Piotr Wyszyński has grown up with “the camera” as an ever-present object in his life. He inherited his mother’s enthusiasm for photography and began exploring the craft more seriously in high school. As a young student in Kraków, Poland his photographs represent the snapshots of his varied life and travels including images of family, friends, sporting events and concerts. Currently studying at Krakowska Szkoła Filmowa (Krakow Film School), he’s able to explore his two passions of film and photography, which he hopes to transition to a successful career. Here Piotr shares his story in this first part of our interview with him.
Q: What is your photographic philosophy?
A: Generally, I try to keep my photos simple. I believe that often, less is more.
Q: When did your interest in photography first develop?
A: When I was growing up, thanks to my mom who was a great photography enthusiast, the camera has always been present in our house and at all important family events. That’s why I practically can’t imagine my everyday life without it. I did, however, start to photograph more consciously in high school, as I was growing up and getting more independent.
Q: Do you have any formal training in photography or are you self-taught? Are there any photographers that inspire your work?
A: I would say I am self-taught. In general, I haven’t followed any formal education nor did I have any mentor. The only training I’ve had was a photography workshop organized by the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University in Kraków. That is where I first came across names such as Henry Cartier-Bresson, Weegee, Robert Frank and Richard Avedon. It’s their work that I find inspiring, as well as the style of cinematography popular in movies from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Also, there are a few websites that I check daily including Magnum Photos, Reuters Pictures and Burn Magazine.
Q: Are you hoping to become a professional photographer?
A. I’m definitely an enthusiast, but sometimes I do smaller jobs such as photographing interiors for an architecture studio. I do consider going pro, but I’m not sure in what field because I enjoy photojournalism and portrait photography. I also have to admit that I’m really into filmmaking (I’m studying Direction/Screenplay) and consider this as a career as well. Photography is an integral part of my everyday life. It would be great if my source of satisfaction also became a source of income.
Q: What genre are your photographs?
A: It’s hard for me to choose just one. Every type of photography focuses on different aspects (details, esthetics, subject) and that’s why it has so many possibilities. I mainly enjoy doing street photography and portraits. I’d also like to explore photojournalism a bit further because so far I haven’t had much chance.
Q: How did you first discover Leica?
A: When I was learning about the masters of photography, I found out that quite often they used Leica equipment. Apart from journalists, it was also popular among fashion photographers who, thanks to the fact it that combined handiness and quality, could escape their studios and leave their overly complicated, heavy equipment behind. It was Leica’s practical simplicity that attracted me. Especially, when I saw the Leica II or III during the lectures and compared those to the last camera that I bought — a multi-functional soulless object with millions and millions of megapixels, shipped to me in a box which resembled the one I got with my running shoes. Then I felt not like an artist or war reporter, but more like a wedding photographer. I’m planning to switch to Leica MP and X1 sometime soon.
-Leica Internet Team