Research team: Laboratory of Marine Geology and Physical Oceanography of the University of Patras Greece
Photography: Pygmalion Karatzas
It was a privilege to be asked by prof. Giorgos Papatheodorou to join and document their marine geophysical surveying of the Anfeh region in Lebanon. The OCEANUS team of the University of Patras was invited by the Department of Archaeology and Museology of the University of Balamand and I joined their expedition between June 25 and 30, 2017. Being my first time in Lebanon as well as in such an expedition, brought a fluid combination of adjusting and exploring this new subject matter with my on-going integral approach to photography.The first day was spend in the sea, documenting the geophysical surveying of the team covering a large part of the sea north and south of the Anfeh peninsula. The second and third day were spend on land photographing the bay, village, promontory, the excavations of the archeologies, as well as near by historic landmarks like the Deir el-Natour monastery and saltworks. The forth day was spend in Byblos covering the castle, marina, and old town. The fifth day included a visit to the campus of the University of Balamand, the Balamand Abbey and the Phoenician wall in Batroun.
Parallel to photographically documenting their expedition, I took a series of long exposure images from the coast. The long exposure technique uses light to create images not visible to the naked eye, similarly to the sonic pulses of the side scan sonar and sub-bottom profilers technology, using sound to create images of the seafloor. The collected visual data are then processed and analysed to provide decisive information for the survey and also to serve as archival documents for further studies. In a similar manner, the raw long exposure images are further post-processed to add visual presence, depth and a unifying minimalist underscore, fusing the boundaries between representational and pictorial iconography in its exploration of the integral perspective. The topographic-objective perspective was used to familiarise with the location and produce images that can be viewed with interest both by local people who know the area well, and by a broader audience who is outside the geo-archaeological field. The expressionist-subjective perspective was also included to add a feeling of timelessness, as these traces of civilisation extend through millennia. Their photographic treatment is intended to elevate them to pure existence, an on-site iconographic museum display.
Selected images from this project have received distinctions in international photography competitions: International Photography Awards 2017, Tokyo International Foto Awards 2018, Siena International Photo Awards 2019.
A first edition of the book can be viewed on blurb.com
About Pygmalion Karatzas
Pygmalion Karatzas studied Architecture at the Technical University of Budapest, Urban Design at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, and practiced architecture for 12 years. Since 2013 he is focusing systematically on architectural and fine art photography, producing a portfolio of 250 architectural, commercial and artistic projects from Europe, USA and Middle East.
His images are regularly featured in Greek and international media, have received 66 distinctions from leading photographic competitions and the prestigious Fulbright Artist Scholarship award 2015-2016, and are part of private and public collections. Since 2014 he is the photo editor for the Danish Architecture Center and a contributing photographer to Arcaid Images London and iStock Getty Images. Divisare Atlas of Architecture ranks him among the top 100 architectural photographers worldwide. He has participated in exhibitions and fundraising in Greece, Italy, France, UK and USA, and produced 7 collections, with the ‘Integral Lens’ book receiving 3rd place at the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris and shortlisted at the Trieste Photo Days Book Award. ‘Nortigo – architectural abstractions’ received 2nd place at the Moscow International Foto Awards.
In affiliation with the University of Tennessee Knoxville and prof. Mark DeKay, their paper on a multi-perspectival approach to architectural photography was presented at the 3rd Integral European Conference; at the 5th Trieste Photo Days Festival and in 2019 became part of an academic mini-term / traveling workshop curriculum. Through photojournalistic reportages, collaborations with architectural firms, businesses and organisations, as well as self-initiated projects, he exhibits his passion and dedication to the study, representation and dissemination of the built environment and its broader role as a cultural asset.
You can find Pygmalion Karatzas on the web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Pygmalion Karatzas. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.