Chicago native Stan Nalewski likes to think of himself as a visual listener, becoming a passive bystander to observe the world around him.
“By doing so, new people, places and moments present themselves as my subjects,” said Nalewski. “Being able to see the world and capture new and incredible places describes me in my element.”
His black and white photograph of nuns walking along a pier made an impression on our judges, and got him to this next round in our 2017 Photo Contest. Take a look at some his shots below, and vote for your favorite of our finalists.
T+L: How would describe your style of photography?
Stan Nalewski: First and foremost, I am always trying to tell a story with my photos. Above all, I hope that is my style: a storyteller. Beyond that, I think style is really influenced by my personality and my past experiences. I am an observer. My style is inviting, but also moody. I love to use existing elements with a unique perspective to enhance a scene and bring it to life.
T+L: What do you look for when looking for a great shot?
SN: Light, layers and lines. These things together create great dynamics in a photo. If I am able to get all three of those in one shot, I have created something strong. To me, this is what makes a static photo really move.
T+L: What do you think makes a great travel photographer?
SN: A great travel photographer has the ability to simplify a scene. They can take a place that everyone has seen countless times and capture a new perspective that makes you feel like it is your first time seeing it.
T+L: Do you have a favorite photo or photographer that has influenced your work?
SN: Henri Cartier-Bresson and Saul Leiter. HCB was a master story teller. His work draws you in until your eyes are examining every element, every inch of the photo. Saul used color and composition so effectively, which is something I strive to do when I'm out taking photographs.
T+L: Tell us a little about yourself as a photographer.
SN: I am a Chicago native and like to think of myself as a visual listener. As a photographer, I believe this is a critical skill - to be able to listen to the world around you. Rather than crafting artificial moments, I strive to simply observe. By doing so, new people, places and moments present themselves as my subjects. Chicago serves as my most frequent backdrop, where I slip into my role as a bystander. Being able to see the world and capture new and incredible places describes me in my element. There is nothing like stepping into a new environment and being able to photograph moments that will be held in time forever.