Danai Maltezou is a hugely charismatic aerial performer, which I had the pleasure to meet (and shoot) a few months ago, in the Nefelopetra Aqua live performance. This time we arranged for a more “formal” shooting, where Danai performed a number of highly impressive routines; which I tried to capture in the best way possible.
he Athens Circus Festival is a yearly institution now in its 6th year and counting.
The event is organized by Circus Dayz in association with Technopolis of Athens, an open venue in the heart of the city. The aim of the festival is to produce an event where all circus acts can be showcased, being a home for different international and Greek artists and collectives. For them, this is a chance for ideas and thoughts to be exchanged but, furthermore and most importantly, to showcase their craft to the Athenian public. In the duration of the Festival, workshops, concerts and shows are held, for the pleasure of the discerning audience.
A few days ago I had the chance to shoot on assignment at a very exciting music event. The occasion was the Greek version of Battle of the Bands, jointly organized by Panik Platinum Records and the Kremlino venue.
In fact, as I've written in an older post, Fuji ought to continue this trend with the smaller lenses. The 23mm f/2 is on the cards, it seems. Why not see a 16mm f/2 or even a 56mm f/2 in the road-map? Smaller, WR lenses, that sacrifice a stop of light but not optical or use performance. And if the 56mm f/2 seems an odd choice, consider historical examples, such as Zeiss, which had f/1.4 as well as f/2.8 lenses at 85mm. The slower lens was always better edge to edge, smaller and lighter. Ultra shallow DoF is not the only requirement from a high-end optic.
I had the opportunity (courtesy of Fujifilm Hellas) to test-drive the latest addition to the X-cameras line, the new XT20. During the few days I had the camera at my disposal, I tried to use it exactly as I’d use my “regular” bodies, so you can rest assured this is as “real world” review as it gets.
I have used this camera’s predecessor in a few instances in the past, but, to tell the truth, the difference with the latest X-Pro2/X-T2 capabilities was getting quite apparent lately. The X-T10 was certainly a success in the market, as it appealed to shooters in search of a small, well build, highly capable mirrorless body, with the popular “SLR” style. It is also more than obvious that the X-T10 was targeting the medium-level cameras from the Olympus/Panasonic and Sony competition. Cheaper but still close to prosumer level bodies are desirable to a lot of users, either as nice enthusiast primary camera, or as a secondary body for DSLR and high-end mirrorless shooters.
A couple of days ago, from the 10th to the 12th of March, we had a large Photography and Technology equipment exhibition in Athens, the 1st Image+Tech Expo. Fujifilm Hellas was participating, and I was honored to be one of four Greek X-Photographers to be featured. We all had a small exhibition of our photos plus a hour long presentation of our work and connection to the Fujifilm X-System.
A few weeks ago I introduced a project done with the amazing team at AcrOdance. You can read all about the performers, as well as the project itself in the original blog post. Following up on that, we have here the first part of the story.
A few days ago, I had the great pleasure to shoot at an exciting performance, expertly comprising elements of dance, aerial acrobatics, live music and audio-visual feeds, all carried out by a very talented team of artists.
The group in question is called “Nefelopetra” (which is, of course, Greek, and could be translated as “Cloudstone”), and was formed in 2009 by Nefeli Markaki and Petros Politis. At this point I will let their own words describe the modus operandi:
I’d like to present a simple project I’ve embarked on since the beginning of this year, and I’d like to believe it could prove inspirational to a lot of other photographers too.
It all begun from the realization that I didn’t get to see my photos printed as much as I’d like. Since I’m old enough to remember when we only had film, I’m sometimes nostalgic of the times we used to eagerly await until our film was developed, and we had prints of our photos in our hands. The old adage was, and in a lot of ways, still is, that “it is not a photograph until it has been printed”.
During my trip to Amsterdam last summer I had the pleasure of shooting at the happiest day in the life of a friendly couple.
I should make it abundantly clear that I’m not a wedding photographer; only a few times I have shot weddings as a second/third shooter, to help a photographer friend, or at the weddings of friends and relatives.
This is the first part from a project I did a few weeks ago, with the extremely talented team from Acrodance.
Acrodance by Anna Omiridi is a brilliant combination of acrobatics and creative dance. Acrobatic routines are integrated seamlessly into choreographies with emphasis on guided improvisation. The main concept of this approach is that movement and exercise, as creative expressions, hold a significant role in human lives and help in structuring positive self-awareness and knowledge of oneself. Thus strengthening your body and building your muscles will allow you to experience mental uplift.
I have shot in the Hellenic Motor Museum before (for example, check out this link) and it always has been a real pleasure being the vintage car enthusiast that I am. Moreover, since the management takes care in rotating the cars several times per year, there’s always a fresh piece of automotive history to see and photograph.
A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to shoot at an event organized by Requiem For Greece. The main concept is that of a live role playing game based upon the Chronicles of Darkness and Vampire: The Requiem (Second Edition) from Onyx Path Publishing.
The latest live music shooting was in a two day event organized in the Ilion Plus venue in Athens, by Merlin’s Music Box.
Merlin’s Music Box originally was –and, in a real sense, still is- a fanzine publishing its first issue in October 1989 and closing its printed cycle in 1995, after a total of 26 issues. It was reactivated in the Spring of 2014, this time in an electronic form, through social media and its own website. As with the original printed version, the main purpose of the –now electronic- fanzine is the presentation of groups and artists mainly from –but not limited to- the Rock genre.
Shooting live music comprises a significant percentage of my photography. It is also a style I enjoy a lot, both as a photographer and as a musician myself.
Thought the years I have used a number of cameras in this discipline and have grown to demand a number of features and level of performance in order to make my life easier; and also more enjoyable. Shooting with Fuji exclusively for quite some time now, I already posted about my first all-Fuji concert photography experience a few months ago. Now with the advent of the X-T2, I guess it was time to evaluate the camera in this environment. Which I did shooting this music festival, and there is where you can check out photo samples too (also all photos in this post are from that concert and the X-T2).
This is not the usual concert shooting; I mean, it was a concert, and a bloody good one at that, but the purpose goes deeper than just passing a great evening listening to exciting Rock bands.
As you may, or may not, know, Greece continues to be in a state of deep financial and humanitarian crisis, for the last few years. As a result, many people have found themselves in a limited social security status, often having trouble with much needed medicine. The unexpected flow of refugees during the last couple of years, which, naturally, are uninsured and in need of much help, made things even more difficult.
Now that the new wonder kid is officially heading for the stores, I thought it is appropriate for my initial user-review. I had the opportunity to have the camera, in a “virtually final” production form but with beta-firmware, for a limited amount of time, which I tried to take advantage of to answer most of mine, and, hopefully, my readers’ questions.
During my recent visit to Sweden, I had the pleasure to attend and shoot at a private “underground” music club. The performer, Oscar, was playing old-time acoustic Blues. Being addicted to the Blues myself, both as a musician and a listener, it was practically impossible to decline the invitation.
The story of Freetown Christiania has been told elsewhere in great detail; although one would be better served if he or she would research more than one source. And the best bet would probably be visiting the place, seeing for yourself and talking to the locals.
In a past blog post, a long time ago, speaking of a then possible X-M1 successor, I urged Fujifilm to produce “an X-100 for the rest of us”. The X-M1 line was sadly discontinued, but, a bit more than a year later, Fuji gave us a camera very close to what I had in mind. Surprisingly, even making it possibly better than what I envisioned back then.
It’s time to wrap-up the series that begun a couple of weeks ago, with my conclusion and thoughts about travel gear and methodology.
I returned home with a huge number of keeper photos, many of which will be featured in ongoing projects or dedicated essays. I was also able to upload a lot of them either in previous installments in this blog, and/or social media. In general, everything worked fine and no real issues presented themselves. That said there are always ways to improve things and lessons learned.
Following on the recent travel series, here is a collection of pictures from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Although the time and day of my visit were not the best possible options (weather was almost always overcast with some sporadic showers) I managed to shoot plenty of photos; many of them will find their way to my other street photography projects as well.