Crete, Greece

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Sep 21, 2004
Crete, Greec
Medium Format
Since Aggie send that store database template, I thought of posting a couple things for Crete here:

1) Crete has four seasons: long hot cloudless summer (this year has lasted until now!), very short fall with mixed weather, winter with rains and snow in the mountains, spectacular spring.
2) The landscape is varied and can range from desert-like sand, proud rough rocky moonscapes to thick vegetation and small forests. It has savage mountains, gorges, green plains and millions of beaches, each with a different face (from rocky ones down cliffs to tropical paradise ones). Little water though, so streams are rare and waterfalls are tiny.
3) Interesting cityscapes of short buildings from the downright ugly cement in Iraklion, to old venetian-turkish architecture in western cities. Many forgotten ruined neo-classical greek houses.
4) Most villages have chaotic cement architecture (due to many been bombed in WWII) but some have great character. Great people and faces.
5) Easy to get around. Many clubs for hiking, mountain climbing, cave exploration, etc
6) Minoan excavation sites, centuries-old monasteries, thousands of churches dotted in landscape.
7) Many festivals and days of celebration

a) Many books published on landscape, some specialised (castles, cities, etc), all of them the postcard/coffee table glossy color variety. The vast majority are closer to snapshots than photographs.
b) Film supplies are very limited. Color is easy to find, including slides. BW is harder. Some stores in cities have a very limited stock (two-three kinds). In Iraklio (the biggest city, my hometown) you can find: FP4+, Hp5+ (135, 120) , XP2, TMax 100-400, very rarely 3200 (135), Agfa APX 100-400 (135,120). No sheet film. In one place you can order but could take one or two weeks for delivery. Better stock up before, especially if you use other kinds of film. Film is expensive. Five euros for HP5+.
C) Chemicals are available but not much. Mostly Ilford, some Kodak and a bit of Agfa. You could be unlucky though. They don’t stock well. I had to special order Ilford stop bath and Rodinal and ID-11/D-76 is ordered only by me. PQ Universal and Ilfosol S is what they stock.
D) Paper. You can get Ilford easily up to 25x30cm, some larger. All in packs of 25or 10 sheets. Maybe able to get a pack or two of small sized Agfa or Foma.
E) Darkroom. There are small art schools in the big cities (Iraklio has five-six) which have a darkroom. Don’t know about use outside students.
F) Repairs. Tough. Only in Athens where all brands are supported.
G) Accessories. Difficult. Some low quality stuff like filters (very hard to find something non-mainstream like BW filters). All stores have turned to digital. Can find cheap monopods but good tripods like Manfrotto.
H) Processing. 135, 120 color in machine, not great quality. 135, 120 BW by hand. Risky! All printing by machine.
K) Photo clubs. One, local quarter of a national organisation. Horrible photographers.

I do extend an invitation to all film photographers to visit Crete and I would be glad to help. Give advice, take around, lent darkroom (up to 120, 6x7 I am afraid, so I can’t help LFers much), go out together for photos. contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
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Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
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