Kacper Kowalski: taking photography to new heights

Kacper Kowalski is a trained architect who gave up his career to pursue his true passion – photography.

Kacper combines his love for photography with his love for flying. He points his lens down from the sky and capturs some of the most incredible aerial photographs of the Earth.

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Born in Poland in 1977, Kacper dreamed of being a pilot – like a lot of little boys do. Except Kacper fulfilled his dream and got his license to fly planes and started flying as soon as he got the chance. The panoramic sights he was able to see stirred his emotions.

“From above, the complex relationship between nature and humans becomes more visible,” explains Kacper. “I started exploring this relationship in my photos, and asking questions through my work. Is this virgin landscape or has the land adapted to human needs? What is the natural environment for human beings? Things like that.”

Kacper never uses a drone, and the camera is never remote controlled. Flying solo, Kacper takes time to reflect, and captures his images, usually of Poland, about 150 metres above ground. His work offers a graphic and sometimes abstract portrait of civilization and nature.

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More recently, Kacper has begun incorporating his architectural background into his work, designing and creating composite images. “Architecture was a big part of my life, it was a huge passion of mine, and still is,” explains Kacper. “When you’re designing any architectural structure, the first step is to understand the location and context, and as a photographer, I use the language of drawing. And just like with architecture, my audience is wide and my subject is civilization.”

His aerial photography and composites were published in his first photography book titled Side Effects. The book’s cover featured a heat-sensitive colour changing ink, representing the lucid impact humans have on the world’s landscapes.  “Documentary was easy; it was just simple observation,” Kacper adds, “but I’m not neutral any more, and I feel good with it.”

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Kasper’s work has gained him international recognition as well as a number of awards at the Sony World Photography Contest. But for Kacper, the content of the pictures is the less important than the reflections and reactions that arise from looking at it. “I 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,” explains Kacper.

To learn more about Kacper and his work please visit his website.

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