Aris Apostolopoulos works as a physiotherapist working in Italy and his work takes him to travels to distant countries where he takes pictures of their people and culture. His images are very soothing and simple, with basic post processing. His interest is seen in capturing the silent emotions of strangers and people engaged in their work. Taking portraits of people in outdoor location is all about the elements that make their pictures interesting, it’s the ability of a skilled photographer to look at them from a different perspective and show us a glimpse of their life, and perhaps, their personality. We asked Aris some basic questions about his photography and he gladly shared with us:
My name is Aris. I am 30 years old and I am a physiotherapist. I was born in Greece and for last 10 years I have been living in L’aquila, Italy. I love sports and any kind of activity that provides my body with adrenaline and endorphins. For last 6-7 years I am dedicated to travelling and photography and these take up most of my time, energy and thought. Away from home and the routine, I learnt to “watch” more and “see” less. Since then I have never stopped moving due to studying, entertainment and work.
I have been occupying myself with photography the last 6-7 years since I left home and I started travelling. The last 3 years though, my need to express myself through photography has become all the more intense and I have been dealing with photography in a more professional and serious way.
“Photography is art”. For me it is a way to express myself. I want to capture pictures of life the way I see them through my eyes, through my soul and this is something I aspire to convey to other people as well. Ansel Adams used to say : “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Photography has changed me and has turned me into a more observer, more sensitive and more careful person.
I will just tell you that my favorite lenses are 50 mm and 35 mm. I do not like dealing with the technical aspect of photography because I believe that photography has lost its real sense the last years. We pay too much attention to the equipment and almost no attention to the mind and “eye”. As far as the software is concerned, I use almost exclusively Photoshop and just the basics. The post-production for me is what brings photography the closest to reality in relation to what I saw and want to depict.
I’ve also been using film camera. For last 4 years I occupy myself with analogue photography which taught me a lot indeed; it made me think much more before a click and to give much more “value” to each photography.
Share your experience of travelling to many countries and taking picture there:
USA, Canada, Russia, the Amazonia, Columbia, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Bissau, are some of the countries I have visited so far. Of all these destinations though, I feel something special for the Asian and African continents. The spirituality of the Asian countries is something unique that, unless you experience it, you cannot understand. As with some African countries where the value of life is virtually zero. The most problems I encountered in Guinea Conakry where I was arrested 3 times and at Myanmar where I had some problems with the police and secret services.
I love people, portraits and the situations in which they are involved. Thus, the only challenge for me is to find interesting people and to be able to create a relationship, a familiarity with them in order to be able to depict part of their soul the minute I take a picture of them;to take a photo of their essence not just a face or an expression void of sentimental value.
I will mention two (see below). The one is the photo of the heart, the one that touches me more than any other; the other is the one of my best, as I see it. The first photograph is of an African baby born premature, who died some hours later. This photograph was taken at village Kissiduku in Guinea Conakry during my volunteer project with Doctors Without Borders. I have this photograph on my desk at home so as to always remember… The second photograph is taken in Myanmar and it depicts a worker during the stages of production.
Where in the world do you wish to go to take pictures, if given a chance?
I live in L’aquila of central Italy, a fantastic city at the mouth of Apennine mountain range, almost in the national park Gran Sasso. Nature is at its best. Mountains, forests, and fauna that many countries would be jealous of; it’s an ideal place to take photographs of wild life and landscape. One of the places I would really like to visit, as long as I have absolute freedom though, is Tibet. Two years ago, I reached the borders but due to problems with China, they were closed. It’s a nation whose people suffer a lot lately unfortunately. I hope they manage to keep their identity.
The greatest source of inspiration for me is what urges me more than anything else to continue travelling and capturing with my camera and this is my curiosity. My curiosity is the beginning of all “bad things”. Some of my favorite artists are Josef Koudelka, one the oldest and most recent photojournalist James Natchway, young Robin Hammond and the classic Steve MacCurry who is for me a great source of inspiration. There are many more but let’s just say that these have the greatest influence on me.
Say something to our readers and photographers:
Photograph first with your heart, then with the eye and at last with the camera.
All photos © Aris Apostolopoulos links: Flickr