“I like to present myself as ‘Unknown Street Photographer’,” Bastex replied when I asked if he wanted to share his full name in this article. A true master of street photography (in my opinion), Bastex has been taking pictures ever since he received his first camera at age seven as a Communion gift, an Olympus AF-1. “The first pictures were awful,” he recalled, “but it was love at first sight.”
His skills developed (pardon the pun) on their own through practice, books, and a few short workshops with professional photographers. He doesn’t think anyone really needs to pursue a formal education in order to be a skilled photographer.
It’s incredible to think that he is self-taught when I look through all of the amazing shots displayed in his DeviantART gallery. His artfully composed street photography and photojournalism capture intense scenes of war reenactments in his neighborhood of Niepołomice, Poland, as well as stunning moments of daily human life that somehow always seem to enrapture and transport the viewer directly to the place Bastex captured the shot.
The intense contrast and carefully composed style in his pictures is what first captured my interest when I came across his DeviantART gallery years ago. I’ve always had a love for black and white photography and artwork, and the way he carefully edits his images using Lightroom and Google Nik Collection plugins is just stunning. He likes to use his old DSLR Nikon D5000 most of the time, but he also has a mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M10. He only uses natural light in his photography.
When asked what influenced him to pursue photography, he replied “There was not any external impulse. I just always knew that it’s something that I love. I use photography as a tool to express myself, like Richard Avedon said; “My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph”.”
He went on to cite Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Andre Kertesz, Ernst Haas, and Josef Koudelka as his inspirations. “Their work influenced me a lot. Their pictures made me aware of the beauty of simple everyday scenes,” Bastex said.
Featured Image at the top of this article page: “Tension”, by xBastex on DeviantART