The Rising Star: Photography

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Hi everyone! I hope you have a great Independence Day! So, onto a quick question: how many photos did you take this weekend or planning to take during July 4th celebrations? Probably lots. Chances are that we all possess numerous photos, handheld evidence of moments of a life well lived. Some of those precious photos might be incredible! But photography is so much more than just random stunning photos. It is officially a fine art that deserves so much more credit and moreover, most worthwhile to invest in!

A ship in a deep blue sea under a clear blue sky. An amazing photo owned by Athens House Photography.
Image Credit: Stratos Kalafatis / Athens House of Photography

At these digital times that we live in, photography is probably the one art that we are all exposed to the most, but do we even appreciate it as much as we should? Sure, everyone can take some pretty nice photos. We have all taken a few good photos with the aid of a “traditional” camera or more likely a smartphone, but set aside the sentimental value they have, do they really qualify for something more? Many of us have an awesome Instagram feed, but all thanks to zooming, cropping, angle – temperature – and saturation adjustments, and of course numerous filters)! How many times can we honestly say that we managed to take an awesome photo that was super creative, at the right moment without using ANY editing tools to enhance it? Well, I got to be honest with you…I don’t have more than nine or ten such photos. That’s far less than I would like to!

Still, we instinctively know a good photo from a bad one. We’ve all seen zillions of beautiful photos that inspire us, capturing the very essence of beauty, sentiments and spiritual life. Photos like that evoke some of our deepest emotions, stirring us up, alarming our senses in way that surely I’m not qualified to describe in words.

A classic black and white photo of old white washed houses aligned justify and right of a stone paved stairway, while a girl is running up.
Image credit: Henri Cartier-Bresson / Athens House of Photography

This observation made me wonder ‘what makes a really “good” photo?’ (Let me clarify that I’m talking about the kind of photo that can go on a wall of fame sort of speaking)! Let’s not overlook that photography is just as creative as any other fine art.

A photographer has spent countless hours learning how to properly use several types of cameras, experimented with them and learnt of them and from them. A true photographer knows how to manipulate light and shadows. A dedicated photographer has an impeccable sense of time and knows when to wait for a shot in the right frame and when to rush for it. A talented photographer is all of the above and moreover, the one who delivers consistently photographs that are works of art! Those are the kind of photographs that we all admire in art galleries and wish we had in our living rooms.

To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004)

So, any past arguments about photography being any less than any other fine art discipline, due to the use of mechanical means to produce it, are unsound (to put it politely). Heated debates about this very subject went on for decades, but I won’t be getting into details about this. It isn’t the scope of this post. I think it’s only fair to admit that photojournalism and commercial photography have definitely changed our perception of the world. But there are more types of photographs out there that don’t merely capture ‘true’ moments in time, but instead follow themes.

I’m talking about photographs with a classic value to them by iconic photographers such as Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, Harry Callahan, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Willy Ronis. Of course, there are many more contemporary photographers that are most notable like: Constantine Manos, and John Demos.

A classic landscape photo by Ansel Adams with mountains covered in snow in the background and a reflecting river meandering through.
Image credit: Ansel Adams /  Athens House of Photography
A black and white image by John Demos of plants reflecting in a body of water
Image credit: John Demos / Athens House of Photography
A black and white image by John Josmopoulos of blooming trees by Brooklyn bridge pier. Image owned by House of Photography.
Image credit: John Kosmopoulos / Athens House of Photography
A black and white photo of a stunning waterfall in Iceland by Emmanuel Coupe owned by House of Photography.
Image credit: Emmanuel Coupe / Athens House of Photography

A talented photographer…delivers consistently photographs that are works of art!

Iason Demos, is the owner of the Athens House of Photography in Washington D.C. a consulting and art sales company. He is also the curator of numerous photography exhibitions including, amongst others, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Herbert List, Giorgia Fiorio, Martin Parr and Paolo Pellegrin to name a few.

Moreover, he happens to be a really old friend of mine (since High School as a matter of fact) whose opinion I respect and trust on such matters. He claims that art photography is the “rising star of the art world” and with good reason. It’s time for us to take photo prints more seriously.

Demos, explains further that “whether you are looking to purchase a modern print for your living room, invest in a silver gelatin classic, or decorate your workspace or business, photography is an art form that is both flexible and affordable. The themes and styles are endless, and even purchasing a signed print from a world renowned artist will not break the bank.” And he’s got a valid point. Photography is an inspiring art alternative, especially for eclectic, contemporary spaces that adds stunning impact in an instant!

Aerial view of Posidi Cape in Chalkidiki, Greece taken by Marina Vernicos.
Posidi Cape. Image credit: Marina Vernicos

Photography is the rising star of the art world

Iason Demos, gallerist

I wish I was a photographer, but sadly I’m not. Instead, I collect photos in my Pinterest board ‘Photos to Love’ which is by far my favorite one. I collect photos that I admire, others that make me smile but also a few that make me sad. Why? Because magnificent photography has the power to do just that: to change our perceptions, mood, way of thinking.

Photos have a great, bold, raw impact (whether they’re black and white or colored) and that’s their appeal. They realness touches us and in return they create emotions or better yet, call for action. So, when it comes to selecting the right photo print, we follow our hearts. We should always pick the one that makes our heart beat faster.

Moreover, do keep in mind that a collection of prints like this can make a beautiful art gallery wall and a fantastic focal point in your space. Having said that though, since art photography is an investment and therefore, shouldn’t be taken lightly, we should always consult with a dealer we trust.

Don’t forget to drop me a line and tell me your favorite photographers… I have two: Marina Vernicos (whom I interviewed) and Nicolas Lotsos.

Happy 4th of July celebrations! And don’t forget to stay tuned for more fun reading links for the weekend…till then, take care!

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This post was done with the collaboration of the Athens House of Photography (that granted the permission of imagery usage). As always, all views expressed are 100% mine.

Last update: 10/23/19

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