There are a lot of people a photographer should thank for inspiration, but usually he doesn’t. There are a lot of photographers whose work is admired and sometimes copied and are never mentioned to one’s photography works. It is inevitable for a photographer to like, admire, get frustrated, get disappointed, curse (I do that a lot!) when something in the frame is not as it should be and tries to find a way around it. Well, this time I have to thank all those who influenced me, who confronted me in photographic arguments, who have corrected me in ways I could not have imagined at that time, and to those who just deleted me from their lives because we were incapable of discussing a constructive critique.
I feel like in 5th grade when the teacher had asked us to write a composition about our best friend and why we chose him over the others, but I think this process is good for the soul sometimes, the process of just taking a step back and evaluate my progress. There are a lot of people I should thank; the people that made me put the high targets that I am still trying to pursue. There are photographers whose work I admire, whose style is eye-catching and their inspiration or way of life made me a little jealous over the years. They are everywhere doing what they do best or at least better than others. Sometimes they are not afraid to share their secrets, sometimes they won’t tell you a single word and sometimes they just keep asking you questions about your work, trying to copy or to understand why a photo looks like it looks and what you have done to achieve the results you have achieved.
I consider this to be a healthy process of self-improvement, in fact I do this all the time and I feel this is the only way for a photographer to improve. Until today I have seen millions of photos from photographers all around the world, but I was never more jealous than when I first saw the photos of Patrick Di Fruscia. Di Fruscia is a World Visionary Fine Art Nature & Landscape Photographer. He spent most of his childhood years away from the city, having been raised mostly in the Canadian countryside. From the time of his birth, his experiences in nature were to become a large influence in affecting his ultimate passion for the beauties of the natural world. You can find more on Patrick in his site here.
Patrick is making me jealous with each new photograph he publishes. The places he has been to, the beauty he has seen is what my soul tells me to do, but I can’t do it! I have studied his ways, his equipment, the time of day he shoots, the post processing he does. No comparison here, I am still a long way to catch up with him. I have made it a plan though, and I want to visit such beautiful places and shoot such beautiful scenes, maybe post process similar photos. I feel that this is what my photography should be all about.
Marc Adamus is another landscape photographer similar to Patrick Di Fruscia. He is based in Corvallis, Oregon. The visual drama and artistry of his photographs is born of a keen eye for the many moods of Nature and a life-long passion for the wilderness. This passion shines throughout Marc’s work and has attracted a wide audience around the world. What I have said about Patrick Di Fruscia is also true about Marc Adamus. I think these two used to work together some years ago. You can find more on Marc’s work in his site here.
Adam Burton is another landscape photographer, the third foreign influence I have about landscapes. Adam Burton is one of the UKs leading landscape photographers and author of five books. Since 2008 he has been working as a full time professional landscape photographer, regularly supplying imagery and undertaking commissions for a wide range of clients. He has photographed five of the seven continents and now specializes in the landscapes of the UK, particularly Southwest England. You can find more on Adam in his site here.
Finally, there is this Italian guy Juza, whose photographs and way of life is less similar to the previous landscape photographers. Juza is mainly making reviews for camera and lenses equipment, but also travels around the world making some unique photos. He is the one that made some things clear to me about sharpening and selectively post processing for sharpness and blurriness when needed (especially for macro photography). You can find more on Juza in his site here.
Another light tamer, Daniel Cheong, is in my opinion the best HDR-DRI manipulator today. His night photographs are so realistic that they are almost what true nature intended for us to see. He calls himself a technology enthusiast and passionate amateur photographer and he loves to go out shooting, but also enjoys spending time post processing the photos using a technique called 'Digital Blending'. He is obsessed in making landscapes and cityscapes looking better than they are, so his photos sometimes do not reflect the true reality, but more like an idealized version of it. Daniel recently created his site, but you can also admire his photos on his 500px page here.
And of course who can forget Yuri Arcus, a commercial photographer that has made millions with his commercial photographs that are being sold around the world. Yuri Arcurs is the world’s top selling stock photographer for four successive years and is also the number one selling photographer on all stock agencies that represent his collection. This includes the world’s absolute biggest agencies such as Fotolia.com, iStockphoto.com (Getty Images) and Shutterstock.com. As a consequence of this, Yuri Arcurs is rated as one of the highest earning photographers in the world, and is voted by PDN magazine as one of the most influential photographers of the decade. Besides running a 100+ full time staff photography company, he is also the owner, designer, project manager and creator of www.peopleimages.com. You can find more on Yuri in his site here.
|Taigetos Mountain, Messinia region.|
But I was also influenced by some Greek photographers, many of which are good friends of mine today. My best man Stelios Kritikakis is one of the few Greek photographers who shoots with a purpose and then makes the photo dance as he likes. We started digital photography almost in the same year and we have shared major debates and arguments about every photography aspect I can think of. This somehow has improved my way of thinking and using similar equipment and knowledge of the areas we photograph, these debates have special value. You can find more on Stelios in his site here.
Another great photographer from Greece and a good friend of mine is Yiannis Papadimitriou. He is located near Thessaloniki in Greece and does a great job doing commercial photography. He was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and he studied and worked as an analyst - programmer in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Geology and Positive Sciences since 1978. Two of his great passions in life are traveling and photography and he believes that traveling broadens one's view of the world. Experiencing other cultures, meeting people from other communities and other countries and seeing the beauty, and sometimes ugliness, of the world has helped him understand that all of our lives are at the same time interconnected and individual. His unique way of thinking and spot-on metering produces high quality visual results. Over the years he has captivated the unique colors of Greece and especially the blue and white of Greek islands. You can find more on Yiannis in his site here.
A good friend of mine, George Papapostolou reminds me of Patrick Di Fruscia, Marc Adamus and Adam Burton’s photos sometimes. Being Greek he has travelled and photographed Greece as few photographers know how. He is a freelance commercial photographer located at Kos Island and he shoots landscapes, weddings, social events and architectural buildings and hotels. His beautiful collection of landscapes is what draws the eye to the vivid blue colors of Greece or yellow and orange of the sunsets, making the viewer want to visit this wonderful country. You can find more on George in his site here.
Another friend of mine is Sakis Panagiotopoulos, a commercial photographer located in Hamburg, Germany, but he is actually from Thessaloniki, Greece. Most of the time he works out his photos with his method called "Advanced Lightrange Recovery Method". It is manual work in Photoshop with masks, painting tool and also luminosity selections, a development of the DRI method and the digital blending method. You can find more on Sakis in his site here.
|Near Dimiova monastery in Messinia region.|
There are a lot of other good photographers that have influenced me over the years, but I believe the people I am mentioning here are the people that genuinely represent the shape of my photography as I would like it to grow from this point. I can think of several unique things each photographer has to offer to the path I am now walking and I can also think of some things I would like to make different. Apart from that, I am borrowing a phrase I heard some time ago regarding the process one follows to make one’s dreams fulfilled: “There are a lot of ways to fulfil your dreams, you can cheat, you can steal and you can copy, but what amazes me is that when I ask for advice there is always someone out there that will offer what I want in the most friendly way. I take this advice and I remember to pay it forward to anyone who is asking for mine.”