Niovy, In Her Very Own World
Niovy, In Her Very Own World by Ale
I am proud to introduce to you friends and passionate readers the story of an intimate and close conversation between me and a lovely lady you will hopefully get to know better after this.
A lady with a delicate heart and a talented skill for introspection, a lady from a fairy tale set in a world of dreams and a wandering soul, so fragile and yet so strong, you might easily recognize in her the face of a Woman, true, honest and brave!
I wanna say thank you to her for accepting my invitation in an endless journey with no limits at all, only me and her on a couch talkin about our common passions. The Mobile Photography, the Music, Arts, our Countries, and everything coming out of this in a free and comfortable chat. Thank you for sharing with me the real Life, the feelings and the fears we have in common, the pieces of your heart.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet Miss Niovy Konstantara from Greece.
One heart and one soul.
“There is a place where I forget it all… It is the place where it is all coming back to me…”
A: Ale N: Niovy
A: Where is your world now?
N: Obviously, I have an obsession with my hometown. Not only because she ‘s gorgeous, but I think that in every man’s life, as the years go by, the strongest and most beautiful memories he tends to cling to are his childhood and adolescence memories. And by memories, I mean all those heartwarming feelings the thought of a person, a smell, a little road, a song, a tiniest moment in time can trigger. I love the word osmosis (which I learnt in a certain literary context in a class during university) which faintly describes all that…
A: The small details and the memories hidden in our soul come back to you, to us. Don’t they?
N: Definitely! There is a certain kind of sanctity covering the years during which we choose our first friends, we learn about the world and dream of its wonders, we desperately live our first love, our first kiss, we admire a professor and the horizons he opens for our minds to wander, we get to know what family is and the eternal bonds between the generations and many more…
Υπάρχει κάτι σχεδόν ιερό που διατρέχει τα χρόνια κατά τα οποία επιλέγουμε τους πρώτους μας φίλους, μαθαίνουμε για τον κόσμο και τα θαύματά του, ζούμε απελπισμένα τον πρώτο μας έρωτα, το πρώτο φιλί, θαυμάζουμε έναν καθηγητή και τους ορίζοντες που ανοίγει στο μυαλό μας να περιπλανηθεί, συνειδητοποιούμε τι πάει να πει οικογένεια και τους αιώνιους δεσμούς μεταξύ των γενεών και τόσα άλλα…
Kavala happens to be this place for me. Most of the times, I go back there alone. I am not someone’s wife, I don’t have a job, I don’t have an age and I have no worries. Just memories… And tight bonds… And my old family…
“Vintage on vintage Proussis str. on a Wednesday stroll”
A: I need to know more about your World, the place you live, the memories you keep, and I wanna see this through the lens of your photography!
N: Following my previous thoughts, I have to specify to you that the part of my town I love most is its old town, full of references (architectural, historical) to the medieval and Byzantine times. It is the edge of the town introducing us to the next towns all the way to the borders withTurkey, a part of Greece not many people visit, but which I personally love. To my eyes, it has a strong oriental attire and is imprinted with images from the past.
Proussa (Proussis street) is one of those Turkish coastal towns included in the general term “lost home places” (there is no proper translation) referring to the hometowns many refugees, my ancestors, left behind. It is interesting and fascinating to see the impact, from all the mingling in time and space between two different populations, to both their cultures and customs. I crossed this street of the poorer part of the town of Volos walking to a drugstore for about five-ten minutes and it was so striking to find all those little gems from the past, kind of sad, kind of nostalgic and all that in Proussis street. It couldn’t have been but vintage…
The ΕΝ ΛΕΥΚΩ comes from the title of one of my favorite songs, with lyrics very dear to me. The phrase itself describes the state I feel I am in: τίποτα σημαντικό, ζω μονάχα εν λευκώ / “nothing quite important, I only live ALL IN WHITE” = an archaic expression to express the adverb unconditionally, much more poetic and with a deeper sense of resignation in it.
A: Your captions always bring me back to very familiar sensation, made of traditions and sense of belonging to a world that sometimes is sadly fading away. Your face is the proof I am not alone in these memories trips, and a portrait of you explains this connection…
N: Apparently many of “in my very own world” pics not only include captions the pics inspired me with, but have a strong autobiographical trait…
A: You and “Smooth”…
N: The “Smooth” pic could and should have had a hundred other titles but I didn’t want to burden it sentimentally (unfortunately, I find myself more and more self-censuring my captions as IG community grows and I have friends and familiars following me, with me being aware and unaware of it), so I chose to give it the nickname Kostas was using in NBA 2012 playstation game those days. He is no smooth guy at all, more like rough on the edges but I am one of the scarce persons who get to know and see his smooth ways, thoughts and acts.A: This is another powerful portrait to me. Share the insight.
A: This is another powerful portrait to me. Share the insight…
N: This pic was originally a Hipstamatic JohnS + Inas shot I think, (taken on a most wonderful early spring Sunday afternoon, when I had asked him to go on a drive off the highway for me to shoot the lovely green fields I had spotted earlier that week on a trip towards Athens), thus oversaturated and bright, but somehow I couldn’t edit it in all its glory as I did with many other pics from that day. He was patiently waiting for me on the car and came out to take a few shots of me (at my asking) and in a short two minutes time he took a smoke, I had the chance to shoot him as well, smoothly lost in his thoughts as always.
(Niovy starting to feel a little unconfident) I can’t quite see what of the above is publishing material; it is so incoherent and general and of interest to only me but it is a great therapy for me on a lazy Sunday, with a mind full of thoughts I should empty it from, to be talking to a friend I have never met but with whom I can relate as I do with friends I haven’t seen for ages but seems like not a day has passed by)
A: Don’t worry, this is my couch and I’m sure no one will ever consider any of this of “general interest”. You are the star, and I want the world to see!
A: The importance of sharing precious moments with a loved one. Isn’t this something so rare and hard to find in our busy and frenetic lives?
N: This one is also very personal and dear to me. It is one of the few pics I took while walking with my brother who had visited me unexpectedly in Volos for a week. It was the first day he came, we went to eat in a fish tavern by the sea, without Kostas, and had a very long heartfelt discussion about life, our family (which has had its share of ups and downs as all families do), his way of life and thinking. If Kostas is rough around the edges, my brother is that and then some. And closed to himself as an oyster. We have a very intimate relation despite and behind his wall and he is my all-time dearest person in the world.
A: You told me before how you use Instagram as a personal diary of your Life…
N: With all of the above you can see how accurate my Ig profile description is. I am not trying to present something of an artistic value; IG is for me my journal through the days. I never was keen on keeping a journal, but I find this so convenient and consistent. It is my life in pictures, in thoughts, in lyrics and in tunes.
[Το IG είναι για μένα το ημερολόγιο της καθημερινότητας μου. Ποτέ μου δεν υπήρξα ενθουσιώδης με την ιδέα του να κρατάω ημερολόγιο, αλλά αυτό το βρίσκω τόσο βολικό και συνεπές. Είναι η ζωή μου μέσα από εικόνες, σκέψεις, στίχους και μελωδίες]
These are the frames of my life for the past two years nearly. This is why I cannot leave IG, at least one of the reasons.
Another reason and a great thing I love about IG is the people I got to meet on there. I have also participated in other social media and I always sense that there is a higher karma, an invisible thread, an interactive sieve bringing us close to people with whom we share so much and feel heartbroken not being able to reach out and touch them. That is why I don’t care about the thousands of other inhabitants of the planet IG. To me, they don’t exist. But, unfortunately, they do and without them knowing or trying that, they push away and restrain many of my friends.
A: Instagram and Socials! When did you start? Why is everyone so boring about the complaints and the reasons why they all are still there?
N: I think I have started somewhere around December 2010, although statigram says February 2011 (I might have deleted a lot of my early ig masterpieces…). I had just bought the apocalyptic Iphone and was introduced to Instagram. I often was told I have an eye for photography but, except from being the one taking all the photos wherever we were, I didn’t know or care a thing about photography. I find it very impressive how much I have learnt just by looking at pics on Instagram or playing with all sorts of apps. The complaints are a lot and obvious but I don’t like to dwell on them. I think that, after the huge turn and changes on ig over the past 6-8 months, if one’s ego is bigger than it should, sooner or later he would go on a break or leave instagram, if you know what I mean. People don’t have many reasons to stay but I guess they do because, after all, IG is a strong addiction, a creative hobby, a cozy meeting place, a journal through the days.
FACEBOOK… talking about leaving…!!!! But I still like to keep it just to have the false impression people whose life orbits miles away from me are still a part of mine.
A: Your Photography. Iphone, Canon…sensations, your habits?
N: Hahaha…. I wouldn’t dare talk about canon/dslr photography. I haven’t even read the manual yet. I feel how ridiculously wrongly I am validated as a “professional” to the eyes of people seeing me with my “big baby” in my hands, even more when changing lenses:))))))))).They often ask me questions about it and I don’t know what to answer.
I have two friends helping me and discussing about photography, cameras, lenses and all that and when they start even with the abc of photography I want to hide somewhere or take my iphone out and “embarrass” them with how little they know about iphoneography:))))) Well, apart from joking, I am seriously trying to get the hang of it, mostly intuitively, but what bothers me is that I can’t edit my shots as I would if I took them with my iphone. I don’t like all the transferring thing between cameras, laptops, iclouds, iphones, ipads, dropboxes and other than that a photo is a whole different thing seen on the small iphone screen or on the perfect ipad screen and then brought into my old laptop.
A: You, your Canon and Iphone photowalks and the Hidden Narcissus in you…
N: Before instagram, I always loved to be in front of the camera and begged a lot for that. Now that I have my canon, a tripod and a remote control, I don’t have to beg no more. When I am tired of all the behind the camera procedures, I shoot a series of self portraits, I nurture the never forgotten Narcissus in me and enjoy a small, guilty pleasure. Which leaves me and my husband with much more time and less conflicts and complaints during our vacations. This is when I make the most of my canon too. Too many landscapes, moments, frames to bring back home and a great opportunity to explore its features. Although I have to admit that all my photowalks with canon are photowalks with iphone too!
And NOT vice-versa!
I have this iphone only thing in the back of my mind that does not allow me to post my #eosniovy pics very often and only if they are self portraits, unique streetphotography moments, low light situation pics or something I captured when my iphone was out of reach or out of battery.
My iphone inside my canon, my canon inside my iphone. After all, that’s what it is all about.
A: Talk to me about your techniques, Your favourite apps, your colors, your blackandwhites, your vintage edits, what is good and what sucks for you, what leaves you unsatisfied?
N: Since I found Snapseed, I stopped searching no more…
it is true that I have played with most of the popular photo apps but now I feel I can do what I need almost exclusively with Snapseed.
There are times when I feel guilty and annoyed with this monomania of mine and then I try to mix it up a bit usually preferring Scratchcam (when I want to do something different-I love this app but I feel that I am walking away from pure photography with that and moving towards a more artistic direction), Photofx (very difficult to get around with, but it has some extraordinary features), Idarkroom and Picfx (early loves in my iphoneography journey).
I always opted for Instagram filters and I feel very pleased when a pic needs nothing other than that.
I also try to explore Hipstamatic too but it seems I am stuck between two combinations (the old time classic JohnS + InaS or Blanco noir and a personal favorite of mine Helga Viking + CanoCafenol).
A: You still keep searching for different styles, in my opinion, something I hardly find around and one of the aspects I like more in your feed. (I saw sea, nature, villages and cities, people, old and young, abandoned places, architecture rural and urban)
N: It has bothered me for a long time and it still does occasionally not having found my personal style as an instagrammer. My feed has no consistence seen by someone other than me. Sometimes I force myself to do a series in order to self-discipline. But the truth is I find it boring and uninspiring after 5-6 pics. To tell you truth this happens to me with the feed of other igers too. As good as their techniques might be, I get bored seeing nothing else than one style. I have come to terms with my versatility and I love it because I used to think that I am more of a standardized nature but it turns out i am not, even if I have to invoke my ig feed to prove it.
I think a significant reason for the variety on my feed (at least in the beginning) was the inspiration I got on here and how I found myself amazed by all sorts of editing styles, themes and ways to present mundane things and scenes with a fresh touch of originality and creativity.
As I stated in one of my captions I am more of a color girl…
My blackandwhites are fewer and sometimes forced to be like that, I admit.
On the contrary, I love monochromes. I can see that there is huge bw movement on ig (as in photography) but to my own eyes blackandwhite on IG is overrated and a false façade of artistic material.
Sure it is if we are talking about photography in general but it is not enough to validate the quality of a pic on IG.
Summer echoes (caption borrowed by @spybou)
A: Some LifeToMusic for us now?
N: True colors, C. Lauper – One of my fav color pics and the place i always go back to when in Kavala, the old shipyard where my wedding photoshoot took place.
“True colors are beautiful like a rainbow”
“Can you hear her? She sighs for the beauty of the world when a new day begins… In my country she is a female, a dear friend of mine with whom i love talking to for hours. Let me introduce you to Silence…” for the #lifetomusic_TheSoundofSilence Contest we played with all our friends on Instagram…
A: Lifetomusic on Instagram… our best place ever to enjoy our passion for music and for mobile photography…
N: I can live without images. I cannot live without music.
Lifetomusic is one of my favorite places on Ig. I listen to music as I breathe.
People around me always wonder about me knowing the lyrics to all sorts of songs, greek, foreign, new, old. There are songs I listen to and remember the most important things in my life, there are songs I listen to and remember the most insignificant things in my life.
A: Let’s dance for a little while now…
“I played the fool today I just dream of vanishing into the crowd Longing for home again Home, is a feeling I buried in you I’m alright, I’m alright It only hurts when I breathe”
“You’ll see him in your nightmares, you’ll see him in your dreams. He’ll appear out of nowhere but he ain’t what he seems. You’ll see him in your head, on the TV screen and hey buddy, I’m warning you to turn it off, He’s a ghost, he’s a god, he’s a man, he’s a guru, You’re one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand”
“Bad Seeds are growing at the old abandoned cotton factory” pt. 6
N: This was a strenuous exercise and an experiment I loved: matching pics of a photowalk in an old, abandoned cotton factory with lyrics of songs by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds…
“She comes in colors everywhere; She combs her hair She’s like a rainbow Coming colors in the air Oh, everywhere She comes in colors
“Be the color in one’s life!
A: We live and we die and we take the Sea with us… a line I wrote for THE LIFE OF CHLOE storyline and seems to perfectly fit in our story.
N: “When I ‘m not around you, I can hardly breathe” / The sea…What I haven’t stated yet is my relation to the sea. I was lucky enough to live my life in three different beautiful Greek cities washed by the Mediterranean waters. The sea is a compass to someone who was born and lived with it.
As my caption from my series for one of @mifjuz blurb iphone pic selections was: “When I ‘m not around you, I can hardly breathe.” This could also apply to my country which, despite the long list of my complaints, is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and it is very sad not being able to see her standing tall and proud and graceful as she should be.
«Όταν βρίσκομαι μακριά σου, με το ζόρι αναπνέω» Το ίδιο ισχύει και για τη χώρα μου που, παρά το μακρύ κατάλογο από παράπονα, είναι μία από τις ομορφότερες χώρες του κόσμου και είναι πραγματικά λυπηρό να μη μπορούμε να τη βλέπουμε να στέκεται ψηλά, υπερήφανα και όλο χάρη, ως όφειλε».
A: Some of your dreamy photography now, and a walk through your captions (drinking a cup of coffee now)
“With their back turned to us, people may follow our moods. With their eyes fixed on us, we can’t help but follow their own. Sometimes it’s better to just imagine the sadness of the world…”
N: Taken in the middle of a bustling boardwalk in Barcelona’s port.
“I have left so many sunsets behind me that I faintly remember they come in colors”
“I felt safe in those arms, although what I was seeing below me could have been the ocean for me at that time… I felt safe having him sheltering me from a wind that could have been a hurricane for me at that time…
I felt as we were a perfect match in our vertical and horizontal stripes…
And then I saw a birdie flying by us…
I felt this was a good omen…
And then I decided: I will call him Dad…”
A: Time to go now, it is getting dark in this early september night. You and I, we made a long long walk through our memories and a warm chat will remain in one of them for sure. Be there, right where I can see you, And thank you for being on the We Are Juxt Couch with me (kissin sound)
Niovy is @niovy on Instagram and @Niovy Konstantara on Facebook