Suspended in Light

PhotographerMaria Kaimaki
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "suspended rocks", "suspended in the air" or "in the heavens above") is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece."

About Photographer

I was born and raised on a little Greek island and my earliest and most precious memories are of long days at rocky, isolated beaches and expeditions exploring the few woods of the island. A camera never accompanied me during those moments though. I spent half of my life thinking that a camera was just for capturing family snapshots or recording events. Then came the day when I realized that some people use it to create art. I spent the other half of my life admiring those people's work, convinced that photography as an art was something beyond my reach. The proof was the disappointing snapshots that were the result of my attempts to capture nature as I wanted to. My simple point-and-shoot camera refused stubbornly to produce anything resembling art. Photography came much later on in my life and changed it forever. In the summer of 2008 Konstantinos Vasilakis came into my life with a huge bag full of photographic equipment, a vast knowledge of all aspects of landscape photography and a willingness (more like determination actually) to share everything with me. In doing so he opened a door to a whole new way of seeing and appreciating the world around me, a new philosophy and way of life. I realized that up till then I merely glanced and never noticed, never fully grasped nature’s beauty and meaning and its healing effect. Sitting behind a camera you understand your true place and significance in the grand scheme of things. A landscape is something timeless, persistent and enduring and we're mere passengers on it, a tiny pixel in the big picture. Measuring your worries and anxieties against that truth you realize how small and insignificant they are. Photography became for me the means to collect experiences and memories. Sometimes I'm able to transform these experiences and memories into a photograph. Other times they just remain as images in my mind. They are equally real to me either way.