scouting pavlou mela - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs

scouting adventures, part I

Since I still have no new images to share with you, I thought I’d give you an update about what else I’ve been doing lately. I have made a list of interesting places near where I live, that I have started visiting. My goal is to start shooting outdoors at some point, so I want to scout the locations and see how they inspire me. So far I’ve visited three of the places on my list.

The first place I went to was around 30km from where I live. This lake has a very sad story. For decades the lake’s water has been used excessively to water the surrounding fields which combined with massive pollution from adjacent industries led to the lake eventually drying. Today it has almost no water left. Legal action was taken and people were held responsible for neglecting the issue for years, but it was too late and the ecological disaster remains massive. So I thought I should head over there and see what is going on with my own eyes and maybe do a series of pictures inspired by the lake’s tragedy. After consulting google maps, I woke up one Sunday morning and drove to the village I thought was closest to the lake. When I arrived, I went at the place where a park was supposed to be, only the place seemed abandoned and I could see no way to access the lake. I continued driving, made my way on dirt roads through the fields in hopes that somehow I could get closer, but with no luck. I finally decided to circle the lake’s area with my car, convinced that there had to be some kind of road getting me closer. To cut a long story shot, my quest was unsuccesful. The closer I got was the markings of where the water once was, which was still very far out. I could see where I wanted to go, but I could see no road to take me there. Finally I realised that the only way to get there would be to leave my car at the nearest spot possible and continue on foot. But I decided to leave that adventure for another day. Although I did not do what I set off to do, I enjoyed this little adventure, because it was an opportunity for me to get better acquainted with that particular area. Here is a picture from the lake, that I found on flickr by Maria Nikolaidou (maybe I should ask her how she got there, ha ha)

The second place I went to, is a place I pass by every day going to work. An army camp that has been abandonded for many years now. It is an historical site, because during the nazi occupation of Greece it was used as a concetration and torture camp. Well after that it was just an army camp! Since the army left, there has been interest to make it into a big park which would be really nice for the area, but some kind of legal conflicts made it impossible so far. The last few years the space has been used to hold musical festivals and stuff like that. Its buildings though have been left to rot since no one took care of them, resulting in vandalising. So one day after work I decided to go and take a look to see if maybe I could do a photoshoot there sometime. Here are some pictures from that day, taken with my phone since I had left my camera at home!


interior from one of the camp’s old buildings. this is the ground floor. the first floor is almost completely destroyed and I was afraid to go up there, it did not look safe at all.


many of the buildings are missing their roofs, like this one

upstairs? no thank you!

scouting pavlou mela - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs

I suppose this was once a fountain. I think it still is beautiful.

scouting pavlou mela - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs

another one of the roof-less buildings, this one seemed recently burnt down.

I think a photoshoot at this place would be great and I have alredy started to plan it in my mind. Although I definately want to bring someone with me when I do it, because the place is easily accessible by anyone, including several creepy looking people, so I would not want to go there shooting all on my own.

There is one more great place I already visited, but I think I’ ll leave this story (which includes a local myth about a wedding gone wrong!) for another time.