Typhoon Project

The Aegean from the Typhoon

by A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation

images by Pygmalion Karatzas

Features & Details

Primary Category: Photography, Landscapes, Documentary, Fine Art

Print edition

Size: A4 Portrait, 12x9 in, 30x21 cm

Pages: 123

Publish Date: February 2022

Language: Greek

About the book

A photo-book documenting the operations of the Typhoon Project of the A.C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation photographed by Pygmalion Karatzas.

The journey with the Typhoon is a challenge. It balances between the technical aspects of the expeditions for cleaning the Greek coastline with large scale operations and the communion with the majesty of the Aegean Sea. Living on board continuously for many days, I had the chance to photograph the activities of the Typhoon crew daily in the field following the two shifts, morning and afternoon. My lens captured the intense rhythm and heavy-duty preparations, the transportation of crew and equipment with speed boats under all weather conditions and approaching difficult-to-reach coastlines. Following the team of the Typhoon along all stages of their operations - collecting garbage from the shores, weighing and documenting them, separating for further recycle or disposal, and finally witnessing the transformation back to the natural and pristine condition of each location.

The photographic approach took multiple perspectives and used various typologies in order to provide a comprehensive coverage and touch upon multiple perception modes. Reportage was used to capture the actions of the crew in closeups to emphasise the work and in wider frames to also present the scale of the landscapes in candid moments. Panoramic images take this farther with stitched images that open the vistas and the human element becomes less dominant, allowing the locations to become the main subject. Long exposure photography with neutral density filters was used when appropriate. This effect adds an extra layer to the passage of time and strips the scene from distractions towards more fine art expressions of the genius loci. Drone photography was also used to capture aerial images of the extended locations and broaden the scale even farther. Extra attention was given to planar aerial images that are a product of a more meticulous and intuitive investigation of the terrain. Such images looking straight down from different heights capture the scope of the operations in various scales, while at the same time bring out the formalistic elements of the surrounding environment. They also ended up providing a subliminal connection across the variety of visited locations, creating a series of images that can stand alone as iconic pieces. This multi-perspectival approaches has lastly accompanied with videography using footage shot in real time and in time-lapse and hyper-lapse passage of time.     

The motto “Think global, act local” has become the central mentality of environmental activism around the world for decades now, which keeps reminding us to retain both the micro and the macro perspectives at the same time. We typically associate these remote landscapes in a perpetual pristine condition, yet we are becoming increasingly aware of the far reaches of pollution albeit not in our immediate eyesight. These images coupled with the statistics of their cleaning operations, brings us to a similar dissonance. Their macro perspective holds true to their innate beauty while their micro perspective reveals the impact of our bad habits or inadequate waste management, hopefully bringing us closer to facing our environmental cognitive dissonance.

Pygmalion Karatzas
Architectural & Fine Art Photographer
B.Sc. Architecture
M.Sc. Urban Design

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