Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christos Kapatos: What Was He Thinking?

Christos Kapatos is a photographer based in Athens, Greece. More of his work can be found here and here.

"This one is one of my favorites. It was taken last June in the center of Athens. I was commissioned by a local newspaper to create some images for their "summer in the city" issue. This one was caught when I was trying to create an image for the "heat wave" subject. During summer I use to go out for photo walks with my friend Costas who is the main character. I was desperate as I had 2 days left for my deadline but I thought I should relax this morning and make some shots for me. It was a very hot day and we got exhausted after an hour's walk. We stopped for some water and there it was. I usually have my flash on triggers or on wire when in the street. When I saw the scene, I just thought to frame him with the Asian tourist girls. He was so big and they were so little. Street Gods were kind enough to me to offer the color match of the cars and the clothes, the pole stuck in the man's brain and the weird creature with the sunglasses. I had a great street shot and a worthy one for my editorial. They finally rejected the picture though."

"Athens and Piraeus where I live have ugly buildings and too much optical noise. At the period I made this shot, I was looking for strange characters against the clear sky, giving them strange light with my flash. This is a friend of mine and we were walking together along with other friends in Piraeus in an industrial area with not many people walking around. There were those trees with low branches and I was 3 to 5 meters ahead of the others, trying to create urban landscapes framed with flashed leaves of the trees. As was framing this one, the other guys caught up with me but they stopped walking trying not to get in my frame. Keeping my eye in the camera and the flash low in my left hand, I said "Ok guys, go on" and this guy just popped into my frame unaware that he was the subject. The light pole is another gift. I never noticed it before viewing the images on my PC. "

"This is another favorite shot of mine. I was actually following the man on the suit,  walking by his side on the street but there were cars parked and I couldn't get anything out of it. When we got to the corner, the man gave the junkie the meanest look he could. He found his ID card on the pavement and started looking at it. The junkie had just dropped it but he couldn't find it. He had just sniffed some heroin and he was somewhere else. As he was holding himself from the pole I imagined that everything in this world must be wrong and that he was was trying to straighten everything by pulling the lever. That's why I tilted my frame. I wanted to show the junkie man straight and the world around him wrong."

"Another dull day in the city. There was no light, people were moody, we were walking for a couple of hours and nothing interesting had shown up until those guys just turned the corner. My reaction was instinct. I raised the camera to my eye and the left hand with the flash on wire and just hit it. The left guy bumped on my wire after the click and he apologized. I am not sure if the guys were identical twins or even brothers or just models that looked alike. The fact that I was late to see them, resulting in the chopped face was good after all. I love the mystery."

"This one belongs in a series I'm working on about people that work in the sex industry and the perception of them by their customers. I was at an erotic exhibition with girls walking and performing all around and the place was crowded with photographers. What struck my attention was the way men like carnivores were looking at the girls. The man in the background must be their "manager". His gaze could kill you and after the shot he asked me if I had shot him and if so, I had to erase the image. I had to go on preview and zoom a bit before showing him that I had only caught the girl's legs."

"I shot this during a wedding reception. I was assigned to capture the event on video. The wedding was held on the beautiful island of Hydra and in order to cut on my budget, I had arranged to leave the island on the first boat early next morning without renting a room for the night. So after finishing with my video shots at about 3 or 4 am, I got in the crowd with everybody dancing and started taking shots for fun using long exposure and hitting them with my flash pilot. That's what happened here. I went for the flying hat and when I lowered the camera I saw the ecstatic girl and flashed her just before the shutter closed. "

"This old lady was about 4 feet tall.  I always look through my viewfinder when I shoot and when I saw her she was smoking. Actually sucking the cigarette. I bent down and framed her in a second, but she saw me and turned away. I had to shoot instantly. She was blinded by her smoke and that's why she had her eyes half closed. This shot always intrigued me but I only showed it months after I shot it. I love how the street wires are above her and the traffic light red and the signs prohibiting left or right. She seems caught in the city madness but in her own majesty. "

"This was shot on a square in Athens where the buildings are not that ugly and they are far from the people allowing me to frame them with less optical noise. I rarely wait on a spot for something interesting to come by. If and when I do, it's never more than a couple of minutes. This lovely old man was so short but his body and movement drew my attention. I locked on his path, lowered, found my frame and just waited for him to come. He was so short that I had to be on my knees, and put my left hand with the flash on the ground. His open jacket, long neck and weird look made him look like a goose flying above the city. I just love him. When I took the shot he said 'Don't take my telephone'. He meant 'picture'."


Ben said...

Fantastic work! Thanks.

Unknown said...


mere ma said...

akomi pio dinata....well done!

Anonymous said...

>I had to go on preview and zoom a bit before showing him that I had only caught the girl's legs.

Sweet trick! :)

Paolo Rabuffi said...

Congrats, Kristos!

Unknown said...

Hronia sou polla re filaraki....
Nikos V.

christos spanos said...

excelent job!