Interview with Rafal Maleszyk
#1 Please introduce yourself
My name is Rafal Maleszyk I am from Poland, when I was 19 I started to travel through Europe, lived in Spain, Austria, The Netherlands later moved to California. For the past 4 years I have been living on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
When first started to travel abroad I wanted to share all interesting places I see with my family and friends. I have seen an exposition in the Centro Cultural in Palma de Mallorca by Sebastiano Salgado, large format black and white prints of children. I must say this was the day I decided photography is for me. I learn by recording images, even when I am learning languages I have to see the written version of the word before I can remember it. This was just natural that photography became huge part of my life.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
I have experimented with many different artistic mediums before photography became the primary. I have worked for German artist on the island of Mallorca working in stone, taken photography class in Palma de Mallorca, I have taken art classes in Vienna as well as San Francisco, California. I have designed and built wooden tables as well as worked with acrylic paint. My photography benefits largely from all this experimentation.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
Joan Miro, M.C.Escher, Vincent van Gogh, my wife and my daughter.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
I love art because you can do anything, anytime. Art gives me freedom to do what I feel like at the giving moment. Of course a lot of times the process of creating a photograph is a laborious task, it takes countless hours of searching for the perfect location then right point of view, then the light. Sometimes I have to go back to the same place several times. Since I have started to do Plastic Landscapes I had to learn what kind of plastic to use, how long it is going to take me to prepare it and of course collected after I am done. A lot of things have to come together and connect. Nature does not give us the great spectacles every time we go out, it take a lot of patience and searching before we can witness something spectacular. It is all about being in the right place at the right time with the precise skills, right equipment and positive energy, when all this factors come together I might be lucky to create something good.
#6 What fascinates you in places that you shoot?
I use to photograph remote places; unknown landscapes would wake up this unstoppable desire to record what I see. I do not have to travel to the moon to see the exceptional uniqueness of the landscape, just crossing a border of a country or a state is enough. Hawaii has been a little bit different; I have not left for 4 years now and can not get enough of diversity, light and nature of this magnificent place.
#7 We can see your photographs only in black and white, why have you chosen to present them in this form?
Black and white is where photography has originated. It is the best way to expose the most important visual elements of a photograph. Without distractions, the viewer can appreciate: contrast, light, composition and texture.
I am working on a new project in color, something very different from what I have done so far.
#8 Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
I use digital Hasselblad camera, it gives me the best detail and the lenses are superb. I use Optica One Paper, it is very unique paper, archival quality, very original in photography but just exceptional results. I offer different sizes and limited editions. This year I will be offering edition of 1.
#9 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
Excellent? 🙂 Haha. Thank you. Decide what you want to pursue, make sure you love it, try to focus in just one subject, I know I said art is freedom but before you can enjoy it you have to understand what works for you. Learn not just photography techniques but art in general. Work hard and be open for new ideas. After you reach the level you like, work another 10 years and maybe you understand that you have few good photographs and now you are ready for something serious. Remember, it is all about details. Small, tiny details is what makes greatness, not just in photography.
#10 What do you do in your life besides photography?
Kitesurf in waves, 5 hours a day if I could. There is very few things as rewarding in life as a smile of my daughter, solitude with camera and Nature or riding waves.
#11 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
Continue to work on black and white classic landscapes and Plastic Landscapes. My new color project should be ready by the end of this year.
My work exhibited permanently at large museums around the world , that would be accomplishment.
Rafal Maleszyk Official Website: