After my last blog post, I felt the urge to grab any opportunity for a small photography trip nearby, either alone or with company. I had accidentally been at Pikilo Mountain in Attiki prefecture and now I felt it was a great opportunity to further explore it. Well to be exact, I didn't get there entirely by accident, but because I just wanted to get to the top of that small mountain and had a couple of hours to spend.
Mountain Pikilo is a small mountain in Attica Region with a height of 465m. It extends 11 km in length from Egaleo Mountain to Parnitha Mountain (Southwest to Northeast) and it is the natural border between Athens basin and Thriasio Field. During the past it was full with grape fields and olive trees until they vanished entirely in the early 20's. Nowadays, there are a lot of abandoned quarries and antennae facilities for mobile services.
There were not many days available to plan ahead, but I managed to set a rough course to the top from the side where my friend lives and I had saved some nice spots which had great view during the day. I could only imagine that view during the night and I felt was very promising. I used google maps to scan the area before we start and I saw some more routes to the tops, but I needed higher resolution to get accurate information about accessibility. It seemed that the Google Earth car had never been to this location, so it was up to me to find a good access route for my car.
We discussed the trip with my friend, we planned the time and day we would take the trip and the next day I felt that the atmosphere was clear enough to attempt it. We took a different road than the one I had used before and we used my car which later on I found out that was not built for this kind of gravel. The road we took was full of scattered rocks and rain had dug small 20 cm "canals" now empty of water, but still dangerous for the tires. There were some parts of the road which demanded careful driving and we were afraid that we would not make it on time since we had to drive very very slowly.
After a while we managed to reach the top just in time for some sightseeing and spot decision for our shots. The view was better than I had imagined but the atmosphere was not as clear as I thought. There was still some remaining African dust in the air and moisture made things even worse, resulting in great difficulty when framing the sunset photos and distant scenes. The good thing was that there was almost no air blowing and the photos were crystal clear in focus but a few, which were ruined by my Image Stabilization lens forgotten in ON position.
As the time was passing, the city colors turned from blue to hot orange and streets took the color of a fire burning under the blue sky. My camera's screen turned yellow and orange in every shot and I viewed the first few photos to find that the amount of detail was amazing! When I later viewed the photos in full screen I was even more amazed by the amount of detail, color and clarity my camera had produced.
I managed to capture the entire blue hour period and I was lucky as my battery ran out of juice and my second battery was also empty since I had completely forgot to charge it! I used my Canon f4 Lenses for this shooting, but most of all I used my Canon 70-200 f4 L IS USM lens, since I needed some zoom variety in order to grab the scenes in distance the way I wanted without much cropping.