(Joyce) #1

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Who’s Who in the KelbyOne Community: George Stergiou

For George Stergiou, photography became a meditating tool to escape his full-time gig as a musician.
He picked up his first DSLR four years ago, and it changed his life. After that, he just couldn’t stop seeing the
world with different eyes. Winning the Samyang lens competition in 2018 and the Your Best Shot KelbyOne
Member Challenge for 2019 gave George the push to improve and shoot every day.

What advice would you give to photographers
who are looking to turn a hobby into a part- or
full-time profession?
There is no secret recipe. Photography is a form of art, and art
delivers with passion. My advice is learn something new every
day; always challenge yourself to become better at your craft.
I’ve been a creative all my life, and that’s the only thing I know
how to do. Also, it’s important to have some marketing and
business skills. Never undervalue your work! Have a healthy
ego, against yourself, not against others. It’s not a competition;
it’s meant to be enjoyable, fun, and make you feel good. Set
goals and deadlines. When you’re ready, show your work to
the world and put your name out there. Then name your price
and stick to it. Learn how to say “No” even when “Yes” is the
easy answer.

Who on KelbyOne has helped you become
a better photographer?
Scott Kelby for a start! I bought his digital photography books
and read them all in a week. Of course, I have to go back to them
every now and then. Then I discovered Serge Ramelli, who is my
mentor and good friend, and I worked even harder on my pho-
tos. Unmesh Dinda is a great and inspiring instructor. I also love
everything from Eric Kuna, Dave Williams, Kristina Shark, Joel
Grimes, Moose Peterson, Ramtin Kazemi, and Mimo Meidany.
The courses at KelbyOne are incredible! And there’s something
for everyone. Blind photo critiques are also amazing because you
get some very good feedback.

What’s your go-to gear for bringing home
a satisfying shot?
Now here’s the funny one. I’ve gone through a lot of gear, and
I mean the list is endless! My current setup is the Canon EOS
R with RF glass. Although I own most of the RF lenses (apart
from the 50mm, which is my least-favorite focal length), I tend
to shoot mostly with the RF 24–240. This lens is my go-to lens. It
has a lot of downsides but nothing I can’t overcome in post. I also
shoot a lot of long exposures, so I use 10-stop ND Haida filters.
My Gitzo 1545T and Platypod Ultra are two essentials that are
always with me. n

The image on the cover of this issue is your winning
shot from the Your Best Shot 2019 Member Challenge.
How did you decide that image was your best shot?
And what a surprise and honor that was! I was stoked beyond
words. I actually took that shot that very morning. I believe in
evolvement and innovation, and every day I try to take better
photos than the previous day. That photo took me about
10 minutes to capture. I had in my head exactly what I wanted,
so I tried to get a clean shot of the bridge, two shots of buses
moving in either direction, and an underexposed shot to
preserve details in the sky and lights. Then I spent around
15 minutes to put everything together in Lightroom and Photo-
shop, with some final touches from the Nik Collection.

Like many photographers, you have a musical
background. Was there a photograph that
captured your imagination and took you into
the world of photography?
I’ve been surprised to learn how many photographers are
musicians. Actually, that’s how I’ve made my living since
I was 17, and I feel blessed to be able to do so. I’ll be honest,
I bought my first DSLR in order to record instructional gui-
tar videos. I’m a bit of a tech and gadget geek. There was no
particular image that got me into photography, but once
I got into it, I think the first photo that I said, “Wow, I wish I had
taken that,” was a photo on Instagram of a sunrise in London by
London-based photographer, Antoine Buchet. Then came along
Serge Ramelli and my life changed forever.

You have a fantastic mixed portfolio, from concerts
to cityscapes. What do you enjoy shooting the most,
and which is the most profitable?
Thank you very much! What I enjoy the most is cityscape sun-
rises. I challenge myself to go out in the dark and wait for all the
gradient of colors to pop up. It’s a great and calming experience.
Plus, there aren’t too many people around. I also love shooting
concerts, which most of my photography earnings come from.
Probably because I’ve been in the rock/metal scene in London
for a long time, and I know a lot of people in the music business.
Most of the time I just have to ask.
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