Adamos Christodoulou: “I think photography is non-stop journey, an exploration to put it better, so maybe in a few years I’m still shooting nature but in a different way or even switch more to the human element”
Adamos is a “quiet” traveler, an observer with an Instagram feed full of images from every corner of the world.
A photo with an impression of another era. Tell me about it.
It’s taken in Antwerp, a city I like so much, yet, not completely explored. We were having a stroll at the harbor when I saw these men dressed in black suits (looked more like orchestra conductors) and they were trying to take photos of themselves posing in front of the camera. They were holding speech bubble cut-outs signs with the word ‘Suit-up’. I didn’t really understand why they were dressed like this and the reason of their photo shooting. What I know is that the ‘golden hour’ light was falling beautifully everywhere that moment and having the magnificent Antwerp’s cathedral campanile at the background I took a few photos of them. I liked it as a composition with the dark hats and the golden light of the moment.
As in this photo, often your images are taken during the “golden” hours of the day. Is this something intentional or are you subconsciously attracted to the soft, warm tones of the sunset light?
It’s true that I have quite a lot of shots taken during the golden hour of the day. I simply adore that exact moment before the sunset so I can say sometimes it’s intentional yes. It happened to rash in a sort of ‘creative panic’ to go on a location that I wanted to shoot in order to be on time for the golden light. I think that it’s one of the moments of the day that magic happens.
Your account (on instagram) is mostly a travelogue in photographs, and many of your images are landscapes. Tell us about your photography style.
Correct. I like travel photography, particularly landscapes and nature in general. But I would be a liar to say I have found my exact photographic style so early. I think photography is non-stop journey, an exploration to put it better, so maybe in a few years I’m still shooting nature but in a different way or even switch more to the human element. What will never stop, is travelling and capturing images of our fascinating by nature planet.
When did you start photographing? Was Instagram the reason?
I was always taking photos as far as I can remember, so maybe I had the bug long time ago. Seriously taking photos though and really paying attention and focusing on details was five to six years ago. As far as concerns the Instagram I think it came a year later after going deeper into photography and it ended up being a two-way relation. I was into photography, and Instagram is a tool to digitally exhibit your work while at the same time, Instagram inspires and creates challenges to keep you shooting, meeting with other great people sharing the same passion and so on.
You are a graphic designer by profession. Does it help with visualizing behind the lens?
Definitely. I would say it helps me more in the composition and framing of what I see. Additionally the sensitivity enclosed in graphic design art contributes into appreciating certain details or ‘corners’ of this endless canvas of our world that other ways would be ignored. Photography is art itself and I always believe a photographer often sees these things that other people just surpass. What we call an artistic or third eye…
Do you edit your photos for Instagram? Tell me about your editing process.
Not always and when I do it’s minimal editing. Minimal editing is contrast, saturation, slight retouching or turning an image to black and white. Very few times I really extensively edit my photos.
I feel that most or the photos on your Instagram account, have a look-up feel. Most of your frames are towards the sky. Is it intentional? What makes you look up?
This is not intentional. I’ve never paid attention into this but mentioning it you are right. It’s subconscious. Looking up is certainly more optimistic than looking down, isn’t it?
You have many photos from Belgium, which I know you visit often. How have the events of March 13, 2016, impacted you? Do you think your point of view in your photos will be different the next time you visit?
I have many photos taken in Belgium which is a sweet and beautiful country (and yes, chocolate is part of this sweetness! It’s quite scary what happened on the 13th of March. I was really frightened because I have friends there and also it’s a place I visit often so it could be me, my friends or anybody of us that ‘wrong’ moment at the ‘wrong’ place. For sure returning there later this year deep inside me the fear and pain will exist but I will put an effort to keep it sleepy. Life goes on and it must go on while at the same time Europe has to take immediate action into security matters in airports, transportation, event halls and open air spaces frequented by many people. I don’t think my photos next time in Belgium will have a different atmosphere or concept. If I was there now, yes, some shots would involve more emotion definitely.
Have you studied the photography masters? Which known photographer would you say is your favorite?
Yes. If I had to pick just one that would be Steve McCurry. We all know him from his iconic image of the girl with the green eyes, pictured in National Geographic. I don’t find that photo of him the best one though. His photography is also a travelogue but focusing more on the people’s lives. He doesn’t strictly shoot portraits (and this is one thing I like) but rather the everyday life. And he does this in a magnificent way! The moments he captures, the atmosphere in them and the colours are beyond words.
How has your Instagram experience evolved? Tell me about your Instagram journey.
I love Instagram and I feel that I have progressed and improved since I started using it. I cannot think myself a day without ‘traveling’ in it. I may not post a new photo in my gallery every single day but I’m always kind of alert to at least explore for a few minutes the galleries of my friends and other people in general. As I said before it’s an inspiration. Sometimes you hunt for that sparkle.
Do you find photographing for Instagram different in its process than photographing for other media or outlets?
Yes, but only in the format of the photos it accepts. Nothing else. You are free to post your work, whatever this is, regardless the subject. It’s a digital exhibition. It only limits you in the framing of your images, that it has to be in square shape. Of course, it looks nice and neat to the eye, entering a gallery that all the photos are of the same size and format but it ‘costs’ to our images in the sense that certain elements or much of our subject falls out of the square frame. When I shoot, I shoot photos and not always having in mind the square format so if there is one thing Instagram disappoints me it’s this one. Of course lately they changed this and you can post a photo without cropping it necessarily in a square shape, but the format of your photo, portrait or landscape, has to be necessarily smaller to fit in these square borders. And even before this new change in Instagram, if you wanted to upload a landscape format photo you had to adjust it beforehand in Photoshop in that square border. The square format is cool but also frustrating many times.
Adamos’ Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/adamos_christodoulou/
Η συνέντευξη δόθηκε στις 6.5.2016