My first photo

Every artist has to start somewhere, but the journey takes you often to a direction which you have never imagined.

For me, pursuing a career in photography was never an option simply because it was practically unattainable in my country. So, despite artistic interest I was pursuing, music, drawing, secrets of human soul, trying a photography had never crossed my mind. Actually, the first camera I have ever seen in my life was manufactured in the Soviet Union Smena. It just happened that we had one at home. Still, for a small child it seemed to be more like a mysterious, magic object; one, which only people who acquired special knowledge could have access to. Not to mention that Smena was a particularly bad model.

Therefore, the first time when I really had a chance to practice photography was during my Master’s program in Art History. For one of our assignments from Photojournalism, we had to take pictures of Lublin’s architecture. For the first time, I could watch the world around me through a camera lens. However, when I saw a Roma woman sitting in between two pillars in the Lublin Cathedral, I knew that it was exactly what my rebellious soul was searching for.

Maybe it was the way that the rays of sun enlightened her whole figure, that grabbed my attention. Or maybe this particular scene just happened to look almost though as taken from a painting. For a second, my camera enabled me to secretly sneak into the world of this woman, and capture a piece of it through my photograph. Later, I called this image, ‘In between’.

In fact, my lecturer really liked the photo. He expressed his delight, declared that I have an eye for photography, and encouraged me to develop my skills further. With an analogue camera (Canon) borrowed from my brother, I spent almost every morning wandering around an old cemetery, which I passed on my way to college. I would look for the best sculptures, wait for the best light, and try many different settings and combinations on my camera. Even though I did not have much money, all my savings were spent on processing my photo films. I have kept some of them, and they still remind me of my youthful passion and enthusiasm. Now, taking photos is like breathing for me. Something which you do unconsciously, naturally. Even though my work is far from being perfect in many ways, showing beauty of the world as I see it, expressing this reality through my imagination, is what I NEED in my life. My soul is nourished when I can observe and contemplate beauty. While now and again, I am able to transfer it through a photo, sometimes it remains only a memory.

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