Cyprus. Part 2 / by Neil Alexander

Limassol by Neil Alexander Another couple of frames from my recent trip to Cyprus taken near the castle in Limassol having just eaten a fine lunch in the “Finest fish restaurant in Limassol” – it wasn’t half bad.

The image above was shot using the 18-55mm F2.8 at 2.8 with a shutter speed of 1/500sec and a circular polariser. In amongst the cloth hanging from the store on the right you can just about make out the back of a head. It’s the head of an old woman whom I presume owned the store. Initially she was looking straight at me and I figured that this framing with her face peeking round the corner of her door would have made a great image, but as soon as I turned to point the lens in her general direction she turned her head. Every now and then she’d quickly turn round to see if I was still watching and I’d try to get a frame or two off, but she was just too quick for me. We played a little cat and mouse like this for a few minutes, but I eventually gave up and decided to leave the poor woman in peace!

Limassol

This was taken looking the opposite way up the street. I’d seen the tourists (pale skinned, eating ice-creams & carrying a rucksack – dead giveaway!) and decided that the pretty flowers on the street could be quite well accompanied by the red of the rucksack and the outlines of the people if I threw them sufficiently out of focus. So I shot this at F2.8 1/6400 sec at ISO200, still with the polariser. I think that’s about the fastest shutter speed you can get out of the D300, and the image is still a little too overexposed for my liking. I guess I could have tried stopping down to maybe F4 or even 5.6, but then I wouldn’t have managed to same quality of bokeh.

It was certainly an interesting part of town to explore, but shooting in the early afternoon sun at latitudes like this is always going to produce very harsh contrast between the shadows and the highlights. At least with the first image, the canopy acts almost like a giant scrim, but with the bottom image the contrast between the bright white flowers and background contrasts too much with the deep shadows middle right. I guess if I’d been sufficiently on my toes, I could have whipped out a collapsible reflector to filter out some of the sunlight falling on the flowers, but the tourists would’ve wandered off by then.

Moral of the story – need to be more alert!