Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny


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Ikaria 1 by Thomas K. Shor

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. Hello readers! .Angelos K.

My name is Angelos K. and since I was nominated contributor I am afraid I have written very few entries in this blog. Let’s say that I was saving my blogging skills for special occasions. And as I hope you can tell from the introductory picture, this is a special occasion. The place is Pezi plateau located on the western part of Ikaria island, Greece. The time is two years ago, between December and January 2013. The photographer is Thomas K. Shor, an American writer, photographer and traveller. He and his wife Barbara appeared out of the blue in Ikaria in the middle of a cloudy and rainy winter. During their stay we hiked (a little), we talked (a lot) and we became good friends. Apparently, they liked the island, because they visited us two times. Between their visits I had the chance to read two of Thomas’s books, «A Step Away from Paradise» and «The Master Director» and although I know very little about the places where the action takes place, I liked both of them very much.

While in Ikaria Thomas often carried a camera but I didn’t pay much attention to the fact. Americans are well-known to carry cameras. Until one day when he came to the house and showed to me a pack of high quality B/W prints. Knowing that I am a hiker and an amateur photographer, and therefore, I was familiar with the locations and the subjects, he asked for my opinion about his work. I was all admiration! As a matter of fact, I couldn’t keep my fingers off those prints! Through the years I have seen a lot of great pictures from the desolate landscapes of our mountains but these ones were special. Moreover, they were 100% «Ikaria» and not, as it so often happens, overprocessed creations which, no matter how beautiful they are, I label them «fiction» and I don’t usually give them a second glance.😕

I immediately told Eleni about Thomas work and as most of her blog is dedicated to photography, she told me to ask for Thomas’s permission and left the door open for me to get in and post an entry. And so I did.

As is the way of this blog, the pictures below work as clickable «mirrors» reflecting the originals inside Thomas’s website. In spaces between them I have inserted quotes from his presentation which I thought was very to the point. Especially that phrase in the last paragraph which (on Eleni’s suggestion) made the title of this entry: «Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny«. Because we love ghost stories in Ikaria. How couldn’t we? Just take a look of those shots! Thomas has managed to show that these shapes, these shades, these forms, are alive. More than that, they can talk and tell stories!

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..........Copyright © 2015 Thomas K. Shor. All rights reserved........
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Ikaria 2 by Thomas K. Shor Ikaria 3 by Thomas K. Shor
. .Ikaria 4 by Thomas K. Shor Ikaria 6 by Thomas K. Shor
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«THE ISLAND OF IKARIA is distinctive for various reasons. It remains to this day an untouristed backwater where people are largely self-sufficient and unusually independently minded. It has been labeled one of the “Blue Zones,” with the highest percentage of people in their nineties on the planet.»

. .Ikaria 5 by Thomas K. Shor Ikaria 7 by Thomas K. Shor
. .Ikaria 8 by Thomas K. Shor
. .Ikaria 9 by Thomas K. Shor Ikaria 10 by Thomas K. Shor
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«Historically, it was the poorest island in the Aegean. It is also one of the lushest, with numerous springs and rivers and forests of pine and oak.»

Ikaria 12 by Thomas K. Shor

Ikaria 11 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 13 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 14 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 15 by Thomas K. Shor

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. .Ikaria 16 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 17 by Thomas K. Shor
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«Yet the landscape photographs I have been taking over the course of a couple of extended stays reflect nothing of this lushness and hardly depict any people.»

. .Ikaria 18 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 19 by Thomas K. Shor
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Ikaria 20 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 21 by Thomas K. Shor
Ikaria 22 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 23 by Thomas K. Shor
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«The island is long and thin, a single mountain ridge rising sharply out of the Aegean Sea not far from the coast of Turkey. At the top of this ridge, topped by numerous 3,000 foot (1,000 meter) peaks, is a landscape that haunted and excited me from the moment I set eyes on it.»

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. .Ikaria 24 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 26 by Thomas K. Shor
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. .Ikaria 25 by Thomas K. Shor
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. . .Ikaria 26 by Thomas K. Shor Ikaria 28 by Thomas K. Shor
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. .Ikaria 27 by Thomas K. Shor
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«It is a desolate and windswept land of exposed granite carved by the elements into bizarre shapes and balancing boulders. The granite has a mysterious propensity to take the form of living beings.»

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. .Ikaria 29 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 30 by Thomas K. Shor
. .Ikaria 24 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 26 by Thomas K. Shor
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. .Ikaria 33 by Thomas K. Shor

«The trees are stunted and the bushes thorny. It can change from bright sun to near impenetrable fog at such a speed as to be entirely disorienting.»

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. .Ikaria 34 by Thomas K. ShorIkaria 35 by Thomas K. Shor

«The atmosphere is often reminiscent of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny. The beauty of the place is raw and the solitude profound. This series of photographs, taken on the mountain’s many moods, reflects both the landscape and what it did to me.»

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. . .. ..Ikaria 36 by Thomas K. ShorGallery Index: Landscapes from Ikaria, Greece — Photos by Thomas K. Shor
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...Blogged with permission of the author © 2015 Thomas K. Shor. All rights reserved...
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Wednesday, December 24, 2015
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7 σχόλια on “Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny”

  1. Ο/Η Eleni λέει:
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    Great blogging, my friend! It’s an honor to have you and Thomas as guests in my blog! As for the pictures, I have told you that I have only one thing to say as a compliment: His Pezi photos ARE far BETTER than MINE!!!🙂🙂🙂

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    Break on through to the other side ☀ yeah !

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    🙂

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    • Ο/Η Θεοδώριχος λέει:
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      They are not better than yours, Eleni. They are different. You focused on the environment, the colors, the light and the diversity of everything, while the American writer expressed («reflected») the landscape, as he said, and the effect it had on him. The place is a scenery for a story and a story in itself.
      Great title, by the way! The photos I prefer are «the monsters», Ikaria 8, Ikaria 13, Ikaria 14, Ikaria 15 and Ikaria 17

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      Ikaria 8Ikaria 13Ikaria 14Ikaria 15Ikaria 17

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  2. Ο/Η egotoagrimi λέει:
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    So we are right to love and fear that plateau😮 These are photos to be exhibited inside some kind of gallery hall! (with a touch of gothic – if you please) And if somebody asks for proof of his presence in Ikaria, there’s the photographer captured several times!🙂

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    Hike Karavostamo - Arethousa. Morning Gathering (4)Hike Karavostamo - Arethousa. Morning Gathering (3)Karavostamo - Arethousa. 3rd part of the hike (6)Karavostamo - Arethousa. 3rd part of the hike (2)Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 01Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 02Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 04Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 06Trail of the Elves (Rahes-Kampos) 10Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 04Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 03Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 02Ikarian Ridge Walk Dec 18 01

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    ^^’

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  3. Ο/Η elinalafina λέει:
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    With a bit of the right kind of promotion I think that these great pictures could help a lot so that the destruction of the ridge by that frightful gigantic wind power plant is finally avoided!

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    In Eleni's blog: The Landscapes of Others - #comment-878

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    😕

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  4. Ο/Η angelosk λέει:
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    Thank you for liking Thomas’s photos and for appreciating my blogging attempt. I have to add that I didn’t help him at all to find the sites nor did I point out the subjects. He discovered everything by himself. All I knew was that he was puzzled about how those strange rock shapes were created etc

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    💡😎

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  5. Ο/Η Catherine Sophie λέει:
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    Yes. Ikaria. The poorest and the richest island at the same time! Only depends on how you perceive wealth.

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    🙂

    Αρέσει σε 1 άτομο


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