I’ve been thinking for a long time about taking a photo trip to an island in the Cyclades, under the light of the Greek summer and its reflections on the whitewashed houses and blue waters. The days in summer are long. And warm. You plan a lot and you may want to do a lot, but idleness overwhelms you and limits you to the minimum.
So, I threw a few clothes into the backpack and my photography gear with the absolute essentials, my beloved Rolleiflex T with Carl Zeiss 3.5/75mm and some Ilford and Kodak Portra films. The tripod permanently in the car, so everything was ready. Destination, Kea. Not one of the well-known and popular tourist islands of the Cyclades, but definitely one of the most beautiful. Unique landscapes and amazing rocks with almost figurative volumes and bright colors, shining from the metal oxides that enrich the subsoil of the island.
I know this island well. But it has always something new to reveal to me. This time it was not the landscapes or the sea nor the trees or the rocks. It was a house. An old traditional house in the village of “Chora”, large and proud, from the middle of the 19th century exposed to salt and winds. This house has hosted me many times but now it spoke to me in its secret language. This time I was touched by the aura of its history and of the people who lived there. And it happened in the simplest way; While I was enjoying the view from the open window of “Chora” at dusk, my eye fell on an old wooden bedside table, with its drawer, its cabinet, its dull brass knob. And I began to see household objects parading over it like actors in a theater.
In a few minutes, I had already decided that I would shoot a collection of still life photographs with any object I could find in the house and had some story to tell me. I got up, I loaded the camera with an Ilford HP5+ and set it up on the tripod shooting the objects & artifacts and the combinations I created with them. I decided to keep each frame simple by setting the objects usually in pairs.
I felt like I was leaving more space and time in the stories they could tell. I imagined each object like an actor who came on a dark stage to say his monologue or his own lines of dialogue interacting with the space, with the camera, with me. I chose a piece of dark wall stuccoed as with Venetian plaster and found an old lamp to illuminate the scene from the left.
I used my trusty Sekonic L-308X light meter and for hours conversed this way with the house and its spirits.
So here, I present to you my five most favorite shots from this quirky one “Séance”!
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