Dimensions: 28cm (H) x 20.5cm (W) x 15cm (D) / 11" (H) x 8.1" (W) x 5.9" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Light is the first and necessary condition for photography – as it is for life; it is shadows, however, that define the spirit and atmosphere of the image. Light means nothing without the shadows. Darkness is not merely a dark mass that confines/encloses light, it is a living substance that gives form to the light, that draws our attention to it.
Although shadows always had a special place in my photographs, the inspiration for this project came from the book of Junichiro Tanizaki ‘In Praise of Shadows’. The lively descriptions of the world of shadows sparked my desire to create images that will convey even a tiny bit of the atmosphere of this book. You will find excerpts of this amazing literary work scattered throughout the pages of this album.
Churches and especially the small, dark chapels scattered throughout the Greek countryside, always excited me. The minimal light of the small windows and skylights, the dark shadows, combined with the sense of mystery and devoutness, inseparable from the places of prayer, create the proper atmosphere for the scenes I had imagined. It is not surprising that most of the descriptions in Tanizaki’s book concern temples. It is maybe the mysterious nature of the Superior Being that drives people to worship in places where the shadows “create a world of confusion – a “visible darkness”, where always something seemed to be flickering and shimmering”
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Based in: Athens
George Digalakis is an accomplished photographer, specializing in Fine Art photography and exploring the shades of black and white. He was born and raised in Athens, Greece. A medical doctor by profession, he still lives and works in Athens.
His first contact with photography was back in 1974, when he received a “Nettar” as a gift from his father. Since then the camera became an integral part of his daily life. But it was only in 2009 that he found the necessary free time to study photography seriously and took an online course at “Photoeidolo” under the supervision of Tasos Schizas. He became acquainted with classic and contemporary photographers and realized this medium would offer him a getaway from reality and enable him to express his inner world.
Born in a country with more than 1000 islands, he developed a close relationship with the sea, and he feels that this connection is the driving force behind his love for seascapes. Water can be found in most of his works, but never as their central theme. Rather, he uses the water and the sky as a canvas on which he places his subjects.
George rarely tries to capture the moment and finds that by ignoring reality he can best convey his inner vision and underlying emotions. Subjects that convey feelings of loneliness, isolation, and melancholy are his preferred themes, with bare trees in the water, old piers, and interesting rocks being recurring themes in his work. Purity of space and thought, vast waterscapes, a sense of echoing space, and the removal of all the distracting elements elevate his works to objects of eternal and intrinsic beauty.
He sees the use of black and white as a step away from reality, facilitated further by the addition or removal of parts of the image. Another reason he works in black and white is that he considers color to be a distraction from the main building blocks of photography: shape, lines, forms, and tones. With the use of the long exposure technique, he introduces the sense of passing time by eliminating the details from the background, thus highlighting his subjects.
George does not try to tell stories, but to convey emotions. For him the point of art has never been to make something synonymous with life, but to achieve something of reduced complexity that is nonetheless beautiful; to create art that could help the viewer to escape the surface of reality we everyday live in and discover emotions and feelings.
Minimalism, both as an art movement and as a philosophy of life, has influenced his work. The influence from minimalist photographers, such as Michael Kenna can be seen clearly in his seascapes. On the other hand, the street photography of Harry Callahan and Giacomo Bruneli, to name only a few, with the extensive use of dark tones highlighting the melancholic mood of their work, has clearly left an imprint on his urban imagery.
Currently, he has been involved as an educator, teaching the techniques of long exposure landscape photography to photographers from all over the world and organizing workshops in some of the most interesting locations around Greece. He is also a columnist for LEMAG magazine.
George had three solo exhibitions in Ioannina, Athens, and Thessaloniki and has participated in numerous group exhibitions around the word. His work has been recognized in Greece, winning the prestigious "Hermes" Award of the Hellenic Photographic Society and in many international competitions, such as Px3, Sony World Photography Award, Siena Awards, APOY, Minimalist Photography Awards, FAPA, SITTP. He has been published in various magazines and sites, including LEMAG magazine, FEM, 1x.com, Digital Camera, Shot Magazine, Blur Magazine, Dodho Magazine, Yatzer, My Modern Met. His site has been Listed on the "Top 25 Black and White Photography Blogs & Websites for Black & White Lovers" by Feedspot.
In 2020 George was one of the 6 photographers included in the documentary series “Hunters of Eternity” for the Greek television.
More Works by George Digalakis
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