Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sifting through scanned negatives from 2006, coming soon: Kastoria churches

I’ve spent the best part of today (after drilling holes in the bathroom for a new towel rack) trying to sort out some old photos from Kastoria in 2006... taken on film (obviously, given that I was still 2 years away from the beginning of my transition to digital).

Kastoria was like a middle Byzantine playground! Amazing small-scale religious architecture and the promise of some decent frescoes when doors were not locked – like a mini-Ochrid.

I have spent the morning going through two rolls of film, trying to match church names to images for uploading to Flickr (coming soon). 

Some of the images to be sorted and sent to Flickr
Given that I could only remember two of the churches, and one of these not by name, this was a non-trivial detective task. The main thing in my favour was that I had only the one camera with me, and therefore only one roll of film being exposed at one time. The other thing in my favour was that I was carrying my new Garmin GPS and creating a track of our walk.

Screengrab from Google Earth

So I fire up OziExplorer to re-trace my track and get an idea of the route I took chronologically (and so I could export the .trk file to a kml file Google Earth can understand) and I fire up Google Earth to get an idea of where the track is on the satellite image.
Getting jiggy with it
And lo and behold, I get the route and the little jiggy bits point out where I stopped walking and stood and walked around.

The areas marked “a” (with deliberate flame-bait use of Comic Sans font) are the jiggy-bits showing I wandered around and stopped rather than continued to move (making it likely that a photo was taken there). The area marked “b” with vertical dotted line shows a different effect – the dotted vertical is drawn to bring attention to the impossible path beginning and ending at the entrance to the church. This is where I entered the church and lost signal. The sharp line is where the GPS tries to get a firmer fix on my position. 

Path anomalies
 So – we now know I stopped walking in front of square building and entered the odd pyramid cake building, but we are no closer to an id. I then make a guess on the basis of different materials used to roof these buildings that these two are churches (and specifically the churches of St. George and St. Stephen – taking that from Barber’s map on pages 590 and 591 of the 1981 version of Greece’s Blue-Guide, reprinted 5th Edition of 1990, a gift from Charlie).

Some of these kids are doing their own thing...
 Not all buildings with the duller tiles can be churches, but all churches have the duller tiles.

Armed with this knowledge – that St. George (more about this church when I get it up on Flickr) is that one, and knowing which one St. George is in the images, I can then follow my route backwards and forwards from there to identify all remaining images (if only as ‘unknown church on Ag. Anargyron street).

The last piece in the chain of this detective story is the identification of the other buildings – and here at the last moment, I remembered Wikimapia. Firing up a new browser window, I got names for all but one of the buildings I had shot and got the final one from the Blue Guide (although I am curious why wikimapia does not tag it. 

Extract from Wikimapia 
So there we have it – actual photos coming soon.

No comments: