31 January 2011

Fira Sunset

Church in Fira
Fira Sunset

A wonderful view of a sunset over Fira with a typical church in the foreground. Only an HDR photo can show all the detail and dynamic range!

30 January 2011

Fira - Caldera View

The town of Fira on the island of Santorini is built on top of a caldera – the remnant of a volcanic cone whose top was blown off.

Santorini - Fira

Do try to visit Fira early in the morning or late in the evening. Otherwise you might end up seeing Fira together with many tourists frantically walking through the streets to see as much as possible before their cruise ships leave.

Santorini - Fira

Oia Dome

The weather in Oia was excellent – bright sun, blue skies. It was a real challenge to obtain a good exposure. Here are some HDR photos which capture more detail than you can see when you were standing there. My eyes were actually blinded when I took these photos because the shots are almost straight into the sun.

Dome in Oia 100914-121340_ 6452_50D

At home I noticed the window glass has different colours – yellow, green and red. I couldn’t see that on site. Also, I saw white walls. On the HDR photos I can see the walls have texture!

29 January 2011

Oia Street

Santorini - Ia Oia  A street in Oia

The streets in Oia are only for pedestrians. Using a car, scooter or bike is not possible.

28 January 2011

Greek doors at Santorini

While visiting Oia, Fira and other towns in Santorini I noticed the various doors on the island. Click on the photo below to start the slide show and see the different photos of Greek doors I made:

26 January 2011


Santorini is a volcanic island, about 200 km from the Greece mainland. It is the largest island of the Cyclades group. Santorini is well known for the blue domes and other wonderful sights which can be seen in the town of Oia.

In a several posts I will show you these beautiful sights.

Santorini - Ia Oia Iconic view of a blue dome in Oia

Santorini - Ia Oia  Church Bell

Santorini - Ia Oia  Staircase inspired by Escher?

Santorini - Ia Oia
More blue domes at Oia

These blue domes are actually all of them which can be seen. There are 1 or 2 opposite these domes. On the rest of the island I did not see any!

iPhone 4

After a Sharp IQ-7000 electronic organizer, Psion 3MX, Psion 5MX, Nokia N73 and an HP iPaq 2210 it was time for a new personal digital assistant, or smartphone as they are called nowadays.

Choosing my next smartphone was easy. My experience with Windows Mobile 2003 on the iPaq was mixed. A lot of Windows Mobile software was available, but you had to be an IT expert to install the applications and keep the system running. The successors WM 5 and 6 were not much different. Nokia was pretty good, but the screen was too small. iPhone 3 was a big step in the right direction, and the multitasking support of iOS 4 and Retina display of iPhone 4 won me over.

Apple got the main things right. The LCD screen is one of the most important aspects of your handheld / PDA. You interact with the screen the whole time. The iPhone 4 display called Retina display is amazing. No more tiny black lines through the characters on your screen. It also reacts very quickly to the gestures you make with your fingers.

iPhone 4 and iOS 4 still have some rough edges. There is no profile support to quickly set your ringtone, SMS tone and vibration to predefined settings (like silent, vibration only, meeting). Losing track of notifications is easy, especially when multiple push notifications are fired off at the same time. The Retina display does not react when you are wearing gloves (this is a problem in cold weather).

In a series of blog posts I will describe how you can use and configure your iPhone 4. For instance, I will share with you how to have profile support on your iPhone 4, and how to get (near) real-time email notifications without polling your inboxes all the time (no, I am not using push email! :-).

18 January 2011


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Fira is the capital of the island of Santorini. It is built on the edge of a cliff 260 meters above sea level.

Naxos - Fira  Boulevard

Fira gets very crowded when cruise ships arrive, and all the tourists walk through the narrow streets. They have to be back at the cruise ship around 22 hours. So it is best to visit Fira early, when it is relatively quiet and the sun is not too harsh.

There are stairs leading from Fira down to the sea.

Naxos - Fira
Last steps of the stairs near Fira. Note they are numbered.

You can also take a donkey!

Naxos - Fira 
Donkeys on the steps of Fira

Naxos - Fira 
Fira during daytime

Fira is known for its magnificent sunsets
Naxos - Fira 
Sunset seen from Fira

Naxos - Fira 
Outlook over Fira

 Naxos - Fira A few moments later

Naxos City

Naxos City

Naxos City (also called Chora) is the capital of the Greek island Naxos. It contains a Venetian castle with many tiny roads around it. It has lots of photo opportunities!

Entrance to the roads around the Venetian Castle - Old Market Street

Map of the roads to the Venetian Castle

Entrance to house

Tiny road

Lots of places to rest


 Naxos Portara
Naxos Portara

Naxos - Portara
Naxos Portara - seen from Naxos City

Fast ferry to Naxos