Life is calling: Photographer’s point of view
Shooting for a high-end automotive brand is most photographers’ dream; it surely was one of mine. Spending seven days on the road, shooting from well before dawn to late after dusk, and into the starlit night, the new Audi Q5 literally became second home to us; the first being the beautiful Cypriot landscape.
Following scouting expeditions and careful planning, on a fine spring morning the team consisting of Costas Drakos (the videographer), Elias Tziakouris (my assistant and the car’s driver), and myself (the photographer), set off.
Right from the start, I knew that I wanted to capture an image of the car under the stars. I envisaged that this would accentuate the car’s design and it would give it a celestial look. So, if I were to select a favourite moment, this would be none other than the night when this was attempted and, under no favourable circumstances, achieved. On one of our exploratory nights, we ventured off to the fire lookout point overseeing the Xeros valley, near the village of Koilineia, Pafos. Reaching the location, I quickly understood that I was in for a recipe for disaster. The wind was blowing so strong, we had difficulty walking or hearing each other, let alone setting the tripod still for the 30-minute exposure required for shooting the stars to get the earth’s rotation.
No sooner did we realise, that the window for our only opportunity to get this image was extremely narrow; the moon was set to shine very bright over the surrounding hills within 40 minutes, its overpowering light erasing the stars. We quickly parked the car centrally beneath the northern star, secured the tripod with stones, ran around the car lighting it with our phones’ torches, creating the illusion that we had the assistance of a spotlight on a crane, or better yet, the stars illuminating the car; and waited. With so many things that could have gone wrong, our stress-relieving wine became a celebratory one. The black and white image created that night, of the car under the spinning northern star, is indeed my favourite one from this project. Besides putting the car under a beautiful cosmic light, this image also echoes the project’s mission, and what had sparked my interest in it from the early start; that no matter where you find yourself, under the ceiling of the same sky, even our small and underestimated island can be looked on as otherworldly if one is open to the experience.
Showcasing the uniqueness of Cyprus, which is often bypassed and neglected, as well as unfairly measured against larger places in the world, has been central to my personal work’s focus for years. Building of my understanding of the “outdoor Cyprus” which I had the chance to develop through my personal work, Unicars’ need for high-end commercial photography and its innovative move of shooting automotive photography in Cyprus laid the ground for a unique collaboration. To have the opportunity to share my passion about my home country in a way that will make our island noticed and appreciated widely, has been invaluable to me. This, and the memories created; turned bittersweet when reality checked in and the car had to be returned.