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. 😕 😕
I 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!
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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:….
«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.»
«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.»
Wednesday, December 24, 2015 Updated: Friday, October 26, 2018
Walking with friends in the amazing rockscapes of Pezi, Ikaria island, Greece, May 14, 2015. Taking photos and singing ♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
«I found an island in your arms, Country in your eyes, Arms that chain, Eyes that lie, Break on through to the other side, Break on through to the other side, ☀ yeah !»
Here are the 17 shots I chose to post to and my Flickr. For technical reasons, as well as because I wanted to keep my comeback as quiet as possible, I have set their dates to an earlier year. I also decided, instead of posting a new entry, to edit one of 2006 which made no sense anymore. Anyway, human time is not important in the rock and tree kingdom of Pezi. One full day up there and it was as if we had been there for 3 years. Go there! Sing the song!
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Pezi 01 – Melting rocks
You know the day destroys the night***
Pezi 02 – Unknown green patch
Night divides the day***
Pezi 03 – Broken boulders and Hawthorns
Tried to run***
Pezi 04 – The distant lake
Tried to hide***
Pezi 05 – The other side!
Break on through to the other side***
Pezi 06 – More melting rocks
We chased our pleasures here***
Pezi 09 – Druid light
But can you still recall***
Pezi 10 – Passing family of trees
The time we cried***
Pezi 11 – The wall and the forest
Break on through to the other side***
Pezi 12 – The swampy sources of the river of my heart
Everybody loves my baby***
Pezi 13 – Nice to walk
I found an island in your arms***
Pezi 14 – The old welcome
Country in your eyes***
Sunday July 26, 2015