Photographer's Note


The colors of the Greek flag appear to embody the colors of the Greek Islands, and nowhere more dramatically than in the most geologically interesting island of them all, Santorini, in the Cyclades. In 1628 BC the immense volcano comprising the better part of the island erupted cataclysmically, sending volcanic debris hundreds of miles from the Island. Estimated to have been many times more powerful than the eruption that destroyed the Indonesian Island of Krakatoa in 1893, it must have affected worldwide weather for years. One city left buried by the eruption at Santorini was Akrotiri, the remains of which are thought by many scholars to have been Plato’s ‘Lost City of Atlantis.’ The explosion left behind a caldera in the form of an immense horseshoe with a dimple-like island in the center, most of the mountain having collapsed into the deep sea.

The precise date for the event comes from “dendrochronology,” or dating by counting tree ring. Evidence of the eruption was found in the particular tree ring corresponding to 3635 years ago (among the multitude of rings) in some of the wood found in Tutanhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. This is as precise as archaeological dating can be performed, and more precise than radiocarbon dating with C-14.

I had been giving lectures on the Crystal Symphony when the luxurious cruise liner anchored in the caldera of Santorini. With close friends, I rented a car and drove from Fira to Oia, and it was at the latter town that I saw this iconic image of the blue church dome and pristine white buildings, set against the intense blue of the water and sky.

I shot the image with my Nikon D-70, and created the white mat using Photoshop. In such mats, the inner gold line emulates the beveled edge of the mat, and gold pin stripes are decorations in the manner of French mats. I have seen framers cut cardboard mats for my own drawings and lithographs in this manner. I wonder if this mat is too wide, making the image itself artificially small?

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12169] (41257)
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