About me







page: 2 of 2

    I started with a simple film a 35 mm kamera and playing with the equipment in a darkroom. Having learned the basics, I finally chose a system for working with the photographs, and the subsequent changes in the choice of equipment turned out much helpful in developing my skills. Currently, I use the equipment enumerated on the previous page, thus answering the recurrent question concerning the gear I take pictures with. My cameras, lenses and accessories take much space in a backpack, and the whole set has one significant drawback: it weighs a lot. And the further I must travel with it, the more it weighs. That is not the only price that one needs to pay for the pleasures of taking pictures. Whoever has taken the same path as I have to become a photographer, will understand what I am talking about.

    I am not, however, fully convinced that I need to describe all my equipment in details. Today I am working with one set of equipment, tomorrow I will be using another, all that changes with time. After all, these are merely tools for depicting a certain part of reality. The reality and its picture, at the same time, may be perceived by our eye in a way that differs much from what the camera allows us to produce. Each of us sees the world in a very individual way which also follows from our personal experiences. We only see what we want to see and what our sensitivity allows us to see. The final effect of the act of seeing, though, might be far more interesting. And by the effect I mean the actual photograph.

    I admit that equipment suitable for one's needs and of good quality is always worth using. It is important, however, that one knows the ins and outs of using it as well as its weaknesses. While creating a certain picture in my mind, I do not have room for thinking whether the tools that I am using will meet up my expectations, I must know their capabilities in advance. Ideal equipment, however, does not exist. And by ideal I mean the equipment that I think would meet my needs. Actually, these are compromises of various kinds that constitute the criteria for choosing the equipment. And I know it sound cliche for many people...

    If it comes to actual processing of a photograph, I call myself a traditionalist. I use image editing software in a way that I used to use the darkroom. I apply the software mainly to resize the pictures to a desired format, change the exposure and enhance slightly - usually while dealing with RAW pictures - yet I try to use it with careful moderation. It seems obvious that one needs to think creatively before pushing the button on the camera rather than while processing the work. Bad pictures are not worth rescuing, they should simply not have been taken, and if they happen, the best thing to do is to put them in trash.

    Recently I have been using my camera less and less. I take fewer photographs and concentrate more on their quality and content. Whether it works for me and whether it means that I take better pictures, I do not know. Perhaps it is just another stage in a life of somebody who has been dealing with photography for long.

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© Zbigniew Szylanski.   All rights reserved