36 Photos - Oct 17, 2011
Photo: from here to eternity
Vravrona Athens, Attica

This was undoubtedly the most difficult shot to get in my entire photographer's history. Weather-speaking, that is.
Actually I shouldn't have even been out there to take it, but in a taverna with my friends eating and having fun by the fireplace and watching the frantic sea outside raging in the strong freezing wind and rain.
But who, me??? Naaaah! Me, I can't stay put. From the moment I saw this place, while driving to said taverna, I wasn't thinking about anything else than how to get out to take a few shoots without being rude to my friends and leave them there. Which I eventually did (my friends know me by now and weren't even surprised :)
So, I left them to finish the wine and got out there with my camera and tripod (plus the sand bags for the tripod) and started look around the place to find some sheltered spot to set my camera. I didn't find anything though, so that meant I had to make do with what I had. Which was an umbrella that broke after 2 minutes in a wind that almost knocked me over (happily I was carrying the sand bags filled with rocks, ~10kg both, and they kept me stable :), a linen bag for carrying said sand bags (which became “umbrella” for the camera and lens) and a few lens clothes that had gotten so soaked after a while that I was wondering why bother to even clean the lens, better take some artistic blurred photos and go back inside by the fireplace. I wasn't even dressed properly for that weather (remember, I was supposed to be inside with a glass of wine in my hand, chatting relaxed), but I didn't even realize that till I started to shiver from the cold (after having been showered from tip to toe by a huge wave that got me wet to the bone and almost smashed my camera on the rocks (I managed to lift it and save it the very very VERY last second).

But it was beautiful. I hadn't seen such a crazy weather in a long time and managed to take a few shots that I like and that were un-blurred ( I still wonder how I managed that under these circumstances). And I eventually got back inside after one and a half hour. Needless to say, the wine and food were over, and my friends ready to leave, but it didn't bother me too much (that I was still hungry after having gone out to eat :))
Me, I couldn't wait to get home to see what I have on my card. Well, I know ….you know the feeling... :)

#SeaTuesday by me #BWFineArtLe by +Joel Tjintjelaar +FineArtPls by +Marina ChenPhoto: the vision

You know it's somewhere there, but you can't say exactly where. You feel it floating in the air, but still can't reach out and catch it with your hand. You're still in the dark, wondering where to turn for light, but too confused to be able to focus and realize where it is coming from. Then the moment come and you find a place to stop and breath, you step into your pouch of light and you sit down, then slowly things begin to take a shape. You start to see it, like a trace of fog in the beginning, then like a shadow, then brighter and brighter. You see the way, you find the sea, you know you have to dive and fight to find it. So there you go, you dive and you search, you try and you err, you laugh and you cry, you find and you lose, you rejoice and you suffer... you see the light, you chase it, you catch it, you lose it again. And then, after you have given everything you had, you finally get there, you find peace, you find your longed-for vision and you suddenly realize you always had it with you, you just needed to decide to start the journey and discover it.
Because the vision is not the end of the journey, it's the journey itself...

Dedicated to +Joel Tjintjelaar , because without his brilliant tutorial and kind guidance this image as you see it wouldn't have been possible.

#BWFineArtLE by +Joel Tjintjelaar, #SeaTuesday , #FineArtPls by +Marina Chen, #MonochromeMonday by +Siddharth Pandit , #RelaxingNature by +Rolf Hicker +Kate Church #PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek Klimek
#LEFineArt100 by +Kees SmansPhoto: total surrender | © Julia Anna Gospodarou 2012Photo: somewhere over the rainbow

I have been experimenting quite a bit lately. Hence my slow posting and my scarce comments on other photos.
I took time to think about different things and search for some answers.... and I needed not be influenced by any visual stimulus. I feel like I am searching for something, but I don't know exactly what I'm searching for. I feel like I'm missing a piece of the puzzle and can't figure out where to look for that piece to complete my statement, my vision.
I think there's something in me waiting to get out and I'm looking for a way to express it, to express myself, but I'm not quite there yet. There's still something that escapes me and that something pushes me to keep on trying to reach it.
I have to find a way to get there… to get somewhere... somewhere over the rainbow....

This image has been processed following +Joel Tjintjelaar 's tutorial for converting B&W images.
Reading it and especially trying to apply it made me think about my images (and not only mines) differently, I started seeing them with a new eye, I begun to search for different things in them, to search deeper, and that process is so rewarding even if it's just the beginning of it! I knew most of the things there intuitively, but never tried to consciously apply them and understand what they really mean.
I think I found a new path and I'm going to keep following it to see where it will take me.

Thank you, Joel!

#BWFineArtLE by +Joel Tjintjelaar 
#FineArtPls by +Marina Chen 
#LongExposureThursday by +Francesco Gola (yeah, I know it's not Thursday, I hope Francesco will excuse me :)Photo: almost infinity
Aspropyrgos Photowalk (part 1)

A few days ago I had the joy and honor to meet 3 great photographers and friends (+helen sotiriadis +Aleka Iakovidou and +Alex Bazeos) and go to a magic place near Athens (Alex' special place) to shoot the sunset together.
We had a really great time and we'll surely meet again to go shoot some other sunset or maybe even some sunrise, why not?
They have already posted some wonderful photographs. Take a look, you're going to love them!!!

Helen's photograph:
Alex' one:
And Aleka's:

It was really a challenge to decide whether to process this image in color or B&W, as the colors were beautiful and you can see that from my friends' photographs. But I had so clear in my mind all the time the B&W version that I had to go with it. I'll probably process a color version too one of these days ...I'm just waiting to be in a color mood :)

#SeaTuesday #BWFineArtLE by +Joel Tjintjelaar #FineArtPls by +Marina Chen 
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek KlimekPhoto: me and my secret island | © Julia Anna Gospodarou 2012Photo: a moment is eternity

a tiny island near Athens, somewhere at Porto Rafti, coming out of the waves like a prehistoric mountain peak, a place "clean" from human presence, or from any kind of presence, for that matter, a piece of land lost in the middle of the sea, that always reminds me of how lasting everything around us is, and how ephemeral we all are, but how intense and with how much enthusiasm we live this moment we have here.

I always wanted to photograph this place as a LE, even before knowing what this is, how you can do it, and if you can really do this with a camera and not only as computer processing.
you've seen this before in my images and you're going to see it again, but this one is the only one so far that shows the essence of this place: a triangle, a line, and the rest is eternity...

I'd like to dedicate this to all the lovely LE people that I found here and that don't cease to inspire and amaze me!

thank you! :)

#LongExposureThursday by +Francesco Gola 
#BWFineArtLE by +Joel Tjintjelaar & #FineArtPls by +Marina Chen 
#ThirstyThursdayPics by +Giuseppe Basile & +Mark Esguerra
#PlusPhotoExtract by +Jarek KlimekPhoto: black light

last bits of light over Piraeus Hills, viewed form the Faliro Sea Front.

you don't wanna know how cold my hands were that evening. It's a miracle my filters are still in one piece after struggling to screw/unscrew them a hundred times with those frozen hands :)

for #LongExposureThursday , curators +Francesco Gola & +Le Quoc 
#ThirstyThursday , curator +Giuseppe Basile 
of course, dear +Joel Tjintjelaar's #BWFineArtLEPhoto: take me home

sorry, I can't be around too much these days
work ...things ...life ...
miss y'all
take care

one of the few photos I've taken at sunrise (early wake up is ..well, not my specialty)

for #ZenSunday curated by dear +Nathan Wirth +Charlotte Therese Björnström & +Simon Kitcher 
#FineArtPls curated by another dear friend, +Marina Chen 
also for #SquareSunday curated by +Matt Soave & #DawnOnSunday by +Ray Bilcliff 

Have a great evening (or else) everyone!!Photo: orange morning dreams

a small fishing boat sailing towards the sunrise in the Aegean waters, on an early summer morning, when my camera woke me up and "pretty please"-ed me to get her out for a walk.

for #SquareSunday curated by +Matt SoavePhoto: together

Another LE from my trip to Messolonghi Lagoon, a view towards the marina, the town and the mountains behind them.

Processing gave me a bit (read a lot) of trouble here (especially the gradients) and that's why you didn't see much of me this evening ...and I could go on forever with it, but my eyes said NO! :)
Now I have to go clean my mind and rest my eyes a little and I'll be back later (I've seen a lot of good stuff around posted for the LE day, and not only, and I want to go take a closer look).

Have a great evening everyone!
See ya later! :)

for #LongExposureThursday by +Francesco Gola (ciao, caro Francesco! :)
#BWFineArtLE by +Joel Tjintjelaar (I wish I had you here to help me with these gradients, Joel :)
#ThirstyThursdayPics by +Giuseppe Basile & +Mark EsguerraPhoto: too far away from the shore

this one escaped from deleting... lucky duck!!
I've also processed it in color, but I'm in no mood for color today.

for #ThirstyThursday with +Giuseppe BasilePhoto: Hello my dear G+ friends!!
How about a new (all things) #SeaTuesday theme?

If you like the idea, you know what to do: just tag your sea related images with the #SeaTuesday hashtag.

...waves ...tides ...shells ...rocks ...sand ...piers ...logs ...blue ...endless ...harbors ...boats ...sails ...oars ...buoys ...anchors ...foam...ropes ...ships ...steering wheels ...fish ...jellyfish ...fishermen ...fishing net ...ship wrecks ...ocean ...islands ...crests ...flood deep ...shallow ...surf ...wind ...calm ...stormy ...still ...romantic ...salty ...misty ...angry ...beaches ...umbrellas ...sunscreen ...chaises longues ...sunny ...foggy ...breeze ...holidays ...horizon ...loneliness ...meditation ...clouds........

...there are so many things that can define and make you think about the sea. There are so many images of the sea that make your heart float.
How about bringing all these together in a new (all things)sea related theme?

I know I am in love with the sea in all its aspects, I know it moves me in every way and every time I see it.
I know I love to take pictures of the sea....

How about you?Photo: a sea's gift 

for #MonochromeMonday curated by +Siddharth Pandit 
#MoodyMonday curated by +Philip Daly 
+Joel Tjintjelaar's #BWFineArtLE

A girl's adventures with long exposure

Have I ever told you what's the single thing I'd change about the place I live? No? NOT yet?!!! Well, I really don't know how that slipped me.

Well, it's simple. I'm talking about wind. No need to array here all the moments it can turn from perfect to most annoying, I suppose many of you already have quite a few examples. But to have the chance to be in the perfect place at the right moment, with some beautiful reddish rocks lying at your feet, the sea to embrace and make them shine happy, and a perfect sunset in the distance and not being able to get home with a SINGLE usable LE shot because the wind was so harsh that you had to hold your tripod still with your hands, after having loaded it with pounds and pounds in gravel to keep it there, to almost fall from said rocks trying to catch the cable release lid that flew away like a piece of paper (and not being able to save it, but only to rip off a boot in the process when you got your leg stuck in a rock's crack) ….and so on and so forth... well, that is the utmost “luck” and the “best” present wind can give you.
How not truly deeply madly “love”wind after that?

OK, all is not bad because that was only on Sunday. Happily, I was out on Saturday too, chasing a couple of tiny clouds at Porto Rafti, near Athens, clouds that were so feeble (or playful maybe) that wouldn't even last for a 2 and a half minutes exposure, so I had to give up on them and concentrate on the sea, which at least was kind enough and gave me a few shots. And that's why I love sea all the way and never complain about it, she's so sweet to me every time:)
One of the shots she gave me is this one.

Have a great ….... (fill in with whatever suits the case: evening/ morning/ night/ etc.) everyone!!!Photo: that place I dream about

third b&w today.

for #MountainMonday curated by +Michael Russell
& #MonochromeMonday curated by +Siddharth Pandit

G+++++d night everyone!!!Photo: last piece of land before the sun

Seconds after the sun set at Vouliagmeni, last week.
That was quite strange. The wrinkles shaped by the wind on the surface of the sea were absolutely frozen in some places. Despite my stacking 2 ND filters, an ND8 on the top of a ND400 and getting an exposure of 110" one can still notice some structure in the sea's surface.
Not that it bothers me, on the contrary, but I was expecting the sea to go flat at that exposure.
Anyway ...still discovering, and THAT's the beauty of it!!

as the hour here is weeeeeeeell past bedtime, I'm gonna cheat a bit and post it for both #SunsetSaturday curated by +TJ Kelly and #SkySunday of +Simone LinkePhoto: sailing in the wind

Some of the photographers I admire the most on G+ are doing long exposure photography and, while I always liked this technique, or rather it's results, it's only now that I'm really beginning to fall in love with it, and their work is a constant source of inspiration for me. I'm not going to mention them here, because I'm afraid not to miss someone, but they know who they are, because I'm regularly on their streams, watching their work and showing my admiration in the comments I make.

As for me, I'm just staring out with long exposure and this is one of my first attempts. When it came out of the camera it didn't look that promising, but because I liked so much how the moving yacht was looking, I tried to help it a bit in post.
Since I'm pretty new to LE, every little piece of advice is highly welcome and appreciated, not only regarding to this very image, but also generally.

Thank you!

for #LongExposureThursday, curated by +Francesco Gola and +Le Quoc 

#CritiquePlsPhoto: midnight light

Sea-rocks in Agios Nikitas, a small fishing village on the island Lefkada, western Greece.

for #LongExposureThursday (I hope it's still Thursday somewhere in this big wide world), curated by +Francesco Gola 
also for +Joel Tjintjelaar's #BWFineArtLE (without the pretention for this image to be a Fine Art one, but more from my big admiration for Joel's work and for his great talent)

This shot is actually a "short" long exposure (only 20") and was taken at a time when I could only take night LE, since I had no ND filters, no filter systems, not even a shutter release cord, just a camera and a lens. In the meanwhile, I've gotten almost everything I need LE-wise, but I could only find the time to get out to shoot ONCE :(
I'm looking at my filters well tucked in my camera bag and they're begging me to get them out to play, and my heart is breaking but I had to ask them to wait for me a little longer. Anyway, they gave me an ultimatum till this weekend.
So, rain or hot, sun or clouds (better clouds) I'm out shooting LE this weekend.

Wish me luck!Photo: last piece of land before the night

I intended to post this one yesterday for #LongExposureThursday and +Francesco Gola, but I didn't have the time to finish it, so I'm posting it today "hors concours", so to speak.
It's actually not a new image, just a new processing style (and a different feeling), this time in monochrome, done in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 and Photoshop CS5.
The first version (in color) was the one below:

Posting it also for +Joel Tjintjelaar's #BWFineArtLE.

Have a great Friday everyone!!!Photo: time standing still

I always have a feeling of eternity, of atemporality and invariability when I look at a marina during the winter time.
Boats and yachts are standing there, anchored to the shore, like waiting patiently for the season to change ...for the moment they will finally get out and sail away.

Shot last week at Marina Falirou Athens, on a day so bright and sunny that despite my stacking whatever ND and CPL filters I had in my magic bag, I couldn't convince my camera to give me an exposure longer than 44". The weather was so warm that I was shooting this wearing only a sleeveless shirt. People on the beach were baking in the sun and plunging into the sea!!
On December 2nd, mind you !!!! :)

for #BWFineArtLE +Joel Tjintjelaar (is this LE enough, Joel?)
#MonochromeMonday +Siddharth Pandit 
#MoodyMonday +Philip Daly 
#MirrorMonday +elizabeth edwards +Gemma CostaPhoto: the sea between us...

...and because I love so much this new theme that that girl Julia started, I'm going to post a little image for #SeaTuesday, me too :))

Shot on Sunday at Porto Rafti, near Athens, with the last remains of the day(light), watching towards sunset (well, actually the sun sets behind that hill, so you can't see anything, but anyway...).
I ended up leaving there on pitch black, because it was already late when I got there and I'm never happy with just one shot but wanted to take some more in some other spots, even if I had to set my camera and all with the flashlight and use the light coming from a lighthouse to be able to focus in the dark.
But it was fun, just me around and some fish that were so curious to learn how to take pictures that they almost jump on my lens :))Photo: triangle, curve, boulder and pebble

Porto Rafti again (well, it's easy to reach and since I don't have a car right now that's important, plus I LOVE that triangular little island at the horizon).
last Sunday
after sunset
personal record in LE (481 sec => 8 min) ..not that it was absolutely required by the circumstances, but I wanted to prove myself that it can be done (and challenge +Joel Tjintjelaar with his loooooooong 6 minutes in his beautiful selfie :)) - https://plus.google.com/107742567767125793693/posts/F6baLcgjABu
(you don't want to know the amount of fried pixels I had to deal with after 8 min of exposure!!!)

note to self: LE can be very addictive

for #BWFineArtLE curated by +Joel Tjintjelaar 
#LongExposureThursday curated by +Francesco Gola & +Le Quoc 
#ThirstyThursday curated by +Giuseppe Basile & +Mark EsguerraPhoto: sunset rope

on a ship, in a summer...Photo: the ship that was talking to the city

my piece of sea for #SeaTuesday curated by ...me :D))
shot a few days ago on the well known by now Faliro sea front, in Athens.

Once more SeaTuesday is a big success. Wonderful photos have been (and still are) posted and I can't have enough watching them.
Thank you so much everyone for sharing your photographs, I will reshare all of them through the page +Sea Tuesday, but I'll do it little by little as they are quite numerous.
In the meanwhile, keep posting if you haven't yet done it and have a great morning/evening/night..... !!!Photo: silent land
Messolonghi Lagoon, Tourlida location, western Greece

back home after the holidays and, as always when coming back, I had to deal with tons of crazy stuff that had to be put in an order.
so, between unpacking and cleaning up, between grocery and making 50 phone calls to set up different uninteresting (yet necessary) stuff, between laundry and going through the correspondence ( nothing exciting there either), not to mention today's #SeaTuesday, that is a pleasure to curate, but only when you have the time to actually sit back and enjoy the photos (not when you have to race through the posts to get to see them all and try to be a good host), so ...between all these and many more, I miraculously found the time to sit down and process one of the photos I took during this past holiday, and this is my share for +Sea Tuesday.
that was one of those times when I couldn't decide if what I feel is a B&W or a color image, and I'm still not sure, but because it's been quite a while since the last color LE I did, I finally decided to go color.
but I'll definitely redo this in B&W one of these days.

OK, 'nuff said!
time for posting, just before everyone around goes to bed :)Photo: (day)dreaming of summer

#SeaTuesday might be over (thank you all for participating!!!), but summer's still here, at least in my (day)dreams.

Lefkada Island, Egremnoi Beach which lies a few kilometers on a narrow road plus 347 stairs ...below.
one of my favorites places on Earth.Photo: Kefalonia ...somewhere in the Ionian sea ...today

One of the places you'd surely love to be.
I do!

for  #SeaTueasay  ...because it's been a long time....Photo: monochrome ...red

just another sunset over the Aegean Sea, from just another ship on just another summer...

#SeaTuesdayPhoto: lonely?

a place I love ...a place for reflection ...a place to forget time and escape from the frenzy of the city.

Tourlida, MessolonghiPhoto: click me

freezing and super-windy, but such a lovely afternoon shooting by the sea today.
(and I think I finally beat the wind this time. YAY!)

don't forget, tomorrow we have a new #SeaTuesday!!!
(the rhythm will be a bit slower than usually, due to the holiday-slow-motion-syndrome :), but I'll be here as much as I can)

have a beautiful day y'all !!

for #MobileMonday curated by +Sinead Sam McKeownPhoto: some soul...
Spartia, Kefalonia

I'm not really one for doing a lot of selfies. I'm probably old-fashioned and believe what they used to say in the old times, that if you take a picture of someone you steal their soul. Well, not really... the truth is that I'm just shy ...but I do believe that the reflection we see in the photograph is not (only)  the outer image of the one photographed, but his/her soul also. Not every time and not in every photo, but I've seen  a lot of “souls” in the images that moved me. And this doesn't apply only to persons, but also to places, objects, nature, buildings and everything whose image can be captured on film.
And I do believe that if you look carefully you can see some of my soul here. Please don't steal it! :)

Shot this summer in Kefalonia, a beautiful Greek island with very inspiring rocks ...which makes it  my summer version of selfie.  My winter version was this one https://plus.google.com/u/0/117455365995643899222/posts/Pib2Y6acGCy 

PS. I'm blurry, I  know,  but don't ask me to stand still for almost two minutes. Probably next time I'll try to sedate myself to see if that works better :) ...or I could start a new school: Julia's  Blurry-Selfies School …

Dedicated to +Nathan Wirth  whose beautiful selfies were big part of my trying to dip my toe in this genre.

PPS. ... http://goo.gl/wd4Gh  Have a look! You're gonna like it! :)

#SeaTuesday  by yours truly #BWFineArtLE   by +Joel Tjintjelaar  #MonochromeMonday   by +Charles Lupica  +Manuel Votta  +Jerry Johnson  +Nurcan Azaz  +Steve Barge  +Hans Berendsen  #PlusPhotoExtract   by +Jarek Klimek Photo: silent music

one of my two big loves in music.
shot in the old town of Naxos, last year.

for #WeLoveMusicWednesday curated by +Folletto FollettoPhoto: sea sonata in C minor for sand and shell...

Have you ever listened to the music in a seashell? It's magic ...just as if the waves would come and go on a piano keyboard.

for #MacroMonday, curated by the loveliest ladies +Kerry Murphy +Kelli Seeger Kim & +Jennifer EdenPhoto: talking to the sea

That girl was playing there for a while and the image was so peaceful that I needed a moment or two before I decided to reach for my camera and take the shot.
I was alone, watching the sea at sunset, and everything was so quite and serene that I had literally become a part of the scene, I was feeling like a rock sitting there from the beginning of times and I had completely forgotten I have a camera with me or that I can even move my hand to grab anything, for that matter.
Strange feeling, ya I know, but I loved it. I LOVE when time stops and it just doesn't matter anymore...

So, to get back to the technical part ...I wish I had some ND filter with me that moment. But ....ummmm, well, where on Earth can you accomodate those filters when all you carry is a bathing suit and sandals???Photo: a version of truth

taken while sailing to a tiny island named Symi, in the Aegean Sea.
This is one of the most beautiful islands I've ever seen, with a very well restored and highly interesting neo-classical Greek Architecture, next to some authentic examples of early 20th Century houses, many of them in the very state they were built: no modern addition, no signs of further conservation works. Just pure history.

for #WindowsWednesday, curated by +Simon Kitcher and +Jules HunterPhoto: just sky...

trying out my new ND400 filter on a cloudy evening.