Six photographers, seven days – and lots of things to explore on the Greek island of Lesbos.
There is hardly anything regarding photography that you cannot explore when you visit the Greek island of Lesbos in early summer. And we – a group of six photographers with different levels of experience from Belgium, Great Britain, Greece and Germany – took advantage of its diversity. OK, we have left underwater and astrophotography for next time – but everything that could come into our minds was on the agenda, from urban to rural settings, portrait to landscape pictures using various techniques such as macro, long exposure, night-time, sunrise and sundown, etc…
The core principle of Photoresk is to share knowledge with others and to learn and develop new things together. And so we did on the trip. We’ve spent interesting days together, action-packed and in a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. There was plenty to explore and to photograph on Lesbos: volcanic landscapes; picturesque places with narrow streets under a canopy of leaves, so dense that hardly a sunbeam reaches the ground; thousand-year-old olive groves; people whose faces are marked by the years; day and night street life in the vibrant capital of Mytiline; pictures of flowers that you can only find growing in volcanic soil and even flamingos were spotted and captured through our lenses. And for all the gourmets among photographers – there is no better food to be photographed than Greek cuisine.
It quickly became clear that everyone in the group had special knowledge, abilities and preferences, and everyone had the chance to share their experience with others who were open-minded and interested to listen and learn during the day-time and evening sessions.
Often until late in the evenings, pictures were worked on and discussed in the group. We reflected on what was achieved during the day as well as made plans for the next day. Many discussions took place during the splendid dinners during which we enjoyed the great local Greek specialties.
During the trip, we met the local NGO representative for refugees on the island. We handed over a number of digital cameras kindly donated by our Photoresk Brussels members. The cameras will be used for refugee youth projects to inspire creativity and to teach young refugees new skills. A special thank you to those who contributed to make this happen!!
As a group of six people it was easy to move around on the island with standard cars, which really was an advantage, because there were many narrow streets on the island. Furthermore, we were lucky with the accommodation which our local Photoresk guide had booked for us. In addition to great hotels, we also stayed in a beautiful remote guest house which we had completely for ourselves. There, we could enjoy the evenings around a large dinner table on the terrace, and presented our pictures from each day in the tastefully-decorated living room. We stayed two nights in each location, avoiding too many hotel changes while seeing most parts of this diverse island – even if the distances between the locations were not too long.
Even after the group returned to Brussels, it was not completely over! The Lesbos travelers have already met up again at a privately-hosted dinner where we shared our favourite photos of the trip and discussed our experiences.