The Kanoni peninsula, famous for the photos of Pontikonissi (Mouse island) taken from the balcony where the Russian canons still stand today, is often overlooked for many of its other qualities, particulary when its come to photography.
The forested peninsula forms the second largest lagoon of the island, today a NATURA 2000 nature reserve as it hosts a large community of birds and acts as a natural fish farm producing significant quantities of fresh fish.
Unusually, it also surrounds the islands only airport runway, making it the most photogenic runway in the world. There are more than twenty vantage points from where airplanes can be filmed or photographed as they land and take off, including one directly in line with the aircrafts, flying less than 100 meters above you.
If birds and planes are not your thing, there is the Monastery of Vlacherna sitting on its own tiny islet and of course The church of Pantokratoras on Pontikonissi island, which can be accessed by boat service every 15 min.
This is probably the single most photographed area of Corfu island and deservedly so, but trying to find a good one though is another matter. The main problem is that very, very few people ever take the time to appreciate the place, let alone do justice to it with a camera. Make the effort and you will be handsomely rewarded.
Then there is the small Palace and the not so small park of Mon Repo, built in 1826 by the British Commissioner Frederic Adams, it became the summer residence of all British governors of Corfu and the birthplace of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elisabeth II, in 1921, and it does not take long to understand why.
A near sub-tropical forest surrounded by emerald waters, two natural springs run all year round and several piers providing access for swimming. There are also ancient ruins and churches to be found among the diverse vegetation and birds.
Photographically its both interesting and challenging. The light is a mixture of bright rays coming through heavy shadows and in some places reflections from the sea. There is a rugged coastline, narrow footpaths and ancient ruins, and most significantly these places never get too busy, allowing photographers to experiment, compose and point lenses in any direction without curious by-standers.
The Kanoni peninsula is a location where it gives you opportunities to create, or capture great images and will push anyone's abilities to the limit, both technically and creatively.
From 10am - 5pm
6hrs (+1hr lunch break)
Max. participants : 10
Price € 65.00
You will need
Apart from all you camera equipment, you will need Sun protection during the first part of the day and mosquito repellant for the second half.
You may also find it irresistible to go for a swim so come prepared.
There is some walking involved during the day, but not enough to consider it a hike. The pace will be very slow and constantly interrupted with shutters going off.
However, comfortable shoes, instead of sandals are not a bad idea as there will be some rough terrain to walk over.
Subjects of Interest
There are three primary subjects of interest in this part of the island. Landscapes, nature, including some wildlife and of course airplanes, all three can be your primary subject, or backdrops for portraits.
It is a place where you can put to good use just about and focal length, but as a minimum I would suggest a wide angle lens, at least 20mm wide and a zoom up to 200mm.
For portraits, a fill in flash or reflector is highly desirable, to manage the strong sunlight and/or heavy shadows.
Meeting point is the famous Café Kanoni balcony with its panoramic view from where you can be snapping incoming aircraft while sipping a coffee.
This is where the first part of the day will be spent, before the light becomes too harsh and temperature rises, until about 1pm. A short break for a quick snack or lunch, in any one of the many places near by, after which we make our way to the park and palace of Mon Repo where the temperature is always 5C degrees less.
What you choose to photograph here depends on your preferences, its a popular location for professional photographers to shoot brides, so portraits is an obvious choice, trees, plants and flowers another. There is also a very dramatic coastlines, views of the Old Fortress and ancient ruins.
If you would like to spend the rest of the day in this area, you could stay in the park, even go for a swim until the sun start to go down, returning back to where we started from for dinner, until Sunset.
Depending on the day and cloud formations, Sunsets will range anything from ok, to spectacular, from a number of different view points. With a bit of luck and some skill you can be rewarded with exceptional images between 8-10pm as the Sun begins to set, until completely dark.