Taking the best photo is a combination of adventure and meandering, much like traveling. A vacation week on Chios proved to be too little to do what I like the most and leave reality behind for a while. At times, people take photos in an almost machine-like way, all their eyes can see is frames, topics, textures, colors; it’s probably the combination of all the above which initially lures me into coming up with something creative.
As I look around, I get lost in space and time, known images vanish for a while; I’m alone, facing something familiar which I would normally have walked past, I instinctively stay there, I give ear like curious kids would do upon visiting their grandfathers’ village after being away for forty years, unable to distinguish the memories from the present.
This photo was taken in Vouno, in September 2020.
A whirlwind love brought that magnificent song to mind: “Agios o Erotas” by Giorgos Andreou; oh yeah, it was August, the city was almost empty and I found myself listening to it time and again while walking from and to work, getting back home for days! I used to feel everything very strongly back then, you probably did too. I remember texting you endless screeds on a daily basis to let you know how I feel, find out about your life and if you’re doing okay; it was the only way I could eliminate that three hundred-kilometer distance separating us before we could meet again in September. And when that September night came, that big, tight hug I was longing for suddenly turned into “I’m scared”, “you’re choking me” before ending up into “goodbye” with bowed head.
A few days later, I got on the ship to Chios, as if it was the perfect timing for someone wanting to “flee for his life”. That’s basically how I found myself in Mavra Volia for the first time. The landscape was mesmerizing, the sea was black, yet so terrifyingly beautiful! First dip felt like plunging into the abyss – or should I say like getting baptized or redeemed; as I got out holding a black, bullet-like pebble, I inadvertently went into a photo-shooting process to capture everything I guess I felt back then, walking away defeated from that battlefield of love, wounded by a black bullet some days later.
Vaso and Giorgos came to Chios on vacation in September; no sooner had they gotten off the ship than I met them, almost by accident. Getting into casual, yet meaningful discussions was enough for me to discern their passion for photography, their need to endlessly pursue things, their childlike enthusiasm. The day they were leaving, I asked both of them to send us a photo for this column – once their travel agitation tapered off.