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Vale Peter Giafis – A true Gentleman and a Mentor

It was very sad to learn late last night that Peter Giafis had passed away.  Peter was an institution in the ABC at Southbank Melbourne, always with one of his Nikon’s over his shoulder.

For my last few years at ABC Southbank Peter was someone I looked up to ( and not just because he was tall ), but for his help, guidance and amazing knowledge of photography.  Knowledge that he shared so willingly with all those that asked. I am a better photographer than I could have ever been thanks to his guidance and support.

His curiosity about cameras and photography helped shaped my photography is many ways.  His quiet nature in taking “the” shot and how he blended into the background is a skill I struggle to master. His use of light and subject have lead to many photos that recorded history in not just the ABC, but around Australia.

Lighting at SouthbankI will always have fond memories of chasing lightning photos with Peter on the roof of the Southbank building, discussing the latest in Nikon gear and which lens to use for which purpose. Sharing what I had shot with him over the weekend to see what I could improve on.

Big lensHis generosity even lent to him bring his prize 600mm F4 lens to work so we could test if the D90 really could run any lens. Which the camera passed in flying colours of course. Even with the Bigma lens, my camera still misses the beauty that was the 600mm lens.

In 2010 it was amazing to be a finalist in the  2010 Getty Images Grab competition along side Peter,  ( Finalists Flickr Link ) and whilst neither of us won, to be shortlisted along side Peter gave me a major confidence boost.

Oh look nikon-itis' shootingAfter I left Aunty I still ran into Peter at a number of events that he was photographing.  I had the pleasure of a whole day with him at the Point Cook airshow early this year. The last time I saw Peter was a discussion just before the Moomba fireworks on the best place to shoot them.

Of course he got the one shot that I missed that day at Point Cook, that killer shot of luck and the real photographers eye, but I still have the daytime lightning shot that he missed.
Mustang & Moon

Peter was a true gentleman in every meaning of the word.  The world of photography suffered a loss this week.

My deepest sympathy to those the knew him and to his partner  condolences to his partner Effie Katrakazos.

Vale Peter.


(The photos are in order: ABC photo of Peter, daytime lightning taken at ABC Southbank Vic, Peter’s photo of me with his 600mm lens, Peter at Point Cook this year, and Peters shot of a Mustang with the Moon from Point Cook )



“seal of confession is inviolate” what a load of bullshit!

It really is quiet simple when you take the time to think about it.

The “Catholic” God does nothing to stop child abuse by priests. The young and vulnerable are abused by those in a place of authority. Yet the church relies on priests being able to admit there crimes in confession. That way they have made peace with god and thus can go to heaven after saying a few Hail Mary’s. The victims, well they suffer, they committee suicide, they remain broken with some harbouring violence inside that lashes out at those around them.

But what did God do during all of this. Nothing, nothing at all.

Then today comes the statement from a former Catholic priest accused of molesting boys “God made us this way and it’s his fault”.

So when Pell addresses the media going on the attack, then explains that  “seal of confession is inviolate” can go take a running jump IMHO.

The church DOES NOT have a right to hide behind an archaic system that has no place in a secular state. The law exists for a reason, not for those to say oh but my invisible sky friend will fix everything when the perpetrator of the crime dies.

Any priest that uses the excuse that “I was told something in confession I can’t tell” is guilty of covering up what is a most horrendous crime. Why do they feel that they are above common law. Because a 2000 year old book, most of which they ignore anyway tells them to do so.

If the Royal Commission doesn’t address this serious short coming in the Church children will continue to suffer.