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:
Hello Vangelis! Tell us about yourself in brief:
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.
What does photography mean to you and when did you take a plunge in it?
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.
What is you principal area of interest in photography and what do you shoot with?
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).
Have you had any achievements lately?
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.