There are many great views when you are on the island of Santorini. I love just walking about on this wonderful Greek Island seeing what I find – this is the best way to find photo locations for me.
I love this stunning Santorini view. This was taken after photographing the sunrise from the caldera. The sun had just reached these two rocks which I was sat near and I just had to take this shot which I absolutely love.
Why do I like this photo so much?
I love the depth in the image, which has been created by the light and how it interacts with the landscape. The sunlight has illuminated the rocks in the foreground, but not the areas around. The rocks were sticking up just enough to for the sunlight to illuminate them for that brief moment just before the sun lit the part in shade in the photo.
This was a fleeting moment that I was thankfully aware of and able to capture as it happened – 30 seconds later and the moment was gone.
I love the depth in this image, with the foreground interest and that lovely morning sunlight and the caldera running away down to Oia in the background.
This is what landscape photography is all about for me – capturing stunning views and fleeting moments lost forever.
How did I decide on this composition?
Quickly! No time to think with this one.
I was sat on these rocks after photographing the sunrise, which was coming in from the right. The rocks were actually my temporary base for this shoot. What I do is put my camera bag on something nice and solid and not too close to the edge of the caldera – accidents happen, especially to someone as clumsy as me!
And this mornnig it was those very rocks that I put my gear on.
I was sat on the rock debating what to do next, and having a rest, when the sun hit these rocks and I knew straight away that there was a photo to be made here.
Composition was quick to capture the fleeting moment which I am so glad I caught.
Where was the photo taken?
Right where the orange tab is.
Right there. How ridiculously precise is this GPS stuff! Zoom in when you are using the Map Module in Lightroom and see just how precise the data is – I could go back to that exact spot if I wanted to – absolutely amazing. And a great example of technology working across devices, the data being recorded on my Canon 6D and turned into meaningful data using Lightroom.
What time of day was the photo taken?
6:31am. Just after sunrise. And just as the sun hit the rocks in the foreground. Obviously.
What photography gear did I use to get the shot?
- Canon 6D
- Canon 24 – 105mm F4 L Lens (focal length used 17mm)
- Manfrotto 190 Go tripod with geared head
- Peak Design Everyday Backpack
- Loupe Viewer
- Red hat – still cold
- Oakley sunglasses
- Red shoes (not aching yet)
- Coke Zero and melted chocolate
Happily for this image I have some shots of some of my gear on location on the Santorini caldera. Here you can see what I am pointing my camera at.
And here is my Peak Design Everyday Backpack next to my Manfrotto 190 Go tripod.
What camera settings did I use?
- Aperture F22
- Shutter speeds 1/160th second, 1/640th second and 1/40th second.
- ISO 400
- Back-button focus
- Focal length 28mm
- AV Mode
- 10 second self-timer
- RAW format
I used F22 as I needed the maximum depth of field, as I was pointing my camera down on the rocks which I needed in focus, as well as the end of the caldera.
One interesting fact about the image.
Look how precarious my tripod is. Seriously is that how I actually took the photo? I honestly can’t remember, but it looks rather odd and hardly an example of text book use of a Manfrotto tripod!
Maybe it is just the angle that I took this photo on my iPhone with?
Is there a behind the scenes video of this shoot?
Yes. And here it is on my YouTube channel. You can see how much of an afterthought this image is – the rocks appear right at the end of shooting! they just creep in on the right at the end.
That was the point at which I realised there was a potential shot to be made!
How did I process the image?
This is the global processing of the complete image in Lightroom. But for this image I want to talk about something else.
And the something else is local adjustments. And more specifically one of my favourite tools in Lightroom, the radial tool.
This is the area selected using the radial tool, and you can see what I am doing here to the area in red only.
I am lightening the rocks and adding some clarity to the rocks to bring out the textures just in the rocks.
This is done to make the rocks more prominent, giving the foreground a focal point before the eye goes into the scene beyond.
The eye is drawn to the lightest part of a picture, and I wanted that to be the rocks n the foreground and not the white buildings on the top of the caldera.
What could I have done to improve this image?
Well that is a question. How could I have improved this image?
Being critical of my composition I could have given more space to the left of the headland and the town of Oia – a bit more sea would have given the image more space. I used a 28mm focal length on my Canon 24-105mm lens so there was some lattitude there but this was clearly a conscious decision to frame this composition.
I try to get the composition just right in camera, and do not like shooting wider than I want to knowing I can crop in later – my mind does not work like that.
In terms of processing I could have removed some of the (natural!) white marks from the rocks, and maybe the pink flower to the right. And the whie buildings in the middle.
I have not removed these things as they are there and for me part of the scene. Not that I am a die hard purist – I have removed bigger distractions than these from my photographs before.
And what are my thoughts on this image?
I really like this image. There a lovely sense of depth to the scene, with the sun illuminating the rocks in the foreground, whilst the adjacent land is still in shade. The southern facing cliffs of the Santorini caldera are the first to catch the morning sun as well as the town of Oia at the end of the caldera.
You can see a few white buildings behind the shaded part of the land which you walk past on the path from Imerovigli to Oia.
All in all an image I am very happy with.
Enough of me – what do you think of this image?
OK – you have read what I have to think about this image, what do you think? Please let me know, as I love to hear feedback on not only my images of Santorini but also what I have written about my photographic work.
One last thing
If you want to buy this image, or want to speak to me about future collaboration email me at email@example.com.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, writer, blogger