“The fact of not knowing what is going to pass before your eyes and the surprise that can come out of this.”
Dirty Harrry. Born on the Greek island of Crete, he is a self-taught street photographer who’d originally studied architecture.
“I’m dirtyharrry with 3 rrr.”
Interview with Dirty Harrry
Dirty Harrry, what was your most memorable moment shooting pictures out on the streets?
I had some amusing moments. I don’t know which was the most memorable, anyway, one incident that came to my mind now is this:
Two years before I was shooting pictures in Rethymnon, my town in Crete, and I flashed a guy that passed before me. After a minute he returned to me and asked me if I was Charalampos. He was Petros Koublis, a photographer from Athens, he had seen my photos in the web and guessed it should be me somewhere out there flashing.
After this we went out to drink a coffee and we had a nice time talking.
Why did you become a photographer? And why street photography?
I’m not a STREETphotographer. I’m a CRETEphotographer.
Hmm. I’m not a photographer either. I just like to shoot photos.
What does photography mean to you and what do you want to say with your pictures?
Photography is for me a way to write down some thoughts about what I see.
Which are these thoughts? I don’t know exactly.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
I get inspired mostly by Weegee, Martin Parr, Diane Arbus, and Garry Winogrand.
I’m not sure in what way. I admire their work, somehow inevitably they must have influenced me.
What’s your favorite photography quote?
My favourite quote is Garry Winogrand’s:
“I hate the term ‘street photography’, it’s a stupid term.”
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic language?
Shoot a lot, view other people’s work, discuss with fellow photographers that you trust their opinion and that you know they will tell you the truth and not only wow! bravo! etc.
I don’t know if these things are enough for developing an own photographic voice, as talent is the most important for such a thing. But all these things can help anyway.
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?
Technically: 28mm or 35mm lens, beer, flash. Color or black and white depends on the shot, some of my shots are black and white, most of them are colored.
Conceptually: I just try not to get bored from what I shoot as years pass.
What qualities and characteristics does a good street photographer need?
It’s good when his eyes are open and he shoots everything without wondering if it’s right or not to shoot.
What does a photo need to be a great street shot?
Such a photo needs 2 things:
- It has to look like what people call “street photography”.
- It has to be great.
Where do you draw inspiration for your photographic projects?
- While shooting or editing my photos afterwards I think of possible projects that I could start in the future. Or sometimes I don’t think and I just shoot.
- Editing my blog helps me viewing a lot of other people’s great photographs.
- I’m looking forward to travel as much as I can to see new things.
- I’m a fan of Sam Peckinpah, I think certain scenes of his movies come in my mind often.
- Akira Kurosawa and Luis Bunuel are also two of my favourite directors.
What’s the biggest challenge shooting on the streets?
The fact of not knowing what is going to pass before your eyes and the surprise that can come out of this.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
I use a camera, a flash, my sunglasses, a pair of eyes, a pair of legs and many times a hat when the sun is strong.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
“LPV Magazine” and “American Suburb X”.
What photography book would you recommend?
I would recommend every cheap book for the simple reason of the cheap price.
My favourite book is “Revelations” by Diane Arbus for two reasons:
1.) The photos and editing of the book are great.
2.) It’s a precious gift from my girlfriend.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a (professional) street photographer?
Professional street photographer?
I think my advice to anyone who wants to become a professional street photographer is this one:
Quit from this idea and become something else if you don’t want to starve.