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Dragon Dreams by justeline Dragon Dreams by justeline
Drakolimni (= Dragon lake) is the name of several alpine or sub-alpine lakes in northwestern Greece Epirus periphery. According to local folktales the lakes used to be inhabited by dragons that fought each other by throwing pines and rocks and thus created the peculiar landscape and gave their names to the lakes. Drakolimni of Tymfi resides at an altitude of 2100m above sea level, on the mountain range of Tymfi and is inhabited by a species of alpine newt, called drakakia by the locals. According to local sources, the newts' resemblance to small dragons gives the lake its distinctive name.

…and this was my most difficult capture to get. Not to capture, but to reach that sliver of paradise we had to go through a kind of hell. To set things straight, when I say WE I mean WE. Most people traveling light, with only their clothes in their backpacks or with no backpacks at all reach that place in 5 hours of fairly easy uphill track (or even less, we met people that jogged that track just for fun). Well, let me give you the version of two mildly to seriously out of shape and heavily packed photographers carrying with them all of their photographic equipment (to talk with numbers that’s translated to 25 kilos for male photographer *KirlianCamera and 15 kilos for female photographer me –that’s just a little less than one third of my weight)...

Alarm clock set at 7.30 am, arrival at the nearest village at 9.00am. We saddle up and start walking. First half hour is a mere torture to me as what starts as a merely annoying pain at my right shoulder becomes a stab real fast. I keep fumbling and messing with my backback straps, tightening some and loosening up some until I find a comfortable combination at last. We carry on panting laboriously, tongues lolling out of our mouths; we do innumerable stops to catch our breath and I use each of these stops to munch enthusiastically through our supplies of food not because I’m hungry but because I want to lighten up my burden. Fortunately at some point the carbohydrates I have consumed kick in and I feel much better, find a reasonable pace and 6 hours later we reach the refuge and collapse on the front porch unable to shoo away the horses that come to greet us, sniff, lick and nibble at our bags. After a hot drink and a tasty dinner we sleep like logs.

That was not the end, the lake still lay ahead of us and we set off to explore it and time ourselves on the next morning. Stop clock verdict: 2 hours. Which means that since we want a sunrise at the land of the dragons we wake up at 3.30am, leave by 4.00 am, snow sparkling like diamond dust under our headlights, moon shining behind the peak of Astraka, mildly worried about wolves and bears waiting for their nicely wrapped up in isothermal clothes take-away breakfast. We reach the lake in our usual, unbecoming fashion (panting laboriously, tongues hanging out of our mouths etc etc) just in time to catch the first light touching the peaks before it was snuffed out by a heavy cloud right behind us.

Do I dare do it again? H E L L, Y E S!!!

Hope you like it! :)

Location: Drakolimni of Tymfi, Greece

tech stuff

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Tokina 12-24 @ 12mm
Aperture: f/11
Shutter Speed: 6s
ISO: 200

*filters*
Hoya ND8 (3 stops Neutral Density)
Lee 2 stop ND soft graduated filter (0.6)
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:iconbergamont27:
bergamont27 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013
incredible
and well worth it
Reply
:iconcrystal-sphynx:
Crystal-Sphynx Featured By Owner May 15, 2013
Really lovely shot!
Reply
:iconjohn-peter:
John-Peter Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello! :wave:
Your beautiful art has been featured in my new journal [link]
Reply
:iconaugenweide:
augenweide Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
your beautiful work is featured in my new journal...[link]
Reply
:iconamandalucena:
AmandaLucena Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Wonderful!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner May 24, 2012  Professional Photographer
:hug:

:thanks:
Reply
:icondraganche78:
Draganche78 Featured By Owner May 22, 2012
Awesome!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner May 23, 2012  Professional Photographer
Glad you like it Dragan! :)
Reply
:iconlivelyseason:
Livelyseason Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Hermoso!
Reply
:iconlivelyseason:
Livelyseason Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Without words. Just beautiful. o_o
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner May 16, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thank you so much Carolina :)
Reply
:icontirin64:
Tirin64 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012
Really wonderful colours. A beautiful Picture!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner May 16, 2012  Professional Photographer
Glad you like it Katrin! :)
Reply
:icontrashins:
Trashins Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Professional Photographer
Stunning shot
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
Very glad you like it Alexandr!
Reply
:iconjohhy55:
Johhy55 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011
Amazing!
Reply
:icontizhc:
tizhc Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
beautiful shot... colours are amazing
Reply
:iconphoenixhawke:
PhoenixHawke Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
A very impressive shot... Glad you trekked a third of your body weight in camera equipment up the hill to get it :)
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011  Professional Photographer
hahaha, g;ad I did it too Brian! So glad you like it, many thanks dear! :)
Reply
:iconphoenixhawke:
PhoenixHawke Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconyourewelcomesignplz:
Reply
:iconbeckstrz:
beckstrz Featured By Owner May 24, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
pretty goddamn awesome ^_^
Reply
:iconconelyn:
conelyn Featured By Owner May 20, 2011
amazing!:)
Reply
:iconsandy33311:
Sandy33311 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011
Amazing story to get this stunning, absolutely breathtaking shot!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Professional Photographer
Thank you so much Sandy for reading the story and liking the image! :)
Reply
:iconsandy33311:
Sandy33311 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011
:hug:
Reply
:icontripper67:
Tripper67 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011
I love the way you put all your technical datas, it's nice to share and not to keep the little secrets for yourself, I remember a belgian photographer few motns ago, I asked him how he did his picture, he never told me, I discovered later It was simply HDR process, so what's the point...Have a nice day and keep on bring in us your nice pictures.
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Professional Photographer
Very glad you find them helpful Eric. Reading how a picture was captured was a huge help for me too especially in my forst steps so I thought I'd share the details too for whomever cared to read them!
Many thanks :)
Reply
:iconvincentfavre:
vincentfavre Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Professional Photographer
Très jolie ^^
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011  Professional Photographer
Merci beaucoup mon ami :hug:
It means so much coming from you!
Reply
:iconartbum1978:
artbum1978 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
The pic is worth all the work it took to get there, bravo and thanks for sharing, its unbelievable!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011  Professional Photographer
Thanks for liking it dear Shannon! :)
Reply
:iconarwenarts:
ArwenArts Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011  Professional Photographer
Awesome photography! all is perfect: angle, reflection, colors, light, composition, balance.. Deserve a DD :clap: :bow:
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011  Professional Photographer
aww, huge thanks for the wonderful comment dear Myriam, so glad you like it! :hug:
Reply
:iconarwenarts:
ArwenArts Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2011  Professional Photographer
And you're most welcome! :hug:
Reply
:iconnaveenbanga:
naveenbanga Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2011  Student Photographer
very beautiful!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2011  Professional Photographer
Many thanks dear, very glad you like it! :)
Reply
:iconronaldedward:
ronaldedward Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
so symetric,,but not :) makes me dream .
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011  Professional Photographer
aww, that's so wonderful Ronald, that's exactly what I hope my images do, make people dream! Thank you so much dear :)
Reply
:iconronaldedward:
ronaldedward Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
its all u could hope for,ur art is seen as u want it to be seen.. or i just have great art eye.. ;)
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Professional Photographer
hehe, you definitely have!
Reply
:iconronaldedward:
ronaldedward Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
i dont have good environment to shoot always.. but i make do with whats there :p
Reply
:iconfunkypunkr:
funkypunkr Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
your work paid off. that is absolutely beautiful.
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011  Professional Photographer
Really happy you like it Lily, thank you so much! :)
Reply
:iconfunkypunkr:
funkypunkr Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
no problem. ^^
Reply
:iconkokinomala:
kokinomala Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010
apistefth eikona
mou aresei poly :)
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010  Professional Photographer
Apo tis poly agaphmenes mou ki ayth, s' eyxaristw poly Helen! :)
Reply
:iconzeewaterman:
zeewaterman Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010   Photographer
Absolutely breathtaking! :)
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010  Professional Photographer
Thank you so much dear, very glad you like it! :)
Reply
:iconmeganbednarz:
meganbednarz Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010   General Artist
Epic journey, beautiful and surreal picture :) Glad it was worth it!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2010  Professional Photographer
Very glad it was worth it too, the trouble was a bit too much, but I love the place so much I'd gladly do it once again! In fact I will do it again next year (at least I'm planning to!)
Many thanks dear! :hug:
Reply
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June 28, 2010
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