2015 Photo Contest, Long-Term Projects, Stories, 2nd prize

Side Effects

Photographer

Kacper Kowalski

Panos Pictures

13 August, 2011

51°30’45.34”N 16°10’48.80”E

Kacper Kowalski is a pilot and a photographer. 'Side Effects' is a documentary project about the complex relationship between humans and nature. The photos were shot either from a paraglider or a gyroplane, some 150 meters above the ground, mainly in the area around Gdynia, in Poland, where Kowalski lives. In this work, Kowalski explores answers to questions that deeply interest him: What is the natural environment for humans? Is it an untouched, virgin landscape? Or is it a landscape that has changed, adapted to human needs?

Kowalski sees his work as offering a graphic and sometimes abstract portrait of how civilization came into being. For Kowalski, the content of the photo is less important than the reactions, reflections, and ideas that arise when looking at it. He would like the project to be a starting point for discussion about what is good or bad, necessary or optional, in the relationship between humans and nature.

The camera is never connected to a remote control, and Kowalski never uses a drone. He wants to be up there, camera in hand. And he flies alone. That means he doesn’t have to explain anything, or rely on another person’s spatial imagination. It means he can fly precisely.

Side Effects is more a method of visual storytelling than a concrete set of pictures. It is an ongoing project that will continue to be modified.

About

Kacper Kowalski

Kacper Kowalski, born in 1977, was supposed to be an architect. Yet five years of studies and four of designing were more than enough for him. In 2006, he eventually quit his job...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/500
Focal length
35.0 mm
F-Stop
11.0
ISO
800
Camera
Nikon D3S

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