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by Iliana Papangeli,  February 14, 2019

You shouldn’t hide yourself behind a camera when you’re in the field. You have to always approach people and introduce yourself in a very straightforward way.”

From the very first day of LAB, the students’ enthusiasm and eagerness to learn how to use their cameras by applying the technical photography rules was already there. For their instructor, photographer Thodoris Nikolaou, there’s a different order to the things of priority and importance for a young photographer to learn. According to Nikolaou, a photographer is always allowed to break the rules that he/she learned. In many cases, this is for the best – because while the conventional guidelines provide an important framework, they can limit personal expression. There’s only one unbreakable rule the students had to learn: a photographer can never forget the ethical commitment to the subjects targeted by the camera’s lens.

For one month, the LAB students explored the importance of visual storytelling in photography. The workshop was designed in to give the students the opportunity to develop their own photographic narrative and learn how to effectively create and utilize the potential of photographic storytelling. The photography course was an intensive experience on what it’s like to work step-by-step under project-production conditions: from the research the photographer has to conduct before anything else to the publication of the work.

The students were trained on how to tell the visual story of a person, a place or a social issue. They were taught the important elements that a photographer should always consider in order to create a visual story. What comes first is choosing a theme, envisioning a story that inspires you. Once they find themselves in the field with the camera in hand there are other important things they have to take into account, like how to keep control of the frame while including the details that add to their story, how to choose a suitable format and how follow a narrative structure – to create a story with a beginning, middle and end by selecting the shots that best convey the story.

Nikos Palaiologos, photojournalist and co-founder of SOOC, an interactive photo agency, was invited to class to discuss the difficulties and challenges of the profession as well as the similarities and differences between journalistic works on assignments and doing personal projects. In the technical input sessions, the students learned and practiced composition and lighting. The instructor introduced the class to photometry – how to properly adjust the ISO, aperture exposure and shutter speed in different indoor and outdoor environments depending on the light incidence and changes.

As part of their course, the LAB class took little trips and had a photo-walk along with their instructor so as to practice and apply the knowledge they acquired during the course. They visited Book & Play to meet with We Need Books, they spent a sunny Sunday strolling around Thiseio area and practiced what they learned. The students presented their photos in class where they had the chance to “read” and discuss each other’s photos, including their instructor’s, and get useful feedback.

With the wisdom and knowledge which Thodoris Nikolaou imparted to the students, a visual journey came to an end, but another one has already began. Solomon’s young filmmakers are on board!



Written by Iliana Papangeli




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