Back from Crete
When I first visited the island of Crete, Greece in 2013 I was rather disappointed by it because I found the landscapes and nearby towns rather boring and not really picturesque (apart maybe from Heraklion’s port). It was difficult to find any interesting foreground for seascapes and the colours were ranging from yellow to brown.
So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was packing my photo gear for another visit in Crete just a few days ago. This time I decided to go to the town of Chania located in the western part of the island. And I must say I loved it. I really did. It’s completely different than Heraklion with a lot of ruins in the middle of the old town (some from 6 and 7 century AD, some from Venetian times, and some from times where city was ruled by Turks), with very atmospheric narrow streets (I had never taken so many architecture and street photos before!), where people enjoy their dinners in small restaurants. There is also beautiful Venetian harbour with colourful houses and lighthouse which was rebuilt in the 19th century, which is just perfect for HDR, long exposure and fine art type of photography especially if there is nice sunset behind them. And as a cherry on top local cuisine, which is slightly different from other areas of Greece, is really delicious.
I read some complaints on TripAdvisor that the place is ugly, that it’s crowded (it’s not that bad apart from just a few streets which I tried to avoid in the evening because I didn’t like the music there) and that it’s ruined. For me it’s complete opposite. Chania was destroyed several times in its history, quite recently during World War II during German bombardments. Many of the ruins aren’t rebuilt up to today – they remind us of horror of those dark times. Some of the ruins were adapted and now are working as hotels or restaurants. For me this place is in fact quite unique and very atmospheric.
Featured photo – Evening in the Harbour
As this post is about Chania, here’s just a quickly edited HDR image that I managed to capture in one of the evenings. It shows the Venetian harbour during the blue hour. I used 5 exposures, the longest of which was 25 seconds to create nice blur on water. I hope you like it!
If you would like to learn more about HDR photography, I encourage you to read my free HDR tutorial.
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review)
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 28 mm
Exposure time: 10 s (“middle” exposure)
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1 EV
Flash used: no
Filters: ND400 neutral density filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, long-exposure
Software: Magic Lantern, Lightroom 6, Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Topaz Clarity