My photographic journey: From capturing memories to creating great images
Hi, I am Pantelis, an amateur photographer from Thessaloniki, Greece. With my brother, I run a small business that manufactures candles. In my 40s now, I don’t do sports anymore, but I played basketball with a bit of success in my youth. Now, in my free time, I like to listen to music and taking pictures for the last 5 years!
I grew in a family that loved to take pictures, and my family house is full of photo albums with hundreds of photos. Finally, in my teens, I had my own camera, a small Olympus compact camera with, of course, film. Those days I used to photograph family moments, vacations and my friends! So photography, for me, started as a way to capture memories.
After taking a break, a long break actually, from photography, I started again taking pictures in 2010, the year that my daughter was born. So, my first model was Nefeli. And like most people, I used my smartphone for this.
A big part of my job is to travel a lot. I get to see beautiful places here in Greece, at the sunshine and sunrise, seascapes and beaches, mountains and forests. I wanted to share these stunning landscapes with my friends and the obvious way to do that was with photos. In the beginning, the biggest part of photography was mainly landscapes of the places that I visited because of my job.
As I was getting more into photography, I started to watch the work of other photographers, amateurs and professionals, on Instagram and YouTube. I wanted to take great photos like them, and I realized that I had to upgrade my gear. I decided that it was time to buy a camera.
I looked directly in the mirrorless category because I liked the small size of the bodies and lenses. After a big search of the market, I purchased a used Olympus PEN E-PL7 with the kit lens 14-42mm. I am very excited about my camera, and I believe it is perfect for anyone who wants to take the next step after a smartphone.
The great advantage of the Olympus PEN E-PL7 is the size. The camera’s body is compact, and the lenses are pretty small so that I can carry it almost always without a problem. Another plus of the E-PL7 is the built-in body stabilization.
You can hold the shutter open for longer shutter speeds with no worry of taking blurry images. And of course, you can connect your camera through WiFi with your smartphone or PC.
The E-PL7 also has some disadvantages. It lacks a built-in viewfinder and isn’t weather sealed.
Although I own a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which has great cameras and takes stunning photos, I use mainly the Olympus E-PL7 for my photography. Now, after 5 years of taking pictures regularly, I shoot pretty much everything that drags my intention.
Of course landscapes, but also street photography, cityscapes and portraits. I like to experiment with different styles and techniques of photography. Light trails, long exposures and reflections… My main difficulty is taking pictures of strangers. I find it very difficult to point the camera and take pictures of people.
Lately, I like to give my images a vintage style. Not only in post-production but also as a theme. Old cars, abandoned buildings and facilities.
I always post-process every photo that I took. I like to tweak the colours and give my images a faded look to achieve a vintage style. I use mainly Lightroom mobile, and fewer times Snapseed, as I do all my editing on my smartphone.
Photography, like all kinds of art, has no rules, no wrongs and rights. It is the way that we see things and how we want to express ourselves. This does not mean that we cannot become better with the type of art we make. And, in my experience, practising and observing the work of other photographers are the best ways to become better.
So, if I can give any advice to someone who is a photography novice, go out and take pictures and then see images from other photographers to get inspired and find your own style.
“My name is Pantelis Paizanis, born in August of 1979. I am an amateur and self-taught photographer based in Thessaloniki, Greece. I like to experiment with different types of photography, and you can see my work on my Instagram page.”