Lensbaby Artists is a virtual exploration of a gallery featuring the work of talented Lensbaby photographers. Each short video celebrates the work and story of a different Lensbaby artist. Follow the series to get to know these inspiring shooters.
Meet Teo Kefalopoulos
Building a personal photographic philosophy was a need I developed pretty soon after learning the basics of how to use a camera about four years ago. I was visiting many different places, and the idea of carrying a camera with me to document my visits started to grow on me.
At first, it was all about documenting my trips and taking classic shots of cityscapes, nature, and landscapes. It was all about capturing the moment of being there. Being self-taught, I was just trying to bring back home some good quality photos.
My initial approach, plain documentary-style photography, was soon replaced by the need to add my personal view to everything I considered of photographic interest. In a sense, it was a paradigm shift for me. I discovered that photography could be perceived as a powerful source of inspiration, a means to create visual artwork, to describe thoughts and emotions through images, to turn ordinary scenes into visual messages.
Soon, I realized that all those plain landscape shots could be transformed into an immense field of personal narratives. By putting the attribute of soul into my photos, I could make firm connections between the scene and me. I started imagining alternative views of a scene in my mind. I took the basic elements of an ordinary theme and turned them to actors in a new scene, a completely personal environment. I was able to cherish the joy of creation and satisfy my need to live in alternative environments, to be part of a scene and not just sit there and look at it.
All this brought up a fundamental decision to turn color blind, to cut my links with color and enter the realm of monochrome photography. I became obsessed with my need to depart from just documenting what I saw. Turning color blind was my first and most important step into what we call fine art or artistic photography.
However, committing to this type of photography brought up some difficulties and requirements not present in my days of documentary shots. Now, I had to read and interpret textures, shapes, and forms. I had to learn about the quality of light, about how to synthesize a scene from scratch. This required a good knowledge of how to use lenses, cameras, and effective post-processing. Apart from the technical stuff, being able to interpret the elements of a scene and make them work flawlessly together will always be a very demanding yet rewarding process.
Lensbaby products are probably the only optics that allow me to capture a scene that's close to the essence of my personal vision while shooting and not after the fact. Being able to transform a scene, to heavily manipulate the frame and focus while shooting is of immense help to me. I consider them to be key elements in themes that are all about transient memories and vague recollections.Lensbaby optics hold a special place in my heart. When shooting, they add to the emotions of living in the moment in a way that cant be done with software. They are just what I need when I decide to make unusual, atmospheric images.
Cameras and the rest
Sony FE 2470 f2.8 GM
Zeiss FE 4/1635 ZA OSS
Tamron SP 70-300 Di VC USD
Thingyfy Pinhole lens
NiSi iR ND1000 filter
NiSi iR ND2000 filter
Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 13 filter
Benro TMA-37AL Mach3 tripod
Benro B-3 tripod head
CaseLogic SLRC-206 bag