Humans of Krakow

#HumansofKrakow

To document a city, it's people, their histories

It has been a while since I was here...

Hope you have been well and all goes fine for you and have a great holidays plans... 

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Need to say so much has happened since my last post here and I am not talking here about the exhibition (by the way, thank you very much to all of you who came to the Opening Evening) but above all about the change that I can feel that comes to my photography; my perception of Street Photography, next steps, directions... 

A new Series of HumansofKrakow

As you may know, I have attended portfolio review; a great event that was organized as one of many events linked to Krakow Photo Festival. I opened my heart, my photography to five unknown people who turned out to be great source of inspiration. Their words, advise made me think about what I should do... And the outcome is that I am planning to create as much as possible (if time allows) series of photographs presenting #HumansofKrakow. It is not a new concept as it has been there for a while but it seems still uncovered here in Krakow. Maybe you will ask yourself why does he want to pursue this idea? Maybe because to create stories about people around us. People whom we do not know but we live in the same city. And I am really under impression how vibrant Krakow is, tourists, students, the citizens... 

Just think what American society would be if the images taken by Vivian Maier were never found?  Just look at her photographs - masterpieces she created about the simple life of people of Chicago, New York... 

Thus, if you think this is a good idea, get in touch please. Maybe together we can create something extraordinary. 

All the best and have a great holidays by the way! 

Wojtek 

 

Photography Exhibition

My first photo exhibition in Krakow

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The works will showcase black and white images of People in the streets of Polish and European Cities.

As a part of Photo Month Krakow, this will be the first photo exhibition in the history of Mercure Kraków Old Town hotel which was opened 1,5 year ago. Those who know me, I am a passionate photographer that focuses not only his camera, lens, eye but above all my heart on Life of streets where I live, visit or simply am. And it has been for six years now.

I have found his passion for this type of photography during one-week workshop in Morocco which I attended in 2012. In addition, I used to live in London that time where the multicultural aspect of British Capital gave me a full spectrum to master my skills to capture this Decisive Moment. And again, those who know, my main inspiration comes mainly from well-known Henri Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier.

I can describe my work not only by black, grey and white colours but above all the uniqueness. I try to present People at the very candid moment that in many cases will not happen again. This will be my 4th exhibition (first in Krakow). I have showcased my photographs at The Camera Club as well as at Jealous Gallery in Shoreditch, London. Now, you have an opportunity to see my work at Mercure Kraków Old Town hotel.

The Private Viewing is scheduled for 1st June 2018 at 7.00pm. If you plan to attend, please let know here
The Exhibition ends 15th June 2018. 

#FeelWelcome

This is for you, dear Street Photographers

Calling all Street Photographers

Happy to share your work here

Get in touch now to be featured

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.
— Henri Cartier-Bresson
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Dear Colleagues, Street Photographers! 

It has come to my mind when I was approached by Sebastian to present his work on my website that I should invite all of you who wants to share your best images with me to promote this unique photo discipline. Thus, if you are interested and want to showcase your work, feel free to get in touch via any channel you prefer and I will be happy to share your art here with my audience! 

Look forward to hearing from you! 

Wojtek

Gdansk through my lens

Explore a bit of Gdansk with me...

A city where Polish freedom was born!

A city with a great hunger for a better future...

It was in 2005 when I visited Gdansk last time... I have not been to Polish seaside since then. I remembered Old Town, the canal, river, the harbour but all seemed to be so blurry until mid February 2018 when I went to see my colleague and extended my stay over the weekend. Despite fairly cold days, together with my sister's family, we scrolled through streets of Gdansk. And need to admit, that was an amazingly nice surprise to see this city so open, free, tolerant and above all eager to develop, grow and become the most important harbour in Baltic Sea. 

For those who do not know, apart from what happened there on 1st of September 1939 - II World War broke up there, the city and its citizens; especially workers of Gdansk Shipyard with a great leader; Lech Walesa commenced a series of industrial actions that led to creation of Solidarnosc and later after horrible events; including the declaration of Martial Law in Poland, the beginning of the end of communism in Central Eastern Europe. 

Therefore, this visit to Gdansk really touched my heart. I realised how much history can be gathered in a fairly small town of Gdansk.  Currently, the city goes through a massive restoration. You can see the construction cranes almost everywhere. The city boosts with new investments that will create this place even better for the habitants as well as visitors. 

And for us photographers, it creates a place of so many opportunities. People are kind and nice. Open. Tolerant. It is mainly due to respect to the past and hope for the future. Please make sure you spend some good quality time at World War II Museum. 

Hungarian Capital in Black and White (a bit of colour this time)

Budapest - the City of Bridges

And Lights

It has been more than a week, since I have returned from business / leisure trip to Budapest which I visited for the first time in 2003 with my hotel mates. I have used this title: the City of Bridges as these constructions are simply amazing; all of them that connect the Buda and Pest, that hang proudly above very wide Danube River. 

The city of almost 2 million people, with great transportation links; buses, four underground lines and trams… these noisy moving orange machines add a great feel and look to the city. Someone who decided to keep them as they are was absolutely right. 

It is seen that the entire Hungarian life concentrate in the capital as the country does not have other large towns as Poland, Italy or the UK. It is evident, the city is one of the most important tourist destination in Europe / World. The hotel market is very competitive and almost all well-known hotel brands have their properties here.  The Capital is a very multicultural hug of Central Europe; more than Krakow in my opinion. 

What I felt the lack of is, the smile. People of Budapest (and please do not feel offended) do not smile, run away with their thoughts around their day. English language is well spoken around the city and thank God as Hungarian language is one of the most difficult ones and I did not understand any single word… 

If you have a chance, get on plane, bus, car and stroll down to Hungarian Capital. You will be nicely surprised as the city has so much to offer. City Clubbers, shopping bargain hunters and above all to night photographers (do not forget a stable and firm tripod).  

Winter in Krakow

Black and White Photography during a snowy day

Winter is here in Krakow

And the January time has created a great photo opportunity for all of us who make black and white photo stories. To be frank, it was a fairly nice photo walk, despite the snow and wind. Maybe because, I have not done any photo walks in a while. 

People walking, dogs barking and running, birds seeking any kind of food and peaceful calm despite the fact I was in the heart of Krakow. That makes me relaxed the best; camera on my neck, tranquility around and above scenery that cannot look better than in black and white.

See the photographs yourself! 

Year 2017 in pictures

Street Photography 2017 by me

Year 2017 in pictures 

It has been a good year… 

And of course, you can always tell, I wish I had taken more photos… and then you say, next year it will be different…I will go out more often and capture more… As I cannot commit to that yet, but for sure I will not give up on photography… 

Meanwhile, enjoy this video; Street Photography by me; Year 2017 in pictures and Happy New Year everyone!

Zakynthos through my lens…

A wonderful Greek island that looks the best in black and white.

It is also known as Zante; that name was given by Italians which were residing on this beautiful Greek island in the past. A very picturesque piece of land in the Ionian Sea that was so badly destroyed by massive earthquake in 1953 and therefore you will not find any architectural pearls there was chosen by me as my holiday destination late September this year. To be totally honest, I have never been on my holidays in that month and believe me that was the perfect time to explore the island. Why? Firstly, there was no crowds at all, secondly the weather was just perfect; not too hot, not too cold. As locals told me, August was a month of massive heatwave; very difficult to bear. The water temperature was just on spot and you could have an impression it is warmer being in the sea that out. It just kept the Summer sun under the surface.

I have mentioned earlier – no crowds and that was the best. I was able to scroll along the coast on my own or with a newly met colleague – Michał and we hardly met any people on the beaches. Taverns, cafes were literally empty what allowed me to relax even more. Greek people was so nice and welcoming “with open arms” and served an amazing food like Pandora Fish or pork chop with the taste that I have never tried before. However, with no offense I am not aligned with their attitude to life, I just would not be able to live like that, especially after ten years spent in London and now in Krakow.

Every morning, I could see more and more. Therefore, I did walk around a lot: Daphne Beach, the church of Saint Nicolas The lights, shadows, bright and dark areas around me. The mother nature has shown to me the amazing colours that I saw last time in 2012 during photo workshop in Morocco however my imagination has dragged me towards black and white areas mixed with vast variety of greys. You would say he is crazy, how on earth can you admire the beauty of this island in black and white and I will tell you what a new colleague Anna told me:

“Greece in black and white photographs awakes some kind of fear, as in full colours it looks so calm and these black and white photographs gives me goose bumps”

I cannot help it to be frank – I find this type of photographs more interesting. If you want to see Zakynthos in full colour, just see somewhere else. My inspiration were the light, the scenery and ambition to show you how I saw the island when was being there. If you have a chance, book a few days off and head on to Zante. A pure pleasure.

Lastly, I would like to thank the following; Ania x 2, Ola, Michal, Przemek and Marcin. You have made my week there an amazing one. 

Wojtek

World Photo Day at AccorHotels in Krakow, Poland

When your work dovetails with the passion...or you share your passion with work...

 Lobby area of Novotel Krakow City Wesst

Lobby area of Novotel Krakow City Wesst

As only I found about the role I hold at the moment, I instantly knew I would be able to use my photography skills, passion in my work but need to admit was not aware there will be so much involvement of it. And you know what... I really do not mind, even more, I love it. And I am not saying photo sessions for hotels which I cannot deliver but the chance to help the hotels with my own photography which I took over last years. And that moment has come quicker than I expected.

All mid-scale Accor hotels in Krakow celebrate the World Photo Day this week. Two Novotels and Mercure have special photography displays which are open to the public. Novotel Krakow City West has offered me kindly space in their lobby where some print outs are displayed. Mercure Krakow Old Town boasts a digital photo display on massive TV screens and finally, the lobby of Novotel Krakow Centrum is full of large boards with photographs taken by the artists gathered around IngersKrakow. So if you are around Krakow these coming days, pop into AccorHotels and see what is on. Do not hesitate to share your feedback. And do you plan to celebrate World Photo Day? If so, how? Let me know.

Till the next time,

Wojtek

Humans of Krakow

HUMANS OF KRAKOW

Faces of Krakow Heroes who support DEMOCRACY in Poland! 

Firstly, please forgive me this blog is in English but most of the friends are well spread across the globe and most of them understand this language. Secondly, I would like to apologise to all if I have published a photograph of you without your prior contest but I thought this is about something more than just show off my photography…

I present you here very, very few even a fraction of Heroes, Humans of Krakow who have been gathering for last six days to show to the World that they disagree with proposed changes within Supreme Court Legislation in Poland. They all know that these changes will bring Poland back where it was before 1989…

They do not dispute the reform of Legal Norms in Poland, even more, they support it but all of this must be conducted in accordance with Polish Constitution. Yesterday, they said it loud and clear; 3 times Veto for all three reforms and they urged President Mr. Duda to bin all of them.

Tonight, they will be gathering again, and I am sure the same happens in coming days… Please support us, share the message and do not lose the hope in us. Europe, the World, WE WILL BE BACK! 

In the name of Democracy in Poland

3 x VETO


In the name of Democracy in Poland!

Recent events and changes in Supreme Court Legislation pose a massive threat to Poland. Over last week, I have been out every evening to take an active part at Public Movements and Peaceful Protests. I have taken some shots which I am happy to share with you here. Believe or not but it is not easy to take photographs as emotions reach the sky. 

Thank you

I would like to thank you all for every comment, share, word of support. My country needs this very, very much. There is NO turning back to the times before 1989. NEVER EVER AGAIN! Toning I am out again. All we need now is 3 x VETO from our president to bin all these three new laws which put a knife in the back of Polish Democracy!. 

Stay well, take care of yourself and spread the words about the recent events in Poland. 

Till next time, 

Wojtek 

A Unique Exhibition

Igerskrakow and Novotel Krakow Centrum hotel present... 

#NKCINSTAMEET

How all this started?

A few years ago, a great friend of mine from London Camera Club suggested to me I should have the exhibition. As the offer was tempting, I was not sure if it was a good idea. Now, I can say the decision to have my work displayed at one of the oldest photo clubs in London was one of the best decision I have ever taken. The excitement around the preparations, selections of photographs, editing, sending out invites and finally the very day – the Private Viewing when friends and office mates as well strangers start to walk into the gallery to see your work… Priceless feeling… 

When all comes back...

Must say, last week I felt a bit the same, a bit because the location is different; it is in Krakow, it is not my solo exhibition but with other talented photo artists and the venue – the hotel that I had the opportunity to open 15 (!!!) years ago also with many other great hotel professionals. 

Can you imagine your photo life without #Instagram? I cannot… I really got addicted to this social media channel a while ago. And if you know there are many others Instagramers who share the same passion, the life is more beautiful. It is #Igerskrakow who I want to tell you about; a group of amazing people, so talented who see the world around us the most often not only via their smartphone cameras but in many cases in a funny, unusual way. I had this privilege to be among three other judges who selected 100 photographs out of 502 which are on display at Novotel Krakow Centrum hotel until the end of August 2017. You can see their work that they took during the first ever #nkcinstameet that we organised during mid-May event but also other masterpieces of our city of Krakow. 

This is a unique exhibition – much different from many others that can be found Krakow – #Igerskrakow has never had their work displayed till now. If you are in Polish Royal City this summer, try to find some time and head on to Novotel. Walk around the lobby and see this stunning collection.

#Igerskrakow at #NovotelKrakowCentrum

Appreciation...

Lastly, I would like to thank everybody who was involved in this amazing project. You have made my day, week, month – the ambition to bring the photography into one of the hotels that I work with and for.

Wojtek

Winter Street Photography

New Year, new photo opportunities... 

Hope 2017 has started well for you...  

Winter Street Photography in Kraków

Winter Street Photography; A man in Planty during snowstorm in Kraków. 

It has been a while since I posted here for the last time... Almost a month now but so much has happened since then. First of all, I got a new job and work as Guest Experience Manager for Orbis hotels in Krakow and I am based at brand new Mercure Krakow Stare Miasto hotel which was opened last September. I have settled in Krakow where I live now... Have to admit the return to Poland has been very smooth so far... 

Over last month I have met a great bunch of street photographers who share the same passion as I do for example Chris Wilson We have even laid some plans for some great activities in a new year. Sounds really exciting.  I am sure there will be much to do in the streets of Krakow with our cameras in hand.  What really made my day today was... snowfall... I know it may sound ridiculous but tonight's weather conditions in Krakow have caused unknown photo opportunities as I have never experienced before (there was no proper winter in the UK). A very low light (coming mainly from lampposts), reflected from snow, the pedestrians rushing home, seeking shelter from wind and cold created an amazing atmosphere that I just had to photograph. See the gallery here

I hope to be here more frequently as I dot not want and will NOT give up on my photography. If you have any suggestions, ideas please feel to share it with me via a contact form or in the comment field. And of course, any feedback on the shots from tonight are welcome... 

Until the next time, stay well and keep photographing...

Wojtek 

The Magic Place

Kraków Christmas Market

I had a very good day today… Why? Let me keep a secret for now but soon you will find out. When walking for the meeting with Pamela from Krakow Independent Photo Club, I decided to walk across the Market Square as there has been recently opened Christmas Market…

And again, Krakow as the city has surprised me so nicely… You do not need to go to Munich, London, Paris or Berlin. There is a beautiful Christmas Market there. With so many nice stalls full of Polish specialities like: pierogi, sausages, cheese, soups but also handmade regional products. You can also buy some amazing black and white photo prints from Lue Lue Gallery stall. You should really try some food and mulled wine (but not too much, believe me ;-) It was fairly difficult to walk around as the market was full of foreign tourists as well as the locals; who strolled along the market on the way back home. What must be noted, the weather was nasty as the winter is coming; cold wind and snow. Despite it, the atmosphere was amazing… for sure will come back there again.

The reason I am writing this is to bring your attention to the beauty of this Magical Place. The market has caused so many great photo opportunities and again I noticed many people walking around with cameras “attached” to their eyes not mentioning these ones with smartphones in their hands (with or without gloves on).

If you are reading this blog somewhere in the world, please share it. Please tell the others about this Magical Place which has so much to offer not only to photographers. Also, let me know what you think about the Blog, photographs. Be honest. I am open for the feedback. Revisit my blog soon as I will be posting more in coming days.

Till the next time, stay sharp and keep photographing.

Wojtek 

The best Polish city for Street Photography

Street Photography in Krakow

Of course it’s all luck.
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

 Shadows of Krakow

Shadows of Krakow

It is almost one month since I have moved to Krakow after ten years in London. The UK capital was the city where my passion for photography was born. I held three great exhibitions across such places as London’s Camera Club and The Jealous Gallery (see here some captures from these great events). London Chinatown as well as Southbank were the places the most often visited by me. Also in London I made great friendships with great people; to name a few; Marta, Kadir, Gosia, Anna, Armando and more. I learnt a lot there, got a great life-experience and above found inspiration for Street and Travel Photography which is my main discipline. Before I moved to Krakow I was thinking what it is going to be like there, will I find the like-minded people, will I see (in terms of photography) what I have seen in London, Paris, Barcelona or Rome. And you know what, it has been three weeks now since I am in Krakow and I am so nicely surprised. I see so much, almost everywhere I go. I can see people with their cameras walking around and photographing not only the architecture of this beautiful city but also Street Scenes. The number of different photo events taking place in the city is enormous. Last Friday I visited an amazing LueLue Gallery; a place where I could stay the whole day and more. It was full of black and white photographs of Krakow and other locations with such an approachable staff open for new emerging artists; photographers, painters, interior designers etc.  For sure I will come back there again.

Despite the fact, I have left the best city in the world and all the best friends there, I am happy to be back here in Krakow. I am happy and look forward to photographing this beautiful city and I am sure I will not get bored as Street Photography is so unique and always offers candid moments to photograph.

I will say even more… I am super lucky to be back here again…

Finally, if I could ask you to give me your feedback, comment any advise or even tell me what you would like to see in my photographs. Challenge me and I will try my best to capture it for you. Stay tuned for more posts in coming weeks, months.

Wojtek