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!

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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:….

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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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≅ river 2003 ≅


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aqua1006 (msaz) - Ikaria 2003 Seeing pictures of those new girls as they went around and posed proudly in the wild nature of Ikaria last summer, I said: «Hey, young ladies! We were there long before you!» Not that -goes without saying- we were the first. We don’t claim a title which righteously belongs to the hippies. But we were the first who took photos and shared them with the world. Retracting my memories, I had even made a drafty webpage in 2004 where I described the magic of one of those places -the best in my opinion in the whole island. «Hike Chalares, canyon of my heart», was the title, if I am not mistaken. I had received critisism for that page, critisism of the kind, «You shouldn’t give out secrets» and so on. But I was sure of my step. Wonders of nature shouldn’t be kept secret. The same goes for «pockets of freedom», they shouldn’t be kept secret either. But this is not the issue today. The issue today is that, twelve years after that day of September when we walked up bravely for almost the whole length of that river, today that I am not as young and posy as I was in 2003, I am sharing again with the world some of the material stored in the poor memory card of our obsolete Casio Exilim which could contain no more than 20 hi-res shots. But first let me review a few stories about the river – the scenery where these shots where taken.
♦ ♦ ♦  As I said, in 2003 we visited the canyon to survey the location and take photos. Besides sport and fun, our purpose was to a evaluate: «Was it as beautiful as they said? And if so, what kind of threats to the environment were there?».
♦ ♦ ♦  Having proven that Chalares was an amazing place, having shown that inspite it was September, there was plenty of water and the vegetation was lush, having warned that the sides of the hills were infested by disastrous free-grazing goats, I suggested that a hiking trail was created in order to put in value the beauty of the canyon and hopefully promote its protection.
♦ ♦ ♦  My appeal was heard and in 2005 a large trail network spread in the area. In addition, the large river pool which appears in the photos below was chosen for a very interesting experiment: the construction of a small environment-friendly semipermeable dam, meant to slow down the flow of the river and give new strengh to the vegetation.
♦ ♦ ♦  But though in the coming years the canyon got to be more and more known, visited and enjoyed, the main threat to its environment was not treated.
Unfortunately the goats were always there. As a matter of fact, for reasons that don’t concern this review, there were even more! As a result, exactly five years ago, in October 18, 2010, when a torrential rainfall hit the western part of the island, the overgrazed, barren and unstable sides of the lower part of the canyon collapsed. Tons of earth and rocks were carried by the water smashing the trees  and wiping out all vegetation, leveling the lakes, transforming what used to be a detailed natural handiwork into a flat highway of gravel and sand.
Today is the black anniversary of that disaster. For older girls like me it is a bitter reminder that it takes much more things than just good intentions for paradise to happen. For younger girls I hope it is a lesson to be learned, I am afraid, only through experience. I am spreading my winds (which have started to turn grey) over their pretty heads and I am dedicating to them seven pictures from that blissful day of 2003 in the river when it was rich, when it was green, when it was mine. For better or worse it’s their turn now.
The following photos were heavily processed using different methods in different periods of time. In this entry, as they always should, they appear their real «order taken», which is «in order of feelings»: curiosity, worry, happiness, pride, relaxed bliss, anxiety, humility. Their titles in Flickr are different but if you move your mouse over each picture, you will be able to know which is which.
That’s all. Let the old show begin again! ^^’

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curiosity

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worry

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happiness

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pride

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relaxed bliss

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anxiety

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humility

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Copyright © Eleni Ikanou



τοπια των αλλων plus +


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Hello readers!  ❤  ^^’
Erietta’s latest visual commnent in one of my older entries was smashing! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Where do these new young girls come from? 🙄 To be honest, I feel the urge to assemble and post a 2nd part of «Who in The Where» only for their sake! Maybe I will do it later, for example in January or February, when I will have missed summer. Now I have stick to my schedule and to do the last of «Landscapes of others». Only that, to pay respect to the new trend, I have chosen landscapes which are not empty. Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers of my humble blog, please welcome 13 landscape shots celebrating the wild nature of Ikaria, 13 landscape shots which somewhere in their many pixels include beautiful human figures! In one of them I am included too, that was when I was young and wild enough to match the natural surroundings. Let’s see if you can spot me ^^’
Here we go! Go Ikaria! Go little poeple in the landscape! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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P1030315 by Chris Brody, on Flickr

P1030315

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Summer 2011 by Diamantis Seitanidis, on Flickr

Summer 2011

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2potama 2 by angelos ka, on Flickr

2potama 2

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Serendipity by ilush, on Flickr

Serendipity

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You were bored because you have seen these pictures already? I promise, my next post will be more original!

Follow me up! ^^’

Eleni Ik ❤

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


nακεd & unemployed


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Hello readers!
Not many words needed for these too few snapshots I was allowed to post wishing to celebrate Nana’s first sureal weeks of her new life in Ikaria. Don’t pay too much importance to the title of the enty. It’s only a joke. 🙂 My best friend is no ordinary girl so the whole thing was a success! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Hot Summer Day Dusk Ikaria

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nακεd & unemployed by Nana to agrimi in Flickr

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Moonlight Ravine Ikaria: A picture by Nana for her radical blog entry: Why can’t we do it in Ikaria?
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Trahilas, a secret beach in Ikaria: Picture from Nana's 1st weeks of life in Ikaria

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Whirl Pool Ikaria: Nana's picture from her revealing blog entry: Wild coves & beaches in northern Ikaria

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Visit her blog to read stories and see photos. And for more quality visit her photostream in (no instagram!) … in Flickr of course!!! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

code name egotoagrimi

egotoagrimi's old buddy icon in FLickr: Nana in Ikaria with Olianders

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Modeling for nature


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Nefertari & Isis
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I’m not goddess Isis, Venus, or St. Mary to appear miraculously in the waters or the skies. Even as a weak human, even if I was Laeticia Casta, I don’t think I’d be able to save a square cm of the planet. On the contrary, I think that if I tried, they’d soon build a highway across ‘paradise’ and caravans of pilgrims would arrive to visit ‘the site of the miracle’ in toyotas, suzukis and mercedeses. They’d profane, destroy and pollute it.
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Snake Goddess 1600 BC
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However… the ‘stupid side of me’ is optimistic. Paradise is inside us. In the same way a giraffe adds value to an African lanscape, a man or a woman adds value to our own natural habitat. Because we are a part of the fauna the same as a heron or a porkupine. But visual arts have to go a long way until they show us something like this. Let’s start with the kind request that both artists and models park their vehicles as far as possible from ‘the habitats’.

We’d never have taken this photo in the first place, if we hadn’t walked there a long hour on foot and we hadn’t been in the same mood as the model.

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Ikaria 055 - Modeling for nature - Hiking, swimming and taking pictures in 2003
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P.S. when you see me writing in ‘courrier’ (fonts like a typewriter’s), you know this is scrap: thoughts that come about and drop in random here and there. This scrap is very important for me. I’m just a little bit worried that it doesn’t sometimes make sense…

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Comments

(10 total)

Here is another for you «eco-freak» 🙂

Return to the Golden Age
We are like salmon, swimming back upstream:
leaping against waterfalls that thwart,
cut and bruised; but strong; our only dream
return to source; no thought save source of thought;

and in that fight, our iron age turns to bronze,
and we to heroes, in a war of soul,
as nature seeks the nature it had once;
though wholly lost, remembering the whole.

We silver salmon, sparkling as the sun
shines on our fierce and loving enterprise:
to rear our children where the world is one;
the source remembered, nature’s greatest prize.

The golden age is ageless in its gleam
and we, like salmon, swimming back upstream.

Michael Shepherd

Thursday March 16, 2006 – 11:11am (PST)

Plato said the same (except for the salmon) in prose. So cheer up ‘eco-freak’. There is light in the garbidge.

Thursday March 16, 2006 – 10:34pm (EET)

-thank you very much for the poem. It counts. You are ‘a cause’ (or ‘case’ -some say ‘lost’). But …’loosers win all’ You ‘ve just won 5 points. Though surely you don’t need them; the redhaired girl with the long tress (did you think she passed unoticed?) in your Flickr photos is 100 t prettier than me and 100 t closer.

‘light in the garbidge’ : I take it as a Platonic metaphor. Because in the real world the light in the garbidge is garbidge on fire polluting and giving out dioxines.
-I’m an ex-ecofreak, currently a respectable woman with career & an expensive new hair style.

Friday March 17, 2006 – 01:32pm (PST)

Not trying to score points Elle, just being a friend, a fellow former eco-freak. Don’t need any more troubles with women! 😉

Friday March 17, 2006 – 04:10pm (PST)

were you, brother? oh, the tired braves…
We’ve scored our points, you know. I can see it everywhere, inspite of (blablabla). A new awareness has been built and I can see this in Flickr, for instance.
(a bit of friendly tease is good to keep in shape, no? -now also brotherly -xxx)

Saturday March 18, 2006 – 12:21pm (PST)

tease us, ‘the tired braves’, «bomber». Give us new meanings and causes to fight for. The idea of the girafe in the savanah and humans in their ‘habitat’ (whatever this might be), is it yours ? Very remarkable.

Sunday March 19, 2006 – 02:49pm (EET)

trees vs. concrete

buildings fall down, trees grow up – beautiful people work together ^^’

Tuesday March 21, 2006 – 03:43pm (CET)

Let’s show faces!!!

Tuesday March 21, 2006 – 03:46pm (CET)

I’ll pose like Mariane in that painting of the French revolution if you like. You ‘ll give me the fuse of the TNT and I’ll light it with a shot of my pistol.

Tuesday March 21, 2006 – 12:46pm (PST)

Delacroix & Bertolucci style  😀
Just kidding ❤ the idea!

Wednesday March 22, 2006 – 10:13pm (EET)