As I stepped off the ferry onto the small island of Nisyros, I felt as if I had been transported to another world. The island's rugged terrain, crystal-clear waters, and friendly locals all combined to create an atmosphere of magic and wonder.
The island was still relatively quiet, with the tourist season yet to begin, so I had the chance to explore without the usual crowds. My first stop was the island's famous volcano, which had been on my bucket list for years.
As I approached the volcano, I couldn't help but feel a sense of awe at the sheer size and power of this natural wonder. I made my way around the dirt road that encircles the volcano, taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. However, this road proved to be a challenge, with steep inclines and sharp turns that required careful driving. In fact, during my scouting mission, I even managed to damage the front spoiler rubber of my car. But it was all worth it, as the vistas from the top were truly stunning.
One of the most memorable moments of the trip was when I made some portraits inside the volcano. I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated by the fact that there was one spot steaming with sulfur. Ribbons were placed around that area to prevent visitors from getting too close, but I couldn't help but feel a sense of trepidation. However, the local man I was photographing assured me that we were safe standing on the volcano's bed. He explained that the steaming spot changes every day and that they move the ribbons to the new location accordingly.
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Make a statement in your home or office with unique, one-of-a-kind art from the work in Nisyros island, by the awarded photographer George Tatakis. Not only will you be adding beauty and interest to your space, but you'll also be supporting important ethnographic work. Click here
As we continued to walk around the volcano's bed, I could feel the hollow earth beneath my feet, which only added to the sense of awe and intimidation. The locals, however, were completely unfazed by the volcano's power, and they went about as if it was just another day in paradise. In fact, they even told me that one year the municipality had organized a concert inside the volcano's bed. I was taken aback by this, as the sulfuric smell in the area made it seem like an unlikely venue for a concert. But the locals assured me that it was a memorable experience for everyone involved.
I wanted to capture the essence of Nisyros in my work, and the traditional costumes were a perfect representation of the island's rich culture. But I didn't want to just take portraits of the locals in front of any old background. I wanted to create something unique and special. So, I scouted the perfect location - a spot where the Nisyros volcano served as a stunning backdrop. We had to hike uphill for what felt like ages to get there, but it was worth it. The view was breathtaking, and the portraits turned out beautifully. It was amazing to have the volcano as a natural, otherworldly element in my photos, creating a contrast between the traditional costumes and the modern landscape. The experience was unforgettable, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to have captured such a special moment in time.
During my trip to Nisyros, I also had the chance to explore the island's rich history and culture. We visited a traditional local house, where the friendly and hospitable locals welcomed us. As we made some portraits of the traditional costumes, I couldn't help but feel a sense of admiration for their commitment to preserving their heritage. It was a privilege to capture their unique style and tradition in my photographs.
We also visited the old harbour, where we were struck by the charm and character of this small, picturesque port town. As we made some more portraits of the traditional costumes, we were surrounded by the calmness of the sea and the conversations of locals at the café nearby. It was a vibrant and colourful scene that perfectly captured the island's spirit.
All in all, my trip to Nisyros was an unforgettable experience that left me with a deep appreciation for the island's natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. From the awe-inspiring power of the volcano to the warmth and hospitality of the locals, it was a journey that will stay with me for a long time to come.