A few years ago I spent some time in the Greek Islands with a goal of mainly exploring black and white compositions among the whitewashed towns and villages of various islands. I was staying on Santorini making day trips to the various villages on the island and while spending a day in the town of Oia I noticed this church. It was not an easy composition to see as I was going up the main shop lined walkway into town from the parking lot along with several busloads of tourists who mainly were on their way to the main caldera overlook another 100 meters past this spot.
I am always drawn to architecture and abstracts and when I noticed the potential here, stopped and eventually set up my tripod. My idea was to make a composition of how the sun created shadows that intersected with the domes and walls of the church. It was a very tricky camera setup because I wanted this intersection of the sun and shadows to be very precise and moving the camera position just a fraction of an inch made all the difference.
Even though I was tucked to the side of the walkway I also made sure to keep my foot next to the most vulnerable tripod leg because the sidewalk was rather narrow and several hundred people went past me while I was figuring out the exact composition and making the exposure. I didn’t want anyone accidentally kicking my tripod. My camera was tilted up quite a bit so I didn’t have to worry about catching people in the frame as my composition was well above their heads.
In the time it took me to make this image, maybe 10 people out of the hundreds that passed by were curious enough to ask what I was photographing. I asked if they wanted to look through the lens to see what I was looking at and so after I had made the exposure they did. After I packed up and was leaving I was amused to see quite a few tripods being set up where I had just been.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor