Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny


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Sculpture Garden of the Gods, ANIMATED LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE GREEK ISLAND OF IKARIA, a book 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 articles 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. All Americans carry cameras. Until one day when he came to my 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.  😕 😕

Sculpture Garden of the Gods, ANIMATED LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE GREEK ISLAND OF IKARIA, a book by Thomas K. Shor, City Lion Press, 2018I immediately told Eleni about Thomas work and as much 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 article about his book. So I did.

Inside Thomas’s article about his book, there is an awesome slideshow where you can view some of his many amazing photos. I borrowed the title of my article: «Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny», from Thomas’s first draft of the publication. I loved that title! Because, like Eleni, everybody in Ikaria loves ghost stories. How couldn’t we? Just take a look at these photos! Look at the landscapes we live in! Thomas has managed to show that these shapes, these shades, these forms, are alive. More than that, they can talk and tell stories!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Below you can see some photos
of Thomas K. Shor taken while hiking with our local hiking club, in Ikaria. Further down I have added a few quotes from his book about the island.
….:star: ⭐ :star:….

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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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«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.»

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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.»

«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.»

«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.»

«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.»

«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.»

«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.»

Amazon: Order a copy of 'Sculpture Garden of the Gods', ANIMATED LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM THE GREEK ISLAND OF IKARIA, a book by Thomas K. Shor

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Wednesday, December 24, 2015
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2018
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11 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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    🙂

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

    • 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»

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      Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  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, the photographer was captured several times inside the landscapes of Ikaria! 🙂

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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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    ^^’

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  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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    😕

    Αρέσει σε 8 άτομα

  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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    💡 😎

    Αρέσει σε 7 άτομα

  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

  6. Ο/Η Angelos Ka λέει:
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    We are going to hear more about Ikaria from Thomas very soon and I think his work will be even better – if ever that’s possible.

    Thomas K. Shor, Biography and Work Statement

    I am quoting from the updated bio on his webpage:

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    2. Landscapes from the Greek Island of Ikaria

    «I first went to Ikaria in search of the Greece I knew from years ago and feared was gone with the advent of the Euro and the general homogenization that has overtaken so many places in the last years. Even as I went there, I feared it was but a dream I was chasing. I was looking for a photo/writing project and was ready to reflect upon whatever I encountered.»

    «To my surprise, and delight, I found on Ikaria a vestige of the Greece I once knew (and wrote about in my first book, Windblown Clouds), and I felt immediately welcomed and at home. The place resonated with me. But my even greater surprise is that though I’ve been writing about my experience of the island and the people I encountered, the main project to date emerging from my extended stays on the island is not stories from nor portraits of the island’s inhabitants —neither written or photographic— nor my extensive research into the island’s history; what has emerged is a series of landscape photographs from a particular region of the island’s upper mountainous reaches. These heights are far from human habitation, where the elements are powerful, where stone and wind produce balancing boulders with strangely animate shapes, where clouds cloak the mountains, then lift to reveal trees twisted into knots. Spending hours a day up there for weeks on end, sometimes entirely alone, revealed more to me than just the outer landscape. Maybe it was the way my eye caught the shapes of beings looking back at me from the rocks, maybe it was the intensity of the silence and the raw forces that were at play.»

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    🙂

    Αρέσει σε 6 άτομα


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