Exibart Street Contest 2018 Finalists – Interview to Lukasz Maliszewski

Congratulations Lukasz! You are one of the 11 finalists of the first Exibart Street Contest.
We received thousand of images from more than 100 countries all over the world, it’s an important result!
How do you feel about it?

Feeling great, now I know that I’m going in the right direction.

Can you tell us something about yourself?

I’m working as a bridge officer on all different kinds of ships. Because of this job I have to travel around the world all the time. That gives me opportunity to capture remote and sometimes exotic places with my camera.

I’ve never been talkative so photography was always my best way of telling the stories.

What led you to begin doing street photography in the first place?

To be honest, first time I heard of street photography was 2010 when I watched “The Genius of Photography”. After that movie I’ve started to study works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr. What I really loved about all of them is this simple idea to go out and start taking pictures.

They didn’t need tons of gear, travel to Iceland or New Zeland to capture beautiful landscapes nor they didn’t need studio with all the lights to take portrait of models. I said to myself: “This is what I was looking for?” The funny thing is I end up with backpack full of gear and I am planning to go to Iceland this year 🙂

So besides “street”, I have passion for landscape and travel photography as well.

How would you define your photographic style?

I like balanced, tidy, contrasting, simple but not minimalistic, calm photography.

I try to capture scene in such a way where, geometry, colors and main subject complement each other.

“However, if you let say using iPhone for shooting and creating with it great images, then I would consider buying camera because you might have potential and better tool allow you to release that potential.”

What kind of equipment do you use and what role, in your opinion, does equipment have in street photography?

At the moment, for street I’m using Fuji mirrorless digital camera with 35mm prime lens, sometimes together with tripod. In general, I agree with majority of street photographers (I think its apply to other genres too) that equipment does not have big impact on your work. If You are not happy with your photos, switching over to more expensive camera does not improve your creativity, composition skills or technical knowledge at all.

However, if you let say using iPhone for shooting and creating with it great images, then I would consider buying camera because you might have potential and better tool allow you to release that potential. With professional equipment you have access to more sophisticated techniques like long exposure and you can get better image quality etc. but photo itself is all about how you see specific scene, what you fell about and how you want capture it.

Have you ever studied at a photography school or are you a self-taught artist?

No, I haven’t but I don’t feel bad about it. At least I don’t feel any pressure from family or friends that I should know everything about photography just because I studied it.

We are living in time where we can get information about almost anything for free. I would even say, there is an overwhelming amount of data we have to deal with. It requires skills to filter out useless and not important information but to keep useful ones.

“We are living in time where we can get information about almost anything for free. I would even say, there is an overwhelming amount of data we have to deal with. It requires skills to filter out useless and not important information but to keep useful ones.”

How important are social media in your work?

For enthusiast photographer like myself social media are the only way to show my work to others. So on this level its pretty important for me.

Which one do you prefer and why?

I am using Instagram because it is more likely that person who is not into photography have Instagram app on his/her phone and will come across my account then same person find me on for example 500px, which is for photographers exclusively.

I want to share my photos with everybody, show the places and inspire others to travel and see the world from different perspective. I am not interested in small closed group.

If you had to choose one lens that you would have to be using for the rest of your life, which one would that be and why?

I would probably keep my 27-206mm zoom lens as it is most versatile. I can do street, portraits and landscape with it. I know as a street photographer I should say 35mm but I think I would miss my zoom a lot.

Analog and digital photography. Do you see these as alternatives to one another or the same thing?

There is a different process and workflow of creating photo involved between digital and analog, but for person who standing in gallery and looking at final work it doesn’t really matter was it taken with film or not, does it?

I like analogy with djs playing tracks from vinyls or playing digital. At the end of the day only music matter, not the source.

What, do you think, is the main reason why some photographers opt for film during the digital era we live in?

There is no one reason, there are many small reasons why some photographers choosed film. Analog photo has its own character, colors, contrast, higher dynamic range which are hard to emulate. Some people prefer film because they like to have prints in hand straight away. Some people love analog development. Other people hate using computers in general and some people are find analog photography cool etc.

Black and white and color? How do you decide which one to use?

I decided to shoot only in color. I know sometimes when the colors are boring and dull, switching to b&w can save the photo but I don’t want to have these options in my head all the time.

That is confusing and distracting so I am focus on color, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like black and white.

Is there a country or a city that you like to photograph more than others?

I don’t have favorite country so far, but soon I’m going to India and I have strong feeling that I will like it a lot.

Which differences exist between the different countries you visited?

Well, the main difference is the people reaction when they see somebody is taking picture of them. For example in Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia people are smiling, posing and generally are fine with that. In Marocco on the other hands they wanted something in return.

In my own country, people are looking at me like I am crazy or I must be from newspaper.

When you take photos, do you ever have a theme/project in mind?

The place where I am is my theme, because I am more like travel/street photographer not pure “street”.

Are you currently working on any project?

Actually I’ve never started any project. At the moment I’ polishing my on own style and when I become certain how I want my photos to look then I will start project.

Are there any photographers or artists who inspired you or influenced your way of creating street photography?

Definitely it will be Steve McCurry who is not a pure street photographer but his photography is like reference point for me. Alex Webb, David Gibson and many many artists from Magnum agency.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting to do street photography?

Be prepare that most of your photos will turn out bad, but even one out of 100 is still good number. So be patience and you will be rewarded.

Thank you!

Thank you for making this kind of contest.

LUKASZ MALISZEWSKI BIOGRAPHY

I am a Poland based, self-taught, enthusiast travel and street photographer. I love finding unusual correlation between light, geometry, colours and movement in everyday life. I always look for natural light and try to capture “untouched” realistic scenes.

My job as a ship navigator allowed me to see places I would never visit otherwise. It inspires me to grab my camera, go out on the streets and shoot. For many years I was using a Contax camera with 45mm film and that’s it. That was the time I learnt about composition, as there are not many options in such a basic camera, not even zoom or ISO. Today I still like the character of the film but I still remember all the images that went completely wrong, unfocused, overexposed etc. I wish I could come back with my Fuji XT-2 camera to all these places again.

If I have to mention two photographers that inspire me the most, that would be Alex Webb and Steve Mccurry. You can clearly see the influence of their work in my pictures.

Website: www.luckmall.pl
Facebook: Luck Mall
Instagram: @luckmall

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