The City Hunter ~ Evangelo Costadimas (P. 70)

Hong Kong won’t be an interesting place for those working peers who are always walking fast in a hurry on the narrow pedestrian sidewalks packed with other people walking. However, a foreign photographer who has resided in Hong Kong for many years has fallen in love with this place just because of this reason. His name is Evangelo Costadimas (aka: EC). He came here simply because of the crowds and he makes Hong Kong his home. EC is a street photographer and is very good at catching people’s faces and the city’s landscape with his special photography techniques. Let’s have a look at what he has hunted with his camera in hand.

Shooting Blind

A group photography exhibition namely “City Flaneur” is now on at Heritage Museum in Shatin. It is a group exhibition which contains over 260 photos from 35 photographers. These photos were taken from 1950’s to today. It’s not easy to be selected within a group of local photographers and the majority are local Chinese.

EC is an excellent street photographer. Having applied his special skills and techniques which he developed and honed over the years, he is a rare case to have been selected as a participant in this exhibition of local Chinese society. To win a seat in the participation of the exhibition is never easy but his never ending learning spirit of striving to be perfect has made him a successful participant.

In taking these photos, he has to be highly concentrated in finding his prey and taking the photos without them noticing. And this time, he has chosen to use B/W photos to enter this exhibition. Some of these photos being exhibited are from his series “Shooting Blind”. In this series, he did not use the viewfinder, he took every photo by senses and feelings.

To catch the images in a glimpse (P. 71)

Normally, before any photographer will take a photo, they have to have in mind the concept of how the photo will look like. They have to consider about the angles, facial expressions amd postures of the people in the photos etc … However, this will never happen in EC’s case. EC normally has 2-3 seconds to catch the images in a glimpse and there is absolutely no time for him to think of such things much.

EC will fix the images between 1.5 – 2 m using his 50mm fixed focus lenses. If the distance is too far or too close, the focus will be lost and the image will become blurred.

Since he takes most of the photos in the streets, he will only have the chance to view, edit and classifiy them and to select the ones he really wants, when he is back at home.

During the interview, EC has shown us some of his interesting photo works, the series is about people talking on the streets. Some of them resemble opera performers with funny facial and hand expressions.

Hiding himself in the busy city

I believe that a lot of you have tried taking snapshots with your cameras on the streets either it is for daily records or to share with friends. But when you hold the camera in front of other people, they will normally reward you with a strange look or try to stay away from the focus. With cameras being such a common item in this era, almost every one of us has possessed one and people are becoming more and more sensitive about cameras.

EC focuses towards techniques of image making in search of alternatives to the traditional approach of making street photography. Moving his camera away from his eye level down to his hip, EC captures moments without looking through the viewfinder. He has to guess the aperture and shutter speed combination, the focusing distance as well as the composition in the process of making these images. This practice has led him to a further discussion about “distance” – either the subjective distance from the photographer or the objective distance from optical device, to the end subjects being photographed. The works end up in forming an ambiguous yet interesting feedback loop between subject and object.

With the special techniques he has developed, it is never easy for the people in such a busy and fast environment to discover that they are being photographed.

Striving hard for the best and keep learning attitude

In the interview with EC, I am most inspired by EC’s striving hard for the best attitude and the spirit of keep learning. Even though he has attained a very high level in his photography, he has completed a course in Master of Fine Arts in 2008. The course is run by Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Since 1988, EC came to work in Hong Kong and China to develop his career as an IT Engineer. At the same time, he is also a freelance photographer and he has held more than 20 solo and group photo exhibitions here. Being deeply in love with the art of photography, especially street photography, EC has also developed many other photography skills in portrait, interior design, fashion and nude. He has in mind to set up a workshop studio later on and teaching photography in the near future.

The special relationship with the people in the photos

In one of the photo exhibitions held by EC, he received an email from a guy who introduced himself as the fiancé of one of the girls who is in the photo taken by him. He has specially requested to receive a copy of the photo signed by EC so that he can give it as a surprise gift for his fiancée.

In order to show evidence that he really is the fiancée to this girl, EC has asked him to present a photo with him and the girl in it and he has prepared the photo. However, when the photo was ready, this man never appeared again.

This incident has left a deep impression for EC as he has never imagined that his photos can link with such a surprise relationship with one another in a small place like Hong Kong.

Left 1: EC shows his way of taking street photos
Left 2 & Right 2: EC shows one of his photo works where there is a guy who claimed to be the fiancée to the girl in this photo
Left 3: During the interview
Right 1: EC explains to us his techniques on street photography
Right 3-5: Different models of cameras we seen at EC’s studio

Brief CV of Evangelo Costadimas (P.72)

EC was born raised in Ethiopia, Africa. He is of Italian and Greek descent. Having spent years in Ethiopia, he then migrated to Canada. Since the first photo being taken by himself at the age of 11, he has fallen deeply in love with the art of photography.
EC is a resident of Hong Kong and came to Hong Kong and China more than 20 years ago, since 1988 during this time he has also spent 3 years working in Tokyo, Japan.
During his days in Hong Kong, he has held a significant number of solo and group exhibitions. He is now a freelance photographer, artist and independent curator.
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Talks on Photography by Evangelo Costadimas (P.72)

Theme: Eight High Res Evenings ~ Photography Appreciation Series
Date: 10 August 2010 (Tue), a total of 10 talk
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Venue: Joyce Is Not Here Bar & Café
38-44 Peel Street, Soho, Central District, Hong Kong
Target: For those of you who are interested in photography
Fee: Free (limited seat available, please call for advance bookings)
Tel: 2851 2999


I am very happy & excited being invited by EC to conduct the interview at his studio and I feelt absolutely free from pressure when talking with him. The studio is specially designed with an artist feel as it is decorated with part of his art works and special collectibles.
During the interview, I came to know that EC will update his photo works and latest news on Facebook (FB) and I have especially mentioned to EC that I shall add him as my friend on FB later. To my surprise, EC is so efficient that he has already added me to his FB on my way back to the office when a message appeared on my mobile. I feel so thrilled for the rest of my day having met this special friend.
By GiGi