Sigma Pro Judy Host is known for her incredibly touching, one-of-a-kind work as a portrait photographer. One of her most recent projects shied away from her typical portrait work, as she traveled through the Middle East, documenting several landscapes and the overwhelming history and emotions that they are filled with. Accompanied by Sigma’s SD Quattro H Mirrorless Camera, Judy captured breathtaking views, allowing us to feel like we were with her on her trip even from thousands of miles away.
Judy toured through several of her “bucket list locations” on this 12-day excursion, including Israel, Malta, and several Greek Islands. Knowing that she would be doing a lot of traveling in areas with warm sunny weather, Judy said bringing the SD Quattro was the perfect choice. “Given that I was shooting outside in areas with tons of light, I wasn’t concerned about having to use high ISOs. The SD Quattro H Mirrorless Camera is small, light, and easy to use and really a great camera for the conditions I was shooting in” Judy notes.
A main goal of Judy’s was to document her trip in a way in which she could share a bit of history about each of the areas she visited. She wanted people viewing her images to see what it was actually like to be there; the size of the buildings and the overall perspective. Though this was a huge challenge, using wide-angle lenses was extremely helpful and necessary for these significant shots.
Bits of History Captured by Judy
One particular scene Judy captured took place in Lindos, a city on the Island of Rhodes in Greece. Filled with tons of beautiful white buildings, the city was built at the base of a mountain. The mountain comes out of the modern city and on top of it lays ancient ruins. Most of the shooting Judy did took place on top of this mountain, known as the Acropolis of Lindos. Judy emphasizes the incredible history that is visible on this authentic site of remains. “Through different drawings they show you what it the Acropolis of Lindos looked like years and years ago, compared to what it looks like now” Judy says. Of course over the past 2000 years parts of the land was greatly destroyed through wars, so you are able to see a genuine transformation from the “then drawings” to Judy’s current shots.
Though much of the Acropolis of Lindos is now dirt and rock, the land yields an extremely informative part of Greek history. The images captured here were some of Judy’s favorites. She says, “The light was perfect and with the Sigma camera, the colors were so vibrant. The sky looked so blue against the ancient white stones.”
She had a similar, touching experience at one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes. Located on the Island of Rhodes, a great statue of the Greek God Helios once stood. It had been constructed to celebrate Rhodes’ victory in a war almost 2000 years ago, but experienced destruction by natural causes years later. Now, all that remains are pieces of the pillars that once held this statue up. “There wasn’t anything left to photograph, but hearing the history behind it creates an even bigger connection to the island,” Judy says.
Another one of Judy’s favorite scenes took place in Mykonos, Greece. The SD Quattro excelled in Mykonos specifically, as the white buildings and blue roofs popped in each photo. She recalls walking around the city, looking for the perfect shot. Given that she visited at the end of their main touring season, it was easy to take photos without having tons of people to edit out in the background. “There was one building that I captured that was really special because of how beautiful it was. It was very quiet- just me – and such perfect lighting. The memory of the whole experience was incredible.” Judy notes that this building is likely just an average home to many, but the connection she made in this spot was unforgettable.
Another major highlight of Judy’s trip included a Game of Thrones tour in Malta, a city packed with magnificent buildings where the first season of the show was shot. Judy recalls entering a famous landmark in the show; The Red Keep located within King’s Landing. Visiting at a rather quiet time, Judy says the scene was simply amazing.
Judy’s recent excursion highlighted the essence of traveling and exploring new places. With a great deal of authenticity, history and emotions, her shots truly allow us to feel like we traveled with her. Judy’s immense talent and unique style combined with the high quality equipment that she used, enabled her to beautifully capture the trip of a lifetime.