santorini analogue photographs

a series of work from one of adamadams’ favorite spots on planet earth

Here you see some of the analogue work I made during the last decade on the volcanic island of Santorini, Greece. I visited the Santorini islands three times in total for around 4 weeks. That is a short period for learning all the edges and corners of these beautiful islands, so there is still a lot to discover. Here you will not find the typical tourist shots, but more contemplative images, for I am looking mostly within the landscape and the architectural to be connected in one overview. Here man interferes within and contradicts the natural habitat.

The basics of these photographs can be summarized within the title : “A Human Zip Confronts Nature with it’s Abstract Expression”, which is a derivative from Barnett Newman’s paintings, wherein his zips, as they appear in many of his paintings like in Who’s is afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?”, or “Cathedra”, show a a thin line which divides the canvas. These zips stand for or represent human beings. Most of the photographs I present here should be seen as a composition of human expression within the overwhelming and majestic forces of nature.

In Santorini I find a place magic. I can feel the energy of the volcano under my feet. It permeates my body. Just love it. When I enter the caldera by ferryboat I am always overwhelmed. Santorini’s people have build their villages against and on top of the caldera. Then suddenly, one unexpected violent day comes and the volcano explodes, or an earthquake destroys all the architecture and the inhabitants build again and again, age after age, for thousands of years already. Santorini, just as the whole of Greece, is Christian Orthodox. His uprising is of more importance than the suffering on the cross. It’s imagery and symbols are all over the place. Now I have a different kind of view than most people do. I say the crosses, the little churches are worshipping the Sun God, for Christ is nothing else than a metaphor for the Sun Star, The Enlightened Being. This Sun Star, when in Wintertime the days are short, rises out of the Southern Cross and it lights up our beloved planet. He is the one that rises every day to shine his light upon us. We are all Sun’s children.

I love these little white thick walled places of worship. They are so northern African, for Africa is very close and it’s influences can been seen clearly in the Santorinian architecture. Santorini is more African and Mid-Eastern than it is European. So, to be short, in my imagery I want to catch these influences and I use now and then biblical metaphors like in the title of one of the photographs: “Spirit Waiting in Front of Jacob’s Ladder”.

And, as if you did not know it, all the photographs with the word “Door” in it refer to the “Doors of Perception”, an experience of one’s mind opening through the use of mescalline. That’s something I never used. This experience is brilliantly described by the English writer Aldous Huxley [more known by his work “A Brave New World”]. Huxley in his place was inspired by the poet William Blake, who wrote in his poem “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.” So the whole “Doors” series is about opening up to the divine spirit inside of us, which is nothing else than the nothingness, the origin of all.

Many doors are shut these days as you can see, also within myself, for we are not aware anymore. What’s our deepest inner core? The ground of our existence? What is there behind this door and what happens when you open it? Unlock the locker, open the gates! Climb the stairs, open your window, open up your doors of perception and become aware of your true origin.

My photography is more about the inner world, than you might think – see – at first sight. Or to speak like Huxley, I want to call upon a certain kind of atmosphere and show to you the mystery of being. There is also a lot of abstract work to find, here as well, but most of them in the digital series [see the link below].

Lots of that work is done as a study or preview for the analogue ones. Sometimes, because of the limitation the Mamiya RZ67 camera on a sturdy tripod with lenses not as wide as my Nikkor and Tokina ones; the typical 6x7cm film size instead of Nikon’s D90 23.6 x 15.8 mm digital chip size, the composition of the digital photograph is better, not the quality of the photograph itself.

Analogue still outclasses digital photography, whatever people may say. It just has a better depth of field, is more alive. Also, if I was loaded with money, I could make real good scans of these analogue shots, and the quality [DOF, sparkle!! sparkle!!] improve a hundredfold times.

See for the digital photographs this page: “Santorini digital” and also have a look at the post with abstract photographs.

May the Sun Star Always Shine Upon and Within You.