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Thread: Athens

  1. #1
    hughitb's Avatar
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    Athens

    Hi,

    I'll be in Athens for a few days next week and would like some advice about good photo locations. I'll be at a conference so really just squeezing in an hour or two's photography in the late afternoons/early evening. Conference is in AIT (Athens Information Technology Institute or something) and I'll be staying in Glyfada so I need places that are accessible enough from there.

    I would like to take pictures of old buildings/atmospheric street scenes/people. I also like taking pictures of rusty boats/docklands/industrial stuff. Any suggestions greatly appreciated! I have only been in Athens once before, quite some time ago, so I don't know my way around. I believe there is a big building called the Acropolis on top of a hill somewhere but I reckon the world has plenty of photos of this already :-)

    Hugh

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    arigram's Avatar
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    The only place in Athens really worth looking (and photographing) is the center around the Acropolis: Thisio, Monastiraki, Plaka, where the older architecture is. There are a few notable large public buildings such as the Parliament and the University. The rest of the city is fine if you like to take some ugly city street photos. You can take the subway from Glyfada, but its not very close to the center.
    To see sea and what goes with it you have to take the train to the Pireus port.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
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    Definately spend some time in the Plaka, as well as Constitution and Omonia square and the area between them, lots of good street shooting and architechture.

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    hughitb's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips folks .. sounds like the environs of Plaka is the place to go. Might have a look into Piraeus and see if that is worth a shot too ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hughitb View Post
    I'll be in Athens for a few days next week and would like some advice about good photo locations.
    [...]
    I would like to take pictures of old buildings/atmospheric street scenes/people.
    I've spent a fair amount of time in Athens, and I have to say it seems like one of the least photogenic cities going. Basically, there are a handful of world-famous old ruins, a ton of undistinguished concrete-block architecture from the 1960s and 1970s, and nothing in between.

    Plaka and environs are the obvious place to go. I've had terrible luck there, but I'm not a street photographer. Piraeus is the dock district and would seem to have some promise, though from my limited experience it seems to be dominated by cruise ships and modern ferries rather than the kind of gritty old fishing vessels that really demand to be photographed.

    You might also try talking to the taxi drivers, who seem all to be slightly mad (you kind of have to be to drive in that city anyway) and ought to know different parts of the city than the main tourist track.

    -NT

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    hughitb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    I've spent a fair amount of time in Athens, and I have to say it seems like one of the least photogenic cities going.

    (stuff deleted)

    You might also try talking to the taxi drivers, who seem all to be slightly mad (you kind of have to be to drive in that city anyway) and ought to know different parts of the city than the main tourist track.
    -NT
    Last time I was in Athens and asked a taxi driver to bring me somewhere he brought me to a brothel so I am somewhat wary of taking this approach Thanks for the other tips though .. I am trying hard not to be discouraged too much!

    On a related note .. does anyone know if there any good second hand film camera shops in Athens worth checking out where one might pick up a bargain? I have the urge to buy a cheap(ish) tlr ....

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    arigram's Avatar
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    1) Don't trust taxi drivers.

    2) The area of Monastiraki (Monastiri) is well known for its permanent flea market and second hand shops.

    3) Here's a list of serious of photographic equipment stores:

    - Alexandrou
    Orminiou 9 (210-7236847)
    Manfrotto, Rodenstock & Studio equipment warehouse
    - Geramas
    Emanouil Benaki 34 (210-3303411)
    Representative of Billingham, Peli, Hoya and Analog Materials, Cameras, bags, accessories
    - Foto B & W
    Nikitara 3 (210-3809710)
    Specialist of Black & White Film Materials, Representative of Tetental
    - Kokkinos
    Akadimias 95 (210-3833846)
    Darkroom equipment, Materials, Forte, Kaiser & others
    - Damkalidis
    Zephyrou 44, Paleo Faliro (210-9410888)
    Representative of Nikon, Ilford, Polaroid, Hama, Durst and others
    - Skiadopoulos
    George 12 (210-3818301)
    Representative of Leica, Linhof, LPL, Minox, Rollei, Jobo, Saunders and others, Analog Materials

    also

    - Kodak (Near East) Inc
    Chimaras 10-12, Marousi (210-6189200)
    - Fujifilm Hellas
    Ichous 1 & Agiou Anargyron, Paleo Faliro
    Last edited by arigram; 09-06-2008 at 03:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
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    I live in Athens currenlty and would recommend Lycavitos (a steep hill that over looks all of Athens that has a church on top of it) for some scenic shots. In fact Kolonaki square is a good spot to plop down and catch a scene or two. With the fall weather kicking in you could get some crisp shots around 6:30 - 8:00 AM or you could go around 6:30 - 7:30 PM for a nice sunset shot (tourist may still be around though).

    Syntagma Square is a great place to go and is also where you can catch all of the metro lines. There are some great scenes to be had there because of all the life going on. Catch a lazy dog taking a nap in the middle of the walkway, a Sudanese street merchant trying to sell his ware, a street performer trying to eran some cash, a resturaunt greeter yelling out the days specials. SO much life there to capture that all you have to do is be brave enough to explore and get lost.

    If you have a few extra Euro (mixed drinks cost about 12 euro) to spend take you wife for drink at the bar on top of the Grande Bretagne. Walk in through the revolving door, hook a left go for the elevators and press the top most button. Once you exit the entrance to the bar is striaght and to the left, walk in and plop down at one of the tall tables and you'll have a wonderful view of the Athens Acropolis and the Parlament building, plus it has a great romantic vibe.

    The only thing I know about Glyfada is it's a great place ot party during the summer nights (I'm 24! What did you expect?). Plus the beaches should be empty and you could capture some great beach shots for free at public beachs and you may have to pay 5 eruo for privates beaches if they are still open.

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    hughitb's Avatar
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    Thanks for the further tips. But, I am now back - the trip was a few weeks ago. I ended up having a lot less time to take photographs than I thought but did manage to squeeze in a little bit of shooting (though not with any great results - luck of the draw). I liked the whole market area south of Syntagma (I think) and Monastiriki. As people said, Placa is very touristy. I didn't realise Athens would be so hot in September ...

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    Athens pic taking

    The hill at the Center of Athens is a good place to take pictures from. You may use the light (East West ) sides of the hill. It goes up 400 feet and it exhibits a nice picture of Athens. For people pictures, Kolonaki square is a good spot. Just sit and order coffee and take lots of photos....



 

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