After being gone for so long and not having returned for a visit for the last three years, the changes to the city are immediate and impressive. Landmarks that I knew have disappeared and the skyline has shifted and grown with new additions. My last visit home was of a nostalgic journey and I pursued the ghosts of my memory to appease my sentimental appetite. This time though, I find myself more in line with needing deeper meaningful connections through friendships and family.
Even though the city has changed a lot, much of it remains the same and offer familiar streets to discover again, filled with a lush vibrancy of people hurrying about their day. Coming back here to photograph the city I find myself at first a bit lost with how to capture what I see, distracted by the towering buildings overhead and the streets filled with shadows coming from them. It takes some time to get used to the feel of it, but soon I find my pace behind the lens, utilizing the style I developed on the streets of Poland to guide me.
There is a foreigness to coming back to the city that I was born in and feeling something like a stranger, but toting the same camera I left here with and a style I developed behind the lens while I have been away, brings me comfort and confidence I didn’t have when I left. Visting all of the familiar and favorite haunts and street corners I have known over the years further establishes a sense of comfort and the observations become cathartic.
For the first time since I attended art school here in Seattle, I am shooting with film on these streets, excited by the thought of returning to Poland with a slew of film to develop and revisiting all of these haunts once again across the globe, back in Warsaw.
But I still have several weeks to shoot here and explore before I head back. Plenty more to enjoy and discover during these weeks with new and old and connections to make.
Tonight I have been invited to speak at the Edmonds Community College Photography Department to tell a bit about life in Poland and what photography means to me. I am very excited to have this invitation extended to me and is my first speaking engagement in the States. In an interesting full circle storyline, the gentleman who is the teacher of the course, Michael Wewer, taught my girlfriend Agnieszka many years ago when she lived in Edmonds. Years later, she taught me how to shoot using the knowledge she learned in his class, which I carried off to Poland. And now, I have returned to tell his class a bit about that process and close this circle.
Life is amazing, isn’t it?
Enjoy the images and thank you for stopping by. Cheers!