I had planned to write a blog post about each trip as they came to end but as with all the best-laid plans, things did not quite work out that way! So, now, eight months after our return from Greece, here is a report on the 2015 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday …
In mid-January, NaturesLens took a group of clients to Greece for a 2-day trip to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini. Our base was a lovely hotel, 5 minutes walk from the lake itself, with a roaring fire in the bar & lounge area, superb food & each guest had their own room with no single supplement required.
The first morning began with a hearty breakfast after being treated to a special demonstration on how to turn phyllo dough into delicious Bougatsa breakfast pastry. Once we had eaten, we headed out onto the lake in a boat in search of the pelicans.
At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that these pre-historic looking birds were not the prettiest birds; however, they were incredibly photogenic with their crazy, quirky hair-dos & brightly coloured orange-red gular pouches. The fog on Lake Kerkini made for some truly atmospheric shots.
As the light became harsh, we returned back to the hotel for a long, lazy lunch & 40 winks. We headed out to the shoreline late afternoon, armed with a crate of fish to feed the Dalmatian Pelicans. This proved to be the perfect time to break out the wide-angle lens to grab some wide shots of the birds as they drifted to the shore to feed on the proffered fish, with the snow-capped mountains in the background. As the sun set & turned everything a gorgeous pinky blue, the possibilities for some creative shots were just endless.
The lack of light pollution inspired some of our guests to try their hand at some astro photography after dinner. Sleep was clearly optional for some of our guests!
The following morning saw us heading to the far side of Lake Kerkini with another crate of fish. The water on the lake was like glass it was so still. The plan was to throw the fish into the lake & then capture shots of the Dalmatian Pelicans as they flew or swam in to feed & what a spectacle it was. Flight shots, reflection shots, pelican feeding frenzy – our guests got so excited that we almost tipped the boat over!
I think it is fair to say that everyone was extremely happy as we laughed & joked about the morning's session over lunch. The late afternoon light was not as great as the first evening but that just gave everyone a chance to try for something different.
After a delicious dinner, we sat in front of the fire in the lounge & swapped stories of past trips. I think it's fair to say that a lot of friendships were made during the trip. In fact, some of our guests enjoyed themselves so much that they asked if they could join the 2016 Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday.
Based on the feedback of our guests, we have extended our 2016 Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays by a day. Due to a calendar clash leading to a cancellation, we have one place left on the first trip, being led by David, so if you would like to join us for some fantastic photographic opportunities & good laughs, please book here.