2021 – A collection of my Latest posts (no images)

Keeping with the tradition of 2020, this will be the depository for the Latest posts for 2021 once they have fulfilled their goal in their short but eventful life.


01 2021

I happen to live by a beautiful mountain overlooking the city of Athens. Ymittos is literally my backyard and during these past few weeks, we started taking hiking trips up there on Sundays. Surrounded by nature one is pretty much “sentenced” to photographing nature. However, the same optical stimuli hit our optical nerves in many different ways and that is at the core of photography as an art. Going up there again and again, sometimes tracing my steps from the week before, I tried to keep an open mind and “see” the same things differently.

A forest is a forest, true, but there are angles to explore, distance to put between you and your subject, sometimes large and sometimes small. When it comes to flowers and plants, the sky is the limit when it comes to colors, but who is to say that there is no beauty to be found in a simple silver green plant, a dead flower or a leaf that is fighting an uphill battle with the inevitable?

One of my favorite “angles” is the study and bringing forward of our species’ footprint on the environment, the “human stain” as P. Roth coined the term. From non pervasive interventions, like a family walking in the forest or a man making his way to the cell phone antenna which look like a 21st century tree, to the stark contrast between the complexity of modern day cities and the homogeneous nature of a deep green forest.

Of course, there had to be some details in the Pop and Abstract part of my viewing! A closeup of a barbed wire, a spider’s foray into geometry with triangles forming out of hair-like threads and a make-believe planet…

It is all in the eye of the beholder then. The beauty, the stimulus, the angle.


02 2021

What do you do when you are presented with the same stimuli over and over again for a prolonged time period? What do you do in the absence of new, never before seen, interesting, and stimulating stimuli? Well, you dig deep into the pit of your artistic soul and you try to re-see and to re-feel and to re-create, all with a view to tell another story with the same props. It builds character for sure and the results may be surprising. As I was saying in one of the articles in the blog, it is like playing squash with an old, beat-up, half-broken racquet; it limits you but it also builds your control and your mental game, not to mention your creativity. This month’s images are an example of just that.

Children are the expected “victims” of this predicament and mine was no exception. This time the focus was literally on the eyes, trying to show the bewildering look and playing with color to create a collage of unexpected looks.

Nature’s contrasts are always a dear theme and this time I decided to present images of few colors, where the stark contrast between black and white (with a blue backdrop in one) helps tell the story: a window to the world in one image, a dangerous dark embrace of the hourglass pale female figure in another. Sometimes, less is more and these two images exemplify this notion.

A colorful detail is another stimulus that never fails to catch my eye, especially when combined with an out-of-place political snippet. A totally utilitarian metal structure is used in other ways than originally intended, but from diametrically opposed starting points. The results are destined to live side by side forever.

Flora is all about color, but it doesn’t have to be “loud”. It can be as subtle as a different shade of white against white, with a dash of blue for good measure. Or it can be an orange tree in an otherwise snow-covered landscape, serving as a reminder of better days to come.

Negative space is one of my favorite “props” to employ when telling a story. What lies lurking in the shadows can be better or worse than expected. Sometimes, illuminating the darkness, exposes the subject to the true dimension of their fear. Is this good or bad? You decide.


03 2021

March was all about nature, it being the first month of spring and all… I consciously decided to let the flow guide me to wherever inspiration was hiding. It was all going to be about flowers, plants, the outdoors, all that fancy stuff;)

As the month progressed, I stuck with my initial thought but the end result was much different than I had anticipated. This is not a series of flowers in their natural and springtime habitat. No, that would be too predictable. Every one of these images is indirectly connected to spring and nature, but the direct connection is hidden from plain view.

Dry and pretty rudimentary looking plants take on a different life when they are put in front of a backdrop of gloom or glory. Skies that look as if they are mourning, heavy with clouds, dark or bright. The relative significance of foreground versus background is shifting.

Keeping with the uncelebrated members of the plant family, I decided to play with colors and shapes and use them as props. One looks like palms open to the sky, inviting the rain that is long overdue, like a plea for an extended lease of life. Another looks like black flames reaching up to a reddish sky in a twist of reality: an inversion of color within a make-believe world. Essentially, it is a celebration of spring in a twisted way…

Taking in the beauty of flowers can be achieved through several different views. This time, I opted for a closer look of details. And to take matters further away from the initial inspiration that was spring, these flowers were already dead… Petals become waves and mountain slopes in simple, geometric compositions. A bright yellow center becomes a pit and a crowded group of stamens becomes the dark center of attention.

And then there are the people. Standing tall, facing away from the afternoon sun, shying away from the essence of spring. In black and white. As far away from the here and now as possible.

I enjoyed making these images and I enjoyed thinking about them. I tried locking these thoughts of mine in each photograph. But did I manage to give you the key to unlock them?


04 2021

April was about black and white. In my mind, things are pretty simple when it comes to the eternal and never-ending debate about color vs. black and white: if color adds to the story you want to convey, use it; if it doesn’t, go with black and white.

Having said that, the vast majority of my images are in color. That is because most of the stories I want to tell have color as an integral part of the narrative. I love to observe colors that somehow break the pattern of their surroundings and I document that in my images. I love the radiance of color; its subtle hues but also the way it invades and takes over shapes and forms.

Then again, there are instances when the story is in the composition, or is better told in shades of grey. Ideally, you know this when you shoot, but many times you really only find out in post processing. Realistically, for most of us (except for the true visionaries and immensely talented artists) it is a mixture of both. It is OK I guess, as long as the result is a visual story you want to tell the world.

Six out of this month’s eight images are in B&W. The two that are in color are images of little flowers, usually shot in color anyway (a nice rule to break one of these days…). One is a play between red and green and the other one tells a story of a Near Death Experience where the pale blue of the sky is essentially a proxy for the hope that lies above. The rest of the images are attempting to tell simple stories somewhere between white and black. Is it working for you?

Can you hear what the three gods are saying to one another?

Do you see the vertical and horizontal shapes under the scorching sun?

Can you feel the weight of the ancient stones in light and in the shadow?

Do you see the quiet and elegant beauty of the white peacock?

Can you make out the shape from the movement?

I leave it up to you to decide if color would tell a story, the same one or a different one, or no story at all. Because, when all is said and done, like the saying about beauty, the story is also in the eye of the beholder when it comes to images.


05 2021

The beauty in image making is this: we are all faced with just about the same optical stimuli and yet, if we are asked to come up with images to depict them (even given specs to adhere to) we will all end up with different images: different angle, different field of view, different lighting, different perspective, different emotions that spring out of each image (hopefully).

This is exactly the reason I keep photographing in the same places I have been to and photographed before, even the same things and definitely the same faces.

I believe that what is true about all of us making different images of the same stimuli is also true about our own selves at different times. Our mood, our preconceived notion of what we are trying to show, our gear, our level of maturity (if we are talking about two distant moments anyway), all contribute to us making something unique every time.

This month I shot some flowers with a mind to make color plays of sorts. In the past I have shot flowers in macro, or to just expose their fragile beauty and in the future, I am sure that I will be shooting more flowers in all sorts of other interesting ways.

A sunset is a sunset is a sunset, right? Not so in my book. I shot this one because of how I felt being there at that moment. The combination of heavy skies, a golden sun and a calm sea created a special mix of color and emotions that I tried to convey. It will happen again for the same reasons explained above. One more reason too: it is an everyday miracle of beauty and I find no value in being so cynical as to ignore it, just because I have witnessed so many sunsets before it.

Details are another love of mine, because they facilitate this second, third, fourth look into things. A tree trunk with splinters that look like a slanted skyline or a drop of resin that looks like a crystal ball – they are certainly worth a more careful look. I am sure that if I happen to go there again, I will look for something else, even if nothing pops out initially to capture my imagination.

Finally, as my son was driving a go-kart for the first time, I was looking at patterns and colors and objects around the race track, The play between colors and at the same time between foreground and background occurred to me just then. I photographed it. What will it be next time?

It is easier to make images in new places with new people and new circumstances. What is hard (as it is in life itself) is to be able to produce results out of your everyday course, often with everything the same as it has always been.


06 2021

Sometimes the format of an image plays a pivotal role in the way it is perceived by the viewer. Most of the time I shoot in the native format of 2:3 or 24:36, which is the format of the sensor itself. Sometimes I stray and shoot in other formats, some other times I choose another format during post processing, depending on the cropping of the final image, or my view as to which format suits it best.

This month I decided to experiment a bit more with two formats in particular: square and wide, or -to put it in numerical terms- 1:1 and 16:9. I am more familiar with the former, especially because quite a few of my compositions and final images have a symmetrical theme or undertone, so the square format lends itself well to that. Also, it is a format that has been widely used in medium format photography and it is visually familiar to a lot of viewers, not least the younger generations that are using or viewing instagram! The latter is a more cinematic format and I have never -ever- used it. So what prompted me to do it now? Two reasons really: one is just for the sake of experimentation and one has to do with the fact that my lens is a 28mm wide angle which, I thought, fits that format in the sense that you take in quite a bit of visual information anyway and then you present in a “larger than life” way, much like they do in the movies.

For the square format, some of the images were conceived this way, while for others it was a choice in post. Can you tell which is which? Does it matter? The two images of the drops on the leaf belong in the former category, while the other square images belong in the latter. Two images began life as 2:3 landscapes of natural surroundings, but I squared them in an effort to tighten the composition in a way that differs from just making it smaller but retaining the original aspect ratio. The other two, namely the resin drop and the mic/crane B&W shot, have lines and shapes that are becoming more pronounced when viewed within the boundaries of a square, at least that is what I think! The real question is, what do you, the viewer, think?

For the wide format, the two landscapes, namely the woods and the sunset were conceived in my mind as better suited to this presentation, but somehow this was the easier, more obvious choice. The glasses were a different story altogether, as the main diagonal was the main theme, so I thought that the longer I make it the better. That simple;)

I thoroughly enjoyed making these images in June. Maybe it is the summer mood or just the fact that I set out to experiment and that is a liberating thing in itself, because by definition, experimentation may lead to failure, but if one is prepared for it, it may work very productively and effectively!


07 2021

Sometimes there is no unifying theme, explicit or implicit to a month’s images. Fragmentation can be negative or positive though. It can be negative when one is in search of that underlying theme to their inspiration, a sort of glue that will not only tie in their images together, but it will also help unlock creativity and inspiration to make the images in the first place. But it can also be positive, in the sense that one is not constrained or bound by a preconceived notion about the images they are trying to make, thus being more in tune with the visual opportunities that emerge.

For me, July was one such month. Moving around the city, camera in hand, I had no idea what I was after. I found that it was much easier to lift the camera and shoot this way. OK, this is definitely not “shooting with a purpose” of which I am a proponent, but sometimes it is worth trying out other ideas. After all, unless one is shooting professionally, i.e. on an assignment with a very defined expected outcome, photography is about experimenting and trying out different styles and techniques and ideas to se what works and what not.

So, these nine images, while not sharing anything in common, they do share the fact that they were “born” of a different method than the one I am more used to.

The net that seems to be blown by the light. Elements at work.

The wire that holds everything together. Or doesn’t.

The coffee table and chair waiting for someone. Anyone as long as it is one.

The reflection of a lit rock against a midnight blue sky. Colors and textures.

The rope that serves as beginning to a story more elaborate than I had imagined. Can you continue?

The foreground / background play between chains and colors. A flag of an imaginary unfree country.

The tiger moving for the kill. How to tell the story when the tools aren’t there.

The look that reveals as much as it hides. Smug and reserved at the same time.

The hand that holds the glass, ready to pull it back to a place not in focus. The essence of drinking.

I wasn’t conscious of the process as it was happening but, nevertheless, I enjoyed making these images as much as any I have made. Maybe I’ll try this again sometime;)


08 2021

August vacation… A time for creatives to go all out, right? Well, the answer is a definite maybe if you ask me or, better yet, see this month’s images. Let me try to explain.

In the month of August I had the pleasure of visiting 6 different places for a while and I was indeed on full vacation mode, camera in hand at all times, mind empty of all things work, time to spend wandering around, the whole nine yards.

This situation resulted in my posting 69 images on my fb Page, 32 of which found their way into this website (yes, I am pickier here). This is about 3 times as much as the average month in terms of sheer volume of shooting. This is understandable, because on top of all the factors I described above, I also need to mention that I visited some places that I had never seen before.

So far, we have established that, in my case anyway -but your mileage may vary-, vacation works wonders for the number of images you are making, which was to be expected more or less.

However, viewing the images makes one wonder. Was I on vacation shooting landscapes and people smiling, or was I applying my style of photography to what happened to be a new venue on my vacation time? Without hesitation, I will say it is the latter.

Most of the images I made this month could have been made anywhere really, except for some that belong to the Human Stain album, i.e. those that pertain to the effect of man on the environment: unavoidably these images are related to the specific places I visited.

Come to think of it, this is not a bad deal anyway! If going on vacation increases the amount of images and these images adhere to the same themes that interest the photographer anyway, then I should be on vacation more;) Now, if someone is expecting travel images that will show them the places I visited through my particular perspective, they may be disappointed. The opposite, however esoteric, is true too: if someone is expecting images that have my personal style and just happen to be made during vacation in places never visited before, they are getting their money’s worth!

In any case, as always, vacation or not, I enjoyed making them and that is the whole point now, isn’t it?


09 2021

There are themes that over the years keep fascinating me when they pop up in front of me; one might think that my infatuation with this or the other theme would be exhausted after hundreds or thousands of images. However, this is not the case (mental note: I may have to look into that; professional help?)

This past month I had the pleasure of visiting an island and it soon became apparent that most of my images from that extended weekend would conform to either one of two themes: the peace and quiet of village life or minimal forms and patterns.

Usually, images with people convey messages about life more eloquently than those without. Intuitively, it stands to reason that if one wants to depict human life somewhere, humans should be somewhere in the image. Well, not necessarily I say. Villages in Greece are waning in population and the quiet one experiences as a visitor is mostly a result of not many people around. So, my take on village life is devoid of villagers, much like the villages themselves. Ah, now it makes more sense, right?

My friends make fun of me, because even when I travel, my images -at least most of them- could have been taken anywhere; that’s because I do see -and consequently shoot- a lot of patterns and forms that intrigue me. Same thing happened that weekend on the island. Patterns are a horizontal theme to life’s vertical experiences and that never fails to capture my gaze and mind.

Of course there are other images as well and the full spectrum can be seen at my facebook page with the same name, so please feel free to go and check out the full set there and let me know what you think!


10 2021

By looking at this month’s images, one might think that this is an architectural digest, but no. Just a coincidence, or is it?

I had the pleasure of visiting two incredible works of art this past month, namely the Acropolis and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. Also, I spent quite a few evening at a primary school at my son’s basketball practice.

The forms and structures caught my attention obviously, as most of you who frequent this place know by now. They have done so in the past, these very places (except for the school). Understandable: they are masterpieces of architecture, connected with their environment in a marvellous way but at the same time, standing out very distinctly. Every single time I find myself there, I take different images of them, yet their intrinsic value (aesthetic, architectural, other?) yields positive reults every single time.

The play in the color images at the ancient theater of Herod Atticus is at the core of Human Stain: the interaction of man with the environment. This has a temporal sense as well as a comparative one: you may look at man’s footprint on the natural environment and/or the different type/kind of footprint depending on the era. When seen side by side, these interventions of man on the natural environment give you another sense of perspective.

The play on the B&W images of the Temple of Poseidon is dual: when the images are viewed together, one after the other, the perspective of the tree vs the temple leads the mind to the inevitable connections. When seen separately, the images depict stories of God and Man; different stories, according to the viewer’s perspective and philosophy. (not to mention the photographer’s!)

The Pop and Abstract images are bold, minimal and definitely geometric; another favorite of mine! An inverted and highly messed up human chess board and a make-beleive inverted jail caught my attention at the Acropolis Museum of all places! Then on to the Acropolis and its beauty-in-simplicity approach and further on to bold and colorful structures at a school and around town.

It has been fun, I am telling you!


12 2021

Themes are a weird thing it seems… Whether they emerge before the shooting or after it, as one is looking at the images truying to make sense of what was captured, themes never seize to surprise me.

In the month of December, it seems that two themes emerged, without me noticing or having a specific desire to make images along these lines. One may say that this is not necessarily good and actually I am that “one” and I have said so in one of the blog posts within this very site – after all shotting with a purpose is what it’s all about, right?

Well, yes and possibly no! Sometimes, you have to go with the flow, with what is available, with whatever captures your fancy / imagination and see what comes out of it. It is akin to composition rules that you should really follow until you decide to break them and see what happens.

This time the emerging themes were the water and the dark, sometimes together. In a sense, it is to be expected that these two would make for interesting images. The darkness can be a foe in most circumstances, but, if used correctly, it can be a friend. Use it to place emaphasis on the contrast within the image, use it to hide things that detract from the story, use it for drama, just use it and see what you get of it. The water is a different beast altogether and the main photographic concern lies within its very liquid nature: it is an abstract “thing” and you need to decide if creatively it suits you better to freeze it or make it look like a dreamy substance flowing slowly in space and time. Put some light in. Use the darkness as mentioned above. Rinse, repeat!

No wonder then that most of December’s image fall under the Pop and Abstract category!

And before I let you view the images, I need to make a special mention of that model who decided to pose for me on “Red Rain”. When the going get tough, the tough get going as they say, so if you have set your mind to an image and you are short of props, models, tools, whatever… just improvise. I was short of someone to pose for this, so I set it up in such a way that I pose and shoot myself at the same time🙂

At the end of the day, it is about what you want to say with photography, or what you mean even if you didn’t intend to say it explicitly in the first place. Does this work for you?