My name is Tomasz Szulczewski but my English-speaking friends call me Tom. I was born in Poland and I still live there, although most of the time I’m away. I’m a professional seafarer, meaning that I spend pretty much half of my life at sea. It does have some obvious (and not so obvious) pros and cons…
I picked up my first camera over a quarter of century ago, at the age of 10 (or thereabout). It was a Russian replica of Leica – Zorki 4 and I got it from my dad, who showed me how to take photos and then how to develop them. Those were the times of BW photography and… lack of good equipment and supplies. I’ve never signed up for any workshops or took any lessons. It was all a series of hit-and-miss experiments, both in the field and in the bathroom that was serving as a makeshift darkroom (much to my mother’s dismay). My biggest dream at the time was to have a lightmeter…
Now, fast forward to early 90’s: World has changed and 1hr photo lab services are around every corner. Colour photography is having its prime time and I’m finding myself looking more and more towards SLR field. Few years later I’m faced with a challenging task of learning this advanced photo editing software: Photoshop 3.51 (without CS but with layers!). Like with every diligent student, where’s need there’s… coffee. It was then, that I’ve learned about sharpening, raster angles, masking and many more. In the photography field, the end of the century was time for shooting Velvia and dreaming of affordable drum scanner…
It was not until the year 2001 that digital cameras were finally able to produce acceptable pictures. My first digital camera was Fujifilm FinePix 2400z. No more film costs and instant results. Brave New World of digital photography was opening it’s gates… but I wanted more. Like with any point and shoot camera, with the small Fuji-thingy creativity was somewhat limited. Being a control freak like myself, I knew I needed digital SLR. In 2002 Nikon introduced D100 – the first DSLR that didn’t require selling a kidney on black market (although still rather expensive toy at the time). I bought it in October same year and embarked on a journey that still continues…
It’s difficult to describe or categorise my work. I’m not one of those “accomplished” photographers that have their own unique style. Landscape and travel photography is probably a term that will encompass the biggest part of my photographic art, but truth is that I shoot whatever catches my eye. My favourite subjects will always be people and nature and preferably the combination of both. I’m self taught, without any “official” artistic/photographic background. My work has never been widely published in any magazines nor had it won any contests. I guess it would help if I actually submitted some of it in the first place and I think I’ll finally pull myself together to do it. I simply never felt the need to do it. Being a professional photographer was always my dream, but as always, reality check was telling me otherwise.
It was like this until the day I decided to check what’s the whole fuss about Google+. At first I’ve signed up and… left it alone. I didn’t quite know what to do with it. Then I found “The Guide to Photographer’s Paradise”, a pdf guide written by Colby Brown and decided to give it another try. It was a rollercoaster ride ever since and I’ve been spending more time and energy on my photography than ever before. The results you can see on gallery pages of this site or in my streams on G+ and Facebook
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Mielno, Zachodniopomorskie, Poland