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Probably the best outdoor photo subject in Macedonia, the ancient city of Stobi, is little known, but offers a lot. Located in the center of the small country along the main E75 thoroughfare, the opening hours are not too conducive to photography, so visiting outside the summer season gives you more chances to catch some earlier and later light. These times change, so check with local sources.

Two particular sections of the ruins were amazing photo subjects, and are unique among outdoor ancient European cities open to the public. Both involve outdoor mosaics. The remains of the baptism fount, used when the city was in Christian hands, is particularly striking from above when it is illuminated by early or late light or when there are clouds. It’s easy to climb up above and shoot down. Not too far away are the ruins of more mosaics with small columns around. Finally, a more common subject is the small Amphitheater. It faces southeast and has the best light during winter mornings. Also, at that time, the distant mountains might have snow and can be shot rising above the structure.

Although I was allowed to use a tripod here, I think I was lucky, and the tripod policy tends to mimic that of the nearby Greeks—no backpacks or tripods allowed. Now, I would use my Sony a7rII with a camera around my neck and the 5-way gimbal turned on.


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