Last Updated on 03/12/2013 by Chris Gampat
All images shot by and used with permission from Martin Stavars
Martin Stavars is a born in 1981 in Czestochowa, Poland and has always been fascinated with landscapes. Martin specializes in black-and-white cityscapes, landscapes, and night photography and he has travelled around the world photographing cities. The photographs have won him many awards and they are now published in his book, “Megalapolis.”
Beautiful can’t begin to describe Martin’s work as the images hold elements of both simplicity and complexity due to the compositions. When you look at them, the words ghostly, beautiful, hypnotic, and dreamy come to mind. Take a look at the rest of his work after the jump. Also be sure to check out Neutral Density magazine, where Martin is the Managing Editor.
Martin uses a Canon 5D Mk II with Canon 17-40mm f4 L and 24-70mm f2.8 L lenses. Plus he totes around a Hasselblad 503cw with Hasselblad 40mm f/4 Distagon lens. Lastly he always uses ND and GND filters. He also always needs a tripod. “My photographs are available in limited editions on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl paper, their sizes ranging from 12”x12” to 40”x40”. Printed with Epson 11880.” states Martin.
Words from Martin:
“Photography is travelling to me, and travelling is always connected with taking photographs. When I began creating “Megalopolis”, I already had planned a few years ahead, with a precise list of cities that I wanted to visit in order to complete the project.
However the choice of what I take pictures of is mostly influenced by my fascination with skyscrapers. Every day I watch the evolution of over 170 different buildings in China, the Emirates, Korea or Malaysia. It’s an amazing feeling, being able to visit places whose growth I’ve been watching for a few years, being the witness to a gigantic expansion, seeing how the entire landscape changes from year to year, how new replaces old, and having the chance to immortalize those images before they become history entirely.
Scheduling is a key issue during any trip. First of all, I always try to take photos during similar weather conditions, with similar light, usually with the sky heavily clouded. To maintain the same form, I visited all of the towns in the beginning or in the end of rainy season, which is how I avoided heavy rainfall and heat, that can be very bothersome, especially in Asia. I always analyze the weather conditions history from the past few years in a given region, which allows me to choose the best month to visit that place. It’s the crucial element for the entire process: the forming of a new material depends on it. If the light isn’t right, I just don’t take any pictures. Sometimes you need to wait a few days for suitable conditions and other times you just have to come back another season.
Before I start taking pictures, I go on a tour through the city. At first I avoid public transport, I walk everywhere – it’s the best way of finding the most interesting places, that might remain hidden if we won’t stray from the main street. Every day I cover a distance of several kilometers. I’m also looking for places that are high above the ground – mostly hotel windows, public observation decks or terraces in restaurants. But usually I just benefit from other people’s kindness. For example, after a short conversation, two employees of one of the skyscrapers in Tokyo took me to their office on the 50th floor and allowed me to take photos. In Singapore I asked a man to let me into his apartment – thanks to him I had a wonderful view of the entire town from the top floor. In Busan in South Korea, while looking around I noticed people hanging out on one of the roofs. After talking to a security guard I managed to get in. It turned out to be a business party with a buffet in the open air. The guests were nice enough not to cause any trouble when I pulled out my tripod – they politely smiled instead.
Every city I visit is different, but it’s not my goal to capture its character. I’m looking for elements that will constitute the wholeness of an architectural form, to which a human is just an addition, a silhouette on the horizon or a smudge in a great crowd of passersby.”
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