Looking at the photostream of Vangelis Bagiatis makes us feel we are seeing experimental dark black and white films made a few decades back. His images edgy, moody and blurry images evoke a deep sense of mystery and intrigue. Most of them are abstract and express a feeling… more than an emotion which is set in a bit minimalistic ambiance in nature, street, habitat, and space. Vangelis has achieved a certain level in his photography where his images are distinguishable and distinct. Here’s our interview with Vangelis Bagiatis:
I was born in 1978 in Athens, Greece and was raised in a small town at the southern end of Evia Island. I studied IT at the Athens University of Economic and Business and did my Master’s Degree in Bristol, UK. I’m currently living in Athens, where I work as an Information Systems Analyst.
Fine-art photography used to be my biggest passion, until my newborn daughter came into our lives a few weeks ago. Now my memory cards are full of tiny hands, tiny feet, tiny ears, tiny fingers and tiny clothes. New music discovery is my other passion and rarely a day passes without listening to new albums.
I believe it has to do with my main profession. I find my job very interesting but the truth is that, as a systems analyst, the outcome of my work is usually fuzzy and intangible. Therefore, I feel the urge to create something crafted, something that I can show or even gift to others, whilst expressing myself at the same time.
As a kid I hated cameras and anyone who would chase me for a staged portrait shot. Therefore, judging only by my juvenile frowned portraits you would suppose I was raised up in constant depression, which is rather inaccurate. As a matter of fact I lived a pretty happy childhood. I guess depressed also comes in one’s mind while watching the pictures created by my adult self, which again, is an inaccurate deduction, since I’m a pretty joyful guy.
I reconsidered the usefulness of cameras a few years ago, when I got my first point-and-shoot and realized that cameras can become a pretty cool tool for expressing one’s thoughts and emotions. I spent more and more time outside, photographing almost everything, learning the rules at first and gradually trying to break them with more experimental styles and gear.
I spend much more time shooting during spring and summer, when the light is beautiful and the days longer. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love the mood created by the gloomy winter weather, it’s just that I have fewer opportunities and I spend more time indoors, post-processing my summer shots.
I would describe my photography as fine-art / moody / experimental / surreal. I started with a Canon Powershot G7 but I evolved to a Canon EOS 50D a few years ago. Shallow depth of field – selective focus is a major trait of my style, so I rely heavily on my EF f/1.8 and Lensbaby lenses (with various optics), which are perfect tools for what I’m trying to achieve.
As for my workflow, I use Adobe Lightroom for organizing my files and for the best part of the post-processing. I will transfer my photos to Photoshop only for special treatment (textures, overlaying etc).
I believe my participation to the New Greek Photographers exhibition last November (part of the Athens Photo Festival - APhF:13) has been my biggest achievement until now. And yes, in Greece you can be 35 and still considered young!
Many thanks for your kind words! I believe my photography got better as soon as I obtained a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve through my images and focused on that vision. I found the tools that would support my style and familiarized with them. I also experimented with post-processing techniques that would further highlight the mood I had in mind.
Everything else was easy. I live in Greece so the wonderful light is always there for me. As for the people, they’re not an integral part of my photography. But even when there is a human presence, it’s usually a candid shot of a friend or a stranger, often blurred and unrecognizable.
What are you going to do next with your passion?
I would like to further develop my style, try different ideas, experiment with new things and even implement some ambitious conceptual projects I have in mind. In each case, my absolute goal is to keep the flame of creativity burning and never cease to surprise myself and others.
Say something to our readers:
See with your soul and let others see in your soul through your images. It takes courage to do so but it can be cathartic.
Note: All images appearing in this post are the exclusive property of Vangelis Bgaitis and protected under the International Copyright laws. Their copying and reproduction in any manner is strictly prohibited without the express permission of the owner.