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KYANOS by Joe Howard

KYANOS by Joe Howard


The story of KYANOS

I unknowingly started working on KYANOS in September 2019 when I visited Greece for the first time while exploring the islands of Sifnos and Milos. As most people do, I fell instantly in love and have visited 10 islands over the past 5 years with many more still on the list. 

On each trip I realised how diverse the landscapes were, from the "Listerine" blue waters of Paxos and pine forest cliffs of Kefalonia to the volcanic, windy and harsh landscape of Milos. 

The word kyanos, meaning "dark blue enamel" is where the word "cyan" is derived. While many will associate this word to describe the colour blue, as seen in the later periods of the Greek language, it has also been used to describe darker tones. Greek Philosophers use the term "kyanos" intermittently to mean both "dark blue" and also "black". In a book on precious stones, Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus describes the (blue) lapis lazuli as kyanos-colored. Homer’s Iliad, on the other hand, describes not only the color of steel but also the hair Hector as kyanos. 

"Hector was dragged, his kyanos hair was falling about him".

It was a deliberate choice to give the book this name, but not have a blue cover. I wanted to explore the double meaning of the word, give space to both the stereotype of Greece but also pay homage to the warmer tones you'll see in the book. When I think of Greece I don't just think of blue and white, I think of rich reds, burnt orange and vivid greens. This work explores the rough and rugged side of some of Greece's most popular destinations but also some beautiful hidden gems on lesser known islands. 

KYANOS features the following islands; 

Milos, Sifnos, Kefalonia, Mykonos, Syros, Paros, Paxos, Ithaca, Santorini and Corfu.

ABOUT: My name is Joe Howard, a photographer based in London. I've been shooting since 2010 and over the past 5 years I have focused on creating work while exploring new places and visiting my childhood home in Cornwall. 

My work pays particular attention to light and colour in the form of observational landscapes and street photography, I believe if the light is just right, the benign can be beautiful. 

All the images in this book were shot on film. Using both 35mm and 120, scanned by Chan Photographic, edited and graded by Joe Howard and converted by Tom Groves.

  • Offset printed by KOPA in Lithuania
  • Hardback cover: 225mm x 275mm
  • Debossed black foil cover design.
  • 142 pages
  • 90 photos
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