Creating Emotional Image Depth


Using Infrared Photography To Create Emotional Impact

or

Help Me I Am LOST (In These Images)

WHY?

An emotional impact generated from viewing a finely crafted image is what all photographers strive for in their creative hearts.  But this deep. personal  effect from viewing is a very rare thing to achieve.  I have been a fine art photographer for 45 years now  and I doubt that I have a thousand images in my extensive library that actually can do this.  Not that it is the fault (at least all) of the images themselves, but the impact upon us is flavored in a large way by our life experiences, values and many other things that affect the viewer!

All that we can do as the artistic creator of the image is to plan and pre-visualize the image we wish to create.  Think of it with the viewers emotional reaction in mind.  Then MAKE it happen to the best of our ability.  If you are just starting out in photography then you will grow and acquire the technical photographic skills and then the artistic abilities.  These will not come to you just because you have the latest and greatest camera that a loved one gave you as a gift, then told you to go out and create…

#1 Using Light & Shadows To Create Contrasts

This is the real test of our art, not camera control, exposure and all of the other technical things that make up our craft.  While these things are indeed an important part of the skill set that makes us a good photographer, they are just tools…  The real magic comes in other areas, composition, use of light through contrasts  and placement.  Using simple things like color and contrasts to tell a story while drawing your viewer into your image!  The other technical things just make us technicians. I want more than that, I want to be the perfect artist.  I want to be consumed by my own images first then others will follow.

 

#2 B&W or Color, It Just DOESN'T Matter

Like I said, I have been doing this for a LONG time.  I am practiced, I know exposure, camera control, lens effects, how to create a sharp or blurred image, filter use, how to use flash or lots of flashes.  But, what has made me successful are my artistic skills.  These skills have taken me all of my life to learn and sharply hone to personal perfection.  What is perfect for me might not be perfect for you!

There are lots of ways to accomplish this emotional impact and my ways might not all work as good for you!  Still, I think that they could at least help.  So I will humbly try to give you a glimpse into how I look at things from the artistic side rather than from the technical.

Look at image #1 above.  This was take in Greece in January 2011.  As I walked into the ruins (after a totally amazing  week of photography) of this palace, I was amazed by how the scenery impacted me emotionally.  This was my first hint that this would be a good place to create art.  The sky was bright blue with moody clouds that created too much contrast, too much dynamic range for color work so I knew that color was out and that to create truly emotional images I would need to move to Infrared.  For the purposes of this post I do not care about the technical data necessary to make this image.  I want to share the artistic inspiration that I used to create this emotionally stimulating art.

So, I walked into the palace, through the Lions Gate and looked down upon the landscape as the image opened up before me.  I took in the bright light in the foreground and on the background hills. I saw the dark marble blocks with contrasty dark spaces between them.  I saw the green grasses that I knew would turn a soft shade of gold in Infrared.   The contrast of the gold against the blues took by breath  away.  I was mesmerized by the image opening up in my minds eye.  This all happened before I even got my camera out of my pack!  I moved back and forth, forward and backward.  I looked for the perfect angle and composition that would give the most overall contrast between the image elements, both implied as well as physical.  Bright sunlit hills, dark marble blocks, black spaces, light gray blocks and the sky with its contrast between the moody clouds and blue.   The contrast between the palace ruins and the fields beyond, EVERYTHING that I needed was here.  And guess what?  I realized that for this one perfect image that I didn’t need Faux Color or B&W because with the contrasts in light, foreground/background, clouds/sky, ruins/fields it just wouldn’t matter, in fact to me standing there I KNEW that both modes would work perfectly (look also at image #2)!  I looked out on this scene  and knew, planned and then MADE IT HAPPEN using the technical skill of exposure physics and focus control, lens and filter selection and DOF.  But, the camera was only my brush and I used this artistic tool to paint the image that I saw in my emotionally crazed mind onto the camera.

DONE.

Not simple or easy, but the process has become second nature over the years,  like I said the technical details are important or else you could not use your tool, but I created the art in my mind then used the tool to make it happen.

This ability to visualize the artistic and emotional imagery is a product my my own artistic growth over my lifetime.  Will it take you 45 years to get here?  I sure hope not!  I am after all a hard headed emotionally stunted human male and didn’t arrive at this state of artistic nirvana until late in life.  I guarantee you that there is more hope for you!

Here are a few more images that move me in ways that words just cannot describe.  I am drawn into these images and once seen cannot be separated from who I am.

I am a changed person…..  I hope you are also.

 

Contrasts, Sky/Clouds - Green/Gold - High/Low - Big Blocks/Small Blocks - Climbing Up Into The Image

Contrasts, Dark/Light, Clouds/Sky, Foregound/Background... I Can Walk Into This Image

Contrasts, Sky/Water, Dark Storm/Bright Forground, I Am LOST In This Image! Can You Smell The Rain? Hear The Wind?

Contrasts, Color/B&W, Reds/Golds/Blues, OH THE CONTRASTS! Do These Stairs Lead To Heaven?

 

Contrasts, The Walkway Leading In, Sun/Shade, Blue/Gray, Sky/Clouds, Reds/Golds What More Could You Want? Lets Go For A Walk In The Olive Groves!

 

OK and a LARGE version of the example image..

 

Contrast and Depth Is Everything...

What do YOU think of this ARTISTIC vision?  The Planning, the Visualization?  Please, give your thoughts and some feedback on all of this!

NOTE:  I know that you have seen most of these images here in older posts.  I picked them for inclusion here due to the fact that they show specific image qualities rather than locations!


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Understanding 590nm (Goldie) Issues


Understanding And Working With  590nm Infrared…

 

B+W 090 590nm IR Filter (Super Color or Goldie)

I LIKE shooting with a 590nm B+W 090 (Goldie) filter!  It really is sort of an obsession with me. On my recent trip to Greece, when I shot in Infrared it was ALWAYS with a 590nm filter.  I find that I get really good results when working towards Faux Color images, but yet still get GREAT B&W images.  Sometime I would get lucky enough to get really stunning RAW conversions without even bothering for a Faux or B&W image!  BUT, there are some issues… These issues are not dependent upon camera make and model but rather the infrared band.  All attempts at 590nm and 665nm (to a lesser extent) are subject to the challenges noted below!

I keep almost every type of Infrared filter on hand but for reasons of experience I always seem to go towards the 590nm.  As you can see from the image to the left, the 590nm Goldie filter is a bright red color.  You can understand from the picture that there is a LOT of visible light leakage from this filter which is one of the issues we are going to discuss here today!

 

Various IR Filter Curves, Look At the 090 For 590nm

There are some minor issues when using a 590nm filter that you must understand in order to overcome.

  • 590nm is firmly in the realm of the visible spectrum creating visible overexposure from 590nm to 700mm.
  • White Balance is ALL important to getting good color and proper exposure.
  • The Camera Histogram is ALWAYS wrong in the Red channel when mixing visible and infrared light.

The first listed issue really is the most important one to understand.  Our camera’s electronics and algorithms are designed with color images in mind.  When we remove the hot mirror (UV/IR Cut Filter)  and attach a dedicated 590nm or 665nm filter OR a clear glass filter (Full Spectrum) and use a 590nm external filter, we are allowing a small amount of visible light from 590nm to 700nm strike the sensor along with the infrared spectrum from 700nm to 1000nm.  Since 590nm is in the deep red area of the visible spectrum the RED channel is overwhelmed with bright red light and the blue & green channels see more of the 700nm and up light.   This tends to confuse the camera computer and while it will display a normal looking histogram (monochrome), if you look at the separate RGB histograms the red is off the edge and way overexposed!  Usually you can overcome this during the RAW conversion process by changing the exposure down 1 or 2 stops in conversion.  Sometimes the overexposure is so bad that you are out of the range of repair during the conversion process.  So I following the following steps to overcome this in camera:

  1. Proper White Balance to equalize the color Channels
  2. Set the camera histogram to separate RGB channels so that I can directly monitor the RED channel
  3. Check the exposure on EVERY shot and dial in the appropriate exposure compensation.  Normally this is around -1 or -2 but some subject matter like lots of leaves will require you to switch to manual exposure  to go – 3 or more!  A cloudy sky will actually force you to add + exposure compensation.  Just take a test shot and check the red channel histogram then make the proper adjustment.
  4. ALWAYS use your lens hood to prevent lens flare as well as to keep contrast up by stopping light from hitting the objective lens at extreme angles.

Here is an example of the red channel being 2 stops more exposed than the blue and green. Remember that for this exposure I had dialed in -.7ev exposure compensation.:

 

RAW Histogram

Looking at the Histogram you will notice that the red section is a full 2 stops over (shifted right) the other colors!  If I had not set -.7ev in camera this image would be a full stop off the right hand side!  Yes, you can adjust it down during the conversion process but you must agree that better images are properly exposed the first time and not repaired after the face!

Here is the converted RAW image.  It looks great all by itself (rare) and I processed it as such! I also processed as Faux Color and B&W which follows.  As you can see here with the RAW image, it has a much different color scheme and is quite interesting all by itself.  All that was done was to properly White Balance the camera, take the picture, download it to the computer and do the RAW to TIFF conversion either in ACR in Photoshop or like I did using Capture One Ver 6.  Then run come contrast and levels adjustments and save the image as a PSD!  Once in a while you can get some stunning images this way.

 

Converted RAW but NOT Channel Swapped

Following is a Faux Color Post Processed image using the following steps:

DETAILED FAUX COLOR WORK FLOW

  • Taking the picture I adjusted the exposure compensation to -.7ev to keep the red channel under control and not blow out the sky.  I also set the White balance using a BRNO neutral WB lens cap.
  • After moving the image to the computer via Downloader PRO (see recent post) and RAW processing with  Capture One V5 where I added a little contrast and clarity, I opened the image in CS5.
  • I cropped for my master library size (8.5×12.5) and ran the Khromagery Faux Color Action (down load on the right).  In the Master Color Channel I simply increased the Saturation which brought out the blue sky & water and the yellow plants.  I then choose the Cyan and Red channel adjustments and made sure to adjust the HUE to where I liked it.
  • The ABOVE Cyan adjustment is important, I hate sky’s and water looking blue-green, so I always adjust the Cyan HUE to go to normal blue!
  • I then flattened the Adjustment Layers.
  • Next I ran NIK Software’s Viveza (a Photoshop plug in) and simply made point selections of the color I wished to modify, ran up the structure to bring out detail and adjusted the brightness.  I did this to all of the color areas I needed to like the water surface, the yellow plants and the blue sky. I also selected the warm colored wood of the Trunk and the rocks in the foreground and removed color saturation forcing them to be B&W!
  • Again flatten the image.
  • Save as a PSD file

Faux Color Post Processed (Swap Red & Blue Channels)

Here then is the screen shot showing the equalized histogram for the Faux Color image. See how they are all pretty much in line in terms of exposure?  This is what we are striving to accomplish!

 

Faux Color Histogram

And lastly the same image processed in B&W by taking the Faux Color image (above) and running it through NIK Software’s Silver EFX Pro using the High Structure Filter:

 

B&W Post Processing

As you can see, this is one of those rare images that produce great photographs in all 3 formats!  All of this from the 590nm (Goldie) filter.  You can see why I like this spectrum so much!  If you have any questions please drop me a line.

 

Great Greece Trip: Day 9, Mycenae, Epidaurus & Tomb Of Agamemnon


Theater Of Epidaurus, Tomb Of Agamemnon & Mycenae

Last Day   😦

 

Mycenae & The Tomb Of Agamemnon

Ruins Of Mycenae, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

OMG! This was an incredible Infrared day from beginning to end!  The sky and clouds were perfect, the light bright and over bearing and the subject matter blew me away!  I did take some color (2 or 3) but the rest was 590nm Faux Color Infrared with a few B&W here and there for spice! The history of this place is out of this world, but Homer wrote the poem about Helen and Paris during the Trojan war which all started here!

 

Tomb Of Agamemnon, Mycenae, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

Tomb Of Agamemnon, First Major King Of Mycenae, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

The ancient city of Mycenae was once thought to exist only in ancient Greek legend and the epic poetry of Homer. It wasn’t until 1870 that an amateur archaeologist named Heinrich Schliemann found the fabled city. Many people doubted that he would find such a city, but using only landmarks from the text of Homers Iliad, Schliemann uncovered the remains of a once thriving civilization.

The city of Mycenae was the center of a large and powerful Mycenaean Greek civilization, which existed from circa 1900 B.C.E. to circa 1125 B.C.E. It is located in the south central part of what is present day Greece. The Mycenaean civilization was at its height between 1400 and 1200 B.C.E. It is believed that the entire civilization consisted of a few loosely joined city-states. Possible members of the city-states were Tiryns, Pylos, Thebes, Orchomenos, and of course Mycenae, which was the strongest.

 

Olive Groves Around Mycenae, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

The Mycenaean people were known to be warriors who lived for heroic battles. A monarch, who was supported by strong military leaders, ruled the Mycenaeans. Other people who held a high rank in society were the priests and bureaucrats. They kept precise records of inventory, distribution of materials for production, commodities produced, acquirement of land, and deliveries made. There were also lower members of society who were not nearly as important. They consisted of soldiers, peasants, artisans, serfs, and even slaves.

 

Mycenae, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

 

Inside Of Mycenae, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

If you can only visit one or two ruins while visiting Greece, make sure that Mycenae is one of them!

 

Mycenae, 590nm B&W Infrared

Even this B&W image of the first image at the top of this post is breath taking in its ability to draw you into its depth! As I said, I am thrilled with the Infrared images that I got here.  This was a perfect end to a great photography vacation!

Theater Of Epidaurus

 

Theater Of Epidaurus, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

Not as impressive as Mycenae but just as interesting is Epidaurus.  This was another good location for Infrared photography and again while I took 3 or 4 color images I concentrated on 590nm Infrared!

The sanctuary of Asclepios at Epidaurus is a spiritual place worth traveling around the world to visit! In fact the ancient Greeks did just that in order to pay tribute to their spiritual entities in the face of Asclepios, and to ask the gods for remedies for their physical ailments. It was a healing center as well as a cultural center in ancient times. Epidaurus was built round the 3d Century BC and it is adorned with a multitude of buildings most famous of which is the ancient Theater of Epidaurus.

 

Theater Of Epidaurus, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

This is one of the very few theaters that retains its original circular “Orchestra” and it is a rear aesthetic sight. During Roman occupation of Greece, most theater “Orchestras” were changed from a circle to a semicircle but luckily The Theater at Epidaurus escaped intact. The view, aesthetics, and acoustics of the theater are breathtaking, as is the feeling I got when I sat on the ancient limestone stone seat–high up–and thought of all the ancients that might have shared this seat with me. The theater is still in use today with frequent plays, concerts, and festivals.

 

 

Theater Of Epidaurus, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

 

Great Greece Trip: Day 8, Corinth Canal & Cape Sounio


Corinth Canal & The Temple Of Poseidon

Trip to the Corinth Canal

Corinth Canal

The famous Corinth Canal, which separates the Peloponnese from mainland Greece, connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf. The Corinth Canal, though only completed in the late 19th century, was an idea and dream that’s dates back over 2000 thousand years.

The strip of land that connects the Peloponnese and mainland Greece is called the “Isthmus”. At it’s narrowest point, it is only 4 miles wide, and in ancient times, one could see from one side to the other.

Before the Corinth Canal was constructed, ships had to travel all around the Peloponnese, which added approximately 185 nautical miles, and several days more travel to their journey time

 

Corinth Canal

Facts about the Corinth Canal

  • Length: 6343 meters (3.94 miles)
  • Width at land level: 24.60 meters
  • Width at Sea Bed: 21.30 meters
  • Water Depth: 8 meters
  • Highest Point from Sea Level: 79 meters
  • Cut Depth from rock tops: ~ 1000 feet

Cape Sounio, Temple Of Poseidon

Cape Sounio was an amazing location to phogotraph! The rough landscap created beautiful vistas that went on forever.  Plus the ruins at the Cape of the Temple of Poseidon were stunning.  For this reason I chose to concentrate on Infrared!  I chose 590nm (no surprise there) and the 14-150mm Olympus lens.  I was able to produce some stunning images that just might be my best Infrared work for the entire trip!

Temple Of Poseidon, 590nm Faux Color IR

Soúnio has been a sacred site since very ancient times. The “sanctuary of Sounion” is first mentioned in the Odyssey, as the place where Menelaus stopped during his return from Troy to bury his helmsman, Phrontes Onetorides.

Construction on a grand Temple of Poseidon began around 500 BC but was never completed; the temple and all the votive offerings were destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC. The Temple of Poseidon that now stands at Soúnio was built in 444 BC atop the older temple ruins. The Temple of Athena was also built at this time, atop her ancient sanctuary on the cape.

 

Temple Of Poseidon, 590nm Faux Color IR

Temple Of Poseidon, 590nm B&W IR

Local marble was used for the Temple of Poseidon’s Doric columns; 15 of the original 34 survive today. The columns were cut with only 16 flutings instead of the usual 20, which reduced the surface area exposed to the wind and sea water.

 

Cape Sounio, 590nm Faux Color IR

On the east side of the main path is an Ionic frieze made from 13 slabs of Parian marble. Badly eroded now, it depicted scenes from the battle of the Lapiths and centaurs and from the adventures of the hero Theseus (son of Poseidon in some legends).

 

Olive Groves, Cape Sounio, 590nm Faux Color IR

Day 7 Images: Athens, Acropolis, Temples & Plaka


Around Athens!

 

Athens, 590nm Faux Color Infrared

I just wanted to let you all know that I am now adding images for another exploration of Athens  to the posts below (click on below to be taken to the main scrollable page to find the image posts!). I am not going to create new posts for them as it only makes sense to have them in with the descriptions of the trip itself! I will be posting both Infrared (all are at 590nm taken on the Olympus E-PL1 using either the MZ 14-150mm lens or the MZ 9-18mm lens) and the color images are taken with the Olympus E-P2 using the same lenses!   Most of these images are in COLOR with a few Infrared added for spice.  It was VERY overcast and stormy which made for very moody images!  I was primarily looking for images of  colorful fishing boats out on the water and I was NOT let down at all!  Please let me know what you think!

Day 6 Images: Poros, Hydra & Agenia Harbors


Day 6 Images, OMG!  This is the trip I have been waiting for!

 

Fishing Boat At Hydra

I just wanted to let you all know that I am now adding images for the boat trip to Poros, Hydra and Agenia  to the posts below (click on below to be taken to the main scrollable page to find the image posts!). I am not going to create new posts for them as it only makes sense to have them in with the descriptions of the trip itself! I will be posting both Infrared (all are at 590nm taken on the Olympus E-PL1 using either the MZ 14-150mm lens or the MZ 9-18mm lens) and the color images are taken with the Olympus E-P2 using the same lenses!   Most of these images are in COLOR with a few Infrared added for spice.  It was VERY overcast and stormy which made for very moody images!  I was primarily looking for images of  colorful fishing boats out on the water and I was NOT let down at all!  Please let me know what you think!

Image Uploads, Day 5, Athens


Day 5 Images: Athens & The Acropolis, Piraeus Harbor

 

Acropolis Grounds, Column Parts, 590nm Faux IR

I just wanted to let you all know that I am now adding images for the Athens tour of the Acropolis which includes the 5 major temples located on the bluff which is posted on Day 5 of the Greece trip to the posts below. I am not going to create new posts for them as it only makes sense to have them in with the descriptions of the trip itself! I will be posting both Infrared (all are at 590nm taken on the Olympus E-PL1 using either the MZ 14-150mm lens or the MZ 9-18mm lens) and the color images are taken with the Olympus E-P2 using the same lenses!  Please let me know what you think!

Greece Image Uploads…


Day 3 Images: Delphi

 

Delphi, 590nm IR Faux Color Image

I just wanted to let you all know that I am now adding images for the Delphi and the Temple of Apollo on Day 3 of the Greece trip to the posts below. I am not going to create new posts for them as it only makes sense to have them in with the descriptions of the trip itself! I will be posting both Infrared (all are at 590nm taken on the Olympus E-PL1 using either the MZ 14-150mm lens or the MZ 9-18mm lens) and the color images are taken with the Olympus E-P2 using the same lenses!  Please let me know what you think!

Greece Images Are Being Added!


Day 4 Images: Meteora!

I just wanted to let you all know that I am now adding images for the Greece trip to the posts below. I am not going to create new posts for them as it only makes sense to have them in with the descriptions of the trip itself! I will be posting both Infrared (all are at 590nm taken on the Olympus E-PL1 using either the MZ 14-150mm lens or the MZ 9-18mm lens) and the color images are taken with the Olympus E-P2 using the same lenses!  Please let me know what you think!

St. Stephens Monastery/Convent, Meteora, 590nm

Great Greece Trip Day 7, Sunday, Athens


Sunday, Self Tour Around Athens!

Slept in and had a late breakfast. We decided to take the metro around Athens to visit more ruins. As a side note to our exploration, we have noticed thousands of homeless dogs all over Greece!  Not just little dogs, but monsters over 100 pounds!  What is really amazing about this is that the Greeks take care of them!  They feed and care for them medically.  Every dog is treated as a national treasure!  Of all the dogs I saw there was only one miss behaving and barking at everyone who was close.  Like I said, they are everywhere, even in the temples!

Zeus’s Temple

Temple Of Zeus

There are only 15 standing pillars left here but it is still very pretty and worth the time to visit.  It makes a better infrared subject with it’s rust colored stone and green grass and trees. It is across the street from Plaka which is a great upscale area under the Acropolis for shopping and dining.

 

Hephaistion Temple (Theseion)

Temple of Theseion

This is the best and oldest temple in Greece. It has all of its roof and pillars intact. While I shot in both Color and Infrared, it was a Color day.  Heavy overcast sky with periods of heavy rain. it is located on the hill of Eolonos Agoraios, which is a metro stop on the Green line. It is a little further away from the Acropolis than Zeus’s temple which is easily viewable from this location. We arrived at the park with only 15 minutes till it closed, but luckily the temple was just a few steps away.

 

Templs Of Theseion In The Rain

 

Acropolis at Night

Set high on a large hill overlooking all of Athens, it is the most popular and visited of all the ruins. Today we viewed it from its base from several locations for long shots mostly in Infrared due to the weather.

Acropolis At Night

Propylaea Or Entrance At Night

The Acropolis is the one historical site you can’t miss. You can take a tour or wander up there yourself but during the summer, whatever you do, unless it is overcast, go early or late in the day. It can get very hot up there and gasping for breath can take way from your ability to marvel at the greatest of all archaeological sites. Getting to the Acropolis is easy and more pleasant than ever because the large avenues which border the south and west of the site (Apostolou Pavlou in Thission and Dionissiou Areopagitou in Makrianni) have been turned into giant pedestrian streets with cafes and restaurants and the walk is quite pleasant. From the Plaka and Monastiraki side it has always been a car-less, enjoyable walk and all you have to do is walk uphill from wherever you are and when you get to the top and there are woods instead of buildings, and steps, take a right.

The Conservatoire Of Herodus Atticus At Night

After climbing the steps you are at the entrance, or the Propylaea, which was completed in 432 just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian wars. The main architect was Mnesicles, a colleague of Phidias. To your left is the Pinacotheca and a Hellenistic pedestal and on the right the tiny temple to Nike Athena or the Athena of Victory which commemorates the Athenians victory over the Persians. This small temple stands on a platform that overlooks the islands of Saronic Gulf and used to house a statue of Athena. It was dismantled by the Turks in 1686 so they could use the platform for a large cannon. It was rebuilt between 1836 and 1842 and again taken apart and rebuilt in 1936 when it was discovered that the platform was crumbing. If you looking from the propylaea towards Pireaus on a clear day you can see ships waiting outside the port of Pireaus, the islands and the mountains of the Peloponessos beyond.

Temple of Teseion Viewed From The Acropolis

The Parthenon and other main buildings on the Acropolis were built by Pericles in the fifth century BC as a monument to the cultural and political achievements of the inhabitants of Athens. The term acropolis means upper city and many of the city states of ancient Greece are built around an acropolis where the inhabitants can go as a place of refuge in times of invasion. It’s for this reason that the most sacred buildings are usually on the acropolis. It’s the safest most secure place in town. As little as 150 years ago there were still dwellings on the Acropolis of Athens. Those of you who have read Aristophanes will recall that in Lysistrata the women have Athens barricaded themselves in the fortress in protest, being tired of their men going to war against Sparta. Depriving them of sex, cooking and care it was a terrific strategy that might even work today. Regardless, the play opened the door to the subject of sexual frustration in comedy and without it we might not have Woody Allen. Nowdays there are still protests which occasionally take place by site employees closing the Acropolis to tourists, some of whom have waited a lifetime to come to Greece. Thankfully these are rare and of short duration.

Athens From The Acropolis, 590nm Faux Color IR

Plaka


Plaka Shoping District

The Plaka is the oldest section of Athens. Most of the streets have been closed to automobile traffic, though you should still keep a watchful eye for a speeding motorcycle or delivery truck. At one time it was the nightclub district, but most of these closed down when the government out-lawed amplified music in the area in the seventies in an effort to get rid of undesirables. The strategy was very successful and it is now an area of restaurants, Jewelry stores tourist shops, and cafes. Though it is quite commercialized it is still a neighborhood and arguably the nicest neighborhood in central Athens. Most of the restaurants are typical tourist places but the quality of food is not bad in many of them and if you follow my leads in the restaurant section of this guide you should have a few enjoyable evenings and not be unpleasantly surprised by the bill.

Shopping In Plaka

 

Window In Plaka

Plaka Door

Night Traffic In Athens