Travel is not only going the distance but journeying inside your soul. Maciej Cieslak travel photos have stunned National Geographic (winning the ‘Great Photo’ contest) for it has not only featured the beauty of photography but the lifetime change travel photography can give you.
The photographer studied Physics and Economics but his passion for travel has made him grew a strong love for photography. In one his lonely journeys to Africa, something life-changing has found him.
“I decided to go to Africa on a lonely journey. I’ve never been in Africa. It was to me a world different to mine. Said to be dangerous but also captivating.”
He has been to Africa for 3 times and every visit brings along stories and photographic narratives. His work is powerfully comprised of portraits – usually in black and white. In one of his interviews, he funnily shared that people of Maasai has once had this amusing encounter with him. On his second trip there, he brought printed photos of them during his first trip. The people told him, “We’re already black… why do you like taking black and white photos of us? We have colourful clothes!”
His photographs have this purity in them – each sharing a very tender and genuine story of a moment in a culture. Cieslak shares, “First you forget that you have a camera and stay with them. It’s difficult, because your hand itches”. To be with your subject, to ‘tame’ them with natural ways is an effective way to capture the most candid images.