Christos Georgalas, Greece

This was my third trip with Nikos –I believe it is called “voting with your feet”. One of the nicest parts of these courses is the chance to meet interesting and intelligent people from around the world. What is however truly amazing, is that despite the daily struggle to improve, there is no competitiveness (or at least, that was my feeling) – something that would have impossible, but for Nikos’ amazing warmth and interpersonal as well as balancing talent. What however I really relished, was the -almost linear- improvement in the quality of photos I took during the course. There is a big difference between photographing while traveling andtraveling in order to take photos. In the first case, photographing in a secondary (albeit important) part of your trip: In the heart of traveling is understanding and learning. A traveller wants to explore (and, occasionally, photograph what he sees) – while a photographer is (exclusively, obsessively) interested in producing photos. The difference is anything but academic. Meeting someone like Nikos, a person living, breathing, dreaming photography, makes the difference obvious. Like most things in life, the amount of effort correlates directly with the results. During a week in this workshop I felt that the quality of my photos improved dramatically. It is not easy to explain it: It is partly related to different day-planning (waking up early and going around during dusk to take photos), partly choosing where to go on the basis of its photographic potential, partly being constantly exposed to amazing photos from and interacting with the other participants, but most importantly, having a daily feedback and being stimulated daily by someone with a passion for photography that is still not blunted, someone who has kept his enthusiasm after all these years. The genius photographers are people that are different from the rest of us: They breath, eat, live, drink and live photography. For them photography is a demanding mistress – jealous and harsh: You cannot treat her to the second row, you cannot give her just your spare time. The trip is a light immersion (a “preview”) into this strange and wonderful world.

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