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Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

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Mount Olympus Timelapse

In my post about hiking Mount Olympus in Greece, I promised a short timelapse & documentary video (Nikon D7000 + Canon pocket cam, try to guess which clips are which camera). Here it is…

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I’d love to go back to Olympus and spend more time there. Lots of other trails, huts, and peaks looked good. Unfortunately we had quite a limited amount of time – so we just headed for the highest peaks, Mytikas and Skolio!

Mount Olympus, Greece

Posted 5 years, 5 months ago at 11:04 pm.

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Timelapse Sunsets in Greece

On a recent trip to Greece, I tried out timelapse photography on my Nikon D7000 D-SLR. With about 500 photos you can get a great 20 second sunset sequence in 24p! Taken in Athens and on Aegina island. Here’s a shot of the setup I used:

Aegina Sunset Timelapse Setup

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With my Intel-Atom-powered Asus Eee PC along, I was able to check out the results directly after each timelapse shoot. I used free software (Virtualdub with the deflicker plugin) to compile the single shots into a video. This quick feedback enabled me to fine-tune my techniques on the fly and get increasingly better timelapse videos each day.

I foresee a lot of changes in cameras during the next 5-10 years. Higher-end models will have (real, quality) HDR functions integrated. The sequential photo setting now used for timelapses will integrate the photos automatically into a video in the camera, including exposure adjustment to avoid flicker. This is going to need a more powerful, yet still low-power processor built into the camera.

Let’s see what happens as cameras + processors improve. One thing is for sure, technology isn’t slowing down yet!

Posted 5 years, 5 months ago at 10:53 pm.

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Oktoberfest Nights

What better time that Oktoberfest for a Guided Munich photo tour. I took some clients around the city on the first night of Oktoberfest 2011, and we were lucky enough to get this beautiful sunset.

Munich Sunset

A nice longer exposure shot:

Olympiapark Sunset

Then off for a few really long-exposure nighttime shots before a thunderstorm brought our evening to an end. Yeah, I was too lazy to perspective-correct these in Photoshop (hehe).

Car trails in Schwabing

I love the stationary car in front of the archway!

Cool trails + stationary car

So get out your tripods and let’s see some long-exposure car trails! (All photos here with a Nikon D7000 and 18-200mm VR lens)

Posted 5 years, 5 months ago at 10:31 pm.

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Extreme Hiking on Mount Olympus

There’s limited information (in English) on climbing Mount Olympus in Greece, the home of the ancient Greek gods. Here’s my Mount Olympus advice.
Mytikas - highest peak in Greece at 2917m

Dave’s tips for climbing Mount Olympus:

  • Fly into Thessaloniki. Relax for a night and drink some (not too much) Ouzo.
  • The next morning, take a bus to the main bus transfer station in Thessaloniki.
  • At the transfer station, take the bus to Litochoro – the town at the base of Mount Olympus.
  • The bus to Litochoro goes to another town first (you may have to transfer, or your bus may go directly like ours did).
  • In Litochoro, take a taxi to the Prionia parking lot (25 euro each way!) and get the driver’s number for the way back in case you can’t hitch a ride down after the hike.
  • From Prionia (1100m), hike up trail E4 to the hut called Refuge A (2100m), Spilios Agapitos. The hike takes about 2 ½ to 3 hours, 6.4km long gaining 1000m with very little downhill.
  • Refuge A is a great hut with food, (bottled) water, and blankets. You will want a sleeping bag or camping sheet. There are no showers or potable running water, but you can buy bottled water relatively cheaply. Sleep overnight and start rested the next morning.
  • Leave heavy items in the hut if you plan to come down by this same trail. After a breakfast of bread and coffee (yes, the €4.50 breakfast isn’t too impressive), start up to Skala. It’s a relatively short hike of under 3 hours, but the path is very steep.
  • From the peak of Skala at over 2800m, you have the choice of Mytikas (2917m) or Skolio (2911m). Mytikas, the highest point in Greece, is a difficult scramble with potentially fatal consequences if you slip and fall the wrong way. Don’t attempt Mytikas unless the peak is free of high winds, rain, snow, and fog. The alternative of Skolio is not the highest point in Greece, but it’s a safer walk to get there. And it’s still a peak on Mount Olympus.
  • The way down is tough because of loose  sand and rocks on the steep trail. Here you really want some good hiking boots. Walking poles wouldn’t hurt either.

Another possibility to make life easier would be to rent a car for the 2 days in Thessaloniki. I think this would be cheaper, because we paid €15 each for bus tickets and €25×2 for taxis. Renting a small car for 2d should be less than 80 euro. There is ample parking at Prionia (though it might get full on summer weekends). It would be a lot faster by car as well, without having to wait for so many taxis, buses, etc.

Our Greek hiking friend at the top of Mytikas
My impressions: this is a serious hike. It isn’t quite as technical as climbing Zugspitze in Germany (because no climbing gear is needed as it is on Zugspitze’s Hoellental route), but the overall energy needed is similar. The vistas are phenomenal! I shot several timelapse sequences with my Nikon D7000 during the climb… those will be in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

Ridge of peaks at Mount Olympus, Greece

Posted 5 years, 5 months ago at 9:55 pm.

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