Sometime after 1993 I stopped shooting as I was very worried about what to do with my life, what job to follow and what to learn in achieving what I wanted to do. Job prospects were not good, but were much better than today. Unemployment was an a good 17,5% rate although the true rate was around 20% since most of the jobs were part-time or for specific time frame. In addition to this the time came for me to join the army for my duty, so almost two years were “lost” for my life and everything I learned before joining were not so fresh after becoming a citizen again.
After “recovering” from bad job opportunities and thankfully when I was finally hired at a “steadier” job I got back to my old photo habits. The days before I could afford my first vacation I shot a few shots around my village, mainly for remembering the camera and its limitations. I climbed a bad road with my father’s car to a monastery in the middle of the summer and took some very good shots up there, but the car really went down on me after I returned and my father had it repaired. It had a cracked engine shielding, but I was not the one to blame as this was due to not having any fluids in the radiator for a long time and was not looked into after I returned and mentioned the problem (with the engine temperature climbing high).
|The upper monastery of Voulkanos in Messinia, near Mavromati|
Later that month I went to a very good friend’s wedding (that family obligations, time, space and job issues have separated us now) and I took my first “WOW” shot which still means a lot to me and it’s full of feeling and good atmosphere. We had a beautiful time and I was happy with my achievement, although I was not aware what the photo would look like.
|Dimitris and Chrisoula at their wedding in Kalamata|
And the time came for my first vacation I could afford! My wife and I went to Lesvos island at my grandparents’ house and they were kind enough to show us the entire island for 15 days. Some of the places we went were Mandamados, Agiasos, Petra, Mithimna (formely known as Molyvos) and I was always carrying my camera with me.
Mytilini harbor was beautifully lit in the afternoon but it needed a few Saturation increase in order to feel the atmosphere and “see” the reflections. The morning was a good time to shoot, but it was really difficult to find new spots to shoot (at least for me at that time). Sightseeing was difficult as we had a lot of roads to walk and the distance was not by any means short.
|Mytilini harbor in the afternoon with Aghios Therapontas church in the background|
|Mitilini, the head (kara) of Aghios Theodoros|
|Setting sun in the afternoon just before taking the ship back home.|
Agiasos was one of the most graphic villages I have ever been to. Unfortunately due to the excessive heat I did not want to shoot many photos and I just selected a few places to shoot.
|Agiasos village in mid-2002, full of color and light.|
Mantamados really was all about the Archangel Michael icon and we didn’t go anywhere else.The icon is made of blood and mud by the blood of the martyred monks and is shaped into the icon-sculpture of the Archangel as it is today.
|Mantamados, the Archangel Michael icon made of mud and the blood of the slayered monks|
We arrived at Petra in high noon and went to the church on the rock. In the opposite direction there is Mithimna (formely known as Molyvos), but we decided to spend the afternoon there as the road was difficult and we were hungry and tired.
|Petra in Lesvos island, shot from outside the church|
We reached Mithimna (formely known as Molyvos) late in the afternoon and with the available light at that time of day I could only take a couple of shoots and return to the car. We reached Mytilini late at night with dizziness, hunger and fatigue, but I was happily surprised when I finally had my shots developed.
|Landscape shot from Mithimna castle (formely known as Molyvos)|
It is not easy for me (espesially now), but I want to return to Lesvos Island and shoot digitally all that's left from the old era. People, colors and architecture have all changed by now, but I am sure there are some places where time rolls like in the old days.