Meteora-When only Photography captures the true feeling: Stories behind photos #7

(download and watch a full-screen high resolution version of my Meteora photo slideshow at my website here)

Meteora is a unique phenomenon in the world…   Unless you have visited it, you cannot imagine the awe and the contradicting feelings evoked by just being there. Contradicting because for one it’s the huge rocks and cavities that have been shaped in peculiar forms through thousands of years. A true feeling of smallness, in front of these titanic elements of nature. But also contradicting, because on-top of these rocks religious men built inaccessible monasteries. A strange feeling of greatness for mankind that conquers any peak. Such are the antithetical feelings evoked by this place, which is sculptured equally by the fierceness of time and the power of faith.

Nevertheless, access to this place is easier nowadays. Roads have been built and buses of tourists have access to almost any monastery. Traditional ropes and carts that helped you literally climb the rocks, gave way to stairs. Still numerous to ascend, but manageable. These days, faith is not the sole passport to this mysterious place.

This has brought inevitable change. Any attempt to re-live the inspiring experience of the landscape may be interrupted every now and then by the cheers of tourists. Any spiritual encounter that you may experience inside any monastery, might be broken by the next visitor laughing aloud at his mobile phone.

So is there a way to actually isolate the true feeling that the place inspires? Is there still any atmosphere emitted from the secret-corners of the monasteries, experienced only by the few that wish to seek them?

They say that photography struggles to depict a three-dimensional world at the two-dimensions of paper (or the screen nowadays) and it mostly fails. But I say that the viewfinder of my camera, has proven the only means that helped isolate the greatness of the place. Because I could depict on the same frame, the vastness of the land and the height of the rocks, and at the same time the smallness of man’s works, undisturbed. For it was my shutter that could imprison the play between elements of nature, the clouds and the winds, with the unique beauty of the monasteries. And it was my open-apertures that let me penetrate inside the true character of the monasteries, highlighting unique corners and the play of light without any need to hurry or to explain nothing to anyone. It was my camera that let me photograph not “what” I saw, but “how” I saw. The four corners of my photos, instead of limiting my possibilities actually proliferated my view. I had to focus. And thus, I was now seeing more…

The brief Meteora photo slideshow above, is my attempt to convey the experience of Meteora as I lived it. However, I kindly invite you to re-live the experience by downloading the higher resolution version from my website here…

Watch it with the sound set to on. And let photography convey the true feelings evoked from this place. For you will have never seen Meteora this way, even in real life, unless there was the need to focus meticulously and recompose reality…

4 thoughts on “Meteora-When only Photography captures the true feeling: Stories behind photos #7

  1. Congratulations!
    Συγχαρητήρια για τη δουλειά σου Γιάννη! Εξαιρετικές φωτογραφίες και εξαιρετικά μαγευτικό βίντεο!
    Δυστυχώς δεν έχω ακόμα αφιερώσει χρόνο να δω τις περισσότερες από τις φωτογραφίες σου αλλά από το λίγο που έχω δει είναι πραγματικά υπέροχες.

    Το ωραίο είναι ότι σε ‘ανακάλυψα’ από την ομιλία σου για το ‘Παρατηρητήριο για την Κοινωνία της Πληροφορίας’ και αμέσως μετά από το Twitter 🙂

    Καλή συνέχεια

  2. Hi Yiannis

    Your photos are excellent and the music really helps to show off the uniqueness of Meteora. It’s the most unusual place we have visited and we only went by accident as our cruise ship had to be re-routed due to trouble in Israel at the time.

    That experience has been etched indelibly in our memories and seeing your images again today brought them all flooding back. A truly amazing and almost a supernatural beauty.


  3. Reblogged this on Cyprus Life – in pictures and commented:
    There are no words to describe the magic that is Meteora. If you have been, you will understand. If you haven’t – then check out these amazing photographs by Yiannis Larios and see for yourself.
    Once you’ve seen them you will want to go and see if this place is for real.
    I can assure you – IT IS!

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