Our Club rooms were filled on Thursday evening 14th March 2019 and for good reason. This was the evening renowned photographer Stavros Pippos was a Guest Speaker. We’d also invited members of the Marion Church of Christ Camera Club to attend so there was an excellent number of people in attendance.
Stavros is a very personable, engaging and interesting speaker, telling us of his childhood growing up in the northern NSW country town of Mullumbimby where his interest in photography began, then his early working life with the PMG (Postmaster General’s Department for the young people who now know only Australia Post and Telstra) beginning at Sydney. We were told how, after the PMG and other jobs, he eventually began work at Channel 7 in Adelaide where he began as a “property boy” which involved, amongst other duties, sweeping the studio floors. Stavros then, quite literally, progressed through the ranks to become Managing Director of Channel 7 in Adelaide.
Stavros works in large-format film (4×5 and 10×8) although he has recently purchased a digital camera. His recent book “The Photography of Stavros Pippos” demonstrates his ongoing interest in mastering new printing techniques such as Platinum-Palladium and Silver Choride for monochrome work. The book also includes many examples of the “normal” gelatin-silver process as well as archival pigment colour images. He told us his next venture is to explore four-colour carbon printing. I looked this up on the internet and found it is a very old process, initially based around black & white prints but also used for archival colour work. The following is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry:
“Though carbon printing always has been, and remains, a labor-intensive, time consuming and technologically demanding process, there are still those that prefer the high aesthetic of its remarkable beauty and longevity over all other processes.”
Stavros made an observation on the night which struck a chord with me. It relates to preparation for taking an image whether it is film or digital, but it is very much appropriate to using film:
“SHOOT LESS TO LEARN MORE RATHER THAN SHOOT MORE TO LEARN LESS”.
Stavros’ most recent book follows from earlier books including “Shades of Ochre”, “Beneath the Southern Cross”, and “Light on Earth”. Each of these demonstrates his absolute attention to detail and lighting and his love of the Flinders Ranges and South Australian landscapes. Stavros Kindly offered his books for sale to members at a reduced price.
It was a pleasure to once again host Stavros as our Guest Speaker. The last time was about five years ago. Should another book be forthcoming with examples of four colour carbon prints then I’m sure we will once again be extending an invitation to hear about the trails and tribulations, and successes, of that printing process.