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Helen & Dan’s June Wedding in Enfield

Posted on July 2, 2011 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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Dan & Helen tied the knot in mid June and so the asked me to record the event for them. Though it was a little grey that day, it was bright enough to get some decent images, especially along the canal that runs through Enfield Town. Everyone arrived on time at Enfield Registry Office, and we even had enough time to catch a few glimpses of the couple casting admiring glances at each other!

 

Without much delay the ceremony went ahead and before long they both signed on the dotted line…..

By the expression on Helens face, she seemed quite pleased about it! So, after the formalities, it was outside for a few images with the guests. This is where they were actually showered with confetti & bubbles, fortunately my lightning reflexes helped me catch everything in mid-air!

After this everyone went for a walk along the canal path towards The Cricketers pub where a little reception was held, and what a pleasant walk it was too!

Finally, after all was said and done, a relaxing time was had by all at The Cricketers and the family was back together again.

So, if you’d like someone to capture your special day, go on, give me a call!

Panikos Wins 4 Awards

Posted on June 6, 2011 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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I’m still buzzing after my success at the London & Essex
MPA Awards a couple of weeks ago! I came away with 1 Win and 3 Awards of
Excellence! Panikos is now officially the London & Essex Landscape
Photographer of the Year, winning the accolade with his stitched (4 images
stuck together) shot of Mono Lake at sunrise!

As this is actually single image comprised of 4 high resolution images stitched together, a full size print if this image, without it being stretched (enlarged) would print up to 4ft (1.2metres) wide with incredible detail!

The stunning shot of Mount Whitney through Mobius Arch got an Award of Excellence in the landscape category also. This was taken at sunrise. To get the shot though, I had to be there while it was still dark (PITCH black – I might add!) only to find that other very keen photographers had already camped at the very spot I needed to be to get the shot. This spot was a rather small rounded rock that could only fit one person, and their tripod,  at a time to get the image. As you can see, I got there in the end! And it was worth it!

The other Two of the Awards of Excellence were in the Pictorial/Illustrative/Art Category, with one shot of a raindrop on a plant, coincidentally also taken at Mono Lake. Once again, the aim was to get a shot of the sunrise across the lake, but it was raining all morning. So rather than be put off by the rather grey & damp conditions, I thought it would capture the mood of morning if I photographed the raindrop. If you look carefully into the raindrop, you can actually see the inverted image of the winning image above within it! Thank goodness I remembered to take the 100mm Macro (Close-up) lens with me. It would have been impossible to take the shot without it.


The final Award of Excellence was of a hillside at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. Again this was taken at sunrise, indeed that is why the 30-60 minutes either side of sunrise or sunset are called “magic hours” for light. The soft, diffused light brought the contours of the sweeping hills to life. Had the sunlight hit these undulations, the beautiful rich, warm hues would have been lost.

So all in all, a good evenings work! A big thanks to the judge for the night, Ray Lowe, who certainly doesn’t mince his words when it comes to critiquing images!

If you’d like to see all the winning images from the competition just follow this link:

http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/21466658/1/winning%20images/MPA%20winners?h=ff599a

£1050 Raised for Schools by Panikos Photography

Posted on January 6, 2011 by Admin under Uncategorized
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November and December were very busy months for Panikos Photography. We helped local schools raise some much needed funds once again, if fact £1050 was raised for just 3 schools! Its oh so simple for any school to generate £300+ a day. It went down a storm! In fact, there was so much good feedback that Eversley School got us back in a couple of weeks after we literally “sold out” after our first visit. The other schools that benefitted were St Adrians in St Albans and St Andrews in Enfield. But here are some examples of what we did at Eversley:This is the sort of fun some of the kids had!

But we had groups of kids…

..of all ages, havig fun & evidently doing much of what they do at home! Parents got their best smiles out too though.

Some were looking a bit moody! But it does suit the shot in black & white. 

And they do have an aspiring Jimmy Hendrix in the family too, wow!

Then, there were some kids you just DON’T want to mess with! Otherwise you’d end up with the BA Baracus (A Team) treatment! But there should have been some gold chains too shouldn’t there?

 But, he’s a real softie deep down! And that’s what mum thinks too!

Then of course there were the REAL softies. This little one was just two weeks old! And she performed brilliantly for her first professional photo shoot. But what a handful!

How about this for a real cutie?

Then we had the James Dean impersonator!

We also had this young man flying over his mum! Hope he enjoyed the trip!So, did it go down well? Sure. Here’s the proof, a testimonial winged its way to me a short time after & this is what it said:

So if you know any school that wants to raise some hassle free cash, any time of year, just get them to contact Panikos on 020 8447 6970 or drop him an email on info@panikosphoto.com & he’s sure to help you out. And yes ALL the above photos were taken at the school, Everesley were chuffed, they made £446 in a day & a half for just letting us use a classroom!

We also have to say a BIG THANKS to a few people though, they all helped get this fundraising off the ground:

Firstly to Marcus King of the Cost Detectives www.thecostdetectives.co.uk, who will help ANY company improve profits & save costs on a no win no fee basis, he made all this possible with Eversley School.

Terry Hall of the Mortgage Advice Centre in Barnet www.advice-on-mortgages.com who helped us get into St Adrian’s School in St Albans.

And last but definitely not least, Mel Tadhunter of Life and Seek Coaching www.lifeandseek.com who’ll put a smile on any workforce, who once again got us into St Andrews School in Enfield.

£1050 Raised for Schools by Panikos Photography

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November and December were very busy months for Panikos Photography. We helped local schools raise some much needed funds once again, if fact £1050 was raised for just 3 schools! Its oh so simple for any school to generate £300+ a day. It went down a storm! In fact, there was so much good feedback that Eversley School got us back in a couple of weeks after we literally “sold out” after our first visit. The other schools that benefitted were St Adrians in St Albans and St Andrews in Enfield. But here are some examples of what we did at Eversley:This is the sort of fun some of the kids had!

But we had groups of kids…

..of all ages, havig fun & evidently doing much of what they do at home! Parents got their best smiles out too though.

Some were looking a bit moody! But it does suit the shot in black & white. 

And they do have an aspiring Jimmy Hendrix in the family too, wow!

Then, there were some kids you just DON’T want to mess with! Otherwise you’d end up with the BA Baracus (A Team) treatment! But there should have been some gold chains too shouldn’t there?

 But, he’s a real softie deep down! And that’s what mum thinks too!

Then of course there were the REAL softies. This little one was just two weeks old! And she performed brilliantly for her first professional photo shoot. But what a handful!

How about this for a real cutie?

Then we had the James Dean impersonator!

We also had this young man flying over his mum! Hope he enjoyed the trip!So, did it go down well? Sure. Here’s the proof, a testimonial winged its way to me a short time after & this is what it said:

So if you know any school that wants to raise some hassle free cash, any time of year, just get them to contact Panikos on 020 8447 6970 or drop him an email on info@panikosphoto.com & he’s sure to help you out. And yes ALL the above photos were taken at the school, Everesley were chuffed, they made £446 in a day & a half for just letting us use a classroom!

We also have to say a BIG THANKS to a few people though, they all helped get this fundraising off the ground:

Firstly to Marcus King of the Cost Detectives www.thecostdetectives.co.uk, who will help ANY company improve profits & save costs on a no win no fee basis, he made all this possible with Eversley School.

Terry Hall of the Mortgage Advice Centre in Barnet www.advice-on-mortgages.com who helped us get into St Adrian’s School in St Albans.

And last but definitely not least, Mel Tadhunter of Life and Seek Coaching www.lifeandseek.com who’ll put a smile on any workforce, who once again got us into St Andrews School in Enfield.

From Lone Pine to Manzanar

Posted on December 8, 2010 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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Getting up when it is still dark is never easy, however you do get to see the world differently at that time. The opportunity to see the sunrise is there for all of us, but we do it so rarely. On the 2nd October, that’s exactly what I did though, and it was so rewarding. We travelled west out of Lone Pine, a town where hundreds of Westerns were filmed from the mid 1930’s onwards. In fact, the most famous cowboy of them all Marion Mitchell Morrison (also known as John Wayne) shot 13 films there! We went to an area where we could get a view of the Sierra Nevada bathed with the first sunlight of the day. This is what gradually came out of the darkness. As with some of my other images, I’ve had this printed on Hahnemule (fine art) paper, and it looks fantastic. Contact me for prices if you’d like one for your home or office.

Quite a sight, I’m sure you’ll agree. And yes, that peak on the left of the photo is Mount Whitney.

The following morning we went further on from the previous day to get some sunrise shots of Mobius Arch against the Sierras. This time though the sunrise wasn’t quite as spectacular as the previous day, but still well worthy of an entry here.

As you can see, the closest we got to ideal dawn colours was the splash of pink light just above the mountaintops in the distance. But a little while later, the sun did come out and illuminated the arch handsomely.

This is really a BIG country, everything about it is so grand in scale, the mountains are huge, the plains go on forever. This next photo captures that feeling I think. You could just imagine John Wayne riding through, chasing a load of baddies on horseback!

The rock formations were also beautiful in their own way. I thought a bit of “spot colour” worked quite well in this next shot.

I found it amazing that those plants could grow and thrive with their roots IN the rocks.

After this we went on further up the Owens Valley to a place called “Manzanar” – which means apple orchard in Spanish. I knew nothing about this area before, but having read up on it, I found it quite moving. Clearly this monument is such an important part of American history. Check it out & do some research on it, its worth a read. Here’s my rendition of the monument:

Further on from Manzanar we found a spot where one of the “founding fathers” of photography, Ansell Adams took one of his most famous shots. Of course he waited for the light, and got it. Genuine reproductions of his, from the same vantage point sell for in excess of $20,000! They are hand printed, in black & white, and do look absolutely amazing. Ok, so the light wasn’t that great for me that day, and again, it had just started to rain, but hey, at least I can say I was there!

Later that day we arrived in Bishop after a drive of a couple of hours and after checking in to our hotel, we went up into the foothills to capture the sunset. The skies and cloud formations were fantastic, and once again, the sheer scale of everything hits you. Here are the final couple of shots of the day:

The above shot was looking across towards the White Mountains, with the evening sunlight brushing against the mountaintops. The town of Bishop lies in the valley just beneath the mountains. The most WONDERFUL shop in Bishop has to be Erik Schat’s Bakkery, they make the best cakes, biscuits, breads, sandwiches and sweets. Sorry no photos of it (signs inside forbid you from taking photos!) but if you’re in Bishop GO THERE, its great!

A few minutes after the shot above, the sun hid beneath the horizon, but the sky above us was still breathtaking. All in all, a very beautiful day & the pizza we enjoyed afterwards was scrumptious!

Mono Lake and its Tufas

Posted on December 4, 2010 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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Well, this was very interesting, we arrived late one autumnal afternoon at Mono Lake, northern California, it was grey and dull, with rather ominous clouds overhead, and rain showers in the distance. What confronted us was most unusual, things that looked like stalagmites standing in some cases up to 30ft high out of the lakes surface! They’re called “Tufas” – now there’s an odd name!

The reason they are there is because the whereas these “Tufas” as they are known usually grow underwater, the water level of Mono Lake has fallen by some 40 vertical feet in the last 40 years! This has exposed great numbers of these normally submerged structures, creating a rather bizarre land/waterscape. This lake is at a relatively high altitude, and was used to supply water to Los Angeles some 350 miles away, hence the drop in the water level. An interesting ecosystem has developed there though with a variety of plants and birdlife.

If you look VERY closely at the photo above – which coincidentally captured the feel of the place exceptionally well – you’ll notice a few birds silhouetted against the dark clouds as they sit on top of the Tufas.

Way in the distance, you can see the first snows of winter on top of the Eastern Sierras, with some grey Tufas in the foreground. In fact on that day the snowfall was enough to close the Tioga pass which enables drivers to cross over the Sierras onto the western side of the mountains. This made travel to Los Angeles a much longer trip of about 7 hours as opposed to 4 or so had the pass been open.

As you can see above the water was a little choppy that afternoon. But, being gluttons for punishment, we returned there the following morning. The air was still then, in fact there was a bit of a quiet eeriness about the place that morning. We were hoping to get a few nice sunrise shots with some red and orange colours in the sky, but that was not to be. What we did get was water that was as still as a millpond, that reflected the light of the sky and clouds turning it almost turquoise in colour. In fact it was just like this:

And, guess what… it started to rain too. But undaunted by the weather I carried on, capturing those same Tufas you see above in a raindrop that hung off of one of the plants at shore level. I like this shot a lot!

The plant almost looks like it is a hand, with the water dripping off its thumb, with its forefingers just below. I thought it captured the day perfectly!

Although the place at first sight may seem uninteresting, by looking closely you’ll always find something worthy of photographing. What about these tiny flowers growing out of the cracks of one of the tufas above? Who would have thought they could survive & thrive by growing off of what is effectively a lump of chalk?

I’d like to finish of this post with my first stitch that I took of Mono Lake in the morning. I don’t know if it’ll come out well in this here, but, this photo at normal resolution will print up to 4ft across, which means it’ll easily print up to 8 ft with more than acceptable sharpness. On screen at full resolution, it looks amazing, and I’m sure it’ll look great on a discerning persons wall one day! So whoever that person is, just give me a call & I’ll get it done for you for a modest fee!

I took this series of photos (its actually 5 stitched together) at the only time there was a little colour in the sky, that tiny bit of pink far away on the horizon, just as the sun peeked through the clouds at dawn. You need to click on the photo to see its full width, it’ll then open in another window, but you get a much better idea of what it looked like.

South Lake and Aspens

Posted on December 2, 2010 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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We made the journey up to South Lake, which is just west of Bishop, while it was still dark so that we could be there for sunrise. What a peaceful and tranquil place that was! All that could be heard every few minutes was the splash of fish in the water as they leapt up to catch an insect or two, or the bait from the fishermen. It was overcast, but slowly it got brighter. The sun barely made an appearance though, just a brief glimpse of it behind the clouds lit up just the peaks of the mountains ahead of us, giving us this view for a few brief seconds. This is real “action” landscape photography!

Just a few minutes later though, after the sun had risen and a few of the clouds had parted letting the blue sky shine through, this is a reflection of the same view, with some Aspen leaves in the foreground as they began to take on their autumn colours.

Across the other side of the lake, there was a man patiently fishing, with his bright blue and red outfit standing out against the green surroundings. Can you spot him in the next photo?

I returned to the same area two days later, and the change in the colours of the Aspens was surprising, gone were the greens and light yellows as you can see in the photos above, and in came the orange and red hues so characteristic of these stunning mountainsides. What a change in just 48 hours! The snow had started falling and the streams flowing much more purposefully. Here are a few of my favourite shots:

The snow was falling quite heavily at the time I took the last shot. It may look like mist in the background, but it was a biting cold wind bringing with it some of the first snows of winter in that area.

As I drove down towards Death Valley I saw the ambient air temperatrue on the display in my car change from 32F near South Lake at around 7,000 feet, to 96F around 5 hours later in Badwater in Death Valley which was about 200 feet below sea level! What a contrast! En route though the scenery didn’t stop impressing me. What do you make of these images?

This last photo in particular has a surreal feel to it. The mountains having just been sprinkled with fresh snow have taken on an almost metallic appearance, with the flat land in the foreground having a violet hue, it almost didn’t look real!

The Bristlecone Pines, in the White Mountains

Posted on December 1, 2010 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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For some reason I’m putting the sequence that I did things in reverse order, I don’t really know why! But, the Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains were literally awesome. These ancient trees can predate the giant redwoods by about 1,000 years! Some of them are truly majestic, some have been given names like “The Patriarch” which is reputed to be well over 3,000 years old, some say over 4,500 years! WOW! These trees grow in the most unforgiving environments you could imagine, at around 11,000 feet altitude, they endure ravaging winds and bitter winters. How do they live so long? Its just a miracle of creation. Enough chat though, here’s what they look like:

As you can see the texture of the wood is quite beautiful, some trees haven’t survived, but they still show their beauty even close up.

The grain within the boughs and trunks of these hardy trees is an artists dream, with rich colours and swirling patterns everywhere.

So many of the trees show signs of being burnt, with black charred trunks and branches – I can only imagine that a result of lightning strikes. Its very dry here in the summer – in the “rain shadow” of the Sierra Nevada mountains, which means there’s only 10-12 inches of rain here a year & most of that comes down as snow in the winter.

Knowing how long these trees live, it does make you wonder what the world will be like when saplings like the one above gets to reach a ripe old age? Just imagine, some of the older trees adjacent to this one could have been planted by a contemporary of King David of bible times!

Just to think, they start off from one of these.

Or one of these! Mind you, the pine cones above aren’t from bristlecone pines, but from another species of pine that grows further down the mountainside. Their colours are far more intense though, and the liquid dripping from them, isn’t water but a very sticky waxy gum that has a wonderful sweet smell to it.

As we drove down the mountainside, this panorama faced us as we came around a bend in the road, a rain shower lit up by the sun beneath the clouds, very unusual!

I had the above photo printed on fine art metallic paper, it seems to capture the mood of the shot so well, with the rain having an iridescence on the print that really brings it to life. By the way any of these images can be bought as fine arts prints, just drop me an email & I’ll get them done to the size & style of your choice.

It may have been that same shaft of sunlight that lit up the hillside here!

We finaly made our descent from the Bristlecone Pines, a really memorable day, freezing cold, bitter wind & fog, but oh, so rewarding. But as we turned back to see the White Mounains as dusk was approaching, this was the view that greeted us. Some sunlit peaks that almost look “normal” but that contain some real gems of creation, some of the oldest living things on earth.

Death Valley October 2010

Posted on November 28, 2010 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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From Las Vegas I travelled through Death Valley towards my destination the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I couldn’t resist photographing this spectacular place. It was a real education for me. I thought that it was just a dry barren slat pan! But to my surprise, it was surrounded by multicoloured hills and mountains, full of beautiful rock formations and enveloped at dawn and dusk by magnificent skies. I sped through on my way up to the Sierra Nevada, but took my time on my return and spent almost a whole day there when I stayed in Furnace Creek. This hotel complex is near to the lowest point in North America. 

This is the view on the road down towards Death Valley from the north, with the last of the evening sunlight kissing the top of the mountains accross the valley. I just HAD to get out of the car and grab this shot!

A view of Manly Beacon from Zabriskie  Point, with a glimpse of the salt pan in the distance. This was taken at sunrise, and I had to get up at 4:30am to get this shot! So… you’d better like it!

This one has to be my favourite though, within a few seconds of taking the previous image, I looked behind me and saw these incredible deep colours coming from the sky giving the landscape an almost prehistoric feel. I had this printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag (fine art) paper and it came out jaw-droppingly good, a real WOW! photo, with such a rich depth of tones. A computer monitor really doesn’t do it justice.

 Just as the sun rises, sunlight enhances the contours of this famous landmark, with shadows racing across the undulations of the mineral rich hills.  

 The symmetry of the mountainsides create amazing shapes, perfect for photographing! 

This is a view towards “The Artists Palette” with the valley behind me, along a route called “Artists Drive” where the hillsides have an array of colours ranging from violets, purples and turquoise, to many different shades of sandstone and brown. I was thinking how nice it would be if it were to rain there and the colours would be enhanced even more, and how I’d love to be there at the time! And what about those CRAZY clouds!

So…… you didn’t think that there really were so many different shades of colours in those hills hey? Well here’s some proof! Of course, its even better in real life!

 Finally in Furnace Creek, there is an arrangement of palm trees that have been carefully positioned & stand majestically against the deep blue skies.

And for those of you that wondered what the real Death Valley looked like… well here you are! Burning sunshine, salt  everywhere and a place where you’ll dehydrate in no time – even in winter! A lovely place to think about when you’re in the grip of the freeze in England!

Las Vegas

Posted on October 25, 2010 by Panikos under Uncategorized
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I recently had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas and travel from there on to photograph the Eastern Sierra Nevada with the purpose of taking some photos that would sell as fine art prints. Before travelling to the mountains I stopped off in Las Vegas where I could not resist the opportunity to take a few images. I arrived at dusk so my first images were nighttime shots.

A vist to Vegas wouldn’t be complete without seeing the fountains at the Bellagio. A truly spectacular sight, with the fountains dancing to different songs every 15 minutes. The big surprise though is the thunderous sound of the water canons that fire jets of water hundreds of feet into the air as the music reaches its climax. A M A Z I N G!!!

The following morning, dawn is just as spectacular, with the sunrising through cracks in the clouds on one side of the city giving us this view from the 15th floor of the Bellagio

And this view towards the other side of this man made oasis in the desert, as the sunlight glistens off the hotels on the other side of this city that is surrounded by mountains all around:

My early morning walk took me to the imaginative decor of the Bellagio with its colourful internal gardens that was being restocked with thousands of pot plants at around 6am. The colours you see here are constantly changing, allways keeping the appearance fresh and breathtaking every few minutes.

A close up of the wicker-work on the trees reveals so much detail and shows the effort that must have gone into making these stunning works

The areas inside this beautiful hotel can only really be appreciated when there are no people around – and between around 7am and the early ours the concourses are heaving with astounded visitors admiring every nook and cranny of this palatial structure. I managed to get these images around 5:30 in the morning, thank goodness for jet lag!

Whereas, across the way, the sheer scale of Caesars Palace, with the Roman statues was also breathtaking.

Las Vegas is truly an incredible place, one can’t help but have a permanent smile on ones face as every corner thats turned reveals another example of extravagance without equal. It really is worth a visit!