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18 March 2010

A Film of 8

And a lot of burned stuff
Burned branches of a tree on the Hymittos hills

Monday morning I dropped off 2 films at the shop where they develop my color films. Tuesday morning I got them back, developed and scanned. One of the films is a roll film "120", that I exposed on the Arca-Swiss over the last weeks. The Arca's format is 6x9cm, on a roll of film like that there is space for 8 pictures. I took 2 pictures on an excursion on Kithaironas, another 3 a week later at Parnitha, the last 3 another week later on the hills of Hymittos.

Eight pictures doesn't sound like much, but the philosophy of lugging around a "large format" camera (even if the Arca is a very small large format camera), is that you take fewer pictures and attempt to take better pictures. Personally I try to be ever more relaxed, tranquil about the whole affair of taking pictures. If I get nervous about doing things right, something's wrong.

Now, even if the pictures would have been lost or bad, I had done three small excursions full of nice views and experiences. Turns out, I also got back a film with 8 "good" pictures. No more light leaks so far, no misfiring shutters or operator mistakes. Now, that was a good feeling when looking at the results. I had quite enough of "this picture wouldn't have been half bad, if it hadn't been ruined". I'm also confident with the images themselves, even if I still see a lot of potential for artistic growth.

I'm giving a small example here, the burned branches of a tree on the Hymittos hills. There are a lot of burned trees in my pictures, both from Hymittos (from a part that burned down in 2009), from Parnitha (burned 2007), and on other films from the lake of Marathon (burned 2009).

Posted by betabug at 18:36 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
09 January 2012

Parnitha in Winter with Company from E.DAS.A.

With people from ΕΔΑΣΑ - Forest Protection Volunteers of Attica
Towards noon the snow already started to retreat partially

Yesterday, we were out hiking in the Parnitha mountains with a group of people from ΕΔΑΣΑ (E.DAS.A. Volunteers Of Forest Fire-Watching Of Attica). We took the gondola lift up to the casino, complete with plush carpets and gilt framed mirrors. Then we went out into the cold...

Snowflake on jacket sleeve

There was light snow and a fine, cold wind. We hiked out towards the Flambouri hut, first going through the areas of Parnitha that were burned down in 2007, then through still forested parts. Despite the cold weather, most of us soon felt warm and sweaty, so some layers of clothing had to go back into the packs. We then went on a round-trip around the area.

I had the Firstflex with me and shot two rolls of Tri-X. I mostly concentrated on shapes and interesting renditions of snow, rocks, and trees. As usual, many, many times I looked through the viewfinder, very few times I actually took a picture. We also had the Panasonic Lumix FT-3 with us, which showed not even the slightest bit of being touched by the cold weather. It just worked. The battery lasted without problem (in my experience so far, the only way to bring the battery to its knees is to turn on the GPS).

At some point someone noticed that cold, fresh snowflakes could be seen nicely on our jackets and gloves. We experimented a bit taking macro shots with the Lumix. I think they came out almost acceptable. The biggest problem was that everybody was moving, so keeping things in focus was a matter of luck.

Reforestation, trees planted in 2008

Both at the Flambouri hut and at the Buffy hut there were huge crowds of people. At the Flambouri hut there was the cutting of the Vasilopita of the Aharnon mountain club, while the Buffy hut was simply overrun by Athenians going to see some snow. Passing both huts, we didn't stop except for brief rests and went on into the trees.

After a long, good hike we turned back in the direction of the (truly ugly) Casino in its belt of burned forest. The sun started to come out a little bit and were able to see the carnage around us in nice light. On the positive side, we enjoyed looking at the little trees peeping out all through the burned stumps. They are the result of reforestation efforts. The E.DAS.A. guys were justly proud of those young trees.

We also saw the road passing the Casino and going to the huts, with lots of Athenians driving up there for food or coffee. It's not that there's never snow in Athens, but it's rare. So people decided that this Sunday is a good chance to see some. We just hope that they came down safely again, as we expected roads to freeze over in the evening. Ourselves, we took the gondola down again (seeing some mountain goats). As usual, we summed up the days hike with some good food in a taverna on the way back.

Athenians drive through burned down forrests to see some snow

Posted by betabug at 19:53 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 July 2018

The Smell of Smoke

But where does it come from?

Today, leaving the house and going for a late run to the super market, I smelled it immediately. It smelled like smoke, like a wood fire. Now it's summer and it has been 35°C today, so there is really no chance that somebody lighted a fire in their wood stove or their open fire place. Instead I put two and two together with what I had read in the news.

When I arrived at the super market, people were lingering outside and talking about the smell. "Is there any fire around here?", they asked. I told them I believed that the smoke is carried over from Attica, from the forrest fires in Kineta and Pendeli near Athens. It's far, but the wind is in West-Nord-West, which is that direction. Some did not believe it, some agreed with me.

Naxos is somehow remote from Athens, it's as if those things don't touch us. But then friends call and tell of other friends of theirs whose houses are in danger.

Posted by betabug at 20:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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