I am also going to have a go at processing photos Luminar.

And this will take me nicely into October, which is going to be Luminar Month – a month dedicated to me learning how to use Luminar, which I am excited about.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, blogger, writer, website creator

10 Best Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk2 Travel Photos – This Time With Descriptions!

Travel photography and micro four thirds cameras – a perfect combination

I want to describe the 10 Best Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk2 Travel Photos I have taken. I posted these photos last week on my blog, but did not have time to write about them properly, so here is the full post, in which I tell you where I took the photos, the camera settings I used, the gear I used and also what I was thinking when I took the photos.

I hope that you like the photos and find the descriptions interesting.

I also want to make a point here. The point is that the camera that you use does not really matter. I have 10 great photos in this post taken with an Olympus micro four thirds camera costing much less than £500, and that is with a lens.

Who am I?

As I am picking up new readers to my photography blog all the time, I thought it would be good to start by telling you exactly who I am.

So for those of you who don’t know me I am Rick McEvoy – hi. I am a photographer and travel website creator based in the south of England. I specialise in architectural, landscape and travel photography.

And travel and travel photography websites.

I have been sharing weekly blog posts about photography stuff since October 2019. I posted daily for nearly three years, but the content was quite frankly rubbish. The weekly posts are good stuff and proving much more interesting to readers which is good.

I have been using Canon DSLRs for years, but this year took the plunge and invested in a micro four thirds camera.

What is a micro four thirds camera?

Micro four thirds cameras are smaller than DSLRs. The sensor is smaller too, but they pack a real punch with their image quality.

What micro four thirds camera do I own?

I started off with an Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2 which I took to instantly. I am talking about the photos taken with that camera here. I liked this camera so much so that I bought its big brother, the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2, which is now my go to camera for travel photography. (The EM10 is not forgotten and is my back-up camera in case anything goes wrong with my EM5).

Why not a DSLR?

I noticed last year in Greece that I was leaving my camera in the hotel, or in the boot of the car, and taking more photos with my iPhone than usual.

Basically I was getting fed up with my DSLR, and could not be bothered with the size and weight of it with lenses etc. I know, the Olympus might be smaller but there is still all the stuff that goes with them.

And that is a post for another time.

So when I got back from that trip I started looking into alternatives. I spent a long time looking into this and ended up with the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2 and EM5 Mk 2. I will add links to the posts about all of this at the end of this blog post – I want to get into the 10 photos right now.

And this time with the info that I failed to provide last week.

Where were these photos taken?

In British Columbia, Canada. We visited British Columbia to visit family earlier n this year, and this was the first trip that I went on without a full frame DSLR.

Did I miss not having a DSLR?

At first yes, but I soon got used to this little wonder!

A quick word on the camera settings

All the photos were taken with my Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2 and Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens.

All the photos were taken using the auto bracketing feature on the camera, where three images are taken at the same time (with different exposures) which I merged together in Lightroom to create a master image which I edited.

So when I say shutter speed in the descriptions below I am referring to the first shot.

I had not learnt how to use the camera properly to be completely honest, so I used Auto ISO for the first time ever.

I used my go to mode, Aperture Priority – this is where I set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. And the ISO is looked after by the camera which is nice.

OK – let’s get onto the 10 photos

Photo 1 - Spring colours in the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

Copy of Spring colours in the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

Location

Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Something interesting about the photo

Well, I wanted to capture all those lovely spring colours. The problem was all that stuff floating on the surface of the water. Too much to Photoshop, and as we were walking around the gardens this was a hand-held shot – I would have liked to have taken this photo with my 10 stop neutral density filter!

I decided to leave the stuff on the top in this shot as it was there.

But I have to say that the EM10 captured those summer colours really well!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F6.3

  • Shutter 1/4000th second

  • ISO 400

Photo 2 - Sculpture in the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

Sculpture in the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

Sculpture in the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

Location

Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Something interesting about the photo

Well what can I say? This is a large sculpture, well over 2 metres in height.

I held my camera up as close to eye level as I could with the aperture wide open to blur the background. I could see the screen clearly with it tilted down so that worked a treat.

I love this shot – so different!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 36mm

  • Aperture F2.8

  • Shutter 1/800th second

  • ISO 400

Photo 3 - Vancouver Skyline

Vancouver Skyline

Vancouver Skyline

Location

Granville Island.

Something interesting about the photo

I had not used the EM10 for any kind of architectural photography work, and here was my opportunity.

I liked composing the image using the large right screen on the EM10 and was very happy to get the Canadian flag in there flying proudly.

The detail recorded is pretty impressive I have to say, and I would challenge anyone to tell me that this photo was not taken with a full frame DSLR camera!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 21mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/1250th second

  • ISO 400

Photo 4 - Market Stall, Vancouver

Market Stall, Vancouver

Market Stall, Vancouver

Location

Granville Island Public Market

Something interesting about the photo

This is not the type of photography I do normally, but I did enjoy walking around the market with my camera in hand and just grabbing shots one handed.

This picture tells the story of the fantastic public market on Granville Island, with all that lovely bright colourful food.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/13th second

  • ISO 400

Photo 5 - Stunning Light In The Forest

Stunning Light In The Forest

Stunning Light In The Forest

Location

Forest near Shannon Falls, British Columbia, Canada.

Something interesting about the photo

What, apart from the fact that I absolutely love it?

I would travel all the way back to Canada to walk in this stunning forest, capturing natural wonders like this to my heart’s content.

In fact if I was on my own I would probably still be there!

Shannon Falls are located just south of Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway.

This photo is all about the light and the wonderful moss (I think it is moss) on the branches, and how the two interact. I took rather a lot of photos here, loving the light, but this is my favourite shot.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 16mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/40th second

  • ISO 400

Photo 6 – Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls, British Columbia, Canada

Shannon Falls, British Columbia, Canada

Location

Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Something interesting about the photo

Well it’s a stunning waterfall, and the EM10 has handled the capture of the highlights and shadows nicely.

And those lovely colours are all as I remember them.

Basically this photo is the wonderful scene I remember looking at, and if I can achieve that in a photo I am very happy indeed!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 23mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/1000th second

  • ISO 400

Photo 7 - Spring sunshine in the mountains

Spring sunshine in the mountains

Spring sunshine in the mountains

Location

Looking at Mount Currie, Pemberton, British Columbia

Something interesting about the photo

I used F22 to get the star effect in the sun. Well why not? This photo is taken looking at Mount Currie from the wonderfully flat glacier bottom. The clouds obviously add to this scene, constantly moving and changing.

A wonderful mountain scene that the EM10 has captured perfectly.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F22

  • Shutter 1/80th second

  • ISO 100

Photo 8 - Rural Mountain Scene

Rural mountain scene, Pemberton, British Columbia

Rural mountain scene, Pemberton, British Columbia

Location

Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada

Something interesting about the photo

This is my type of thing to photograph. Leading lines, bright colours, interesting background.

I used the tilting screen to help me take a photo from low level, which is a bonus when you are getting old like I am!

I love this scene - I do believe that this is a mountain vineyard (but I might be wrong).

Camera settings

  • Focal length 17mm

  • Aperture F11

  • Shutter 1/160th second

  • ISO 100

Photo 9 - Mountain Forest, British Columbia, Canada

Copy of Mountain Forest, British Columbia, Canada

Location

Somewhere in British Columbia, Canada near Pemberton.

Something interesting about the photo

I wanted to convey the size of the trees, which I think I have done here. They are truly massive trees.

I wish I had a wider lens for this shot but moving back a bit and pointing up worked just fine.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/160th second

  • ISO 100

Photo 10 - Lake at dusk

Lake at dusk

Lake at dusk

Location

Nicklaus North Golf Club, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Something interesting about the photo

We were out bear hunting. Well bear spotting is more accurate – the only shooting was going to be with my camera!

I managed to capture this lake at dusk, a lovely peaceful setting with that spectacular mountain backdrop.

And the shutter speed was 1/8th second handheld!!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F5.6

  • Shutter 1/8th second

  • ISO 100

A word on my Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2.

I bought this to get into micro four thirds photography. I wanted to try something different. And that is what I did.

And I loved it.

So much that I bought the EM-5 Mk 2, the next camera up in the range, which I have written about previously.

Check out the post Is The Olympus OMD EM5 Mk2 The Best Travel Photography Camera?

And if you are interested in buying one of these little wonders here are Amazon affiliate links – if you buy anything having used one of these links I get a small commission.

Olympus OMD EM10 Mk2

Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens

Further reading

I have written a few other posts about micro four thirds photography, which are these.

Micro Four Thirds Explained – A Beginners Guide

Micro Four Thirds - Small Cameras For Travelling

My Micro Four Thirds Travel Kit – Travelling Light In Style

Professional photographers who use micro four thirds - really?

And the video for this blog post will be published tomorrow on my YouTube Channel.

How to follow me

If you want to keep up with everything I am doing you can do the following

Subscribe to my blog from the box on my home page

Subscribe to my YouTube channels

Rick McEvoy Photography

Paxos Travel Guide

And also follow me on Pinterest

These are the main outlets for my online content at the moment.

And lets not forget the video for this post!

Talking of YouTube you can check out the video for this post on my YouTube channel - My 10 Best Travel Photos Taken With My Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2 In A Lightroom Slideshow!

Summary

I hope that you found this post interesting – next week something completely different on my weekly photography blog.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, writer, website creator

 

10 Best Micro Four Thirds Travel Photos By Me Rick!

Travel photography and micro four thirds cameras – a perfect combination

What are the 10 best micro four thirds travel photography photos taken by me? In this post I will share these 10 images with you and tell you where I took the photos, the camera settings I used, the gear I used and also what I was thinking when I took the photos. These really are 10 of my best travel photography images which I am rather proud of (even if I do say so myself).

Who am I?

For those of you who don’t know me I am Rick McEvoy, a photographer and travel website creator based in the south of England. I specialise in architectural, landscape and travel photography.

I have been using Canon DSLRs for years, but this year took the plunge and invested in a micro four thirds camera.

What is a micro four thirds camera?

Micro four thirds cameras are smaller than DSLRs. The sensor is smaller too, but they pack a real punch with their image quality.

What micro four thirds camera do I own?

I started off with an Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2 which I took to instantly. So much so that I bought its big brother, the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2, which is now my go to camera for travel photography.

Why not a DSLR?

I noticed last year in Greece that I was leaving my camera in the hotel, or in the boot of the car, and taking more photos with my iPhone than usual.

Basically I was getting fed up with my DSLR.

So when I got back from that trip I started looking into alternatives. I spent a long time looking into this and ended up with the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2. I will add links to the posts about all of this at the end of this blog post – I want to get into the 10 photos right now.

Where were these photos taken?

On one of my favourite Greek Islands, Rhodes. They were all taken on this trip earlier on this year, the first time I had got to use the camera properly.

A quick word on the camera settings

All the photos were taken with my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 and Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens.

All the photos were taken using the auto bracketing feature on the camera, where three images are taken at the same time (with different exposures) which I merged together in Lightroom to create a master image which I edited.

So when I say shutter speed in the descriptions below I am referring to the first shot.

I had not learnt how to use the camera properly to be completely honest, so I used Auto ISO for the first time ever, and put the camera into my go to mode, Aperture Priority. I set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed.

All the photos were taken on a tripod, so this works just fine for me.

OK – let’s get onto the 10 photos

Photo 1 - Scooter at sunrise in Lindos on the Greek Island of Rhodes

Scooter at sunrise in Lindos on the Greek Island of Rhodes

Scooter at sunrise in Lindos on the Greek Island of Rhodes

Location

About 5 minutes from the main beach in Lindos.

Something interesting about the photo

I was walking along the back path after a not so stunning sunrise slightly spoiled by clouds when I came across this scooter parked by a building.

Everything clicked into place and I got this shot which I absolutely love.

It just goes to prove the point that you should just get out there and take photos – do not wait for perfect conditions as you never know what you will find.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 17mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/4000th second

  • ISO 200


Photo 2 - Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece by Rick McEvoy

Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

Location

On the top of the hills above Navarone Bay on the outskirts of Pefkos.

Something interesting about the photo

This is what greeted me when I got over the brow of the hill from the place where I had parked my car. I couldn’t risk going any further up the rough gravel road leaving me a bit of a walk!

So hot and sweaty before I had even got my camera out, and late as the sun was just about to appear, I stumbled upon this scene which I had to stop and photograph!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 17mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/60th second

  • ISO 500

 

Photo 3 - Sun and tree at sunrise on Rhodes

Sun and tree at sunrise on Rhodes

Sun and tree at sunrise on Rhodes

Location

The hills above Navarone Bay – the same location as the previous photo but this is in portrait format for Pinterest.

Something interesting about the photo

I wanted to get a portrait version which works better for Pinterest, so having taken the first shot I moved and adjusted the focal length to get this shot.

No this is not just a crop of the previous image – I really do thing about this stuff!

And one more thing here – I used an aperture of F22 to get the starburst effect in the photo which is exactly what I was after.

And I love the effect even though I had not tried this before with this camera and lens combo.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 32mm

  • Aperture F22

  • Shutter 1/1600th second

  • ISO 200

 

Photo 4 - The Acropolis of Rhodes at sunrise

The Acropolis of Rhodes at sunrise

The Acropolis of Rhodes at sunrise

Location

The top of the hills above Navarone Bay looking towards the Acropolis of Rhodes.

Something interesting about the photo

This was the first photo taken with the 40-150mm lens. Not bad is it? I had done with the sunrise, so decided to have a play with this telephoto lens and see what I could get.

And I got this which I really like.

It is very unusual for me to actually use a telephoto lens, so this makes a very welcome change.

And as for the sharpness and image quality? Looks fine to me!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 89mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/100th second

  • ISO 200

 

Photo 5 - Sunrise from Prophet Elias Church Pefkos

Sunrise from Prophet Elias Church Pefkos

Sunrise from Prophet Elias Church Pefkos

Location

Taken from the Prophet Elias Church on top of the hill above Pefkos.

Something interesting about the photo

This is one of my favourite sunrise locations. And in this shot I wanted to convey the height and depth of the scene, which I think I have done pretty well. I know I have cropped off the top of the sun but hey I am only human!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 26mm

  • Aperture F11

  • Shutter 1/200th second

  • ISO 200

 

Photo 6 - Rock pools at sunrise on Navarone Bay

Rock pools at sunrise on Navarone Bay

Rock pools at sunrise on Navarone Bay

Location

The beach at Navarone Bay.

Something interesting about the photo

I was walking back from my sunrise shoot and started looking at reflections in rock pools.

And this is when I took full advantage of the fully articulated screen and held the camera just above the rock pool to get this ultra-low angle view. Using the touch screen I could focus and take the image.

And I could actually see the screen even in this super bright and contrasty scene – quite incredible really.

Yes I love the touchscreen on this little wonder.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F13

  • Shutter 1/160th second

  • ISO 200

 

Photo 7 - Tree 2 at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

Tree 2 at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

Tree 2 at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

Location

Back on top of the hill overlooking Navarone Bay

Something interesting about the photo

This is the tree that you can see as you drive from Lindos to Lardos on top of the hill. I have looked at that tree many many times, and finally got to meet it personally.

And yes after that morning every time I made my favourite drive on Rhodes I looked up at that very tree and smiled to myself.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 21mm

  • Aperture F16

  • Shutter 1/320th second

  • ISO 200

 

Photo 8 - Boat at sunrise, Lindos, Rhodes

Boat at sunrise, Lindos, Rhodes

Boat at sunrise, Lindos, Rhodes

Location

The main beach in Lindos. At the far end there is a small jetty which is used for daytrips to various places.

And for me to take photos from.

Something interesting about the photo

This morning the sunrise was not great, as there was a band of low cloud on the horizon, so I had to find something different to photograph.

So I walked around the beach and thought about my favourite jetty. And there was a boat there which was most excellent – there aren’t always boats moored on this particular jetty, so I had my focal point for this image, with a couple of ropes too!

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F22

  • Shutter 1/640th second

  • ISO 200

 

Photo 9 - Windswept Tree At Sunrise Rhodes Greece

Windswept Tree At Sunrise Rhodes Greece

Windswept Tree At Sunrise Rhodes Greece

Location

On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay

Something interesting about the photo

This was the photo I took on the way back to the car. I was hanging out by now, having drunk all my water. I liked trees that have been sculpted and formed by the weather like this tree.

I left the lens flare in this photo as it seems to balance out the image nicely, and we all know that the sun causes these things to happen so why not?

I again used F22 to get that wonderful effect on the sun – I was not sure how the 7-14mm lens would be doing this, but I am loving the effect I get.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 18mm

  • Aperture F22

  • Shutter 1/640th second

  • ISO 200

 

Photo 10 - Greek Flag At Sunrise

Greek Flag At Sunrise

Greek Flag At Sunrise

Location

Back at the site of the Prophet Elias Church on top of the hill in Pefkos

Something interesting about the photo

I love this shot. I thought I would save the best till last for once.

This is the Greek flag and the photo of the landscape just before the sun illuminates a new day on the wonderful Greek Island of Rhodes.

I have taken a video of this scene which you can view on my YouTube channel.

This photo tells the story of sunrise in Greece – I love to be able to tell a story in a single image.

Camera settings

  • Focal length 12mm

  • Aperture F8

  • Shutter 1/100th second

  • ISO 200

A word on my Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2.

I wrote a post last week which tells you a lot about my new camera and what I think of it. You can read the post here Is The Olympus OMD EM5 Mk2 The Best Travel Photography Camera?

Do you want one of these cameras?

And if you are interested in buying one of these little wonders here are Amazon affiliate links – if you buy anything having used one of theses links I get a small commission.

Olympus OMD EM5 Mk2

Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens

And the two together

Olympus OMD EM5 Mk2 and Olympus 12-40mm F 2.8 Pro Lens

Further reading

I have written a few other posts about micro four thirds photography, which are these.

Micro Four Thirds Explained – A Beginners Guide

Micro Four Thirds - Small Cameras For Travelling

My Micro Four Thirds Travel Kit – Travelling Light In Style

Professional photographers who use micro four thirds - really?

And the video for this blog post will be published tomorrow on my YouTube Channel.

How to follow me

If you want to keep up with everything I am doing you can do the following

Subscribe to my blog from the box on my home page

Subscribe to my YouTube channels

Rick McEvoy Photography

Paxos Travel Guide

And also follow me on Pinterest

These are the main outlets for my online content at the moment.

Rick McEvoy

Summary

I hope that you found this post interesting, and next week I will continue the theme by writing about my best travel photos taken with the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2! Well why not? There is some good stuff in there.

And then after that I might treat myself to an on-location post and video.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, writer, website creator

#microfourthirdstravelphotography #rickmcevoyphotography #olympusem5 #olympuscamera #microfourthirds

Where Are The Best Sunrise Locations In Rhodes?

I have an ongoing love of the wonderful Greek Islands. And of photography of course. And sunrise is my most favourite thing.

So where are the best sunrise locations in Rhodes? My favourite location to photograph the sunrise in Rhodes is the area between Pefkos and Navarone Bay 5 minutes south of Lindos, half-way down the east coast of the island. In this post I will tell you all about the three places to go to and show you some of the photos I have taken from this wonderful location.

First things first – who am I?

I am Rick McEvoy. I am a professionally qualified photographer based in the south of England. I specialise in architectural, landscape and travel photography. Basically anything that does not move or breathe! No animals, people and definitely not weddings!

No if it is still then I will photograph it.

I have this website that you have found, Rick McEvoy Photography, and two other websites, Paxos Travel Guide (which is nearly finished at the time of writing this) and Photos of Santorini (which is not finished at the time of writing this!).

Yes I really am a huge fan of the Greek Islands!

If you want to know more about me, and why wouldn’t you, please check out my about me page and my blog where there is lots of good stuff to read.

Back to the subject, sunrise locations on the wonderful Greek Island of Rhodes.

Why am I writing about Rhodes?

Simple. It is one of the Greek Islands that I know the best. Rhodes is the Greek Island that I have visited the most. And out of all the places on this wonderful Greek Island I have narrowed down my sunrise photography to the places I will talk about in this post.

What about sunsets?

I take the odd sunset photo, but not that many. Sunset I find is a more sociable hour, sunrise is early, and I love getting up early to witness the start of a new day. No-one else does, it is just me!

And on a good day I can be back at the hotel and get a bit more sleep and get up with everyone else.

So that is why.

Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?

I thought I might as well start with a bit of background to the locations I am talking about, starting with where the island actually is!

Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, and is a circa 4/ 4 ½ hour flight from the south of England away. The flight distance is just over 1700 miles from London Gatwick to the airport in Rhodes Town.

Here it is on a map, using the Greek spelling.

Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?

Where is the Greek Island of Rhodes?

Where are Pefkos and Navarone Bay?

Once you get to Rhodes it is a drive of less than an hour from the airport to Pefkos, which you get to after driving past Lindos and the spectacular Acropolis.

And here it is zoomed in on a map, courtesy as ever of Google Maps.

Where is Pefkos on Rhodes?

Where is Pefkos on Rhodes?

I have to say that the stretch of road from Lardos, the next village after Pefkos travelling south, to Lindos is one of my favourite stretches of road. I can happily drive along there any time enjoying the very special views.

How do I get there?

You need to either be staying locally in Pefkos or have a car to get there for the sunrise. I had a hire car so the drive from the hotel in Lardos was a quick 5 minutes to the base of the hill where the church is, a few more minutes on to the beach at Navarone Bay but much longer to the tops of the cliffs.

When I say much longer it takes an extra 10 minutes to get around the headland and on to the tops.

Where exactly are the locations?

Again I have marked an extract from Google Maps.

My best sunrise locations in Rhodes revealed!

My best sunrise locations in Rhodes revealed!

  1. On top of the hill at the where you will find the Prophet Elias Church

  2. On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay

  3. On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay

Are these locations easy to get to?

1 - Prophet Elias Church

Prepare to give your lungs and your legs a good workout. There is a car park at the foot of the steps up to the church. All you need to do is follow the 200 plus steps all the way to the church and the cross at the top of the hill.

The steps are excellent, having been recently rebuilt, and there are handrails to help you up the steep bits. I have done the climb wearing flip flops no problem, but there is one word of warning I will give you.

Goat droppings.

These can be many in quantity, and all over the path, so flip flops are not the best thing to be completely honest.

Once you get to the top there is a level paved area with a very low perimeter wall, a church, a Greek flag and a large cross.

And those amazing views.

2 - On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay

You have to drive around the headland and drive as far up the gravel path as you dare. You can see this just below the cross and the number 2. I stopped a good way short of the actual location, giving myself a good 10-minute walk up the hill, over the top and then a scramble down to the plateau immediately above the main cliffs.

And the big drop!

Do not wear flip flops for this. I wore actual walking boots, some lovely lightweight ones that grip the rocks wonderfully well.

The path is very lumpy and bumpy, and once you are on the tops you need good quality walking shoes, or it will be a slow, painful, miserable experience. And you will be putting yourself at risk if you go the cliff edge.

These are serious cliffs so be careful – you would not survive the drop.

OK – that’s you told!

3 - On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay

To get to this location you have to drive to the Lindos Memories Resort & Spa. There is a car park there that I park at. I know I am not a guest but at the time I am there it is very quiet.

Ok completely silent apart from the goats.

Anyway as a thank you to this lovely hotel for letting me park there here is a link to the hotel.

Park at the car park and walk down the path to the beach by the side of the hotel immediately off the car park. On the way back you will notice the smells of the spa which is nice.

Walk down to the beach and turn right. I go all the way to the end of the beach then navigate the rocks to get to the point where I want to take my photos from.

Which is basically at the very bottom of that massive rock face.

This is obviously up to you, but I have shown you on the map one of my preferred locations.

Again, flip flops are not recommended. You are not going to kill yourself falling off the edge here, but the rocks are very sharp, and I always manage to get some impressive cuts and scratches on my legs.

If you are happy staying on the beach then that is just fine – you will still have an amazing sunrise experience.

Is there parking nearby?

I think I have covered that.

What time does the sun rise?

Well this varies of course on the time of year and if there is a band of cloud on the horizon. According to my camera metadata the sun started to appear about 5:50am. There is of course the time before the sun rises which is amazing, so ideally if the sun were to rise at 5.50am I would like to be in position and ready to take photos and videos by 5am.

But I like being nice and early so I can sit down and just enjoy being there.

Sunrise is such a special thing that I love experiencing.

And I would stay for a good hour afterwards as well to make the best of that fantastic post-sunrise directional light.

Are there other people there?

At the church on the hill it is very common to find people there witnessing the stunning sunrise on the hill. You can after all park at the bottom of the steps and walk up there in normal shoes.

I have never seen anyone else on the rocks or the beach in Navarone Bay though. And as to the top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay? Only goats. I have never seen another person up there.

So yes and no. And you can guess which I prefer?

Splendid sunrise isolation. Just me and the elements.

What camera gear do I use?

Time to talk photography briefly. Don’t worry I won’t go on too much I promise.

And by the way, the links I have added to these items are Amazon Affiliate links – if you buy them or anything else within 24 hours of visiting Amazon via that link then I get a small commission.

Disclosure done – best to be open about these things!

Back to my gear.

I have been using a Canon 6D for a few years now, but this year I have changed my travel photography gear. I am now using an Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2 with Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens, and also the excellent Olympus 40-150mm lens.

I am loving my new smaller gear.

Which is slightly smaller and not that much lighter even it has to be said,

I use a Peak Design Everyday Backpack to carry my gear to these places that I find myself in – a backpack is an essential for me as I need both hands free to get to where I want to be.

My tripod of choice is the 3 Legged Thing Punks Corey, which sits nicely in my camera bag. And I am loving the Arca Swiss plate.

I have bought an L bracket with grip for my Olympus camera, the QR Vertical Shoot L Bracket Plate With Hand Grip, which cost me £19.99 from Amazon which worked quite well.

That was the main gear that I used. Sorry there was my iPhone which I used to take videos.

Gear done – on to the photos taken at the three locations.

My sunrise photos of Rhodes web page

I have created a gallery page on my website where I have added 12 sunrise photos taken in these three locations in June 2019. This is called Rhodes. I know – where do I get these names from?

I will talk about one photo from each of the locations, which will hopefully give you an idea of the view from each location.

1 – The photo from the top of the hill near the Prophet Elias Church

Sunrise view from the hills above Pefkos looking towards Lindos

Sunrise view from the hills above Pefkos looking towards Lindos

This photo shows you the scale of the scene, photographed from the edge of the rocks. Immediately below the sun is the Acropolis of Rhodes, too far away to be clear. And to the right you can see part of Navarone Bay.

This is a magnificent sunrise view, which I have loved every time I have made the effort to climb up those steps in the dark to be there for this special time of the day.

2 - On top of the cliffs overlooking Navarone Bay

Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

Tree at sunrise on Rhodes Greece

This is the tree on top of the cliffs. You can see this tree from miles away. Every time I drove along the road from Lindos to Pefkos I would look up at this tree and smile to myself.

Again, a stunningly gorgeous location to witness the sunrise from.

3 - On the beach and the rocks around Navarone Bay

OK -this photo does not appear on the web page I mentioned earlier. I love this photo, such a simple composition, such lovely warming colours.

Sunrise in Rhodes by Rick McEvoy

Sunrise in Rhodes by Rick McEvoy

So relaxing and peaceful. Which is exactly what the sunrise is like.

As I said before, you can see more of my photos of the sunrise on Rhodes on the Rhodes page of my website.

And there is only one thing better than a stunning sunrise photo, and that is a nice, relaxing video showing the sun rising.

Video time!

I wanted to video the sun rising. There were a few problems with this.

On the first try my alarm went off stopping the video which was infuriating. Next time I ran out of memory. Equally annoying but entirely my own fault.

But I did manage to get a 30-minute video of the flag flying at the church, and 30 minutes as the sun rises from the cliffs above Navarone Bay.

These are the links to the videos on my YouTube Channel

1 – The Greek Flag Flying Proudly As The Sun Rises Over Lindos

2 – Stunning 30 minute Sunrise Video From The Cliffs Above Navarone Bay Looking Towards Lindos, Rhodes

I got there in the end, and to be honest I have not done this before, well not recording 30-minute videos. This meant that I had to take photos handheld, which was a joy with the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mk 2, which has in-built image stabilisation.

So a change in the way I work, but a good change at that so after these morning shoots I had developed, and all was good in my photographic world.

My YouTube Channel

And finally please may I ask for your help?

I hope that you found this post interesting. Please subscribe to my photography blog to get notified when a new post is published.

If you have enjoyed reading this post please check out my YouTube channel, where there is an accompanying video for this blog post.

If you could subscribe to my YouTube channel that would be great and most helpful to me.

And one last request – please follow me on Pinterest where I have boards all about photography and travel.

None of this costs you any money, and I will not inundate you with rubbish – it just helps me and gives me a warm cosy glow knowing that people are reading and watching my stuff.

Thank you!

Next week on my photography blog

Next week on my photography blog I am going to continue my series of posts about the exposure triangle. This will be a follow up to the post The exposure triangle explained in plain English. But will it be aperture, shutter or ISO?

Check out my blog next week to find out.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, blogger, website creator

Minimalist Travel Photography Gear – This Is What I Use

Regular readers will know that I have been moving towards smaller camera gear.

Well having got back from Canada how was my minimalist travel photography gear? It was pretty good to be honest. In this post I will tell you all about my much-reduced amount of gear for travel photography, the good, the bad, the annoying and the not needed!

I hope that this post inspires you to take less gear out with you and concentrate on taking photos – this has certainly worked for me!!

First, here is the stuff I took for a weeklong trip to Canada.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Yep, this is all I took for a week long break to British Columbia in Canada, visiting Vancouver, Whistler, Pemberton and all places in-between!

It might look a lot when laid out like this, but this is the least amount of gear that I have taken. And there is some more work to do to get to the minimalist set up I am after. But I am getting there.

Why am I writing about this?

Well this all started last year when I went on a two-week trip to Rhodes, and apart from photographing sunrises I did not get my Canon 6D out of the boot of the car at all. I was basically fed up with the bulk of my gear. Now this is not solely down to the size of my Canon gear, although that is part of it. It is also because I take too much stuff that I do not need.

Is mirrorless micro four thirds gear the travel photography answer?

In part yes. Sure the gear is smaller, but it is not that small that on its own this is the answer. When I stick my 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens on the front of an Olympus micro four thirds body it is quite a chunk of glass.

Sure if I used the 12-42mm pancake lens I good could get my Olympus EM10 Mk 2 in my pocket, but that is not my lens of choice.

Basically less gear is the other part

I always pack too much gear. For this trip I packed much less gear, and some of it I did not use. I will get onto that later but let’s start with the good stuff.

What did I like about my minimalist travel photography gear?

Well I liked the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2. And the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens.

I didn’t use the 40-150mm lens – to be fair other than to make sure that it works I have not needed this lens yet.

What did I like about the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk 2?

Well it is quite new to me, so there is still the novelty factor, shiny new syndrome. A quick word about the camera and the main things I liked, and I will get on with the rest of the gear.

The size of the camera

As I said before the lens is quite a lumpy thing but that is my choice to use a Pro lens, but the camera is still smaller than my Canon 6D – smaller to make a difference.

The amount of space in my camera bag for other stuff.

I managed to get my camera and lenses in the bottom section of my Peak Design Everyday Backpack, leaving loads of space for other stuff.

I actually had a half empty bag for the flights to and from Canada which was different. And my bag was much lighter and did not have bulging sides.

The Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

I love the EVF on my Olympus camera. This is the first time I have owned a camera with an EVF, having spent a lifetime taking photos with SLRs and then DSLRs, all of which have an optical viewfinder. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Changing the focus point on the touch screen

I did not know how much I would take to the touchscreen, but it has been brilliant. And I mean brilliant in helping me to take photos. One of the main uses I have found for the touch screen is to change the focus point just by touching the screen where I want the camera to focus.

I do not want technology just for the sake of it – I want technology that helps me take photos.

The tilting touchscreen

Another thing that I really like and will be even better when I get the EM5 with the rotating/ tilting screen.

I like to take photos from unusual angles, high and low, and the tilting screen helped me with that.

The clarity of the screen

Yes the screen is brighter and easier to see. I have not tested it in Greek sunshine yet, but things are looking promising. And next month I will be trialling this little gem of a camera in Greece which I cannot wait to do.

One handed operation

I was able to walk around the Granville Island market in Vancouver and quickly raise my camera, focus and shoot with one hand, which was actually easier than doing this with my iPhone which was brilliant.

This is as close as I get to street photography!

The levels on the camera

Yes the Olympus EM10 has horizontal and vertical indicators in the viewfinder which I absolutely love.

Another word on packing gear.

I took a rear lens and body cap meaning that I could separate the camera and lens meaning they took up even less room in my camera bag.

And what about the other gear?

I also liked the Peak Design cuff – this was a big improvement on the strap that I was using, and this clever wrist strap tightens nicely around my wrist but is easy to remove – another great product from Peak Design!

And my favourite travel tripod

Yes, my good old Manfrotto Pixi is even more at home with my Olympus EM10 on it – I set it up on the top of the Whistler Gondola and recorded the skiers flying by down below – I did this whilst drinking a lovely hot coffee at the summit.

This is the scene, and here is one of the videos. I forgot to photograph my iPhone on the tripod but here it is rested on the window cill before I rememberd that I had my mini tripod to hand!!

Taking videos with my iPhone

Here is the video

What did I not like?

It is not all sweetness and light - there were things that I was not happy with that need sorting.

There always are……

The way the camera sits in my camera bag.

This is something I need to look into. The camera is so small there is no logical place for it to be secured on the top section of my Peak Design Everyday Backpack, which is where I like to have my cameras. My Canon 6D sat nicely in the top section of my bag – well it filled it to be fair!

No GPS

This is something that I really miss – the GPS on my Canon 6D was an invaluable tool, and my Olympus EM10 does not have this. I am going to have to look at how I can sort this when I get the EM5.

There is a work round for now – take photos on my iPhone and I can copy and paste the GPS data into the metadata of the photos taken with the Olympus camera, but this is a faff I can do without to be honest.

This is the main sticking point at the moment that needs to be sorted.

The fact that the widest I could go was in full frame equivalent 24mm – I want wider than that.

I use a 17-40mm lens in addition to my 24-105mm lens. And when I use the 17-40mm lens most of the photos I take are taken at the 17mm end.

So the question is this – do I get the 7-14mm lens? This will give me a super wide 14mm focal length. One for the future methinks.

The grip on the camera

The grip on the OM10 is too small for me – I am used to the big chunky grip on the Canon 6D to be fair. When I get the EM5 I will buy the grip that will sort this issue out.

The way that the tripod sits in my camera bag.

An unexpected annoyance was the way that my new travel tripod, the Peak Design Corey, sat in my camera bag. This needs looking at – I ended up with the tripod head either pointing up above the top of the bag or face down getting damaged.

Has this camera changed the way I take travel photographs?

Yes, In a number of ways,

I use it more and noticed that I have less photos on my iPhone. Not good for immediate use but as this is not really a priority to me definitely a good thing.

HDR

I have done more single image captures. This is in part down to having the wonderful EVF. Talking of which.

EVF and live in viewfinder exposure compensation

I used AV mode and exposure compensation pretty much the same way I did with the Canon 6D, but enjoyed it more, especially the instant feedback in the EVF of the image capture.

And what about things that have not changed?

Yep there are things that have not changed which is a good thing - this is not an exercise in binning everything I have been doing in the past after all!

Go to focal length

I still start wide and zoom in when required. So 12mm is my default focal length, as was 17mm with my Canon 6D.

I am going to analyse the focal lengths that I use – after all if I only ever use 12mm I might as well get the 7-14mm Pro lens and give myself room to play in the ultra wide arena.

What gear did I use?

  • Olympus OM-D EM10 and 12-40mm Pro lens

  • Pec Pads and Eclipse lens cleaning solution

  • Spare batteries and charger

  • Spare memory cards

  • Manfrotto Pixi for videoing skiers on the mountain

  • And what gear did I not use?

  • My brand new shiny three-legged thing tripod

  • My Platypod

  • My 40-150mm lens

Did I miss my Canon 6D?

No, not really. I was quite happy as I was.

And I have noticed since I got back from Canada that I am missing some of the features of my Olympus camera which my Canon 6 does not have, especially the EVF and touchscreen.

I know that newer Canon cameras have these features – it is just new to me with the gear that I have.

And some of things have very quickly become instinctive to me. I have started touching the LCD screen on my Canon 6D to change the focus points, but this is not a touchscreen, so nothing happens!

What about my ageing mince pies – sorry eyes?

I have adjusted to the smaller camera just fine, as the screen is much bigger than the one on my Canon 6D, and the EVF is much clearer and easier for me to read.

I should write an article titled “Cameras for the over 50s!” – actually that is not a bad idea.

I was concerned that I would struggle to read the dials and screens on a smaller camera, but this has not been a problem at all, which is a pleasant surprise.

A word about my Canon gear

My Canon gear still works wonderfully well and is still what I use for my commercial architectural photography work. This post is not a mirrorless is amazing/ DLSRs are so last year post. Nor is it an Olympus is better than Canon post.

No – my Olympus micro four thirds camera gives me options which are always good. And having some shiny new (albeit second hand) photography gear does help.

I am not knocking DLSRs or Canon – there is still a big place for both.

Lessons learned for the future

I think that the EM5 Mk 2 with grip will work even better.

Do I need to get a wider lens? I am going to stick as I am for now, and for my next trip I will take the other body with these two lenses.

I did not miss the longer focal lengths, meaning that my choice to buy the 12-40mm lens instead of the 12-100mm lens was the right thing for me.

I will hold the thought that the 7-14mm lens might be my go-to lens,

The one thing that I need to work out is a camera bag. I have contacted Peak Design and asked for their advice – lets see what they come up with.

Update – the good folks at Peak Design have got back to me and advise that I use the lower sections of the camera bag, which is not great as I want the camera to be sat on top of my camera bag so I can access it – one for me to work on.

I do have an idea.

My camera and my iPhone

The other thing which I mentioned earlier - I used my camera more than my iPhone to take photos. This is a good thing – the reason that I started looking for other gear was because I found myself not using my Canon 6D on a trip last year – it sat in the boot most of the time.

Now this is not good for the immediate access to images that my iPhone gives me – this is of course one of the brilliant things that an iPhone does.

But this is not the biggest thing for me, so I can live with it. I am more concerned about capturing the images I want whilst I am away which I can work on when I am back in my office.

Summary

This post is all about the minimalist travel photography gear that I used on a trip to Canada – there is a bit of refinement, but I am on the right road to having just the gear I need with me.

Rick McEvoy

I will write an update in June after my next trip and see how I got on using my new gear photographing a Greek Island with lots of sunrises!

Please check out my post next week which is all about Pinterest, the social media platform which is actually useful.

Rick McEvoy – travel photographer, writer, blogger

My New Travel Photography Blog – 10 Tips For Success

I write travel photography blogs these days. And that gave me a thought for this blog post.

What would my top 10 travel photography blog tips be? How I can help people create better blogs? It was good to think about this and the work that I have done to date. So in this post I am going to share the 10 tips that will help you and I create better travel photography blogs, and hopefully more engaging, interesting and popular travel photography blog content.

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My Micro Four Thirds Travel Kit – Travelling Light In Style

I am moving into the travel photography niche more and more. And also, into micro four thirds photography.

I need to come up with what will be my micro four thirds travel kit – this will be the photography gear that I use for my travel photography work. In this post I will explain what my travel photography kit is, and how and why I have selected that particular collection of kit. Travelling light in style sounds good to me!

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Photos Of Santorini Is My New Travel Photography Website

I am delighted to be able to announce that my first travel photography website is now complete – it is called Photos of Santorini. It was completed when I finally got around to buying a logo for this website, which is taken from one of my photos. In this post I will tell you all about this website and my plans for future travel photography websites.

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Sunrise Photography Settings That Work For Me Every Time

What sunrise photography settings do I use? Typically, I use F8 or F16 aperture, ISO 100 and the shutter speed the camera chooses using AV Mode on my Canon 6D. In this post I will tell you all about the camera settings I use which will help you take great sunrise photos easily every time. I will also tell you the actual camera settings I used to take the 5 sunrise photos included in this post.

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