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An Interview With Stavros Pippos

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by Kat May (subscribe)
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WN talks with SA's leading landscape photographer
Stavros Pippos is an Adelaide photographer who takes high-quality images of rugged and remote landscapes. He has produced to date, six high-quality books. Recently I had a chat with this acclaimed photographer, at his new exhibition at the State Library of S.A.

stavros pippos interview, adelaide photography
Stavros Pippos is happy to meet you at his current exhibition at The State Library of SA.

KM - When did you become interested in photography?
SP - I have been taking photos since I was 12 years old. Then at my retirement in 1995, I rekindled my interest in photography. I have produced my best work since then and produced six books.
KM - So what was your career?
SP- I became one of the first workers in the television industry here in Adelaide, then moved up to become a director of many Adelaide produced television shows.

photography, stavros pippos, adelaide,
All of the photographic prints in the exhibition are for sale.

KM - Where is your top pick of where to go to take photos?
SP - Ah, I get asked that a lot. My usual response is the last place I was at, but I do love the desert landscapes. And of course, the Flinders Ranges features a lot in my work and I love our coastlines. South Australia has some great locations.
KM - Do you do photograph anywhere else besides SA?
SP - I often go to Tasmania, where I like the Huon Valley. The coastline and dunes of the Nullabor is interesting.
KM - So you are camping when you go out on a shoot?
SP - Yes, I have a 4WD and I go to some pretty remote places. I like to camp right where I am working as I am getting too old to lug all the equipment up mountains. Some of my equipment is very heavy. I need to be up before sunrise and get set up for the first morning light.

KM - So what do you think of modern digital cameras?
SP - Photography has seen some big changes since its inception, and digital is remarkable, opening photography to all. There will be even bigger advances in the next 50 years. It will all change again.
KM - But you do not use digital?
SP - No, I use film and older analogue camera equipment. Film is still available but I have to order it from overseas. This is what people ask me the most. They all want to know more about the old ways of photography, especially younger people who have grown up only knowing digital. There is a big move right now back to old black and white images.

We discussed the quality of images of digital compared to the old days. We both agreed that digital is not the same. Stavros proceeded to tell me about how his black and white images are all produced by him, from taking the photo, the making of the negatives and the printing. Prints are made from platinum-palladium, gelatin silver and silver chloride processing. He sometimes uses colour but these are sent to a high-quality colour lab for printmaking. Some colour examples in the exhibition are a fabulous night view of the Royal Adelaide Show.

stavros pippos interview, adelaide photography
A colour print in the exhibition of our Flinders Ranges, a favourite location for photographer Stavros Pippos.

KM - So tell me about your current exhibit at the State Library of SA.
SP - This exhibition is some of my best work and all prints are for sale. I am also here to promote my latest book; The Photography of Stavros Pippos. The State Library called me as the Art Gallery of SA was booked up for years and word got around that I was seeking a venue. They are busy here too, but they wanted me to come here to do this exhibit so I am pleased to be here. This is a great space for an exhibition.

Stavros is doing half-hour tours at his exhibition every day at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm. "It is a busy day as people are wanting to talk to me and buy and sign books," he said. "On the mini-tours, I discuss how I take the photograph and the darkroom work. And I encourage questions about using black and white film."

stavros pippos interview, adelaide photography
Some of the colour prints at the exhibition. Prints can be also ordered online.

KM - We at Weekend Notes are all about the weekend. Can you tell me what you do away from your photography work?
SP - When I am not travelling for photo shoots, I like to be in my garden. I like to read and I sit out on my back verandah and look out to my garden. Then I think about what I should be doing in my darkroom.

To view Stavros Pippos' beautiful images of mainly South Australian locations, go along to the State Library on the first floor to see them now until December 22nd, 2017.

Alternately you can learn more about his books and work at

His books are available at Dymocks in Rundle Mall, Dillons Bookshop in Norwood and Matilda Bookshop in Stirling.
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Why? See some of South Australia where you have never been
When: On now until December 22nd, 2017.
Where: 1st floor, State Library of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide CBD
Cost: Free.
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