Eric’s Note: I first came across Dimitris Makrygiannakis on Hardcore Street Photography, and was blown away with his unique vision. I love the way how he captures life through his lens, with a surrealistic flair. To see more of his images and his thoughts on street photography, check out his feature below.
Dimitris: I am 34, originally from Greece, and I have been living in Sweden the last 9 years and traveling a lot. I am also a medical doctor by profession.
I have always had a passion for photography, but I used to see the world through the eyes of a tourist. Two and a half years ago, I joined Flickr after a friend recommended a photo by Lukas Vasilikos. I was so impressed by the shot, that I became enamored with street photography.
When I first started shooting street photography, I started with a zoom lens. However with guidance from my first teacher Antonis Bultadakis, I learned how important it was to approach and embed yourself with the people you intended to shoot, and switched to prime lenses.
In June 2012, I bought a 35mm lens which I intend to use for many more years, as it feels like the right focal length for me.
I usually don’t have a lot of free time, but I shot every summer. This is the downside of being a medical doctor in “real life.”
In August 2012 I went on a 6 month trip to India, which was the best thing in my photographic life so far. Spending all the time there with photography was the primary purpose of the trip. Everyday, I felt my photography maturing quickly– and I started to reconsider things about photography. I highly recommend the trip to anyone.
Before I left for the trip, I was lucky enough to attend a workshop on artistic photography by Lukas Vasilikos, which was very educative, and helped for the next months in preparation for the trip.
I find ”non-western” countries and especially India a street photographer’s paradise, there are so many more opportunities in the street than in the ”western” countries.
It takes of course time to stop seeing as a tourist and see more as a street photographer. A challenge is also to make street photography in Sweden where I live, have not been so focused on that yet. I hope to focus more on that in the future.
I get a lot of inspiration from looking on other people’s work, there are always new insights to discover while looking at others’ pictures, I guess it is good though to filter the information according to your personality.
When I “hunt” for photos on the street, I try not restrict myself. I love the feeling of my eyes wandering without a specific aim. However once in a while in those few moments in life, people and things will come together magically for a moment. If I record that, it enough for me.
I like looking at different kind of photos on my memory card at the end of the day. Of course, the negative side of this is that I never think about working in the project mindset.
In India I started taking many shots of the same scene, especially when many people are included in the scene. It is really worthy. I was kind of an 1-shot-and-go person until my recent trip.
My aim is to be a morally decent street photographer. I show photos that I am hoping that the people being showed would also like. And I try to solve misunderstandings in the street with a smile and sometimes long talks in order to explain and promote street photography.
I think street photography is something we can do even in our kitchen, it is just a concept. And it needs good directors, regarding both posed and unposed photos.
I would like to thank Antonis Damolis, Christos Kapatos, Nikos Pavlidis, and Andreas Paradise for fruitful discussions and good advices. Recently I started lessons on philosophy of photography with Achilleas Nasios. Akis Karamanos is there for me always. And because street photography and photography in general consumes long hours from my off-work day, I would like to thank my girlfriend for her understanding :-)
Part of my latest work in India is going to be exhibited in Stockholm in May-June in CUP Stockholm. Together with the In-Public exhibition, there is going to be a small parallel exhibition by Brian Sparks, Mattias Leppäniemi, Ola Billmont + (second flickr page), Magnus Frödeberg and me. Another exhibition with Antonis Damolis, Haris Panagiotakopoulos, and Giorgos Marazakis will follow this September in Crete island, Greece, more to be announced.