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Thursday 8 November 2007

The White Dream in Mykonos: The Holy Ground

The Church of Panagia Paraportiani in Mykonos is probably the most photographed church in Greece. This church is in fact an amalgamation of five churches into one. Built in the 16th century, the four churches that combine with the main church are Agios Sozontas, Agioi Anargyroi, Agia Anastasia, and Agios Efstathios. This amalgamated church is also known as "Our Lady of the Postern Gate" in traditional Byzantine style.

It is so named after the word "porta" which means door, as it used to stand at the entrance to an old medieval castle which no longer exists. With a natural rock-like look and the organic form, it is every photographer's dream to shoot the light and shadow of this multifaceted subject.

The front of the church connecting to the two-level churches behind.

An overview of the church front.

Left-side elevation of the church.

The church is overlooking the sea.

The play of light and shadow. This is the same composition as the one above, but under different direction of lighting.

A closer look at the light and shadow areas. Although the subject is in a single white colour, the side-lighting brings out the forms of the subject.

The same composition as the above shot, but opposite direction of light. So, the light and shadow ares are reversed.

This is the back facade of the church.

Just a customary self-environmental portrait. Well, I guess it gives you the sense of scale.

Changing the angle of view.

Again, a demonstration on changing of direction of lighting.

A closer look at the subject under back-side lighting.

An even closer look at the church under front-side lighting.

The same composition as the shot above but now under back-side lighting.

I just couldn't put down my camera. So this is a closer look at the dome under very slight back-lighting.

The right-side elevation of the church.

I have seen the holy light.

Shining through darkness.

Do you get what I mean earlier by the "most photographed church" in Greece? I already have my share of it. I hope that you can make it there yourself one of these days to look at the wondrous architecture of this church.

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Greece, here are the links:-

1. Athens – The Homeland of the Gods

2. The White Dream in Mykonos

3. Santorini – Almost Heaven

4. Miscellaneous


Brede said...

aaah, i see. Thanks for that illuminating (pun intended) blog on lighting Yoda :)

Dee Shore said...

Greece is a beautiful place. I would have been snapping away like a maniac. Excellent pictures!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Photos!!!

WoMbOk™♂ said...

You know.. for a moment it looked like the white of the church and the blue of the sky made it look like it was in the artic instead of greece. Beautiful colours and pics.

CK Ng said...

Brede> That's very quick pick-up from you. :)

Dee Shore> Thanks. You should really go by any chance. The Greek islands are great.

Country Life> Thanks.

Wombok> The temperature was like 35-37 degs Celcius!

Ruey said...

out of curiosity lao shi, how long did you stay there to be able to capture the church under different lighting??

CK Ng said...

I was there on one morning, and went back there in the afternoon on another day.

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