Tag Archives: photography

Oia Santorini… winter images of a village in hibernation

Thousands of daily visitors, hundreds of tour buses, sunset watchers, cruise ships… it’s non-stop cabaret for Oia during the long hot Greek island summer.

But then… comes winter. The village exhales. Serenity replaces chaos. Total and complete quiet takes over and the village rests. It slides into a familiar hibernation from which it will awake in late February. It’s a time to think, to contemplate, to walk alone and to listen to the voices inside you.

It’s a beutiful time…. in the world’s most beautiful village. Enjoy ; )




the magic of sunsets !

Sunsets are like snowflakes…


the coolverse

Neil Diamond

” Shilo”

Just enough… New Year’s Eve in Oia – Santorini

It’s sunset time…New Year’s Eve. Soon there will be parties, fireworks and all kinds of noisy celebrations. Champagne will flow, music will play and people will seemingly lose their minds as the countdown finishes. The way to see in the new year has become an unrivalled annual event and millions of people around the world try their damnedest to outdo each other (if not themselves) with celebrations every year.

But… who says you have to be with 400,000 people to enjoy New Year’s Eve?  There is fun to be had at such events…for sure, and for a lot of people NYE wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for the massive crowds, fireworks and mayhem. But is it the only way to celebrate the new year?

In trying to set this up for you… the video below was taken on NYE at the old Venetian fort in Oia. The night was perfectly still… a tapestry of silky white clouds was rolling in and it was a full moon. With the exception of a young couple that made an appearance for a few minutes there was nobody else there at sunset… something that would seem inconceivable to anyone that has visited Oia during summer. So there we were, a glass of wine… some nice soft music and this:

(the music lasts a little longer than the video so as you can enjoy listening while you read the rest of the post)

The vista was sublime and the whole village was absolutely silent. Even for us that live here… the scene was breathtaking.

After sunset it wasn’t long before the bright full moon peaking through the clouds was creating images that photographers only dream about.

There was no noise…no crowds, no fireworks. Just us… enjoying the most surreal combination of natural beauty overhead, along with the haunting charm of a beautiful village at peace with itself.

It’s times like these that you find yourself thinking – “I know there are better places in the world… I just can’t think of them right now!”

Midnight came… and went. A sip of wine, some nice music, full moon reflecting on the caldera below. Just enough…

Akrotiri – Santorini

It’s wild, it’s windy, it’s raw and it’s stunning… it’s the edge of Santorini.

It is a very rare glimpse at Akrotiri in winter. Enjoy!

the view from this side is quite different

the scenery is wild… but beautiful

old lighthouse…

the ledge we call “turtle’s head”…

the cliff we call “Darth Vader’s” home…

Allison flying…again

“white beach” as you’ve never seen it…

As you can see the blog redesign is not complete yet…. but it’s been a while since my last post so I wanted to do something until the new look is finalised. The images I wanted to share are from a side of the island not many people go to, even in summer…. and NOBODY in winter. It’s the very opposite side of the island to my village of Oia. On a very windy New Year’s day… it was the perfect place to go for a walk.

PS: Hope you all have a wonderful twenty-10. This year for the blog it will be all about simplicity and understated elegance. Hope you like the changes…. don’t worry, you’ll get to have a say in the new look as well as the content.

PPS: Do you like the new banner ?

Beauty of nature

Sublime sunrise
Santorini, October 2009

It seems so hard to understand,
As I look across the land,
That all I view belongs to me…
I ought to take more time to see.







I’ve always believed there are rewards for those of us that rise early…

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Thank you to Lisa for sending in the first “respect” photo… written on the sands of North Avoca Beach, NSW Australia.

If you haven’t seen the post…you can read about my  “Respect” concept here !

You can visit Lisa here and read the inspirational story of Hillary and the Hills Angels !


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If you haven’t followed this blog for long and you are not aware of the “Santorini dreaming” short essays contest, then you may be missing out on a chance of a lifetime. The idea is simple… tell us in one thousand words or less what you would like to do, what you have always dreamed (or dreamt) of doing or what you have already done on Santorini. In short… tell us your dream holiday on Santorini or the dreamy holiday you have already spent here in the past. The winner gets to enjoy an incredible holiday here next year… made possible by the sponsors:  





There are over a million people that visit Santorini every year… but NONE of them ever experiences what the winners of this contest will experience next year.

There were a number of posts leading up to the Santorini Dreaming contest. I have compiled all of them on the Santorini Dreaming page… please visit and read about this opportunity to fulfil your Santorini dream.

You can click on the “Santorini Dreaming” page on the main menu or you can  click here !

Santorini dreaming… romantic essays

Imagine you’re a kid at school. A special guest is introduced by your teacher… someone who is here to tell you about making your dreams come true. He stands out the front and smiles at everyone. He then reaches in his pocket and pulls out a 10 dollar note and holds it up… saying “who wants this?” 

What would you do?

There are several possibilities. You will sit still and watch, or you will put your hand up like a good student, you may even yell out “I want it”. But the man still holds the note in his hand…still smiling silently. You look around you and everyone seems to suffer from the same hesitation… not sure what to do, not sure what is expected, not wanting to be un-cool, not wanting to seem desperate, not wanting to seem “wanting”. You feel frozen, the pressure of the situation has you confused….”what will others think if I went out there?”  Then suddenly there is noise to your left…

A girl walks to the front of the class… reaches up and takes the 10 dollar note from the man’s hand. He looks at her with a big smile… asks what her name is, “Ann” she replies… holding the money in her hand.

“Can you make me a promise Ann?” he says looking in her eyes….”can you promise to come and see me the day you finish university?
You are exactly the kind of person I want working with me ! ”

This of course has happened many times in many schools… I have done it myself with my kids. Most kids just look… frozen, self-conscious, shy, hesitant. But there is Ann. She dares… and she wins.

As adults… how many chances have we let slip through our fingertips by being hesitant, shy, coy, or simply afraid to try?  

I don’t have a $10 note to hold up… but I have this to show you and it’s worth a whole lot more:



and this…




and finally this…



this is the villa where the winner will spend the first two days of his/her dream holiday. It has it’s very own
private pool and a view that will make you think you are living in another world… living in a dream ;-)


But that’s the paradise you will inhabit in the first two days. After that you will move to my village. The village of Oia… and you will stay
at another hotel which will also make you pinch yourself to believe you are really there. There will be photos of that hotel on Wednesday, but let me just show something very special from it. Take your time looking at this… because this my friends, is where you will have your romantic dinner on your first night there. Have you ever…ever, seen anything like this in your life?


Seated by candle light 300m above sea level… overlooking the blue caldera and the cliffs of Oia.
If there is a better spot to have a romantic dinner… please tell me ;-)


All you have to do is tell us your Santorini dream in a 1000 words or less. It may be about a night or nights you have spent here already, or night/s you have always dreamed about spending here. Tell us what it means to you and tell us what you see in your mind’s eye.
Tell us your dream !


Submissions can be sent starting this Friday via email to::  oiadweller at yahoo dot com

So…. have you been thinking?

Will you keep on thinking or do something about it? 



Find your passion – Carla Coulson…in her own words

The words “Find your passion…make it happen” is the way this topic started. It was a post that was always going to be written… there is nothing I believe in more than “being passionate about what you do… being passionate about life”. But like “ideas”… passion is not enough. Everyone has ideas but its the execution that makes the difference. Finding your passion is only half the equation. Having the courage to make it happen is another thing altogether.

A few years ago I remember walking through Borders in Melbourne. If you enjoy reading then Borders is like the biggest candy store in town. Different sections depending on mood…you can sit and lose yourself. That day I walked through on my way to my usual sections (most fiction – with the exception of great spy novels – does nothing for me), biographies, business, philosophy, computer manuals (tragically boring …. I know). To get there I had to walk through the travel section and it was there that my eye first caught a glimpse of a book that made me stop. The book was called “Italian Joy” by Carla Coulson.    

If you love reading quality books about personal adventures, inspirational tales of self-discovery, people chasing their dream and making it happen…. not to mention totally sublime book design and simply great photography, then your collection is in my mind quite simply “incomplete” unless you have this book.

Carla left a comment in the “find your passion” post last week that made me think “damn… that’s it, finding your passion is like falling in love”. You just know it when it happens. You feel it. It consumes you !

Lucky for all of us… Carla also had the internal drive to “make it happen”. 

The following is all about Carla finding her passion… in her own inspirational words & images

“I remember distinctly the moment I fell in love with photography. I was standing in the darkroom at my photographic school in Florence, shrouded in silence and a soft red light.  I had developed my first ever roll of film and I was in the process of printing my first image, a little girl laughing. I put the exposed blank paper in the developer, rattled it from side to side and like magic, slowly an image started to appear. The longer I stayed watching the paper in the dark, the stronger the image became, until the little girl laughed right at me. I took my tweezers, gently picked up the photo, studying the blacks and the whites and all the shades in between. I marvelled at the transformation I had just witnessed and the beauty of holding something in my hands that I had created. I went back to the enlarger and picked another photo and repeated the exercise with the same wonder and enthusiasm. Bewitched, I stayed in the darkroom all day, and long into the night.

Since that day I have often thought about my relationship with photography. The closest emotion I have found to describe this relationship is like being in love. 

When you are in love with someone, there is no rhyme or reason as to what you will and will not do, you simply follow your passion. Time no longer matters, you will stay up all night just to listen to their voice or fly to the other side of the world to spend a week with them, when you know the bank account can’t take it. You will do anything for that person; you will fold their washing like it is the most important washing in the world or cross town late at night in the pouring rain to see them, and without giving it a moment’s thought. Love has no fatigue. Your heart leaps when the phone rings and almost breaks when the door opens and your loved one is standing in front of you with a bouquet of hand-picked flowers. The smallest gestures give you the greatest pleasure.

During that first day and night in the darkroom, a fire was ignited inside me. A big burning volcano of fire that still erupts and flows today, that has a life all of its own, as unpredictable as Etna or Vesuvius. It was the first time I remember being ‘in love’ with something that wasn’t a person. I was filled with an unending energy and enthusiasm for life, a passion I never knew existed and I learnt something incredible about myself that I would never have discovered otherwise. I was a passionate person!

I have waited poised, my camera in hand for hours praying the right person will walk into my photo dressed in the right clothes or walking with the right swagger. I have left the house in the rain, the wind and the snow searching for something special and walked up to perfect strangers entranced by their face begging for a photo. I have climbed to the top of a mountain at dawn lugging 40 kilos to get the best light possible and flown half way across the world on a photographic ‘hunch’. I have spent hours, weeks and months carrying my camera in Greece, Italy, France, Australia and India and I have enjoyed those heart flips when I have captured something truly wonderful on film. I have spent my last dollars travelling for a photo and if I could count the hours that I have spent on photography it would make no sense to anyone but me.

And I have never asked why? I just do it like someone in love.

Ten years ago, I gave up the unthinkable, a comfortable life, a cushy job and all the financial perks that go along with it, on a whim, to chase a life and a way of living that would ignite my soul. I gave up a secure future, an eventual superannuation fund and a possible golden handshake on retirement. I swapped all of this for an old camera, uncertainty and hope. In the past ten years my passion for my new way of living hasn’t dimmed.

My reward has been great. I have been rewarded with love. Love for this thing called photography and the relationships, people, places and pure pleasure that it has brought me. My camera has lead my down a path of its own, propelled me to do things I would never have done if it wasn’t by my side, propelled me into places and situations that would have otherwise passed me by. My camera has opened doors and worlds by simply existing and it has allowed me to communicate with people even when we don’t share the same language. My camera has opened up a whole new life for me on the other side of the world, in Florence and Paris, one I still can’t believe is true”.


Italian Joy









Carla Coulson – Photographer





Tip of the hat

That stylish woman from “My Notting Hill” has graciously given this little blog a mention… for which the caveman is very grateful. Speaking of finding your passion this lady has a passion for design which must be a considerable distraction from her consulting work. Lets hope she will be willing to tell us her story  as part of this series soon ;-)