Far East in Black and White is a creative photography collection by Martin Stavars. He was born in 1981 in Czestochowa, Poland. He studied economics, computer science and photography, ultimately focusing on the latter. Martin specializes in black and white cityscapes, landscapes and night photography. He and his camera have visited more than 20 countries, with Asia and generally far east holding the key spot with the most visits and inspirations.
His work has been recognized in numerous international competitions – he has been named the ‘Architecture Photographer of the Year’ at the International Photography Awards in New York, and received the ‘Grand Prix’ at the Image International in Canada and Hei Ming Prize in Tokyo. He has also won the first prizes in the 2008, 2009, and 2011 at the International Photography Awards in New York. Martin currently is the managing editor of ND Magazine (www.nd-magazine.com).
I’ve always been fascinated by landscapes – places that are absolutely desolate, where I can stay one on one with nature. For me, the growing joy right before pressing the shutter button as well as the possibility of interacting with the world filled with inspiration is as important as the creative act itself. This initial fascination has rapidly grown into obsession that eventually took control over my life.
Since the beginning of my adventure with photography, every landscape has been an unforgettable experience, thanks to which I’ve learned how to interpret light – the single most important (and the single most waited for) factor that shapes my images. On the other hand, lighting is directly connected with another key element of photography – luck. Proper weather, interesting cloud patterns or even a couple of sunrays breaking through the clouds, have many times decided that after a couple of failed attempts I was able to reach a satisfactory effect the moment nature displayed her most unpredictable face.
Lately, my interests widened to cityscapes, where I pursue qualities characteristic to nature – harmony and peace. As it is getting harder to find traits like that in our more and more hectic world, while taking pictures in the biggest cities in the world I had to develop the most important virtue of a photographer – patience. That is one of the reasons why there are usually no people (or only their silhouettes) on most of my photographs. But such character of my work is also a result of other factor. Whereas taking pictures with the main focus on a person involves emotions that are relatively easy to define, depicting an empty street or portraying pulsing nature usually requires qualitatively different feelings that have to fill in for the missing elements, thus making such photograph something more than a simple document.
- 2011 – 1st place in Cityscapes category on International Photography Awards (IPA), USA.
- 2010 – 1st place in Nature category on International Photography Awards (IPA), USA.
- 2010 – Hei Ming Prize at International Filter Photo Contest, Tokyo, Japan.
- 2010 – 3rd place in Nature Trees category on PX3, Paris, France
- 2009 – Grand Prize winner of Image International Photo Life contest, Canada.
- 2009 – 1st place in landscape category at Fotopolis contest, Poland.
- 2008 – Lucie Awards Nominee, Discovery of the Year: Finalist. New York, USA.
- 2008 – IPA Architectural Photographer of the Year 2008. Los Angeles, USA.
- 2008 – 1st place in Historic Architecture category on International Photography Awards (IPA), Los Angeles, USA.
- 2008 – 2 x Honorable Mention in PX3 2008 competition. Paris, France.
- 2007 – 1st place Architecture & Urban Sight on VIPC2007. Venice, Italy.
- 2007 – VIPC Best Young Photographer. Venice, Italy.
- 2006 – Grand Prix – Moja Czestochowa, Poland.
Selected publications and Exhibitions
- 2011 – Photographer Magazine, Interview, Ukraine
- 2011 – Photobulletin magazine, Portfolio, Bulgaria.
- 2011 – Photographer’s Companion, Portfolio, June, Beijing, China.
- 2010 – Refoto, Article and Portfolio, October, Serbia.
- 2010 – Soura Magazine, Portfolio, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- 2010 – Foto Magazine, Portfolio, Poland.
- 2009 – Parteaguas magazine, March, Mexico.
- 2009 – Fotografia & Aparaty Cyfrowe, Interview, February, Poland.
- 2008 – I-Mag Magazine, Interview, October. Philippines.
- 2008 – Soura Magazine, Portfolio, September. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- 2008 – Digital SLR Photography Magazine, Portfolio, October. England.
- 2008 – Practical Photography Magazine, Interview, August. England.
- 2008 – Amateur Photographer Magazine, August. England.
- 2008 – Asian Photography Magazine, Interview, May. India.
- 2008 – Idea PHOTOS Magazine, Interview, May/June. Taipei, Taiwan.
- 2012 – Galeria WOAK – Bialystok, Poland
- 2012 – Visual Arts Gallery – Lewiston, USA
- 2012 – Galeria Prospero – Lublin, Poland
- 2012 – Fairfields Arts Centre – Basingstoke, United Kingdom