Nikos Aliagas, photo

When he’s not busy interviewing very average singers and singers Technikart, Nikos Aliagas (The Voice, 50′ Inside) takes pictures of them. Interview far from clichés.

Exhibition at the musical Seine, 50′ Inside, The Voice… There is always something. At 53, Nikos Aliagas keeps a child’s soul as soon as he grabs his device. Capturing moments of life, observing the world with sensitivity, he shares his secrets for taking a successful photo. Strike a pose!

Garou, Kev Adams, Joey Starr… You had a lot of personalities pass in front of your lens. Has it become a tradition when they meet you?
Nikos Aliagas: Yes, a ritual, even. I photograph the stars that I meet in the context of my work. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t pull out my camera. They know it now. We are looking for a place, a light, an angle. It’s often improvised, folded in three or four clicks, without much staging. Which explains why in the studio, when I have to produce for a magazine, I’m much more feverish. I am more comfortable in the urgency of the moment. I like to work with what I find. When chance becomes an appointment.

Adapting to the moment is a bit of a photographer’s mantra.
Yes that’s it. The recognition of a moment that was not planned and which, five minutes later, is engraved, immortalized.

I had discovered your work through an exhibition in a wine estate near Narbonne, with work on rurality in Greece…
I come from there, it is all my DNA which is there.

Was it a kind of homage to your roots?
Completely. When I’m abroad, the first thing I look for is authenticity. I seem to belong to the world of entertainment, of directing, but behind this rise that has lasted for 40 years, there is always a kid who doubts.

How did you come to get into photography?
Already a kid, it worked for me. When I came home from school, my parents asked me how my day had gone, and I told them pictures. As my memory is photographic, before going to bed I would rewind an imaginary film of everything I had seen during the day. I was also marked by the photos that you discover in your grandparents’ shoebox, on which people did not smile, because it was serious for them, the photographic process. You only had a few photos, it was your identity. And then, when I was eight, my dad bought me a Kodak Instamatic.

“IN THE STREET, I IMAGINE PEOPLE IN BLACK AND WHITE. »

Why black and white?
It comes to me from the cinema. Especially the Sunday night movie credits on TV when I was young. It was eyes, with black and white expressions, it was very cinematic and gave me a chill every time. Then, there are two films that marked me: Los Olvidados, by Luis Buñuel, who talks about the slums of Mexico in the 1950s, it’s absolutely violent. It was both scary and very appealing to me. The photographic grain of this film… There was also othello by Orson Welles, in black and white. The director of photography is exceptional, as is the setting. When I see people in the street, I imagine them in black and white, like in a movie. Weird.

Which photographer inspired you?
I had the chance to meet and interview Salgado and more recently Sabine Weiss, who left us this winter. One of the last humanist photographers, who has an immense career all over the world. She has done both humanist reports, advertising, an exceptional woman. Then there are friends like Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Jean-Marie Périer…

Do you remember a shoot that particularly marked you?
This summer, early July when I was in Costa Rica. I took a series of photos there, I went to meet the farmers, the Indians. It was extraordinary. Among these people who have 5G and yet have retained a certain simplicity, we quickly notice the duality between the modern world and their roots. And then, what’s nice is that nobody knows me there, so you can talk on another basis.

How do you work on post-production?
I don’t want to change the nature of the photo. I keep the frame but I can play with the contrast, add substance to the hands, the eye. The classic filter offers you to modulate the colors and this is where you have to get your brushes out, you have to know the color correspondence. I like it when you forget that it’s black and white and you still see colors… The range of possibilities. I’m super sensitive to that.

You have also learned to take photos alone.
Yes, I learned on the job, on my own. I’m not of the Internet tutorial generation, so it took patience.

The trick to taking the perfect photo?
Each photo is unique. Contrary to everything that is possible with filters, like on social networks for example, it’s quite the opposite that I do. Each photo must be processed with the same tools but with a particular path. I have tens of thousands of photos, I keep everything and then my wife yells at me because there’s no more space… And what’s more, I print, because I tell myself that you never know , if there is no internet one day… I am a “psychopathic” photographer, I have neuroses (laughs). But there are no rules, I don’t have any myself. I have no certainty, it is doubt that makes me create. When I started taking pictures of stars, I didn’t know I was going to exhibit, and they didn’t understand why I was photographing them.

What advice would you give to a budding photographer?
Before even talking about photography, I would tell him to continue to observe the world. The most beautiful photos are those of the mind. The technique, the tools, it’s important but it can be learned. On the other hand, knowing how to observe the world, there is no school for that. So you have to let yourself go to a contemplation, a permanent wonder. Time for a break, forget the pose. I often advise to record your parents, your grandparents with your phones, make them talk, keep track.

Is it almost like therapy for you?
In any case, it is a necessity. But at the end of the day, I keep reimagining what happened. I must have a million terabytes in my head!

“Regards Miroirs” exhibition, at the Seine Musicale, Île Seguin, 92100 Boulogne Billancourt, until November 3, 2022


By
Julio Remila
Pictures Nikos Aliagas

NIKOS and CAMERAS

Devourer of images since childhood, Nikos Aliagas has found quality companions. Zoom on the photo equipment that has marked his career.

KODAK INSTAMATIC
Put on the market from 1963, it is the first camera offered by his father at the age of eight. With this collector’s item, Nikos took his first photo and immortalized his parents Harula and Andreas. The first subjects of the star animator.

CANNON
True to his journalistic DNA, Nikos chose the Canon EOS R5 to accompany him on all his projects. A brand used by the big names, it is the benchmark for press photos. Following tradition, he captures stars, like Tim Burton or Taylor Swift.

FIXED FOCAL
A big fan of 35mm, 50mm and 85mm focal lengths, Nikos never strays far from his fixed lenses, which are perfect for playing with depth of field. Success guaranteed.

GL

Nikos Aliagas, photo-addict: “I am a psychopathic photographer” – Technikart