If I have learned anything about photography in the five years since I first picked up a camera,* it's that you absolutely never know when you're going to have a good shooting day and when you're not.
Case in point: Rhodes. The town was enchanting. We docked right in the middle of the action.
The Minerva II in Rhodes
I had a very long morning on my own to work it over, and yet my photos are decidedly humdrum. Here's the best of a mediocre lot from that day.
In the morning I'd got up at 5:30 to watch our passage through the Dardanelles. I wasn't alone–at least twenty other passengers had the same idea. Most of them seemed to be interested in the World War I memorials. I was in a more romantic mood, with Hero and Leander, and the Trojan War, uppermost in my mind.
This, according to legend, is Hero's tower. The strait does narrow at this point considerably, and I enjoyed imagining Leander's late-night swims back and forth.
Of course, having now seen the Hellespont I am certain of one thing. Hero can't possibly have been giving Leander any cookies. If she had, he'd have knocked off the swimming, stayed on his side of the water and watched television all night.
This is not a sleepy backwater. As has been the case forever, there's a lot of commercial traffic. But even that looks pretty in the right light.
African freighter in the Dardanelles
Rhodes Town itself was great. The main drag seethes with tourists, but all you have to do is turn down a side lane (I recommend going left if you're heading uphill on Socrates Steet) and you'll find yourself in the old residential quarter. I've never seen anything like it. I'm afraid I was probably too impressed to see it clearly and take interesting photographs.
House courtyard, Rhodes Town
A weaver, Rhodes Town
Ice Cream Van
A residential street
Stalls in a small neighborhood church
When I say the church above was small, I mean it would fit in my (not large) living room. This is fully half the seats.
In the afternoon we drove to Lindos, a ruined town beautifully situated on a hill above the sea. It was, at that point, the most complete ancient settlement I'd ever seen. Exploring it was intense. But my photos, alas, are not.
However, the excursion did yield one rara avis in the form of a photograph of myself that I actually like. (Thanks, Ed.)
In the forum, Lindos
Dolores stuck to the shops, where she bought a cunning little model of the Colossus of Rhodes. When you tug on the torch, his skirt flies up and a wooden match pops out.
"I feel that art should be a practical part of everyday life," said Dolores. "Me and Ruskin, we have that in common."
*My camera (thanks for asking, Jess) is a Canon 20D. I use two zoom lenses: a 24-70 mm, and a 70-200 mm. That's what I've been using since Christmas. Everything before that was taken with my first camera, a Canon G2 that I tricked out with third-party wide-angle and telephoto converters.