ZAGÓRI & THE VÍKOS GORGE

VILLAGES AND LANDSCAPES IN THE WILD NORTH OF GREECE

WILD GREECE

Hiking the Píndhos Mountains of Northwest Greece, set in the Zagóri National Park. Home to wolves, bears...and dragons? This journey explored the region via a circular 4-6 day walk including picturesque villages, the thickly wooded 20km long gorge and wild mountain landscapes.

Travelling light is a necessity on a trip like this, carrying all gear, and the shots were all taken with a compact mirrorless camera, packed alongside a portable GorillaPod tripod and few accessories including an ND filter I'd picked up to have a go with.

For most of this trip I used a fast 20mm prime lens, which was a pretty good all round choice, and, importantly, small and light. It was also good in the relatively dark environment of the gorge. I did cave in and take along a larger telephoto as well, but seldom used it when on the go.

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SHELTERING FROM THE STORM

A frustrating aspect of hiking during the day in good weather is that the stunning landscapes are often in harsh direct light: producing flat, washed out images. Fortunately, being in the mountains, it's wasn't always that long until some dramatic clouds came along.

Our climb up to Astraka Refuge was rewarded by access to great views of Dragon Lake and Astraka mountain (2432m); still covered with snow patches in June. Didn't see any actual dragons but quite a lot of alpine newts; or baby dragons as I like to think.

The lake scene was a perfect opportunity to try out the neutral density (ND) filter I had brought along. Using a small tripod I was able to get a number of daylight long exposures which smoothed out the water surface to allow the reflections - and added some movement to the clouds.

VILLAGES & BRIDGES

HERE BE DRAGONS

DEEP IN THE SHADOW OF THE GORGE