Chris Kaddas: Photographer of the week

by Editor  Yvette Depaepe

For  Chris Kaddas, photography is a silent and permanent companion.  Through his images he depicts nature's magic.  He considers it as a living being that breathes and changes continuously.  He shows not only what the eye sees but the quintessence and living soul of the landscapes themselves (or how he perceives them).  Let us accompany him to his favourite places and learn more about this amazing photographer through this interview.



“The Power of Light”


B
riefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I was born and raised in Athens, Hellas.  I studied  conservation of Antiquities  and Works of Art.  Since my childhood Ι loved outdoor activities and mountains in particular such as trekking, mountaineering and snowboarding.  But at the same time, I also enjoyed a lot  painting and  making my own music. In 2008, I finally was introduced to photography and started my self-taught course.

 


“Into the dark”


How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I spent some of my childhood years and almost all of my summer and school holidays in my father's village located at the foothills of the imposing Vardousia  mountain range. I had the chance to observe closely and repeatedly the transformation of the sceneries according to weather seasons. My love for nature was leading me often to  wander around  seeking places where I could walk, relax and quietly observe.  That's the reason why  too many pictures and emotions have been stored in my mind, waiting to be released in some way. I felt that the right time was coming to express them through photography in 2008.
When I began to be seriously involved  with photography, I often used it as an excuse to be outdoors close to nature.  Later on, I met my future wife who shares the same passion for landscape photography (I'm too lucky!! :). She encourages and supports me and I always ask her opinion about the final result of my works.

 


“Night on the mountain”  


What first attracted you to photography?
When I saw landscape photographs, I was deeply impressed by the way one can depict so accurately yet with such a personal and creative way an existing scenery.  For a loner as I was, photography was ideal to become my silent and permanent companion with who I could share the sweet loneliness of the mountains.
Through my images, I could depict nature's magic, the soul of places but it also was an opportunity to explore even more all the aspects of the mountains.

 


“At the edge of the World”


Describe your overall photographic vision.
As long as I remember, I expressed myself in different ways without words such as music,   painting and handicraft arts. In my mind, I identify  memories, experiences  and people by a smell or by music. I experience  nature as a living being that breathes and changes.  When I'm surrounded by it, I try to low down my inner voice so that I can hear the secret note that  everything  whispers . Through my images I try to depict not what my eyes see, but the quintessence,  the living soul of the landscape itself (or how I perceive it).

 


“Sculpture of Nature” 


Why are you so drawn by landscape photography?
Since the very beginning, landscape photography caught my absolute interest because it combines all the things that I I love the most: nature, travelling, the different weather conditions or light light that continuously transform the sceneries and revealing many different aspects.

What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
I strongly believe that  both are necessary elements in landscape photography. The ideal conditions are not enough to result  in a really good shot.  Inspiration and technical perfection are both needed in order to render the utmost result. Yet if I had to choose between an image with a wonderful mood  which awakes  emotions but with  technical shortages and one with technical  excellency but poor mood, I would  definitely choose the first one.

 


“Autumn Palette”


What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?  Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
My most needed tool before visiting a place is a good map which I consulted  in order to know  which locations I'll visit.  I'm always aware of weather forecasts and my purpose is to be there early enough to explore and detect the right location to be able to take the picture that  I want.

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
My gear is still poor yet I hope to update it soon. I use a Nikon D300 body with Tokina 11/16 lens F2,8, a Manfrotto  055xprob tripod, a Manfrotto 488RC2 ballhead, an Aputura remote control  and a LowPro backbag.

What software do you use to process your images?
I use Photoshop cc and some plug-ins such as Nik Software and the Luminosity masks from Tony Kuyper.

 


“Temple of Poseidon”




“The Holy Rocks”


Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I start by opening the raw file in camera raw and do some  minor corrections to the settings  such as contrast, highlights, shadows  and white balance if needed.
Then, I open my file in Photoshop CC, and create a  layer covered with grey (50%), then I turn the layer from normal to soft light and with a brush I brighten, darken or highlight particular spots in my image.  I also use  luminosity masks for some parts of the image. Finally I save my files in tiff format. 

 


“The Moment of Choice”


“The Lonely Tree”
 
What is your most important advice to a beginner in landscape photography and how do you get started?
Study ahead the place you are going to visit, learn where the sun rises and sets so that you can control  the light, and be informed about the weather conditions.  Have patience, persistence and will to walk. Wander around in order to find the best possible place. For many, landscape photography is considered to be easy because static. But it isn't! One may travel  many miles and visit a place many times to obtain the satisfying result because that specific moment, the weather conditions were the right ones. Dedicate time to to photographs you like and try to figure out why you like them. Don't try to mimic  or copy another photographer's style, it is just a way to “educate” your eye. 

 


“Solitude”




“Remains of the Past”


Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 
My favourite contemporary photographers are Alexandre Deschaumes  and Marc Adamus.
The first one for the feeling and the tension created in his work and the second for his technical excellency on all levels. Both of them have influenced me and have broaden my horizons in terms of how free, creative and  imaginative I could perceive a landscape.

I also want to make a special mention to the Greek photographer, Konstantinos Vasilakis  to thank him because through his photographs and with his valuable help I was introduced to the magic world of photography.

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
This  photograph  from Alexandre Deschaumes  makes me stand still each time I look at it. So awe-inspiring and Alexandre managed to transfer me into the landscape and into its unique atmosphere. This image inspired me so much by provoking so many intense feelings.

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
Photography became an indispensable part of my life. It's my favourite way to escape and to enjoy.  I don't make a living from it. The only thing that really interests me is to improve myself, and to increase my skills.  However, I do have specific goals like travelling to interesting destinations for me such as Patagonia and Canada.

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?



“The Magic of Mountains”

This photograph still evokes intense feelings to me.  I travelled many miles to reach this  place and after spending a night alone on the mountain, I was strongly disappointed when I waked up because a thick fog was covering everything. The sun standing high above the mist and I nearly lost all my hope when suddenly - and just for a few minutes – it emerged in front of me offering this magnificent view . I managed to take only a few shots before it disappeared again.

Is  there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
When I started publishing  my photos I was  registered in several  photo gallery  communities. Yet soon enough I realized that 1x.com was the most challenging platform.  It was motivation and feeding my willingness to improve myself continuously. The photographic quality is excellent and the curation system keeps this level high. 

 

“The pathway”




“The Wreck”

 

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