As published in In Focus, Vol. 8, No 4, Dec 2011
MARIOS KOSMAS: BIO
Marios Kosmas was born in the now occupied city of Famagusta, and lives in Nicosia. He is married with three children. He has worked as a Graphic Artist/Photographer for the last thirty years. He has received many distinctions at local and international photographycompetitions. For the past two years he has focused on enhanced photograhy, accomplished through software that can take photography to another level, thereby creating a work of art beyond the lens of the camera and beyond human imagination. Enhanced photography is already recognized abroad, and especially in the Unired States, as an Art Form. Samples of his work can be found at http://mariosfotographics.weebly.com/
MARIOS KOSMAS SPEAKS TO NIKI MARANGOU
-We are at the far end of the road, he said.
I found the house without any difficulty and he let me in through the back door. Two dogs were waiting at the door and as I entered a cozy living room and kitchen around a patio I saw more animals. Another dog sleeping peacefully on the sofa, cats, and two rabbits.
Tasso, his wife brought us coffee.
He showed me his “enhanced photos” as he calls them ready for an exhibition at the end of October.
-How did you start, I asked
-Well, I have been taking pictures for the last 30 years both professionally and as an amateur and when photography became digital, new programs came with which you could alter, enhance, fix, change the original picture.
To start with now there is no such thing as an “original picture”, as such, because today’s digital cameras alter the original subject before you even see it, so there is no original picture. The first impression of photography was the impression of light on film, now it is the impression of light on some computer plate which records millions of pixels, each one with a different message. These together compose the picture. You can alter each one of those pixels. You can take one of them and change its color, and not only that.
-We are talking about millions of pixels?
-Yes, when you buy a camera and they tell you it is 10 megapixels, it means 10 million pixels, each one of those is a dot which has its own color, which may be different from any other dot.
-How do you work with those pixels?
-There are special programs which help you change or enhance the picture. There are cameras today which take three pictures with one shot. One overexposed, one underexposed and one normal, so the camera chooses, if there is a window with too much light it takes the underexposed shot for the window and the overexposed one for the inside and composes a picture that the human eye wouldn’t be able to see at the same time. The human eye would adjust to the inside and would adjust to the outside.
-It’s incredible what technology can do nowadays.
-So this technology is used in different ways. Photography is no longer “freezing the moment” as Einstein said. It does more than that and because it does more for some people it can be an art form. It’s like finding a new technique in painting.
-So you started experimenting with those photographs?
-For many years it was called experimental photography, for many people it is still experimental. We don’t have a term for it in Greek.
In English it is called “manipulated” photography. I don’t want to offend their use of the English language but I refuse to use that term.
-There is something negative in the word manipulation.
-Yes I feel there is something negative there, but there are other words one can use, like “enhance”, “elaborate”.
-So your choice of word to describe your art is “enhanced photography”.
-Yes because I don’t feel I am manipulating the pictures in any way.
-You could say you build in your fantasy and your images into the photograph, in the same way that a painter does with his brushes and colors.
-Yes, there is no limit to what you can do. In the U.S. it is considered a form of art with a lot of famous photographers doing only this kind of work. I am saying that through this one can present an alternative view to the view that the camera initially captured. You can see a lot of this on my website at http://mariosfotographics.weebly.com/