Anna Niemiec - Photographer of the week

Anna Niemiec's work is diversified and covers many categories such as Street, Architecture and Abstract. Whatever the subject is, she always succeeds to make photographs with a tremendous mood. She quotes: I like taking photos of the city – empty streets at the break of dawn, which unveil the unexpected landscape of forms and figures. And that run of the mill routine of city’s life, when every second, caught by the lens of my camera, tells an untold tale.

Enjoy her story and discover why her images are so soulful. Thanks to Yvette Depaepe for conducting the interview.

 

 

I live in Szczecin, a Polish city. My adventure with photography started more than fifteen years ago.  I worked many years as a biologist in Maritime Institute – I indicated ichtio and zooplankton under the microscope for American Science Institutions.
I loved my job, but family was more important for me, so I left it. My children suffer from dreadful diseases. I devoted myself to my daughters’ rehabilitation.
When my daughters started school I suddenly had a lot of time to walk in the morning around the lake, which was in the neighborhood of the school. I was exploring the beauty of nature, enchanted with the colors of the autumn, morning mist, hoarfrost, and reflections in the water.

All this made me reach for my long forgotten compact camera. I started photographing with huge enthusiasm. Trees, ducks, reeds, branches… Then the subjects of my photos changed. My daughter went to junior high school, which was in the city center, so I took my camera to the Szczecin streets. And there I unexpectedly discovered my real photographic “Eldorado”. So many subjects! Never ending stories… Continuously changing picture of my city.

When I got my first reflex camera from my husband, I was immediately convinced that photography was my thing. I joined a large polish photography portal, I presented my photos and… I was ridiculed and criticized! Apparently, to the people there I had no idea about photography…  But did it stop me? Never! I started to research and put freshly gained knowledge into practice. I really needed someone who could point out my mistakes, but there was no one. 

Right now, looking form a wider perspective I'm glad that I went through this path alone, depending only on myself, taught by trial and error, discovering my own way without any influence. I was ready to show my work on photographic sites once again– this time facing critical voices and mean comments, allowing them to only make me more motivated and better in my work. And then came the time when I started getting praise, honors and many kind words.

After two years of being online I finally dared, convinced by my husband, to show my photos on 1x. What was 1x for me during that time? A never ending source of inspiration, photographic world in which I could dive for many hours, planning another photo trip. It was my “dessert” for the evenings, so the next day, when I grabbed my camera and went into the cityscape I could make better shots. And it worked!

I was extremely happy, when my first photo was approved for publication on 1x .

 

Where my explorations took me? To the streets! Concrete, rails, paving, balconies, windows, trams, pavements, small streets crossing and parting... I'm looking for compositions emerging from lines and urban constructions, sometimes quite unexpectedly. I try to capture something nice to look at, but also surprising, especially for locals. When I see their astonished faces and hear “Is it really Szczecin?” I can't be more content.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When a man appears in the picture, the entire photo gets a different meaning. A story came to life. The man I see in my lens is a part of the cityscape. He's combined in lines of the geometry and city structures. It's just a fraction of a second – figure on the street, his shadow on the wall, a running man’s leg, and reflection in the window. That second is not a definite record – captured in frame it gets its own life. The man keeps going – I have a trace of a story that never happened, but came to existence in the viewer’s head.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


I love and always did love watching works of other photographers. I'm a huge fan of Laura Mexia work. Her subtle way of looking into complicated cityscape is delightful.  I like Paulo Abrantes way of perceiving. I admire sterile photographs of Huib Limberg. I always watch surreal images with great pleasure by Ambra. Urban portraits Tatsuo Suzuki are amazing. How much vision there can be in still lives by Jacqueline Hammer. Wonderful landscapes, but also portraits by my polish friend Mark Biegalski... I could go on and on, without end.
 
My equipment consists of a Canon 6D  (wonderful camera for a woman). Lenses - canon 24 – 105mm, f4. Canon 70 - 200, f4. Lensbaby 50mm, Sigma 80 mm, f1,4.

Favorite piece of my own work? There is one - “little longings, quiet daydreams”. It's a title of beautiful polish songI made it on a very early morning by the polish seaside. Empty beach, sea whispers, camera in my hand – it's the best moment to forget about the surrounding world and...daydream...

 

What photography is for me? It's my way to clean my mind and forget about tough everyday life. It's pure pleasure and a source of energy. Energy, which is so essential in fighting the destructive, cruel diseases haunting my children. It is fulfilling. Now I couldn’t live without it. The only regret is that I discovered it so late and I won't have enough time to do a whole lot more.

What’s my photography? It's the joy of small things. This is what life taught me.

What awaits me? I'm preparing my first exhibition.

What are my plans, my dreams? I'd really want to write a book, but there's still too little time... I also dream of releasing an album about my city.

My advice for beginners – watch lots of beautiful photos, don't let critical voices let you down, but learn from it and what's most important – make photographing your joy.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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