If you love to see the natural world close up, in all its amazing technicolour detail this is the ideal holiday for you! The tranquil and verdant area of Lake Kerkini and the surrounding mountains are the perfect place – full of butterflies, bugs and beautiful flowers for a feast of macro photography!
Matt Doogue is our photographic guide for this tour, which is now in its third consecutive year. Matt is a specialist in macro and his work has been featured with National Geographic, BBC Earth, BBC Springwatch, Canon and the UK’s leading photography and wildlife magazines.
The area we visit is rich in diverse habitats within a relatively small area, making it a prime location for finding biodiversity. The habitats we’ll explore include Lake Kerkini and associated wetlands, flowery hillsides, alpine pastures and emerald green mountains covered in forests of beech, hornbeam, oak, black pine and oriental plane. In turn this diversity supports an equally rich flora and fauna, thus a wide range of different and exciting macro opportunities!
There can be dragonflies and tree frogs close to the water, orchids and other flowers in the hillside meadows, along with a beautiful palette of colourful butterflies. And everywhere we go there is the chance to find other fascinating insects and other invertebrates, like praying mantids, longhorn beetles, katylids, spiders and much more.
The holiday has been designed to maximise the opportunities for macro photography by staying in one wildlife rich place for the week, where we can spend as much time as possible outside with our cameras. Our home for the week is a very welcoming, family-run hotel, close to Lake Kerkini. It provides the perfect base for our week of relaxing and fun photography in the wide open spaces and verdant mountains that surround the beautiful Lake Kerkini that we’ll call home.
Matt will be on hand to advise on how to capture intimate and interesting portraits of butterflies, spiders, insects and other invertebrates in their natural habitats. The kind of techniques that will be covered include: basics of macro photography; working with natural light and tools to help optimise it; working with off-camera flash; composing your macro shots and digital workflow with Photoshop (you will need to bring your own laptop with software if you want help and advice on digital workflows).
Our daily schedule is kept flexible as we’ll want to take account and full advantage of the local conditions, which can be changeable.
The potential species to photograph are almost endless and there are always new discoveries made on each trip, but here is a selection of subjects and species that we have a good chance to encounter… (check out the gallery for some example photos).
Southern White Admiral, Little Tiger Blue, Camberwell Beauty, Scarce Swallowtail, Eastern Festoon, Black-veined White, Eastern Bath White, Eastern Wood White, Clouded Yellow, Green Hairstreak, Iolas Blue, Brown Argus, Large Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady, Nettle-Tree Butterfly, Marbled Fritillary, Eastern Knapweed Fritillary, Spotted Fritillary, Queen of Spain Fritillary, Lattice Brown, Large Wall Brown, Yellow-banded Skipper, Woodland Ringlet, Purple-shot Copper, Sooty Copper, Lesser Fiery Copper, Southern Comma & more.
Spurge Hawk-moth, Giant Peacock, Forester, Wood Tiger, Cream-spot Tiger, Yellow Underwing, Five-Spot Burnet, Nine-Spotted Moth, Six-Spot Burnet, Transparent Burnet, Puss Moth, Small Emperor Moth, Emperor Moth, Spurge Hawk-moth, Hummingbird Hawk-Moth, Olive Bee Hawk, Narrow-Bordered Bee Hawk & more.
We will try to include moth trapping during the week for nocturnal species, which we can then photograph before releasing unharmed back into the wild the following evening.
Dragonflies & Damselflies
Green-Eyed Hawker, Blue Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Southern Skimmer, White-Tailed Skimmer, Red-veined Darter, Balkan Goldenring, Lesser Emperor, Broad Scarlet, Common Darter, Yellow-winged Darter, Small Pincertail, Beautiful Demoiselle, Banded Demoiselle, Bladetail, Green Snaketail, Large Red Damselfly, Common Bluetail, Common Clubtail, Small Blue-tailed Damselfly, Variable Damselfly & more.
Reptiles & Amphibians
Sand Boa, Grass Snake, Balkan Whip Snake, Salamander, European Glass Lizard, Common Wall Lizard, European Green Lizard, Hermann’s & Spur-Thighed Tortoise, European Terrapin, Green Toad, Common Toad, Tree Frog, Eastern Spadefoot, Yellow-Bellied Toad, Marsh Frog, Agile Frog, Pool Frog & more.
Other insects, beetles, spiders, grasshoppers etc
Ladybird Spider, Philaeus Chrysops (a jumping Spider), Praying Mantis, Balkan Spoon-Winged-Lacewing, Rose Chafer, Giant Centipede, Predatory Bush Cricket (Saga sp.), Violet Carpenter Bee, various Robber Flies, Longhorn beetles & many more!
- Price £1395
- Duration 6+ days
- Group Size 5+
- Date 29/05/2021 - 05/06/2021
- A huge range of macro subjects – insects, amphibians, reptiles, flowers & more
- Tuition & guidance to suit all levels – including basics of macro photography, lighting, composition, stacking, artistic macro concepts & techniques & more
- Diverse range of habitats including mountains, meadows, forests, lakes & alpine pastures
Please note: The following itinerary is subject to changes in terms of running order or content, depending on local weather and other factors. We will use our experience and local knowledge to maximise the wildlife you will see and be able to photograph.
Day 1: Arrival and transfer to our hotel in a small village close to Lake Kerkini. Afternoon excursion to sites at the northern end of the lake for our first taste of the areas habitats and wildlife we’ll be photographing.
Day 2: Mandraki harbour and environs + the eastern embankment area of Lake Kerkini.
Day 3: Western side of the lake and surroundings.
Day 4: Lailias Mountain, various habitats and altitudes.
Day 5: Mount Belles at the northern end of Lake Kerkini. Exploration of habitats at various altitudes.
Days 6 & 7: Magical macro mystery tour! We’ll take you to several secret locations we’ve discovered over the years. A chance to explore the countryside and find many macro photography subjects!
Day 8: Transfer to Thessaloniki airport for homeward flights.