If there are any of my old friends here they might remember I used to write long stories to accompany my images. Not much sense of humor left to me to do that right now. It's been such an awful long time since I last submitted an image. Life happened, happened again and happened yet again. A whirlpool of lives beautiful, painful, lost, fallen, feared...fortunately and unfortunately never, NEVER forgotten. Instead of a funny story I'll share this interview I gave about this image. If you care to put the bits and pieces together you'll see the big picture. Or the significant part of it.
Still here, still love you
<start of interview>
When, where and why did you take this picture?
This image was taken on a Christmas day, on Andros Island, Greece. This lighthouse stands in the middle of the harbor and it is so beautifully ďsculpturedĒ that I knew I had to make an image of it. At first I had wished for a colorful sunrise above it but I found the moody weather suited the theme even more.
What do we see in the picture and what's the story behind it?
This is the last light of the lighthouse, moments before dawn turned it off. I and my partner had set up at the pier opposite it sometime before daybreak, trying to secure our equipment against the stormy weather, fighting sea-spray while trying to find a good composition. The location didnít offer any foreground interest but I donít think I would have used any even if there was; I wanted to create the impression of a lonely lighthouse in the middle of nowhere, offering its faint light amidst the storm.
Why is this photo important for you?
To be honest, for a long time I thought that this was an image that ďspokeĒ only to me. Itís quite different in terms of mood from the images I usually produce; normally I tend to capture and share the bright side of life and nature. I came back to this image at a rather dark moment of my life, when the theme of a lonely, forgotten light in the middle of nowhere, at the end of the world seemed like a fitting image for my mood. For some reason I wanted to share that moment and that feeling and I was impressed by the impact this image had when I shared it. Now itís important because of the nostalgia it carries with it, itís a journal of a day in a life lost but not forgotten.
Was this an improvised shot or did you plan everything beforehand?
I had planned most of it; the composition was in my mind as was the decision to capture a wave breaking on the lighthouse, which means I had decided beforehand on which filters, camera settings, lens and shutter speed I would use. What didnít go according to plan was the colors and cloud formations I had wished for, but Iím glad that the weather decided on what the image should look like because it created a much stronger mood.
Did you have to overcome some difficulties to get this shot right or was it a piece of cake?
The main difficulty was the strong wind and the sea-spray. Although my tripod is quite dependable, I was quite anxious about the wind moving my camera during the exposure and I knew I didnít have much time before the light of the lighthouse was turned off. Plus, I had to constantly wipe sea-spray from my lens in-between shots.
What camera and lens did you use for the image (or images) and how did you adjust the camera (ISO, aperture, speed, focal lengthÖ)?
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikkor VR 18-200mm
Focal length: 200mm
Did you apply any kind of digital editing to the image (or images)? How's your workflow?
My images always go through Capture
NX2 and Photoshop. I always shoot RAW and during raw conversion in Capture NX2 I adjust the white balance, levels, curves, contrast and saturation. In Photoshop I remove spots, if any, make any local adjustments to contrast needed, color balance and make further curves or levels tweaks, noise reduction, resizing and sharpening for web presentation.
How would you describe yourself as a photographer?
Egocentric! Iíve realized that while Iím shooting the only thing that matters is what I feel, what I think, what I see, what I want to show and convey. Photography is my way to lose myself, to lose my anxieties and fears and a way to find myself, to find a part of myself thatís creative, complacent, calm, humble, peaceful and happy.
What are you trying to tell the world with your images?
Itís not so much about what Iím trying to tell the world with my images, itís about what Iím trying to tell myself and about myself with my images. And what I usually tell myself when Iím emerged in nature is that Iím just a pixel in the big picture in front of me, ephemeral and insignificant in a way, which makes my worries and problems even more ephemeral and insignificant, but in another way a powerful pixel that can sometimes capture the big picture or at least a significant part of it and preserve a fleeting moment, making it last forever in an image. What I try to tell about myself with my images depends on the moment and the mood and eventually on the person that sees the image and his/her frame of mind at the time. What I hope the world perceives when they see my images is that beauty is all around us, even in small details, even in decay and it needs to be preserved, sought, cherished and enjoyed for one to feel whole, positive, balanced and happy.
</end of interview>
Loads of love to everyone still here and still watching, I'm sorry I lost you together with everything else