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Padiglione Italia - EXPO Milano 2015

Padiglione Italia - EXPO Milano 2015

Pygmalion Karatzas
May 16, 2017
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‘Padiglione Italia’ is a photographic presentation of the Italian Pavilion from the EXPO Milano 2015. It is part of my larger project covering all the pavilions of this universal exposition. The Pavilion was designed by Nemesi & Partners and the coverage was done in collaboration withe the Danish Architecture Center.

Photographing the Italian Pavilion of the EXPO Milano 2015 was part of the larger project to document and present all the EXPO’s pavilions for the Danish Architecture Center as their correspondent. I visited Milan for a week at the beginning of the event in May. The logistics of covering more that a hundred buildings with exterior and interior, day and dusk, required walking in full gear quite a few km per day, staying on site from early morning till late evening, and arranging to visit some interior exhibitions before visitors in order to have unobstructed images, since the pavilions were visited daily by thousands of people. For the elevated exterior shots I found a terrace across the pavilion that provided a good vantage point.
Choosing the style of the project for me is a combination of what the building, location, and weather conditions are offering with the post-processing work done in the digital darkroom. In general I prefer a natural high dynamic range style that is achieved from raw files and Lightroom with an additional lighting/exposure treatment in parts of the image/subject that enhances and highlights the features already present.

The camera gear used for this photoshoot included a Nikon D800, a 14-24 mm and a 18-105 mm lens and a tripod. Images are shot in raw and then post-processed in Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop software.
With the task of providing a full coverage of the pavilions and also producing images strong enough to stand out of their own, I started with getting as much raw material as possible from different times of the day, light conditions and angles. From the hundreds of images taken, a selection of them is post-processed and then a second selection/editing takes place in order to narrate the building visually. Even though my selection is one possible narration, I am also aware that different editing options can occur from other photo editors depending on the story they want to tell, so I try to provide enough material for them to choose from.

The respond to this project has been a positive one. Both the readers of the photo-essays at arcspace and the magazine collaborators of Arcaid Images were pleased with the results. I was also delighted to receive two honorable mentions at the International Photography Awards and one of the images being selected among the best pictures of the year from Interior Design Magazine.
Two lessons stand out for me from this project: one relates to the physical stamina that was required for this project and the second relates to the post-processing workflow in order to deal with a large amount of images.

I would like to thank the Danish Architecture Center, Sidsel Hartlev and for collaborating with me on the coverage of this event, Arcaid Images agency in London for helping with the distribution, Paola Di Marzo and Massimiliano at the Italian Pavilion press office, and Panos Bazos for his invaluable and continuous support.
A book collection from this project is available in print through blurb:

Pygmalion Karatzas

Pygmalion Karatzas studied architecture at the Technical University of Budapest and urban design at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. From 1999 to 2012 he worked as an architect designing more than 20 projects. In 2013 he started focusing on architectural and fine art photography. Since then he has photographed more than 120 architectural, editorial and commercial projects and 60 artistic series with subjects from Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, Qatar and USA.

His images are being regularly featured in print and web publications from Greece and abroad, and have received 20 distinctions from leading international photographic competitions. He has participated in group exhibitions in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Aegion, Rome and London; and produced 7 book collections. In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Artist Scholarship sponsored by the College of Architecture and Design of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

From short-term intensive assignments like the coverage of the EXPO 2015 Milano pavilions, to medium-term city scale reportage like the Doha Icons, and long-term complex journeys like the Integral Lens project in twelve cities across United States, Pygmalion exhibits his passion and dedication to the study, representation and dissemination of the built environment and its broader role as a cultural asset.

He is a member of the Association of European Journalists and represented by Arcaid Images London. He collaborates with the Danish Architecture Center as photo editor for, where he has conducted exclusive interviews with 20 renowned architectural and fine art photographers.
His on-going research is towards an integral approach to architecture, sustainability and art. Based in Aegion, he travels in Greece and abroad for his personal projects and assignments.

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