Monthly Archives: September 2014

Kea island Greece

kea island photos

The island of Kea or Tzia is the closest island of the Cyclades to Athens being just an hour by boat from the port of Lavrio. Its area is 131 km2 and it is a relatively large island that offers many opportunities for exploration. Among the major attractions of Kea are the beautiful capital town Ioulida, the famous Lion of Kea and the archaeological site of ancient Karthaia.

kea island photos

But what will really impress you on Kea is the excellent network of paths that have been recently sign posted and can guide you around the island so you can enjoy the beautiful natural environment of Kea.

kea island photos

The island has numerous wildlife reserves, particularly migratory birds and some birds of prey. But what makes Kea stand out is its flora which includes more than 3000 species of plants, among them some very rare species of orchid.

kea island photos

The first portrait 1840

John William Draper was an American who was born in England in 1811. Like many other scientists of his time he worked in many scientific fields, he was a doctor, chemist, philosopher and historian. When the invention of photography was announced in The French Academy of Sciences in 1839, he was one of the first Americans to become involved with the new instrument. His knowledge of chemistry helped him  improve Daguerre’s method and this resulted in exposures of about 60 seconds in sunlight.

Among the first images he had taken was a photo of his sister Dorothy Catherine Draper which currently is considered to be the first portrait in the history of photography. This photo became known to the ​​public when Draper sent a copy of the image to Sir John Frederick William Herschel in 1840 to demonstrate the improvements he had made in the process of daguerreotype.

first portrait

John William Draper was also the first photographer who took pictures of the moon, but we will talk about this in a following post.

Find more about John William Draper

Patmos island Greece

patmos island photos

Patmos is a Greek island, which belongs to the Dodecanese. Patmos is a small island, just 34 km² but with a long history. On this very small island in the Aegean the Revelation of Saint John was written, one of the most important texts in Christianity.

patmos island photos

Chora of Patmos, the capital of the island is a conserved medieval town, together with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian which is located in the centre of the town have both been declared Unesco World Heritage sites.

patmos island photos

Between Chora and Skala the port of Patmos, is the sacred Cave of the Apocalypse. The cave in which according to tradition, God dictated to St. John the text of Revelation.

patmos island photos

Spetses island Greece

The island of Spetses is an historic Greek island in the Saronic Gulf. At just 22 km2 in area this small island played a huge role during the Greek War of Independence in 1821 which liberated Greece from the oppression of the Ottoman Empire.

Spetses has an extensive history as a tourist destination and has always been well known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Nobles, grandees of wealth, artists and socialites chose Spetses over the years as a holiday destination or as a place to have their summer residences. Next to Spetses is the private island of Spetsopoula which has been owned by the Niarchos family since 1958.

In the port of Spetses you can find the Poseidonio Grand  Hotel, a hotel with a history of over 100 years that can rival in luxury and architecture the best of any European hotel. While you can take the scenic route from the Spetses hotel to the Old Port either by horse and carriage or on foot, believe me it is one of the best rides in Greece.

Dimitrios Asithianakis is a photographer and photography teacher. You can find him on Facebook Dimitrios Asithianakis.

The first photo of a man 1838

In the early days of photography, it required  a long period of time of exposure to capture an image. (See the first photo that needed 8 hours of exposure).

These long exposure times resulted in anything that moved could not have been recorded in images. So the first pictures were either landscapes or still life. Even though the first photographers were taking pictures of the everyday life of a city, people could not be captured because of the long time exposure.

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre with his photographic method that was later called Daguerreotype, managed to reduce these exposure times. In 1838, he had already managed to have pictures taken outside in the sunlight with only 10 minutes exposure. In one of his first photographs though almost nothing alive has been recorded, if we look at it carefully we will see two people standing relatively motionless during the exposure. It’s an image of a shoe polisher and his client standing upright.

first human photo

This photo from the Boulevard du Temple in Paris in 1838 by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, was the first photograph that had ever recorded people and for this reason this photo will remain forever in history. A humble French shoe polisher with his box at his position on the sidewalk at the corner of Grand Boulevard and his dandy customer!

I have referenced an enlargement of the original image  in which you can get a closer look of these two people.

first man photo

Guerman Titov the first space photographer 1961

We all know Yuri Gagarin who became known in history as the first man to fly into space on April 12th 1961. So as is usual, nobody remembers the second guy. What we do not know is that Gagarin’s deputy, the Cosmonaut Guerman Titov flew into space on August 6th 1961 aboard the spaceship Vostok-2 and was the first man to take photos of the Earth from space. This made him the first space photographer.

Guerman Titov quickly overcame the disappointment that Gagarin was the first man to fly into space aboard the Vostok-1, when it was announced that he was to be on the crew aboard the Vostok-2. The objective of his mission apart from himself orbiting the Earth was to take pictures and short film stills from space.

Guerman Titov

Guerman Titov with a Konvas-Avtomat

For this reason he was given 60 hours of training to learn the operation of the Russian film camera Konvas-Avtomat which he would take with him aboard the spacecraft and basic photography lessons.

first photo from space

Guerman Titov not only surpassed Gagarin’s record stay in space of 108 minutes by staying in orbit around the Earth for 25 hours, he did just fine as a professional photographer-filmmaker, giving us the first pictures of the Earth from space. Titov still holds another record for being the youngest person to fly into space, as on the day of lift-off of the Vostok-2 he had not yet turned 26 years old. first photo from space color

Poros island Greece

poros island photos

Poros is a small Greek island in the Saronic Gulf, just 31 km². The traditional village of Poros is the capital and port of the island. The special feature of Poros is its close distance from the opposite shore of the Peloponnese mainland.

poros island photos

Poros is a lush island worth exploring. Apart from the town of Poros which is built on a small hill, important sights to visit are the ruins of the ancient temple of Poseidon, the Old Russian naval station and the historic Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi (The Monastery of the Life Giving Spring).

poros island photos poros island photos

Syros island Greece

Syros island greece

Syros is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Ermoypoli is the name of both the capital and the port of the island of Syros which is also the capital of the Cyclades.

Syros island greece

Syros was one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean during the 19th century and it shows in the character of the island. Syros is embellished with beautiful neoclassical public and private buildings with the most prominent being the City Hall and the Apollon Theater.

Syros island greece

For a traveler-explorer, Syros can be used as the base of exploration to all the Cyclades as it is almost in the centre of the Cyclades group of islands and is connected by routes to almost all the islands of the Aegean Sea and there is also an airport.

Syros island greece

Aegina island Greece

aegina island photos

Aegina is a Greek island with an area of ​​87 km² located in the Saronic Gulf. The capital of the island including the picturesque port is also called Aegina.


aegina island photos

Aegina is located a very short distance from Athens the capital of Greece and therefore it is suitable for short trips as well as long vacations or even for a day trip or cruise.

aegina island photos

The main sights on Aegina are the Temple of Aphaia, the archaeological site of Kolona and Paleochora also the Monastery of Saint Nektarios which is an important place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians on Aegina.

aegina island photos

The first selfie 1839

The term ‘selfie’ was first used in 2002 in an Australian forum and in 2003 is named Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year. The dictionary describes the word ‘selfie’ as «a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a Smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website».

However, the term has been known for decades in the photo family  as ‘self portrait’ and many photographers have dealt with this difficult type of photography. And don’t forget the self-timer button that many old cameras had. On the other hand there are a only few photographers who resisted the temptation to take a photo of themselves, or to include themselves in a picture by just capturing their shadows.

first selfie

Which is the first ‘selfie’ that was ever shot? According to all indications, it is a self-portrait that was taken by one of the pioneers of photography, Robert Cornelius in October 1839, the same year that photography was invented.

Read more about Robert Cornelius