Resubmission of Assignment 4

Further to my tutor comments I made the following changes in my essay:

  • Change of title (as suggested by my tutor)
  • Expand discussion in introduction
  • Addition as reference [Sontag, S. (2003), Regarding the pain of others, Hamish Hamilton Ltd] as I felt that it was relevant in discussions in a couple of places

I also did the following two changes:

  • Addition of images of Manchester attach and London fire (these events happen between my initial submission and this one, simply as they were really socking events that I watched in the news, I thought that I should include them)
  • Captions in italics

These were not suggestions by my tutor; just felt I should do it.

Below you can see the initial submission


And the final one after the above corrections


Reflecting on “Regarding the Pain of Others” by Susan Sontag

My tutor in report for As. 4 recommended to read Susan Sontag’s Book: Regarding the pain of others. She thought that it might be useful when unpacking ideas of shock and synthesizing a traditional “live action” approach with aftermath.

I found the book and below are my thoughts/ reflections. I have to admit that it was a really interesting but not so pleasant book.

Chapter 1

  • Men and women look differently at War. War is a man’s game. I think I agree with that. I believe that if there were more women as world leaders there would have been fewer wars. I do not know if it has to do with maternal instincts, that from their nature they do not want their children or other mother’s kids to die or it is simply that women seems to be more emotional than men. Of course that is not the rule etc…but it is an interesting point raised in the book.
  • “Not to be pained by these pictures, not to recoil from them, not to strive to abolish what causes this havoc, this carnage—these, for Woolf, would be the reactions of a moral monster. And, she is saying, we are not monsters, we members of the educated class. Our failure is one of imagination, of empathy: we have failed to hold this reality in mind”. I think we are indeed monsters. Even if I am not happy writing that. Personally, I cannot image intentionally harm somebody else. But this is not how an important portion of humans thing. If that was not the case we would have lived in a peaceful planet. And yes, that is the result in most of the cases of the educated class. Even in wars we can see that “simple” people from different countries manage to overcome their difficulties if they are forced to live together after a war. The problem is with those in power, with their decisions and with what comes because of them.
  • “For Woolf, as for many antiwar polemicists, war is generic, and the images she describes are of anonymous, generic victims… To those who are sure that right is on one side, oppression and injustice on the other, and that the fighting must go on, what matters is precisely who is killed and by whom… Alter the caption, and the children’s deaths could be used and reused” It is sad how a person with a character and ID etc become just a body when they die. We speak of number of dead bodies everyday in the news and if it far, it sound like we are speaking for broken toys. The closer it is to us, the sadder we feel. But we only remember if it is a friend or a relative. The altering of a caption to benefit one or the other side is totally unethical for me. It also does not show respect to those who died. If I remember correctly, in Ancient Greece they respect the dead bodies even from their opponents, thousands years later and instead of becoming better we become worst in this aspect.
  • “In fact, there are many uses of the innumerable opportunities a modern life supplies for regarding—at a distance, through the medium of photography—other people’s pain. Photographs of an atrocity may give rise to opposing responses. A call for peace. A cry for revenge. Or simply the bemused awareness, continually restocked by photographic information, that terrible things happen” The first part is relevant to my essay. Photos of horror events can lead to discussion for the effects of the war and hopefully lead to peace. However, as it is mentioned, the more images of horror we can see the more we get used to them and hence, we start just accepting them as something common.

Chapter 2

  • “Something becomes real—to those who are elsewhere, following it as “news”—by being photographed I was thinking something similar for a personal trip. Things did not work out the way I wanted and kind of felt that if I will not take photos of this trip it will feel like it never happened. However, it is not similar in wars etc. It is important to prevent them from happening, not from being photographed. It is the reality we have to change not the photos.
  • “Photography is the only major art in which professional training and years of experience do not confer an insuperable advantage over the untrained and inexperienced—this for many reasons, among them the large role that chance (or luck) plays in the taking of pictures, and the bias toward the spontaneous, the rough, the imperfect” Yes that is might be correct. You do not need the professional training to take good photos, as many great photographers are and were self educated. However, as a photography student, I think the photography education helps you to understand the photography as art and why people are taking photos. That maybe does not help you directly to improve your photography skills; it helps though to appreciate even more what you are doing.
  • “Normally, if there is any distance from the subject, what a photograph “says” can be read in several ways” I think there was more relevant discussion about that in one of the essays we had to analyse
  • “ The memory of war, however, like all memory, is mostly local.” I agree with that. The closer the war zone or the victims of an attack the more it touches us.


Chapter 3

  • A painting or drawing is judged a fake when it turns out not to be by the artist to whom it had been attributed. A photograph—or a filmed document available on television or the internet—is judged a fake when it turns out to be deceiving the viewer about the scene it purports to depict”. Again an interesting point here. I though this before but not as parallel thoughts. Painting, does not have to depict exactly reality, it is just telling a story. In Photography, especially in photojournalism an accurate depiction of what has happened is expected.

Chapter 4

  • “This, of course, is how war looks when it is seen from afar, as an image. Victims, grieving relatives, consumers of news all have their own nearness to or distance from war. The frankest representations of war and of disaster-injured bodies are of those who seem most foreign, therefore least likely to be known. With subjects closer to home, the photographer is expected to be more discreet”. Again similar to above, how we are related to the subject or the area of the disaster affect how we look at the photos and how we feel about them.
  • “During the Vietnam era, war photography became, normatively, a criticism of war. This was bound to have consequences: mainstream media are not in the business of making people feel queasy about the struggles for which they are being mobilized, much less of disseminating propaganda against waging war. Since then, censorship—the most extensive kind, self-censorship, as well as censorship imposed by the military— has found a large and influential number of apologists… There had not been such drastic restrictions on the reporting of a British military operation since the Crimean War.” Again some interesting facts about how Vietnam war was the last to be photographed with no restrictions (have discussed this issue in the past in during the landscape course)


Chapter 7

  • “Here is Baudelaire writing in his journal in the early 1860s:It is impossible to glance through any newspaper, no matter what the day, the month or the year, without finding on every line the most frightful traces of human perversity… Every newspaper, from the first line to the last, is nothing but a tissue of horrors. Wars, crimes, thefts, lecheries, tortures, the evil deeds of princes, of nations, of private individuals; an orgy of universal atrocity. And it is with this loathsome appetizer that civilized man daily washes down his morning repast./Newspapers did not yet carry photographs when Baudelaire wrote” I am really feeling the same when I am looking online or when I am looking in twitter. I also believe that we can be informed for much more horror events around the world today than in 1860 and also I believe that we have much more catastrophic weapons and more terror attacks, so I just wonder what Baudelaire would have felt if he had the change to “travel in the future”. Sad really sad…


Chapter 8

  • “Parked in front of the little screens—television, computer, palmtop—we can surf to images and brief reports of disasters throughout the world. It seems as if there is a greater quantity of such news than before. This is probably an illusion. It’s just that the spread of news is “everywhere.” Just mentioned that I feel that today are more crimes than many years ago. Also, considering that the book is written on 2003 I think that we have more terror attacks in 2017 than few years ago. It feels, for me, that we are in constant war with terrorism and the war zones can be anywhere and maybe that is harder for civilians.

Assignment Five: Self-directed project


For this Assignment we have to produce a body of work that explores a particular place, type of space or theme relating to landscape practice. I have already discussed and agreed the self directed project with my tutor as described in the relevant post in my blog. You can find that at the following link

As it is mentioned there “The main idea is to create few small abstract paintings on different materials with oil pastel and/ or acrylics. Then photograph them outdoors, and try to create landscape photos in similar style of the photos created in previous assignments, with the personal voice that start evolving in the images of objects for As. 6”

The project proposal did not change since from the initial one.

I have also produced as required an artist statement for the submitted work, which you can find in the following link but I also attach it below (there is more discussion though for the artist statement in the relevant post in my blog)

Artist Statement

In my previous personal projects, I was enjoying photographing rubbish and objects left behind by the users/ owner in places sometimes we did not expect them to be. In these cases, I had one rule for myself  “Do not touch or interfere with this object and just move myself and the camera around in order to capture the image in way that satisfies me”. This practise slowly helped me to develop a personal photographic voice.

Then at some point, I felt the need to use this photographic voice in exactly the opposite way, with interfering/ placing and touching some objects in locations of my choice. The second question though, is what objects should be placed/ used.

Moreover, there was a need to be creative, and to create. I am aware that I am not a good in painting, but I am also aware that I enjoy abstract paintings. I have not practised it a lot (mainly as part of a volunteering job in an art group) but I knew that it worth exploring it further. In addition, I was always remembering that when I was in school, I was really enjoying working with oil pastels.

In this project, I created some oil pastel abstract paintings in small white cardboard, then place them and photograph them outdoors. All the pieces of cardboard are not exactly the same size or perfectly rounded as I cut a larger piece of cardboard in smaller pieces.


As a part of the Assignment is required to research relevant photographers etc. I have also researcher the artists my tutor suggested in the report for As. 4

In the first part I looked about abstract paintings and the use of oil pastels

In the second part I looked at the work of other photographers/ artists (including my tutor’s suggestions)

In addition, I visited again the most recent exhibition in the photography museum of my hometown


In a first step, I created the oil pastel paintings in small white cardboard pieces. Then I had to decide about the location. My very initial plan when I was writing the proposal was to take them in the seaside in a location similar to the one I took the photos with the mirrors. However, I was not in Chalkidiki at the time but in Thessaloniki, Greece.

I walked in areas close to my hometown and I noticed that an interesting area was just 5-10 minutes’ walk from my home. Of course I was aware of this location (the school I was going from 12-18 years was just opposite that), but when I tried to used it for some portraits in the past it was not as great as I was hopping. However, I thought that this was a nice location for the oil pastel paintings project. Also, it had some more variety compared to a seaside location and interesting landscape. This fact is important, as the course I am working at the moment is in Landscape.

The area is called Eptapyrgio Fortress; it includes some part of the old city walls and some buildings in middle which used to be prisons until 1989. To give you a feeling of the area I used the google maps. I attach a 3d map and I tried to include inside the circles the areas I took the photo. Also, I include some print screens from the area in google maps. One thing, I noticed is how the different points of view (mine and the most common/ tourist/ google maps) can give a different feeling of the area.

I produced 18 photos; I choose to submit for this assignment 12. You can see these below.


Also below are the 6 rejected ones. It is not that they were really bad. I just wanted to reduce them to 12. I will also try to put a sentence or two to explain why I reject them.


Reasons for rejection:

Rejected 1, Rejected 2, Rejected 4: No special reason, just found the selected one more interesting

Rejected 3: was not that happy with the composition. I just want also to say that for this one I really like the location, but it was hard to take a photo as the wind was keep dropping the painting. I tried really hard but it was possibly the only place I had such a big problem during the shooting day. This one was the best one I got in this place

Rejected 5: same location with selected 11 and I like the Photo 11 more.

Rejected 6: For some reason when I was looking to this photo I was not that happy with the composition

Submission Method

At this part of the course we explored different methods to submit our work (photobook, prints, slideshow etc). My favourite one is a photobook. I think I plan to submit my work for assessment as a photobook, which will have different chapters for different assignments (excluding the essay). I do not want to submit different photobooks for different assignments for two reasons. The first one is the cost. The second and most important is that each submission will have fewer pages than the minimum number of pages in Blurb and I do not really like this idea, as I have to add white pages to match the minimum number (see exercise 5.3). Also as in the previous assignments I am submitting my work online (it will cost more as I am not in UK and might take longer time to sent and return them, plus I do not know how my job hunting will go and hence where I will live).

Evaluation of my work


I am really happy with the final images I produced for As. 5. I like that in some of the photos I used the elements of design (like lines etc), and I tried when and where possible to somehow connect the content of the painting with the landscape I placed them. I also liked that there are more elements of creativity and “actions” from my side as opposed to previous projects. What I mean with that is I paint the small paintings and I placed them in selected locations, whereas as described in the artist’s statement, I was just moving myself and trying not to touch my photographic object which was there before me and also there after I photographer it. In addition, I think that it is import that a concept I had in my mind for years materialised. Although, this is not a strength directly connected to this body of work, it is however important for the creative process as the try and error is the best approach to be creative (as opposed to have many ideas but never make any of them).

“Not- Strengths”

Consciously, I choose not to use the word weakness in this evaluation. I consider this project as a starting point for possible personal projects and a strong possibility for a starting point for my work for the next Level 3 courses (subjecting to discussions with my new tutors). In a creative process you know that you will improve in the next trial and you should improve (I do not know if “have to” is too strong in this case, as also ideally creative process should not include obligations). For this reason, I can write some thoughts/ suggestion which I can consider for the possible projects for the next course:

  • Use again acrylics paintings on parallel as they give some nice texture (you can see the old photos in the post in the project proposal, painted toilet paper cardboards)
  • Consider other locations. Seaside looked interesting, but sometime does not have the variety I found in my chosen location. I think the future projects depend on where life will take me. For example, many days and in many locations in UK, landscapes feel grey or colourless so adding a colour painting might stand out more than in Greece
  • Considering new ideas might be interesting to paint objects like bottles, food packaging or objects found on the road. Possibly, the last ones, collect them paint them and return to the place I found them.
  • Another possibility, is to find a location I like take a photo of it. Then return home and try to prepare an abstract painting reflection on this location.
  • Another one is try to be more conceptual, and try to reflect my emotions both in the paintings and/ or the locations.



At this point we have to reflect on how we are doing against the assessment criteria (I plan to submit my work for assessment)

Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I think there is an improvement in my technical skills. Not so much photographically, but on using other tools like the mirrors and on using mixed media (painting and photography). Also, as mentioned above, I was possibly more aware of the elements of design in some of the photos when I was placing the paintings in the landscapes.

In addition, I think there is a difference on how we expect to look something in our mind and how it actually looks when photographed. So, I can say that there is a possible slightly improvement in my visual awareness and skills. This is due to the fact that I was having the painting in my hand before visit the location and hence I had some expectations, as opposed to finding a not expected object on the road etc.

Quality of outcome

I think I am improving on how I presenting my work in my blog thanks to my tutor’s comments. I also started including texts in quotations and photos from other sites, to reduce the need of the reader to keep moving between sites (I still try though to mention the source as a link in most of the cases). Also, try communicate my ideas in a not so confusing way (I hope !)

Demonstration of creativity

I think and hope that it is obvious that I improved on that (again mirrors, mixed media, etc).


I did some more extended theoretical work for As. 4. I am trying to visit galleries and also look to the work of other photographers. I also think that I am better on these as opposed to previous courses which is important. In addition, I think I improved on that during the course, and that this course required a lot of essay analysis is possibly a good preparation for the final year courses.

Assignment 3

The second part for the reflection of tutor’s comments for As. 3, as described in previous submissions, and includes a discussion on photographic index is

Assignment 4

I plan to re-submit with the tutor’s comments As. 4 (essay) the soonest possible and hopefully before submitting As. 6

Transitions- Assignment 6

Since my last Assignment I post two posts related to As. 6

In the first one, I explore and experiment more with the use of mirrors as suggested by my tutor. I am really happy with the final result. You can see the series of photos at

In a second post, I just reduced the photos I took for As. 6 to 40. These are in my opinion the best and also my favourite. If my tutor agrees, I plan to select 10-12 of these photos and submit them as a final selection for As. 6

Researching for As.5: Looking at the work of other photographers

Any reproduction of photos is purely for no profit and educational reasons

In this post again I will do some research for As. 5

I will explore some of the artists/ photographers suggested by my tutor and do some research for artists whose work is related to my submitted work as suggested in the coursework notes. My tutor’s suggestions include also some artists who used mirrors in their work to explore as part of my As.  6.

Specifically my tutor suggested exploring:

  • the Claude Glass (a device once used by landscape painters)
  • Karen Grainger
  • Georges Rousse
  • Neomie Goudal
  • Danny Treacy

There is an interesting article about Claude Glass at PetaPixel

According to them “this small, blackened pocket mirror reduced the tonal values of whatever landscapes you pointed it at, while its convex shape simultaneously brought more of the scene into a single focal point.”

Alex McKay and historian CS Matheson have created a claude mirror installation by placing a webcam opposite a 40-inch Claude mirror that is reflecting the Tintern Abbey.

See below, three examples

In her project “Mirror Landscapes” Karen Grainger places mirrors outdoors and photograph them. The link to her project is

I really like how the mirror blends with the environment and I could not really tell if that is a mirror or I am seeing through a glass. You can see some examples below.

Another case where mirror are used (I have seen a photo of their work in instagram): Artist Kader Attia in their project “Holy Land” cut 45 mirrors in the shape of headstones and placed them along the dunes of the Canary Islands and along the pristine Tuscan countryside.


Looking to the work of Georges Rousse, it make me think that it is really interesting but I was wondering if that is something created digitally, or overlapping of some smaller painting etc. But actually as it is mentioned in the artist website they are art installations. More specifically, “Widely regarded as a pioneer in single-perspective art, Georges Rousse is known for working at the intersections of painting, architecture and photography, creating colorfully elaborate and ephemeral installations in abandoned or soon-to-be demolished buildings. From most vantage points, the installation looks fragmented and chaotic, but when photographed from a single perfect angle, perspective shifts and the full illusion of the unified work is revealed. This unique approach results in unforgettable exhibitions that compel viewers to reanalyze their own perceptions of space and reality.”

More specifically, we can see how different it looks from different perspectives in the following two photos

Also some other examples of his work I like

I think for the circular interruptions of Noémie Goudal my tutor refers at their series called “Southern Light Stations”. I think there is a similarity in the point of view between their work and my re-visit of the work with the mirrors.  Below three examples


I was aware of the work by Danny Treacy, but did not remember his “Grey Area” work. Actually, I did not notice that he painted these areas before photographic them. Without reading this I could think that they are images of similar tones and then digitally turned to black and white. Few examples below.


While searching for the above artists there were some really interesting and related images in the google image search.

The work my Felice Varini is really inspiring. Similar as a concept to the work by Georges Rousse (painting in buildings visually more accurately from a specific point of view)

James Turrell is is working with light and space. I found his work inspiring and kind of related to the previous post for abstract painting. However, in a different medium.

I really liked the work by Godon Matta Clark. He is famous for cutting and removing sections of buildings and then documented them. Although, there are not related directly to previous artists here, I think the patterns are interesting and inspiring.

Ben Hecht uses original paintings and then paints on the top of them.  BenHecht1

While searching this I found the work of Victoria Siemer, who digitally manipulates her landscapes and then flipping them in on themselves. I found her work interesting and inspiring again.

Carlos Barria took photos of the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Then returned after 10 years and took photos carrying the initial photos in the same locations.

Maksim Zavialov holds a photo taken with instant film and juxtaposed it on another photograph taken of the same location

In a different project, Eisen Bernardo placed and merging image covers in classical paintings


Another really interesting concept is the work by Fabian Schubert, who photographs painter Hank Schmidt in der Beek painting in nice locations the patterns of his T-shirts.

In the website

Users send photos, which are pictures of a picture from the past, taken in the present, and write a caption explaining the story.


Researching for As. 5: Abstract Paintings- Oil Pastel


Before start working for As. 5, I wanted to explore further the abstract paintings. I bought a couple of books but I found it more inspirational just to look at other abstract paintings.

I found a really good collection of art works in an application for android phones called Art-droid.

There you can look at artist by genre and hence I look at abstract artists. There are few hundreds and I tried to look at most of them. You can also save and create collections of your favourite paintings. I collected around 82 for reference. I will share and discuss few here (I try to choose some representatives of styles also).

Below are three paintings by Leon Berkowitz, what I really like on them is the smooth transitions between the colours and that is the reason these paintings are giving me a feeling of smoothness.

An opposite feeling bring the images by Huguette Arthur Bertrand. Instead of calmness those images give a feeling of panic or stress. The lines are not smooth but separate and kind of strong.

Luis Feito paintings below, although obviously abstract painting, they give me a feeling that something is happening, that there is an event happening in front of my eyes, but I cannot tell what is happening. It is like a boat in the middle of sea a very foggy and cloudy day or a fire with dense smoke.

Below are paintings by Johanness Itten, they have more geometrical elements than the previous ones and those elements in one of the paintings start shaping a figure.

More geometrical structures are in Piero Dorazio’s work.

The work of Alexander Liberman is also interesting. It has more simple elements thought.

In the work of Jock Macdonald, there are more clear objects/ elements in the paintings but they are mixed up in a random abstract structure. It is different than most of the previous paintings.

I like the simplicity and the texture of the work by Bram Bogart.

George Sary’s work seems that they follow a pattern as many of them are like a collection of stone shaped features.

Jean- Paul Riopelle’s work looks like they have too many things happening, also makes me wonder what was the state of mind of the painter when he was painting.

Joseph Marioni’s work due to their simplicity can raise discussions of the style “is this art?” but I think there is a difference between how creative is this process for the painter and what we see as viewers.

I also liked Mostafa Dashti’s work where again it feels like there is a hidden story telling.

Finally, again in the work of Josef Albers we can see some simple geometrical elements.

Furthermore, I explored few videos in youtube to learn or remind me how to use oil pastels.

I include a couple of them below

Visit to Thessaloniki Museum of Photography (13-4-2017)

Few weeks ago, I visited the current exhibition of the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography. Once more, it was really interesting. However, once more I left with a feeling of sadness.

The exhibition is called “Portrayals of History”. There are photos by  Voula Papaioannou – Dimitris Harissiadis and they were taken between 1940-1960. The photographers “systematically recorded Greece at a time of political transition, economic uncertainty and social hardship” and depict “World War II and the country’s post-war reconstruction”

You can see more details at

In most of the images it is obvious more or less what it is depicted. The only one I want to describe is the one with the box and the person with the white lab coat. In the box is written in Greek that people can leave their babies there if they are not able to grow them up; so sad was the situation.

There were some smaller rooms in the exhibition where there was a notice that children should enter with the permission of their parents or something similar.

I took a couple of photos (see below). I think one comment I want to make is how universal and out of time is the image of starving children. We cannot tell in which place or what period, or in which war or natural disaster these images have been taken. And despite this fact and how sad these views are, the humanity will “produce” them again and again.

Another thing I noticed is the similarities between the photos of the ruined building almost 50 years ago and the contemporary photos of what is happening at the moment in Syria. The same is happening with images of people waiting to get some food, and images of contemporary refugee’s camps. Again, it is sad to see nothing has changes for the humanity after almost 50 years, same stories, same situations, just different locations and different era/ period.

Then after the World Wars and the Greek Civil War there were some signs of return to normal life and developments. Some positive photos. However, these still give me a feeling of sadness. That is because my country is again in a bad situation, at this time a financial crisis and nobody has an idea of when we will see again signs of development and better quality of people’s life.

Resubmission of Assignment 3- Part 2 (includes a discussion on “photographic index”)

This is the second part where I reflect after tutor’s report for As. 3.

One of the tutor’s suggestions in the report for As. 3 was to engage with the ‘photographic index’ and to read Stephen Bull’s book Photography for a quick and foundational entry into the indexical nature of photography (p.13-16).

I read that and I understood the suggestion of my tutor. Follow some discussion/ thoughts on that (again, in normal text is key points or summary from the book, italics are my thoughts):

  • There is a discussion about how a photograph is a result of photons etc and the physics behind the process of the image creation. The photograph is a confirmation that the photographed object exists or did exist. I had two thoughts while reading this. The first one is, as a physicist, I confirm and understand that there is some science behind the image/ photo creation. That was even stronger with the chemical nature of the black and white or film/ plates photography. However, when I actually take a photo I never think as a physicist and I do not think that physics can help you take better photos. This is just a personal opinion, as I heard similar discussions in the past, how optics can help etc. The second thought, is given how powerful is photoshop and similar software I do not know if it still accurate to trust as real and existing whatever a photo depict. Of course someone can argue that we can trust the image if it is straight out of the camera or someone can say that what we see existed but maybe has been slightly altered.
  • There is a discussion about signs in the book. I think in my series the sign has two different meanings. The first one is the sigh itself, as an arrow which is showing direction and can mean anything, and can be used also in roads etc. The second is that for the pilgrims it is a confirmation that they are in the correct path, and also the signs represent the path itself.
  • Finally, due to the indexical nature of photography, also this series “speaks” and tell us that it is a part of the “camino”. Maybe it does not speak to everybody, but definitely speak to those who have walked it, or to those that have read about it.

In addition, I did the following updates in the blog posts further to my tutor’s comments

  • The following changes the below link

  • “History turns space into place” corrected after tutor’s comment
  • pages added in references as suggested by tutor


As suggested by my tutor I expanded a little on my selection project and explain the rejected images (link to the post below)