Okmarzo brought the astounding work of Jakub Polomski to Empty Kingdom
. I have stared at it for hours since then. His landscape photography captures the landscape of earth in such a vivid manner I imagine it could inspire even the most concrete loving neon-light obsessed urbanites to seek a little bit of the peace and beauty that nature brings.
Tell us about yourself, how did you get into photography, where you are from and if you like sandwiches or soups better.
I was born and I live in Cieszyn – small town in the south of Poland. I am 27 years old. I work as a graphic designer in the marketing department of a building company, photography for now is my hobby. I also love travelling, mountain hiking and snowboarding.
What photograph did you win first prize in the photo competition organized by Kinder brand with? Were you surprised? What did it feel like winning the competition? How did winning affect what you considered to be your strengths and weaknesses?
It was photograph of climber captured in Tatra mountains during winter. I was very surprised and happy because the main prize of this contest was journey to Patagonia. Never before had I been on such far travel. Another success was 1st Prize in VI Grand National Geographic Poland Photo Contest – category “Polish Landscape”. It was the most prestigious award I had ever gained. I often consider my strengths and weaknesses not only when I win contests. I just want to improve my skills.
How does emotion affect your work? Do you allow yourself to be influenced by emotion, that is do you allow a bad mood to grow very dark in order to heighten the emotional expression and vice versa with good moods?
I think emotions influence my creation all the time. What I do with photos often depends on my mood. That is why when post-processing I always get back to one photo several times in order to get an objective attitude.
Your work portrays nature on a ‘legendary mythic scale’ according to our own Okmarzo, your series The Scale of Nature seems to call direct attention to this, both in the works and in the very name. What do you see in nature, what does it mean to you? How do you regard the natural environment on both a personal level and as an artist?
By project “The Scale of Nature” I wanted to show how “small” is the human in contrast with nature. I always treat nature with respect and humility. Especially mountains arouse respect. In mountains man can feel like little powerless grain because sometimes in dangerous and extremal situations even the most modern technology cannot save his life.
What was it like picking up a camera and going out and shooting? Do you have any formal training? What have you learned from actively going out and taking photographs that you do not think can be taught in a classroom?
I have never had any “formal” training. I also didn’t learn photography in any school. I was uploading my photos onto many photo portals and I was reading feedback to them. These constructive critiques helped me to improve my skills. For me practice is far more important than theory.
You’ve traveled to many different countries and photographed different landscapes, mountains and valleys, what is something they all had in common? What does travel feel like to you? Do you like traveling?
In mountains I always feel freedom and respect for nature. That is why these are my favorite places to visit and capture photos. I love travelling. By travelling I collect new memories and impressions into my mind.
Some of your series are color, some are not, what is the deciding factor for you? What emotionally and artistically were you trying to illicit and enhance in your monochrome series? What about your color series?
When I take photographs I always think about final effect. I often know which photo will be presented in monochrome and which should be colorful in order to produce appropriate emotions. Monochromatic conversion with little “cold” tint add some kind of fear into photos especially when it comes to show mountains.
What are you working on now? Where are you traveling next?
Now I am still post-processing photos from my this year Alpine Trip (Austria, France & Switzerland). In the nearest future I plan to visit Nepal and Iceland.
Which would you rather be, a monkey or a cheetah?
I always think about what and how to capture photograph, however I often like to rely just on my instinct 🙂