9 March, 2011

Morning Highlights

do the penguin

Have you ever huddled close to someone for warmth like an Emperor Penguin?

This shot was taken on the morning of my third day in Meteora. We had gotten up well before dawn, packed gear and food for the day, and caught a cab to the top most Monastery. The weather had been consistently chilly, hovering around 5 degrees Centigrade so I didn’t bother confirming the forecast. Instead, we (very stupidly) prepared for 5-10 degree day.


As the tail lights of the taxi disappeared from view as it descended the long winding mountain switchbacks, we immediately had an ‘Oh Crap’ moment. It was way WAY colder than we had prepared for. — Later, I would find out that the weather had dropped to -5 degrees with a strong -10ish wind chill.

So, there we were, 10 kilometers away from civilization, 2000 ft up on a towering spire, alone, with no cellphone reception, freezing our asses off.

And what did we do about it?

We said, screw shooting the sunrise, found shelter, and huddled together like penguins, shivering like mad, waiting the (seemingly infinite) few hours until the sun awarded us with it warming light.

Once the sun had risen enough to warm the day, we collected our senses, cleaned out the frozen boogers from our noses, and began the 15 kilometer trek back to our hotel, stopping to marvel (and of course take lots of pictures) of the beautiful Greek mountains.

Check out more HDR Photos of Meteora.

Technical Mumbo Jumbo:

– Nikon D3 – Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8@ 70mm f/2.8 Iso: 100
HDR Photography Processing & Tone Mapping using Photomatix Pro
– Post Processing & Color Correction in Photoshop
– Blended in a bit of the original (non HDR) medium exposure.
– Sharpened Edges with Topaz InFocus
– Enhanced detail with Nik Software Sharpener Pro
– Did the penguin dance

Daily Banana – Meteora – Morning Highlights

(move the slider to compare before and after)
[beforeafter] HDR Photo - Meteora, Greece - Morning (sunrise) Highlights[/beforeafter]
About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally acclaimed professional travel photographer, videographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker, and highly skilled educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world.


As featured by Professional Photographer MagazineCNet Australia,, Wacom USA, and Fstoppers, Elia has built an engaged social media following of nearly 3 million people across FacebookGoogle+TwitterInstagramYouTube, and Snapchat. Due to the years of dedication and genuine openness with his audience, he has become one of the most followed photographers in the world.


Location independent since March of 2012, he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle, perpetually traveling from country to country, continuously circling the globe. Since he began traveling full-time in 2009, he has visited more than 55 countries, flown over one million miles, and collaborated with major companies, brands, countries, and tourism agencies all over the world.


Using a combination of traditional in-camera techniques, targeted times of day, and advanced post-processing methods, Elia has developed a widely recognized and highly unique style of photography that has become well known around the world. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision so others can see the world as he does, full of color, texture, beauty, depth and emotion. Many of his photos have been used in some of the most widely circulated publications in the world including National Geographic.


Throughout the journey, he shares the Art of Photography on many different websites including his popular blog, blamethemonkey.com, teaches post-processing workshops worldwide, speaks at major international photography conventions, and is proud to be one of the founders and leaders of Dream Photo Tours.

  • oh, hell yeah, now that’s the money, not over baked but just enough punch and color to make you want to investigate the shot further