Interview with Piotr Nalewajka

Interview with Piotr Nalewajka

MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2023

– How and when did you become interested in photography?

When I was a child two cameras had been widely used by people around me: Zenit produced by ZSRR and Practica but the fact was nothing to me. Generally, my attention to photography started when I was getting older. I must add that two books have had an additional influence of my thinking about photography: On Photography by Susan Sontag and Towards the Philosophy of Photography by philosopher Vilem Flusser. My background is philosophy hence it is not a surprise that photography became for me a handy tool for thinking after “death of philosophy”. In 2018 I successfully completed a two-year full-time course of Advanced Photography (LCFE in Limerick, Ireland). Thanks to my teachers I had a great opportunity to be introduced deeper in the fascinating world of photography. I fell in love with darkroom, I could live there…

– Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

In the beginning of adventure with photography I was inspired by Eugene Atget: melancholy and mystery which can be seen of his photos although, as we all know, the author did not perceive himself as an artist. Later on, I was fascinated by photos of the famous polish photographer Tomasz Tomaszewski. I mean mainly two his projects treated by me as masterpieces: Elmina, Ghana and A Stone’s Throw. To summarize I tend towards humanistic trends in black and white photography putting people and their complicated relations with the environment at the center of my photographic interests.

– Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?

It is not an easy question…My photographic practice is divided into two parts: abstract photography and documentary, street photography. My main abstract project Sovereign path of the eye is presented in colour. From the other point of view, I’m strongly seduced but the tradition of black and white photography hence I rather avoid colour while realizing my documentary projects. Maybe in non-color photography there is more truth, more elegance and less intrusive chaos… I do not know really, not everything must be explained…

– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

In Latin language there is a very adequate term for this mental faculty which I am thinking of here which helps in preparation to take documentary and street photos: animi presentia. The term can be translated as the presence of the mind. I also try not to forget that I have a heart. These are my basic preparations plus, of course, the functionality of the photographic equipment and basic postproduction. I don’t think I’m pursuing technical perfection instead of striking emotions, restless thoughts or just ordinary, daily situations. Maybe I’ll specify what I mean. I was a member of a photography club for a while, and I will remember this lesson for the rest of my life. Trying to summarize my experiences from this place and my moderate aversion to technical novelties, I can refer to the previously mentioned Vilem Flusser, who includes the following fragment in his book on photography: “Clubs for amateur photographers, for example, are places where intoxication with the impenetrable of camera complexities occurs, places for “trips”; they are post-industrial opium dens”.

– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

Where is my photography going? I tend to present photo essays rather than isolated single photos. It is my attention paid to classical Aristotelian heritage: the narrative should have a beginning, middle and end. My past projects were created in this way. I can mention here: Living on the edge, The world is not black and white and Why. In contrary to this approach, I try to play with postmodern conception of ambiguities sometimes. I can mention here my ongoing project One day you may. I would love to continue my interest in documentary photography and street photography… Where will it lead me? I do not know.

Website: https://www.piotrnalewajkaphotography.com

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka

© Piotr Nalewajka


MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2023