Thursday, December 20, 2012

Antonis Damolis: What Was He Thinking?

Antonis Damolis, 32, is a photographer based in Iraklio, Crete, Greece. 

This photo was taken at the party of a wedding. I was very happy to get the official photographer's permission to move around and take some photos of my own. The combination of alcohol and music gave me a "floating" sensation and this was what I was after photographicaly. Usually during a dance, there are women throwing little baskets of flowers to the dancers, showing admiration for their skills and mystifying the whole act. I was very happy to catch these flowers all over my scene and the dancer during a spin. What made me really happy was the sudden appearance of the guy with the broom who was trying to sweep the floor. It gave me the chance to make an even more surreal photo out of this scene. It's one of these photos where you move around, dance with the people, make 30,40 clicks, and suddenly one of them pops up!

This photo reveals how many Greeks feel right now. The financial oppression, the Greek "experiment" has caused a feeling of guilt combined with depression in many levels of our society. The story behind the photo is not that important. This was a saleswoman in the airport of Athens. She was angry when she discovered that I was taking pictures of her, when I noticed the one I liked I deleted the others and showed her the picture, telling her that her face is not visible and she doesn't need to worry (and definitely doesn't need to call the police!). Later I thought that even her angry reaction matched the concept of the photo. Anyway, this is my personal comment on the times my country is going through.

This was taken in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest is a city that I love because I spent 10 years there during my studies. I went there last June with the thought to try and make a set of photos as an homage to these 10 years. This is a park in front of the natural history museum. I noticed the man sitting still on a bench staring at the city traffic. I had already pictured the final photo (my aim was not to reveal the bench, serving the photographic "lie") with a headless giraffe and the human head appearing at the bottom of the frame out of nowhere. I passed by him 7, 8 times pretending to shoot the giraffe. All of the clicks revealed an expressionless man appart from this one. I don't know what he saw behind me. Maybe something was happening behind me, that I missed, but he saw. In any case he gave me this expression that immediately got me interested.

This is my all time personal favourite. A dead man. A man half absorbed by Mother Earth after reading something terrible in the newspaper.. Or maybe just another sunbather. I was with a friend walking up and down the beach trying to take photos. We spotted this guy and got close trying to correlate him with the other bathers. After many different clicks I had the idea to lift the camera and shoot from above. I use a prime lens so I know the frame more or less. When I saw the result I was more than happy! The dead man, the newspaper and towel, his hands, his head, all were in the right place.

In the summer I started visiting a tourist resort near my hometown called Malia. It's a well known place for beautiful beaches and a vibrant nightlife, where many British tourists come and have fun during their vacation. Ι walk the main road and I notice these two girls going in and out a hole in the wall. Various crowds are going by making fun of them, singing, drinking, shouting at them. I went and took some photos from up the stairs, from the side, trying to make a connection with the crowd. When I noticed that this particular girl was ready to get back in and the passers by had dissapeared I decided to go in front of the scene and isolate this surreal situation. The result was this with the viewer being free to make any sort of interpretation.

I was on a trip in Istanbul, visiting friends and taking photos, when I noticed this man relaxing under the sun. I moved around him trying to figure out my frame. Next to him was this cat lying down so I decided to use the tree to separate them and give each one their own privacy. I took 5 or 6 shots, but the one I was happy about popped up when the cat started licking her foot. It was a nice moment of privacy in a public space and I was quite happy about it.

This was shot during the same trip in Istanbul. I had observed many bald people with stains of blood on their heads walking the streets. I was wondering about them thinking they could be some sort of cult. When I decided to try and take a photo, I noticed these two, and when they came near me I took a photo of their faces. After that I followed them in order to take a shot that revealed their situation and somehow correlated with the environment. Since it was a public space with a huge crowd next to us, I decided to lower a bit and use that pole as an observer. At first I was angry because I failed to put the pole right between them, but then again I noticed the geometry of the image and the fact that my subject's situation was very clear and visible in the photo. After coming back home, someone told me that hair transplant operations have these symptoms on the skin of the head. 

This is a staged photo. I was drinking a beer with a friend when I asked him to simply smoke and I would try to make something out of it. The result is something I really enjoyed even though it's not candid. The position of the head and the frame were my choice and I was very happy to get the noir atmosphere I wanted in the first place, and to avoid the smoking man during the exhale of the smoke. It's another big favourite of mine.


Antonis Damolis said...

Thank you Blake! It's really an honour!

First Class Photographer said...

Nice work Antonis!

quarlo said...

Love these posts and love this photographer. Dead sand man is a big fave. Perfect.

Frankie Sinclair said...

Nice little stories Antonis. Each is almost each like a photograph but a completely different picture from the one you are showing.

Shane Gray said...

Love the balance created between style and substance throughout. Nice work Antonis.