I can’t begin to express how much I love Greece…
Every year I travel to Greece because there is no more beautiful place to me. In 2012, I went to Mykonos with friends, an island known for its crazy parties, celebrities, sexual freedom, and exorbitantly expensive DJ performances. But those photos are all over the internet, so I’d rather show you my perspective. In my memory, Mykonos remains a completely different experience.
When you walk the hot streets during the day, sharp sunlight washes out vibrant colors of flowers, and they become kind of pale, light… In a way, although tourists are crawling all over the place, you can feel the intimate atmosphere and modest life of villagers, the carefully painted tiles and patiently maintained flowers that spring up literally from the pavement next to modest homes.
So I was drawn by details that I saw on streets. Of course, I fell on that tourist’s urge to photograph decorated details, and cats of course.
The whole seaside, from the beach to the city center, is simply perfect. There is no superlative adequate to describe that calm, clear water, full of fish, algae and all varieties of seaweed. It almost seems as if a different Sun shines there.
All that the beach in Mykonos has in common with other Greek beaches is the immigrants selling fake Louis Vuitton and other chachkas.
I wanted to take so many photos because there were inspirations at every turn. I directed my friend to hold her pose, not even blink, so I could capture the dynamic of the street with a long exposure.
It was hard to photograph during the day. The wind is relentless in late August on Mykonos. If you point your face in the direction of the wind, you have to close your eyes, and when you turn another direction, windblown hair can obscure your face.
Yet, I only remember the failed attempts as fun. Even the photo-reflector bent under the force of the wind – it wasn’t easy being the guy holding it for us…
…although something tells me he wasn’t feeling all that bad.
Even if it sounds like an ordinary summer holiday, to me this was a special moment in time, and now when it comes back to me, I feel rather sad. It was not long after I had said goodbye to my mother. I was sunbathing on top of those sun-bleached stones, peering through my lashes at the sun even though it’s bad for the eyes. I felt guilty for not feeling more sadness, but one cannot be sad under the Sun, at least so says Aznavour’s song Emennez-moi.
The summer left me with a bittersweet feeling… and dust on the camera sensor. Yes, a photographer should never allow dust to be seen on the lens, yet strangely, I still love this photo.
Bye-bye, Mykonos! Bye-bye, Mom.