George Digalakis: Inspiring minimalism in square frame
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“Discovering photography is amongst the things I am most grateful for, despite having to often wake up in unearthly hours, get soaked to the bone or lose my equipment in windy cliffs around the world. Getting to feel the printed image with my hands, and achieving the intended appearance and atmosphere, is a sufficient reward for my efforts.” - George Digalakis
George Digalakis is certainly a reference name in the minimalist landscape photography today. A fine art photographer born and living in Athens and a medical doctor by profession, George embraced the principles of minimalism as a life philosophy and the main direction in his photography art. Influenced by Michael Kenna’s works, his landscapes are amazing nature compositions, surreal and dreamlike. So unearthly and ethereal, his clean and relaxing captures of the nature elements satisfy his needs for harmony, order and aesthetic sense. Inspired by the nature itself, George intends (and succeeds!) to create a touching, melancholic atmosphere that best conveys his inner vision and underlying emotions in a square frame.
Multiple awards winner, George considers that the turning point in his career was winning the silver medal in the Px3 competition, back in 2014. He participated in numerous gallery exhibitions around the world and his work has been recognized in many international competitions, (e.g. TIFA 2018 awards, Px3, APOY, Sony World Photography Award, FAPA, SITTP); his amazing photos have been published in various magazines and sites (e.g. Digital Camera, Shot Magazine, Blur Magazine, Minimalism Magazine, Dodho Magazine, Yatzer, My Modern Met, F-Stop Magazine).
I invite you to discover George and his passion for aesthetic and minimalism in the article below! His remarkable works will transport us in the entirely relaxing, serene atmosphere and silence of the nature captured through the long time exposures!
"Fishing boat III"
George, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! To start, I would kindly ask you to introduce yourself and tell us shortly about George Digalakis – the man behind the camera?
That said the main body of my work can be characterized as minimalistic, with water spaces being a common feature. The square format, use of wide-angle lenses and long exposure technique and of course the absence of colour determine my work. Finally, a common feature that can be considered part of my style is the emotions evoked by my works – beauty, silence, solitude and melancholy.
With long exposures I can also eliminate the details from the background and highlight my main subjects, which are the constant in the shifting landscape. It removes all the movements, all of the flow, all of the ripples, all of the waves of water, blurring and flattening what was once there. The real becomes surreal.
Weather conditions are a major factor for a successful outing. I prefer low contrast scenes, while moving clouds are an essential part of my images, and therefore checking a meteorological site is a prerequisite to my preparation. A virtual exploration using Google maps is of great importance; especially in the cases I’m not familiar with the location. In any case spending some time inspecting the environment is always necessary before proceeding to the actual shooting. Being well prepared can make all the difference between success and failure.
Since the average time for taking a long exposure photo is well over 10 min (photometry, calculation of the ND factor, putting the filters, exposure time and noise reduction procedure), choosing the right composition, point of view and exposure time is a must. Repeating the whole process is a waste of time, so it’s worth exploring your subject from every possible point of view beforehand. Another issue to think about before clicking the shutter is the visualization of the final frame, as I work mainly in square format. Shooting in portrait mode makes things easier. Even with the best possible preparation I rarely come back with more than 5 images.
I’ve written an article about long exposure photography in my blog, where the interested readers can find more details: http://www.digalakisphotography.com/themagicofblackandwhitephotography/long-exposure-explained
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