The defense barrier is about 20ft in height. The waves and volume of water coming over the wall were impressive at times but you run the risk of getting your camera saturated.

Whether you’re running a workshop or just visiting a place for photographic pleasure you can plan everything down to the last detail except the weather, which you have no control over whatsoever. This was exactly the case this year in Crete. This was my fourth visit to the island and the most challenging photographically for many years. You don’t expect 75mph winds and rain almost relentlessly for several days on the trot. We had a reasonable first few days, and everyone got to see and photograph some of the island’s notable orchid species. Here are a few quick processed images from this trip.

The harbour at Rethymnon in early evening in-between heavy showers. 

This is a composite image of three exposures blended in Photoshop. I had a D800 with me which Nikon UK kindly let me have. I was keen to try this camera out and see how it compares against my D3X. Nikon D800, 24-70mm, tripod.


Ophrys ariadne

Ophrys ariadne

 This was a species that I particularly wanted to see and photograph on this trip. We were very fortunate to see this single plant.
Nikon D800, 200mm micro Nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.

We were based in Rethymnon, which is an ideal location to cover many of the well-known botanical hotspots in the mountains around the picturesque village of Spili. Conditions on the mountains were at times relentless with everyone just about managing to stay on their feet. Many of the plants were damaged or in some cases past their best. Spring had come early to the island in some places and yet in other locations it was much slower. In a situation such as this, it’s always good to have a backup plan. Greek churches are fascinating structures, many are built in some of the most unusual places. The altars are amazing and well worth exploring. In many cases, the light inside is poor, and long exposures are the norm. Despite the challenging conditions, which according to the locals was the worst spring for 25 years, there was still things to see and photograph.

St. Nicholas church kotsifou Gorge

The wind was so intense here in the gorge that we could hardly remove  our cameras from the bag. A tripod was pointless in these conditions. This particular church was amazing, they had blown away part of the overhang to create an altar inside.
Nikon D800, 24-70mm, hand-held.


Altar in the Cathedral church in Rethymnon

Photography can be so deceiving at times.  This church was so dimly lit that you could hardly make out the altar in the distance. Photographed with the D800, which produced a very clean file despite the long exposure. The image was corrected using the lens correction and perspective tabs in Photoshop.
Nikon D800, 24-70mm, tripod.

A few other images shot during the trip.

Ophrys pauciflora

The sunlight was so intense on the first day that I was forced to use a diffusion tent to prevent the sepals from overexposing on this tiny orchid.
Nikon D3X, 200mm micro Nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.


Ophyrs heldreichii

We found this orchid to be fairly common in most locations. The flowers on this particular plant were in perfect condition. I used a long lens to help keep the ferns behind well diffused. 
Nikon D3X, 200mm micro nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.


Unidentified Sawfly

Insects were less evident on this trip due to the inclement weather. I found this sawfly, (which I have not identified yet) in early evening roosting among the vegetation. It was easily approachable and I was able to photograph it using a tripod and fill-in flash to boost the contrast. 
Nikon D3X, 200mm micro Nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.


Cytinus ruber, a parasitic plant on pink-flowered Cistus

This particular parasite is not that commonly encountered. I have always come across it by chance, usually in one’s and two’s. This was a particularly nice specimen and in good condition. 
Nikon D3X, 105mm micro Nikkor, fill-flash, tripod.

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