Tag Archive for: scouting

As promised my scouting adventures continue, this time including mythical creatures and cursed weddings!

About 40km away from my home, there is a small village called Nymfopetra. The name (which translates “Stone of the nymph”) was given to the village because of some strange rock formations that exist there. I don’t know why I had never heard about it before, but as soon as I stumbled upon it on the internet I knew I had to go there. Especially when I found out about the myth surrounding the place.



Legend has it that once upon a time a group of hunters came across some beautiful forest nymphs who were taking their bath in a lake. The men hid there to watch them but by doing so they infuriated the goddess of the hunt, Artemis, who turned them into stone for their disrespect.

scouting nymfopetra - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs


However there is also another myth, about a wedding that was not meant to be. On her wedding day a young arrogant girl, took all her mother’s belongings for her new home, leaving her with nothing. While the bridal company were on their way to the wedding, the mother realised what her daughter had done and she cursed her, turning everyone that was with her into stone. Blood wedding indeed!

scouting nymfopetra - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs

Of course there is also a scientific explanation, something to do with sandstone rocks, but who cares about that? I say myths are way more interesting.

The rocks are at the edge of the village and the surrounding area has been turned into a lovely little park. When we got there, there was no one else around, despite the fact that it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I suppose there are not a lot of people who know about this place. I think it’s a great place for a quick trip and most of all it is a great place for a photoshoot! Don’t you think?

scouting nymfopetra - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs

scouting nymfopetra - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs

scouting nymfopetra - fine art portraits by Nicki Upstairs



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.