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Happy New Year!

Christmas 2018

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2019!

Rocks and Stars

Just the other night I couldn't sleep, so I went outside to look at the view from outside my house. It was something like 3am when I went out there. 

I'm very fortunate to live right by the sea, and this particular evening was clear and calm. I could just make out the boats on the water, and the milky way in the sky. How could I not take a photo! Except all I had was my trusty camera, and no tripod.  Not to worry, I chose the perfect size rock from the beach, lined the camera up on my table, and pressed the button.

If you have been on one of my tours you will know one of my favourite questions is 'What if?'.  Well, what if it turned out to be one of my favourite photos? I'm very happy with it!

Stars and boats, Santorini, Greece. © Olaf Reinen, Santorini Photo Tours

Thirassia Island

Santorini's best kept secret

With spectacular views back to Santorini, and just 150 residents, Thirassia island is like stepping back in time to the 1950's.

Just a short boat ride away, it's a huge leap back in time. 

Thirassia is a wonderful place to explore - a photographer's dream of old Greek villages, panoramic vistas, pure blue waters, and a unique charm that is all it's own. Plus you get to look back to Santorini island. You can visit for half a day, or stay over for the night. Either way it's worth a visit.


Thirassia island definitely enchants, and makes you want to go back for more of it's peaceful and relaxing charm. I will return for sure! (If you want to see the photos in higher resolution click here to go to my Thirassia Album on Flickr).

If you are coming back to Santorini and want to experience something truly unique, we can arrange a photography tour to Thirassia for you.

Sunset over the monastery, Thirassia Island

Shoot for the stars!

I stayed at a Parador (hotel) on the plateau of Mt Teide, here on Tenerife.  The hotel is situated at 3270 metres (10,728 feet) above sea level.

Not only is it a spectacular hotel with amazing views of the mountain peak directly out of your window, but it is also one of the best places in Europe for star watching. It truly is spectacular! While the night we went was a bit foggy, we got some cool atmospheric photos:

We did manage to get a reasonably clear photo looking out towards the mountain:

I can honestly say, with gratuitous alliteration, that midnight on the mountain is magical!

Did You Know?

Apparently the best time for star photography is when there is no moon. Just for fun, and because I am Curious (remember the three 'C's !), I went up to Mt Teide on another evening and tried to photograph the stars during a full moon.

Quite a different look, but I still like the photo. The amazing thing was that as I stood there everything was kind of monochromatic to look at, as you would expect in the moonlight, but when I looked at the photo on the camera screen, things were quite different. It looked like daylight, complete with shadows and colour! You can just make out that the stars are visible:

Moonlit night on Mt Teide, Tenerife. © Olaf Reinen /

(I have put a larger resolution version on my Flickr account here.)

Sunset really is a good time to photograph!

While it's true that around sunrise and sunset the light is directional and soft and warm, those of you that have been on a photo tour with me on Santorini will know I am just as happy to shoot in the middle of the day.

One of the skills of being a great travel photographer is dealing with the light you have, at the time of day you happen to be visiting the destination you are at. We don't always get a choice about these things! Although as perfectionists, we try hard...

Sometimes however, everything just comes together. While visiting Turkey recently I went for a walk down to the local harbor in Ayvalik, and just as the sun was setting I found this cute fishing boat:

Fishing Boat at sunset in Turkey. © Olaf Reinen /

I love old boats, harbors, old buildings - basically anything with character. There's a charm about them that can't be achieved with new shiny things.