It was October of 1998 and I was 11 years old. The first Greek version of National Geographic had just been released and I remember having it in my hands. It was full of big articles with small letters that I didn’t have the patience to read at the time, but I remember really enjoying looking at the maps and the photos. The first issue had a pair of paper 3D glasses that you could use to make images feel three-dimensional. I was using them to see images from Mars and the Titanic and that made them look alive.
The first issue of National Geographic in Greek. I think that this is an amazing photo because it tells a story. I really like the look at the little kid’s eyes, I like the way it holds the mother’s hand, and the mother having her (travel papers?) in the other hand. I value this photo more now, I think I found it boring back then.
The months passed and I continued buying copies of National Geographic and I enjoyed living the adventures along with the photographers. My imagination was running wild and I remember that I even wanted to become a National Geographic photographer until I probably changed my mind or some grown-up told me this wasn’t a proper vocation to have.
Then the teenage years came and I completely lost interest in photography. I only remember taking some photos on a high school field trip in 2004. Now that I think about it I really need to find them and see what I was photographing. Then the film cameras era ended and the improvements in technology put cameras on our mobile phones. So like most people I started casually taking photos with my mobile.
So we fast forward to the summer of 2018. My wife is some months pregnant and I am looking at the photos we took with our mobiles a few months back when we took a dream trip to Tokyo. I am reliving the whole trip, the places we went, the great food we ate, but the photos are a bit crap to be honest. Some of them are blurry, especially the ones we took at night. It’s what you would expect from a low to mid-range phone. These are photos that won’t hold the test of time.
An iconic place but a blurry photo. If only i had a proper camera back then…
And just like this, an idea grew in my mind. We need a proper camera. We cant have crappy and blurry mobile photos of our newborn. These are photos that we will have for the rest of our life. So after a lot of research, I went and bought a Sony a5100, a small mirrorless camera, and I started taking photos of my pregnant wife and then a lot of photos of the baby. And I mean a lot. Some of them were still a bit crap, low lighting with a moving baby is a bad combination, but a few of them turned out really good. And like that, the love for photography was reignited. I slowly understood that I needed a camera with a viewfinder to take good photos, you can’t just take photos from the back of a screen. My sister had warned me about this and I am saying this because I know she will get a kick out of this. So we got a Fujifilm XT-30 with an 18-55mm lens. This gave me all the tools to start taking even more photos, and this time by using the manual mode.
Some of the photos I took with the Fujifilm XT-30
What photography means to me
I may have not become a National Geographic photographer, at least yet, but I really enjoy taking photos and I feel a passion to test and try things. So for me, photography is a creative outlet. By photographing and editing photos I can visualize the ways I see the world and if I do my job right the people will react to these photos. Photography has opened me to the world. I find myself more aware of my environment and I see more of the beauty around me that previously would go unnoticed. Also, photography helps me with creating memories. I document the present and I safeguard it for the future. It is great going back to my older photos and looking at how much my daughter has grown.
So what is this blog?
Just a place for me to have fun and be creative. I will post photos and talk about them, I will try new things and hopefully, through this, I can come closer to the photography community. So what does photography mean to you? Feel free to leave a comment below and tell me.