Allow me to brag for just a minute: I won 3rd place in the Greeka.com photo contest with the above photo.This is both a good and a bad thing. My prize is a four night stay at the Plaza Beach Hotel in Naxos and ferry tickets for two from Athens. Pretty cool. The bad news: I’ll have to fly to Athens in order to take advantage of my prize. So it could be an expensive victory. This photo contest had some excellent prizes. First through fifth place were four night stay packages at various resorts in the Greek Isles. Sixth place was a canon DSLR camera – I was really hoping for 6th place; my wife was hoping for a top 5 finish.
“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” ~ Ansel Adams
I got this photo because of patience and persistence. We stayed three days at Meteora and it was overcast and rainy the first two and a half days. I had a few decent photos of the monasteries, but nothing that was going to win any awards.
On the afternoon of our third day, the clouds gave way to rich blue skies. I had a choice to make: stay at the hotel and drink wine and eat feta cheese with my wife, or hike up a mountain and take photos. I decided to go hiking, even though it meant a steep climb.
Initially, It wasn’t great for photos. The sun was really bright and washed everything out, but scattered clouds started to roll in. All the elements for a +3 sunset (see footnote) were in place, so I waited. It was our last day in Greece and we’d been traveling for five weeks. I spent about two hours atop the mountain reflecting on our trip and enjoying this view:
I was jolted out of this moment of zen when sun rays started stabbing through the thin clouds. I fired off photos like a crazy person. Thank God for digital. I was rewarded for my patience, persistence and effort with this incredible scene, even if it may be the most expensive photo I’ve ever taken.
Click here for a sunset rating system explanation.