Lukasz Biederman

Where are you from/based now?

I was brought up in Szklarska Poreba, a small town in the Polish mountains. Currently I live and work in Wroclaw.

What is your background in Photography? What got you started?

I started photography during my studies - though I studied economy and industry and my courses and photography had nothing in common.
I looked for my own style for a long time and I tried to ascertain what is the matter that I actually wanted to photograph. I looked at thousands of pictures – in galleries, books and on the internet. I changed my cameras many times, switching from analogue SLR 135mm, through digital SLR, analogue Holga, medium format 6x6, 6x7cm – to a large format 4x5”. I believe that all these activities somehow helped me to discover my own style in photography.

What equipment do you use?

At the moment I’m mainly working with two cameras: medium format Mamiya 7II (6x7”) and large format Toyo Field 45A 4x5”. I use standard lenses – 65mm + 80mm for Mamiya and 90mm + 135mm for Toyo.

What are your feelings on Film Vs Digital?

I love shooting on film and there are many reasons for that.
For example, I believe that the analogue technique helps me concentrate better when taking pictures. The limited number of exposures in a roll of film requires careful preparation before I decide to shoot – especially when working with a large format camera. It requires composing the frame of a future picture in my mind – even before setting the camera.
I also choose film because of some ‘magic’ around it. For example, I love waiting for my negatives to be developed. Before I get the films back from a photo-lab I bring all the frames I shot to my mind and try to imagine what they will look like in print.
And last but not least, analogue cameras cost much less in comparison to digital ones - thus I can afford using medium and large format cameras for my non-commercial projects.

Do you have a creative process? Are your shots planned or spontaneous?

My shots are planned only to a certain extent. For my projects I usually try to find places, people and situations I am generally interested in, but the pictures are shot then spontaneously depending on how the situation develops. For example, working on my project The City Sleeps I drove my car for long hours looking for interesting places in suburbs, small towns and villages. The main idea was to depict empty urban spaces at night but I have never planned or arranged any single frame in detail – I just shot when I managed to find an interesting place.

Who or what inspires you?

Photography, music, films, books, paintings – and probably dreams as well.

Is there a particular photographer, site, set of images or a photo book that you keep coming back to for inspiration?

I love coming back to Andy Adam’s which is an enormous collection of inspiring works and photographers.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

I am working on a few projects at the moment – I depict people looking for repose, I try to describe my hometown in pictures, I illustrate Polish sanatoriums, I attempt to show Wroclaw from the riverside.

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