In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Ryszard Wierzbicki, as his photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 54th Month, 2nd Place. Let’s discover more about Ryszard Wierzbicki, and his forays into photography in the following interview with him.
Ryszard Wierzbicki: I am very honoured and privileged for me to be noticed by Light & Composition fans around the world who took their time to see my photographs and share them with their friends. Without you guys it would not be possible for me to become a winner.
Ryszard: This is a great surprise for to be nominated for the Prize and win. But the most valuable for me is a fact that my photography is seen by a big audience. It means, more or less, that my photographic eye catches important moments of reality that surrounds us. And that is my philosophy of doing photography. Register reality rather create or modify it.
Ryszard: That’s very true. Especially that the winning photography “Reverence” from Jokhang Temple in Lhasa made by Shirren Lim is very close to my travelling and photographic experiences from my last year travel to Nepal and presents a quintessence of my Photography Style too “Catch the Right Moment”. I really like it. Also “Tower Bridge” of Stefan Thallner who took also the 2nd Place is very close to my perception and the Tower Bridge view by night is extraordinary. The 3rd Place Photography by Marissa Tejada “Abandand Windmills Above the Sea” is brilliant too with its composition. Therefore being in such honourable company is a privilege for me and honour.
Ryszard: The winning photograph was taken during my motorcycle ride around suburbs and villages around Siem Reap area in Cambodia. I was assisted with my friend Ra Rath, who is a licensed guide in the district or Angkor and Siem Reap. That was almost the end of our day ride and a last village to explore. Crossing narrow paths in between houses when sitting on the rear sit behind Ra’s back I spotted a family at the backyard of a household and loud voice of crying child. When approached closer I realized it was a regular quarrel in between mother and son. She probably refused to give something what was desired by her son. Having sweets and lollipops in the pockets in my cargo trousers I offered to give them away to the kid and asked for permission to shoot a photo. After a short while when having sweets in his hands already he turned around towards me and look into an eye of my camera still having tears in his eyes. And this is a whole story behind the winning photograph.
L&C: That’s a wonderful story, our reader will love that. So how long have you been a photographer?
Ryszard: I started my Photography adventure many years ago in Primary School with first steps in Black & White Photography. These years doing Photography had nothing to do with Art. It was just registering school ceremonies and events. First cameras and only available these days in the end of communism era in Poland were only Russian Zeniths and everyone who had a minimum photographic background and basic equipment could start the challenge with Photography. Through the years of my education I used to run several Dark Rooms in Gymnasium, University and my first work place after University in Olsztyn Orphanage where I tried to spread my interests for Photography among Orphans. But the real adventure began with my diving experiences, when I started travelling extensively. Appearing DSLR cameras allowed to cultivate my passions for Photography and develop skills. Al my experiences made me focused now on certain topics, which are Portraying Children and Elderly People, Street Photography and Travelling.
Ryszard: My style I describe as a “Capture a Right Moment”. I am mostly interested in registering reality around me rather than making variations of modyfying it. Therefore I rarely use any correction functions. My photographs in 99% are not corrected by any tool. My Photographers recently are specializing in creating a reality of they Photos. I am very far away of such a style. I believe that my role is as Photographer is to observe and register only the Right Moments. World Around us is interesting enough to not modify it in any way. That’s why I am more Document Maker than an Art Photographer. In my work I use always Nikons (D5000, D90) and universal Lenses (Tamron 18-270, 18-200), which allow me to save maximum time for “shooting”.
L&C: What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera? If you had to choose one lens, which one would it be and why?
Ryszard:: My favourite Lenses are Nikkor 18-105 and Tamron 18-270 or 18-200. When doing extreme travelling I prefer Tamron 18-270, because a great snapshot sometimes is a matter of seconds. Nikkor 18-105 I use when moving through town and cities, where I do not need a long focus lenght so much. As a supportive accessories I use various belts and attachments that allow me to reduce time for handling with a quick snapshot to minimum. The belts and accessories I usually use are made Bgrip and Peak Design, which I highly recommend to every photographer who is “on the way”. Apparently I use Kata Bag DR467i knapsak and overarm triangle one-belt bag for lenses and accessories.
Ryszard: My day to day photography workflow is restricted to my travel timetable, which is setup and limited to 2-3 trips a year. My recent work does not allow me to do photographs every day. But when travelling I fully adjust my daily schedule and plan to photography activities. In general I travel to do photography. Therefore all the aspects of every trip of mine must be fully sacrificed to photography. Ideas are around us everywhere. The point is to be in a right moment in a right place. So I pack my knapsack and go with my camera attached on the side or belt ready for “shooting” in every moment. I realize that in many situations I have to offer something for my “models”. Therefore I have always small gifts, sweets or lollipops in my cargo pockets or be ready even to give away a part of my staff sometimes like boots, jackets or trousers.
L&C: Thank you, Ryszard, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.