Interview

Short story about photography

Why nature photography?
Since my childhood, I’ve always been interested in nature. I grew up in a big city so I  missed contact with wildlife all the time. As a young boy, I could watched jackdaws and wagtail feeding in grass behind my block of flats by hours. At primary school I started to write my diary of every single excursion to the countryside. It helped me remember these exciting moments spent in the field. Soon I discovered much better way to save my wildlife memories – photography! That’s how it started.
What’s best about it?
I’m lucky that nature photography has become my life-time passion. It gives me very healthy distance toward daily life and people. My passion helped me survive difficult moments in the past and gives me the power to go on at present. Moreover, when you take a deeper look into intimate life of other creatures, you start taking care about your own one J.
What’s worst about it?
Permanent luck of sleep. I cannot sleep when I plan my projects. I don’t have a time to sleep when I realize them and then I cannot sleep again when I think about the opportunities I missed and things I could have done better J.
Favourite species and favourite place in Europe?
Certainly, Poland, my homeland. I love to work in the environment that I know and understand. It helps me get closer and deeper into the life of many native species. The more I experience Polish nature, the better I see how many things is still ahead of me. There are enough exciting subjects to stick to my country for the rest of my life! I deeply believe that “wild wonders” can be found everywhere, even in our backyards. It only depends how many efforts we put to discover them. For the past ten years, I have been concentrating on my project of photographing big Polish predators in the wild – wolf, bear and lynx. It is definitely the toughest and the most thrilling assignment I have ever undertaken.
What’s in the bag?
Since the beginning I have been using Canon as its equipment has never failed me. At present I use two camera bodies EOS 5DsR and whole bunch of lenses: 600/4 II IS, 300/2.8 IS, 70-200/2.8 II IS, 100-400/3.5-5.6 II IS, 100/2.8 IS macro, 16-35/4 IS. I don’t have a flash lamp in my bag, as I tend not to use artificial light in nature photography.
Your specialties / skills?
I can call myself European photographer, as I deliberately decided to focus only on European nature.  I’m specially devoted to photography of animal behavior and interactions between species. I try to stick to one place or one species for years in the quest for the decisive moment. While in a hide, I stay there as long as possible without leaving, very often days or even weeks. It lets me assimilate with the nature around.
What will you do in your next life?
Be a wolf or a bear, to better understand it!

Best Picture:
Grey Wolf (Canis Lupus). Carpathian Mountains, Poland. About 100 packs of wolves still strive along Polish eastern borderland. Although now strictly protected, population is declining due to illegal hunting. December 2006, Bieszczady, the Carpathian Mountains, south-eastern Poland
What’s cool about it?
One year of preparations, 300 hours of non-stop waiting in a small hide and 3 minutes to fulfil my dream of photographing wild wolf in Poland. For me, these are very special 3 minutes of my life.
Could it be better?
Certainly it is not my best picture, but in contrary to many others I’ve taken, it has that huge emotional essence that I am looking for in wildlife photography.
Behind the Scene:
It was interesting experience, waiting in a hide for so long and witness how wolves were slowly accepted our presence. For the first time, we noticed them on a third day, as female with cubs approached a hide in a daylight. We didn’t dare to take any picture. We were too afraid  not to scare them off. We didn’t know that for the next chance we will have to wait for another 10 days…
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