Stavros Pippos – August 2012 @ BPC

Article originally published in Camera clips October 2012

BPC Does it again! (o.k. maybe somewhat contentious, but thinking of the article title to submit to SAPF)

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On Thursday the 30th of August Blackwood Photographic Club was proud to host one of the most eminent local photographers in the State, Stavros Pippos.

The packed clubrooms with members of the public and numerous other camera clubs were an indication of the popularity of this important photographer who is well known throughout Australia for documenting our States beautiful landscapes.

Both a wonderful photographer and speaker, Stavros entertained the audience with the history of how he came to photography, and tales of his adventures while trying to capture his images.

The end of the evening saw an opportunity to buy some of Stavros’ books, and have a chat with him, as well as a warm cuppa and a bite to eat. On behalf of Blackwood Photography Club and its members, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Stavros for attending our club, and making the evening a great success. Blackwood Photography Club strives to supply exceptional content in its programme for its members, and this night was another example why BPC is considered to be leading the way forward amongst Camera clubs in South Australia

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It was a pleasure to attend the August 30th meeting at BPC when the landscape photographer Stavros Pippos gave an inspirational 90 minute presentation about his life and his photography.  At the outset he explained that he did not see himself as a professional photographer.  “My career was in television.  I started by sweeping the floor, but within a few years I was a producer for Channel 7.  I found myself being paid to do something that I absolutely enjoyed; I loved every minute of it.”  Photography however was his passion.  “If I was going anywhere, and I couldn’t take my camera, well I just wouldn’t be interested in attending.”  Ever since he was a boy, rather than play football, he would ride his bike to locations around his home town of Maroochydore looking for landscapes to photograph.   He maintained that interest over many years, but it re-ignited when he turned 50.  Living and working in South Australia he decided it was time to set off to the Flinders Ranges with a painter friend and the outcome was a series of bestselling books.  He admitted that it was not easy to establish himself as a commercial photographer.  Exhibiting and publishing are very labour intensive and required considerable outlay, for meager rewards.  He was however encouraged by friends.  The owner of the Hawker Roadhouse was aware of his portfolio and encouraged him to publish his first book.  Since then he has been involved in numerous adventurous outback odysseys.  He described getting lost in a boat in a boggy out back river trying to find his way into lake Eyre.  He told of travelling across the Simpson desert with Camels, on the lookout for rouge wild male camels that might disturb his line of domesticated beasts.  In another anecdote he had noticed an overhanging branch in one of his panoramas.  As the image was due in an exhibition, he rushed out to the Flinders Ranges to retake the shot.  Climbing the tree with a rope, he removed the offending branch with a saw.  He told of camping at Kooinda campground below St Mary’s peak and befriending a Korean hiker who was too embarrassed to ask for drinking water.  His latest adventure was photographing South Australia from helicopter.  With the door of the helicopter removed, sitting over the helicopter runner fumbling with backs for his Hasselbladt in the dusk lighting was not only a test to his endurance but also probably dangerous.  However it was the last thing on his mind as he was engrossed with the task at hand.  The book is superb.  Stavros had three boxes of books for sale after the meeting.  There was not a single book left by the end of the night.  He spoke with an easy manner and was chatting both before and after the meeting to various members of the club who had had contact with Stavros in the past.  Stavros is not only a good photographer, but proved also to be an excellent communicator.  We would like to extend our thanks to Stavros for finding the time to speak to our club and making the evening such an outstanding success.

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