Cambodia © Aris Apostolopoulos
Aris Apostolopoulos is an award winning photographer born in Athens, Greece, based in L'Aquila, Italy. He works as physiotherapist and his work takes him to travel to distant countries where he takes pictures of their people and culture. His images are very soothing and simple and his interest is to capture the silent emotions of strangers and people at work. Taking portraits of people in outdoor location is all about the elements that make their pictures interesting, it’s the ability of a skilled photographer to look at them from a different perspective and show us a glimpse of their life, and perhaps, their personality. "For last 6-7 years I am dedicated to travelling and photography and these take up most of my time, energy and thought" he says. "Away from home and the routine, I learnt to watch more and see less. Since then I have never stopped moving due to study and work."
National Geographic 1st Prize "People" © Aris Apostolopoulos
La persona si intuisce appena, in questa sofisticata immagine vincitrice della categoria Persone. "Mi trovavo nel nord del Myanmar, girando in bicicletta, quando da un ponte sospeso su una miniera di carbone ho visto questa scena. Ho cercato lo scatto zenitale in modo che si vedessero solo le mani. Lo scatto è stato realizzato nel 2013 a Shan State, al nord della Birmania da un ponte che passava sopra una miniera di carbone. La gente trasportava ininterrottamente il carbone sui camion con questi cesti poggiati in testa."
"I have been occupying myself with photography the last 6-7 years since I left home and I started travelling. The last 3 years though, my need to express myself through photography has become all the more intense and I have been dealing with photography in a more professional and serious way.
Photography is art. For me it is a way to express myself. I want to capture pictures of life the way I see them through my eyes, through my soul and this is something I aspire to convey to other people as well. Ansel Adams used to say : “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” Photography has changed me and has turned me into a more observer, more sensitive and more careful person."
"My favorite lenses are 50 mm and 35 mm. I don't like dealing with the technical aspect of photography because I believe that photography has lost its real sense the last years. We pay too much attention to the equipment and almost no attention to the mind and eye. As far as the software is concerned, I use almost exclusively Photoshop and just the basics. The post-production for me is what brings photography the closest to reality in relation to what I saw and want to depict.
I’ve also been using film camera. For last 4 years I occupy myself with analogue photography which taught me a lot indeed; it made me think much more before a click and to give much more value to each photography."
FIOF 2015 1st Prize "Portrait" © Aris Apostolopoulos
USA, Canada, Russia, the Amazonia, Columbia, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Bissau are some of the countries he has visited so far. "I feel something special for the Asian and African continents. The spirituality of the Asian countries is something unique that, unless you experience it, you cannot understand. As with some African countries where the value of life is virtually zero. The most problems I encountered in Guinea Conakry where I was arrested 3 times and in Myanmar where I had some problems with the police and secret services."
Nikon Talents 2014 1st Prize "Portrait" © Aris Apostolopoulos
"I love people, portraits and the situations in which they are involved. Thus, the only challenge for me is to find interesting people and to be able to create a relationship, a familiarity with them in order to be able to depict part of their soul the minute I take a picture of them; to take a photo of their essence not just a face or an expression void of sentimental value. One of the places I would really like to visit, as long as I have absolute freedom though, is Tibet. Two years ago, I reached the borders but due to problems with China, they were closed. It’s a nation whose people suffer a lot lately unfortunately. I hope they manage to keep their identity."
FIOF 2016 3rd Prize "Portrait" © Aris Apostolopoulos
"The greatest source of inspiration for me is what urges me more than anything else to continue travelling and capturing with my camera and this is my curiosity. My curiosity is the beginning of all “bad things”. Some of my favorite artists are Josef Koudelka, one the oldest and most recent photojournalist James Natchway, young Robin Hammond and the classic Steve McCurry who is for me a great source of inspiration. There are many more but let’s just say that these have the greatest influence on me."