2023 – A collection of my Latest posts (no images)

Another year! Looking back at all the Latest texts brings back memories of each and every image as it was made (sort of!).

01 2023

January was mostly about the great outdoors. There is something about the open skies and large bodies of water that never fails to capture my eye. Sometimes it feels like there is too much to shoot in the great emptiness of sky and water, that you could only point your camera there and ever have time for anything else. Of course, this is never the case and even this past month, I did manage to shoot quite a few images “contained” in space.

It was awesome and inspiring at the same time to be out there. It was the time after Christmas vacation and the mood was festive yet quiet. And it matched the scenery perfectly, at least in my mind’s eye. So I never tried to capture it; it was effortless and natural.

Up in the mountains of the North, on one of Greece’s highest peak at 2524 meters, you feel like you are at the top of the world. All this vast expanse is there in front of you and you are trying to absorb it all in, but there is always more left out. I guess that is the difference between God and Man. Although being on top of the clouds and yet on solid ground feels a bit like immortality.

Kastoria is one of those Northern towns that are graced by the presence of a tranquil lake that reflects beauty like nothing else. It wasa blessing to be able to witness all this beauty at different times of the day and attempt to align time and beauty within a handful of images. Trees bowing to the water, buildings and land masses mirroring in the glass-lie surface and a glorious sun deciding what to grace and what to hide for later.

And those skies, criss-crossed by so many airplanes, were a sight to behold in their own right. Natural cloud formations and lines that seemed to go on forever, a reminder of the recent past only into the very near future, were all there for the sun to play with and for me to capture.

And then, back inside, trying to fit back into a more human like dimension, yet seeking to recognize patterns that point to a grander scheme of things.

Oh, January was good to me for sure! I hope you enjoy the images!

 

02 2023

I was walking down the streets of downtown Athens a lot this past month, looking for images to complete a project I was working on (incidentally I did and it will go on show in a while here!), so the images you see here are a by-product of these strolls. They just happened while I was looking for something else, something very specific. Nevertheless, since images are there for us to discover and bring them to life, I couldn’t resist the temptation and shot them anyway.

Since they are spontaneous and not necessarily products of deep thinking (!), let me share with you what caught my eye and fancy on each one of them:

The eggs – well, obviously the neat pattern, the lines in contrast with the ovals inside.

The flames – the fluidity of the flame dance compared to the harxh lines behind.

The tree – the loneliness and resilience, the battle vs an invincible enemy.

The face – the emergence of light out of darkness, that raised eyebrow.

The legs – the shadow, what lies there in the dark.

The guard – the simplicity, the contrast of the silhouette against the light, the silence of it all.

The street corner – the buzzing atmoshere, the almost African vibe.

The bench – the division of land and water, the diagonal lines.

The boy – the mid-sentence look, the moment.

The field – the green and purple “carpet”, the old couple walking away from it, from everything?

The storefront – the kid, the X’s, the attention that is given elsewhere.

So there you have it, the stories behind the images, the momentary thoughts that pulled the trigger!

 

03 2023

They say the eyes are a window to the soul and they are right. Soul is life and if my math is correct, there seems to be some pretty high positive correlation between eyes and life.

So, taking this further down the slippery slope of mathematical logic, is the absence of eyes in an image equal to absence of life? I dare say no!

This month’s images are about life in one way of another, sometimes directly while others indirectly. The easy explanation is that photography records the world around us and all things in it, so life is evident de facto. A harder explanation has to do with where one looks for life and what the definition is.

Life is motion. Life is music. Life is patterns. Life is nature. Life is sun. Life is little creatures. Life is water. Life is remembering the past.

And life is in what people do, how they iteract with all that surrounds them. There is life in the way a little child averts the gaze of his violin teacher. There is life in the way a priest bows and closes his eyes before God. There is life in the way an old lady is readibg the Bible, totally oblivious to what is going on around her. Their eyes are not it the images (except for the teacher’s eyes, but you get the picture!) and yet, there is no doubt that we are witnessing here in these 11 images are tiny specks of life.

 

04 2023

Travel photography, that menace…

You go places, see things, take pictures. Now, usually you go to places that almost everyone else goes too, like London or Florence and you see the same things that everyone else sees. The question is, do you take the same pictures everyone else takes?

I try not to. Which means that my “travel” photography is not very “travel” looking. I try to put the place I visit inside my filter and see things in it that I see everywhere else, things that capture my imagination, even though they may not be solely related to one place or another.

I take, for example, pictures of objects with patterns or some symmetry. I may find them in my hometown or halfway across the globe; it doesn’t matter, because I am interested in them here, there and everywhere too!

So, finding myself in London or Florence or my hometown of Thessaloniki, like I did this past month will surely result in some place-specific images but most likely it will produce my kind of images. Which is OK. Because I am doing the shooting. See where I am getting?

Of course there is nothing wrong with taking travel pictures with monuments and your friends and family in front of them. Actually, most people will have a lot more utility for these images than anything else. However, if you feel that you’d rather not, please know that you are not alone!

These 27 images are an assortment of both “schools”; there are the travel pics and there are the personal images. At the end of the day, they are all my babies and I love them all! I hope you enjoy them too!

 

05 2023

Dark and light. Grandiose and miniscule. Bright and pale. Lines and curves. Old and new. Quiet and loud. Minimal and kitsch. Happy and sad. Order and chaos. Innocent and devious. Together and alone. Vertical and horizontal. Life and death.

The list can go on and on. These are some of the themes in this month’s images. Photography is trying to depict life as seen by the artist. In a day’s wanderings, many of life’s manifestations are presenting themselves in all their glorious contrast. It is the work of the photographer to see, to understand, to decipher, to synthesize, to seclude, to deduce, to click.

Images are everywhere. Life is everywhere.

 

06 2023

Light is definitely the medium. Color is more often than not the enabler. But they can both easily serve as the actual subject of an image.

Photography is the art that uses the light to record images on a sensor (or film). Stories are told this way using shades of grey or colors.

Photographers are taught to master the nuances of light and color or shades of grey to become better storytellers. But sometimes, as was the case this month for me, the light itself was the center of attention, the main star of the show. In other images, the brightness of color was all that was required to make the image. I like this. I like taking images of light itself in different forms: white light bathing everything around and turning objects into mere shades, lighter or darker, warm light of sunset, painting everything with a billion color palette that cannot be replicated, dim light that lends itself to those objects that just happen to be around, revealing only lines and forms and leaving the rest to the viewer’s imagination.

And then there is color for the sake of color. Color in defiance of its surroundings or as a peak among other lower peaks. Color in all the right places, but also in places least exepcted to be found. There is something about bright color that intrigues us all, attracts us like moths are attracted by the light. What we see in it, is different in each one of us; but initially we are there, glued to it, even momentarily.

As is the case with other subjects, the image making was pretty much instinctive, no real thought before the shot, just a root-level understanding that “this” has to be captured now and we’ll see what to do with it later.

Light and Color it is then!

 

07 2023

Color in all its bright glory.

A play with silhouettes against a dying light.

Both flirting with that third dimension that is part of the real world, but not part of the medium trying to capture it.

This month’s images are all about color – or its absence. But, in a way, isn’t always photography about that?

Just a few words needed when images are aching to explain.

Enjoy!

 

08 2023

Themes I have explored before resurfaced in August; didn’t plan it this way. I was on vacation and not all photographic cylinders were firing! Out of this month’s six images, three are sunset related and we all know how Oscar Wilde felt about that, right? However, it (the sunset) has a strange and powerful pull, especially when combined with cloudporn, railroad tracks and power lines; all beloved themes of mine. Somehow, even though I sometimes feel I am going in circles when shooting the same themes, I believe that Leonard Cohen was on to something when he talked about the crack in everything; the more I shoot, the deeper I go into each and every subject and yes, there is a light:)

 

09 2023

It’s always the sun… Not just one of my favorite tunes by The Stranglers, but also one of the main themes of this month’s images. I found myself in the archaelogical sites of Mycaene and Vergina and also in my hometown, Thessaloniki. Most of the images I created this month have something to do with the sun. And light. By candles or by reflection. One might think that this is the art of writing with light after all, so the light is an obvious theme.

Yes and no. It is definitely the medium and it can be used in a multitude of ways, but sometimes it becomes the theme itself. For me, the sun is used to reduce the world into two dimensions, i.e. shooting against it in order to drop the depth and portray sujects as silhouettes. It is an interesting play, going back and forth between reality and perception, the world and the medium used to capture it and I find myself doing it often.

Then, when the composition is lean and minimal I like to play with alternative colors for easily indentifiable subjects like the sky. You can see it take many unnatural colors, even deep red, in this month’s images in order to create an alternative view of the known world. In this respect, I feel like I am closer to painting than scultpure, even though I truly believe that photography is closer to the latter than the former. But when I decide to take such liberties with colors, it is like starting with a blank piece of paper or canvas and sometimes it works, either aesthecially or to convey a message, or ideally both!

September was a “rich” month in this respect, even though the themes, as explained, were pretty much narrowed down. So, the story was variations on a theme rather than variety of themes! Enjoy!

 

10 2023

This month I found myself in the beautiful island of Crete. We had the chance to drive around and visit villages that seem to be forgotten by time. Yet the colors and shapes are still intriguing, so most of the images have to do with building structures and unique colors that have withstood the grueling test of time.

There is something intriguing about vibrant colors in otherwise decaying structures; there is an obvious contrast that defies logic and conventional wisdom and, as such, it lends itself beautifully to image making.

It always amazes me that some topics seem to be inexhaustible. I guess one can go around town (or the world) and only shoot one of these never-ending stories again and again. When people are featured in these stories, it is somehow easier because of the vast variety of looks, gestures, facial features and, of course, emotions. When people are absent, as is the case in my recurring themes, it would appear more difficult but at the end I never have a problem of producing the images: different than yesterday’s, yet sharing a common backbone that easily identifies them as part of this never-ending quest for more samples.

Then there are some objects, like this month’s Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, that I feel I absolutely have to shoot again and again. The differences may be more subtle than last year’s attempts, but I feel like I owe it to the beauty of the structure to try once again. And again next year.

Enjoy the colors and immerse yourselves in the beauty of timeless structures, whethere they are ancient temples or humble ruins of village huts.

 

11 2023

Sometimes the planets are aligned and other times they are all over the place… As I set out to visit Meteora this past month, I had really high hopes for the kind in photographs I would be making there. After all this is a place like no other as the name suggests – literally “suspended”- because of the nature of the rock formations and the monasteries on top of them, closer to the sky it seems than the earth. This was going to be epic!

Or not… As we arrived at the general area of the monasteries, it became apparent to me that this was going to be a challenge. To begin with, there were many of us, actually 10 including 4 kids. As we were moving around the area, the pattern we followed was dictated by where the kids could go and, especially, for how long. We had a few hours to visit a couple of monasteries, go for lunch and return to see one more.

As I was going around, I realized that the pace we were walking was too brisk to allow me to take in the aura of the place. In and out of the car, kids all over the place, doing the tourist rounds. This was not going to work…

I did manage to take quite a few photographs, some of which are presented here. BUT, are these images characterstic of the magnificence of the place? No. Why not, you may ask. Because, I had to revert back to taking MY kind or images, as if this was any old place, not a unique landscape.

As you will see, the photographs shared here are characteristically my own (and as such, they are true and sincere), but for those of you that have had the chance to visit Meteora, they are not characteristic of the place, with a few exceptions.

For that to happen, I would do it differently – actually I WILL do it differently next time! I will go alone and spend at least a whole day walking around to let myself get into the vibe and groove of Meteora. I will see the first light and the last light and everything in between and I will visit all the monasteries and spend some time in each one. Then I will return and make a few images that while retaining my view and style will give the viewer a better glimpse of the uniqueness of this magnificent place!

 

12 2023

Sometimes it just doesn’t happen… Days pass and it seems that you have kept your eyes closed the whole time. Then, suddenly it is the end of the month and you see the amount of images you have produced and it is too late to do anything.

It is funny in a way. I shoot for the love of photography; no client is expecting a body of work to be produced and presented at a certain time; I do not expect to make a living out of my images. And yet, when I fail to produce, I feel bad about it; I feel like I am not being true to myself for some reason – and this may be precisely the type of commitment that one cannot get away from…

Of course I realize that it is not a numbers game either. Less is more and quality over quantity, blah blah blah… Sure, I know all this and for the most part, I subscribe to this particular theory. However, one has to actually go out (figuratively – staying home can do the trick too) and shoot. The chances of shooting the perfect shot of your life, if it is the only one shot your did during a month are slim. At least for me.

I guess, it is the equivalent of getting in the zone when you are doing sports. If you are in sports, you are familiar with the concept: when you are in the zone, suddenly things seem to slow down and become easier to follow, you feel more in tune with the environment and the task at hand, you are at heightened state of observation, or what is called a “state of flow”. Maybe that is how it works with photography too: one has to get into a state of flow shooting if you will and then it becomes easier to see. I know it happens with me, but it is an elusive feeling anyway.

So, just a few images this month, but a lot of food for thought;)