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Interview: Photographer Łukasz Spychała (Poland)

Can you tell us a little about you?

Hi, my name is Łukasz. I am 23 years old. I was born in Wrocław and live there. I study at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, but I spend my free time on photography. My stage name is “Koneser”.

How and when did you get into photography?

I have practised photography for 10 years,. I started taking photos at the secondary school. At that time I was a photojournalist in school paper “Klik”. I am very thankful to my form teacher, who show me school camera Pentax K10D... and that’s how it all began.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography is a way for life for me. Not in commercial meaning, but in the mental. This is my way to be fulfilled and to express myself. Also it helps to deal with difficulties of the everyday life. Finally it’s an adventure and way to meet remarkable people. That’s how I met my girlfriend, who is a model.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

For two years, I have been doing traditional, analog photography. But I prefer to call it hybrid, because after I develop A film, I don’t make prints in a dark room, but I scan a negative of the film and edit it in the Photoshop, in a digital form. Usually I take black and white photos, which I develop in my home dark room - bathroom. But sometimes, at my girlfriend’s insistence, I take some color photos. I public all of them with the frame of the negative, that’s my identification. Because of that I can’t crop a photo in post-production, because I would crop the frame – that’s why I need to focus on taking photographs, for example to keep photos straight and without any unnecessary things in a frame. I specialize in portraits and women nude. As my rebound, I like to go out and take street photos. Currently, I have started working at the long-term photography series.

Where do you get inspiration from?

My biggest inspiration is the world around me. My mood, which is an effect of everyday life, has also impact on my work. I usually prepare frames under the influence of stimulus, for example after I see interesting light or place.

Think you in advance what you want in the picture?

I try to take well-thought photos. Before shoot, I prearrange with model the main message of photos, styling and makeup, but while we are shooting, I make spur-of-the-moment things. I try to fit intention to specific model, based on conversation with her and what’s alive in me. I always strive to facilitate her to be herself. I want to show model in the real way.

Studio, on location or both?

Absolutely on location. I don’t like flash header. I like to slot model to space around me, to what I find. Usually I don’t wait for different light or interfere with space. It suits or not. But I like to study and analyse space at different times of the day, to make full use of the possibilities of the place on the photos.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Absolutely hobbyist. Since the very beginning of my adventure with photography, I have had a tenet, that I don’t want to make a living from taking photos. I think it can take away my joy of photography and creation. That thinking has the advantages. Thanks to that, from the beginning, I know that I need to find other, well-paid job, to freely photograph and do not worry about earning money. However, in the future I would like to organize workshops and trainings, but it is an effect of my need of knowledge sharing.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

Most of all, I remember one of many shoots with my girlfriend. It was a photoshoot,which we tried to do a few times. Everything happened in January, at a temperature of about 0 oC. In the middle of the night we rode in the taxi to take nudes with luminescent labyrinth - artistic installation. We had ridden to this place a few times to think about frames we wanted to take, to move from one frame to another, but we also analysed when and from what direction people could come. After preparation, we also took those photos several times - low temperature has obstructed our work, despite a blanket and a thermos with tea. And with an analog, medium format you can’t rush. Every time we came back to home, we had an ritual - a hot bath, tea with lemon and vitamin C, then straight to the bed. However it was absolutely worth and we don’t regret. One photo from this shoot, you can find on the next pages.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Mamiya, because, currently, I take photos with Mamiya RB67 Pro-S. But if I have to choose between Nikon and Canon, I choose Nikon. My first, previously used camera was Nikon D7000 and I have a big fondness to it. Now my girlfriend use it. Favorite lens? The kind that at the time can give me frame I imagine :) Most frequently I use Mamiya Sekor C 127mm f3.8, but I also have lens with focal length 65mm and 180mm. Accordingly they are equivalent of 62mm, 32mm and 88mm on the full frame.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

I think, that the most important is to stay yourself and don’t do anything, what you don’t feel. Photography comes from the heart and mind and you need to let it lead you and don’t analyse too much. You need to strive to discover your own style, which means to find yourself. When you start a business, you should analyze the market, especially local one and think about niche, something what is missing right now. You work better and develop, when there is no competitive pressure.

What do you think of our new magazine?

It is a great dose of inspirations and ideas. When man has a moment of doubt about himself and worth of his work, he needs to find inspirations. The interviews help to feel a connection with people, who inspire us and are our role models. It can be a huge impulse and motivation to take the actions. Magazine shows diversity of photography and thanks to that everyone can find something for himself.

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