I'm in between things at the moment working towards regaining my attention to elements that really matter thus not much is happening here in terms of longer texts. Two to four trips in Europe and beyond await me in the upcoming months and you can expect new photographs pouring in starting September. For the time being I'm using the summer and close proximity of park to unwind and rethink things. These few shots I've taken recently around Poland.
One of the great Polish historians, publicists, writer, journalist and diplomat, Władysław Bartoszewski, once said that:
"Certainly not all that is worthwhile pays-off but most surely (...) not all what pays-off is worthwhile"
I recently found this to be true in terms of travels. Few weeks ago I saw that one of my favourite bands "Leningrad" (ru. Ленинград), with it's charismatic frontman Sergey "Shnur" Shnurov, had a tour around Europe. This year they did not visit Poland (as in 2013 on Woodstock festival) and went to Hungary on Sziget Festival. The group is from Saint Petersburg in Russia (called Leningrad in the times of USSR). and gained considerable world-wide attention in the years 2003-2006 when they were banned from playing in Moscow and, some other cities followed, went to play gigs around the world. They're famous not only by the music they play (rock with vulgar lyrics) but also great video-clips and satire on Russia including Novyj Russkij (ru. новые русские) class. Their last stop on 2016 tour was Saint Petersburg in late November. This happenstancesprung a spontaneous idea in my head..
On 500px I post only the best of the best photographs. Still, the full experience (as a mix of stories and photographs) you will find on this blog. Being on 500px is an experiment where I try to find new ways of sharing my work and gathering feedback on my what I do as a traveller and photographer.
"Praha neznámá" is a series of projects by Petr Ryska - including a website, an Instagram account and, quite recently, a book. Petr on everyday basis is discovering a bit different side of Prague. The one that is less known yet well deserving attention. During my last weekend in the capital of Czech Republic I revisited some places and found few new inspirations as well.
Rediscovering what you have seen can be an exhilarating experience. Not only because you have changed, people have changed but also, at times, due to the change in surroundings. Instead of rushing to many places to get the most of my stay I've taken some time off. No rush, just letting myself experience the city. I was afraid that I will not get enough material that would satisfy my never-ending thirst for better shots yet, having sat down to developing the photos, I was positively surprised.. Read on!
This is the first time when one of my projects has been put on hold. Together with the Team we decided to pivot due to people coming and going. Some people got in, some got out. Well, c'est la vie. We tried to keep the momentum going and thought about changing the destination to Georgia and move through Azerbaijan to Iran (Teheran) and then back to Georgia through Armenia. Nevertheless, due to the war outbreak between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh region and the instability of the situation lead us to plan a journey to another region - Central Asia.
It's a diverse place with more and more people that come here and settle due to the professional opportunities and great access to culture and various events. That's one of the things that makes it interesting in the evening. Streets are full of people in the centre almost every day, whether is weekend or Monday evening. Yet it's possible to find at times a secluded place just for you. It's a bit of a conundrum for me to grasp but probably the time flies differently here. Below you can see few photos from a simple stroll.
Maidan Nezalezhnosti. A place that just a year ago has seen the clash of political powers, ideologies and faith for a different tomorrow. Today, it stands still and peacefully. It does not resemble the images seen in media yet remembers the conflict in terms of those who have fallen during the overthrow of the government. There are photographs, small symbols of the fights so locals and tourists don't forget what and why happened. The battles continue on the East - around Donetsk and Luhansk cities.
The faster the trains go and the more we look into laptops, cell phones and tablets the less we see what's around us through the window. Sometimes we might miss on situations or moments that are interesting and tell us something more about the culture of a place were going through. I decided to validate this hypothesis with an experiment of shooting with a camera out of a speeding train when on route from Lviv to Kyiv. Contrary to the weather that day (beautiful, sunny, blue sky) the photographs were processed to black & white creating a rather sorrowful, slash, sad pictures. You can do anything nowadays, can't you? Still, experimenting in the digital darkroom and being reluctant at first, I pushed the boundaries and tried to discover something different in the shots I captured. The effects you can see below.
For the second part of the interview (see also part one) I've met with Michał in Warsaw. Well, to be honest, it wasn't an interview per say as we had a really interesting talk while walking down the streets on a Sunday afternoon. The conversations were about different things related to traveling, photography but also building relationships with people and art. The outcome of it was something that I wanted Michał to share as well in our official talk here. Below you can read the outcome. Enjoy!