Interview with Marcin Ryczek, 1st place to The International Photography Awards 2014

A Man Feeding Swans in the Snow

Interview with Marcin Ryczek, 1st place to The International Photography Awards 2014

Danyel: How did the idea of the picture “A Man Feeding Swans in the Snow”?

Marcin: I have been looking for an image in the real world for a long time, an image that can reflect the state of balance. The search for this motive comes from the afterthought on my personal life and certain inner peace I wanted to portray. During one of my photo walks I noticed the symbol of balance which may refer to yin and yang concept. The snow cut with a straight waterside line from the dark water, was something I had been waiting for, the symbol of balance, distinguishing and acceptance of the existing positive and negative aspects of life, which are needed to keep certain state of harmony. Next, the only thing to do was to wait for a situation that would fill the frame, without leaving the two contrasting spaces. On my consecutive visits, I managed to catch the moment which completed the whole frame perfectly. In this way the photo was born, however, anybody can interpret the photo in their own way.

Danyel: What was your impression in the moment when you see the picture in the camera display immediately after shooting?

Marcin: When I took the photo I felt joy and satisfaction that I managed, with the use of visual tools, to capture a thought that has been growing on me for a while. I only took 4 photos at that time, still I knew it was the image I desired. I was really pleased and had a feeling I took a good photo, although, I couldn’t predict the picture will get such a positive feedback from the audience all around the world.  

Danyel: Did you ever think to win this award and that all the world to see your photo? Now that it has happened what changes caused this photo towards your work?

Marcin: I have been into photography and graphic arts for a long time. Surely – like most photographers – I intended to make my photos recognizable, different from the ones I’ve already seen. I wanted to elaborate on my own unique style. I had high hopes to achieve it. However, I never predicted it would happen so fast and to such an extent. I found my own style in the metaphoric minimalist symbolic photography.  The popularity of my photo “A Man Feeding Swans in the Snow”, as well as other pictures maintaining similar “climate”, proves that it is worth to look for your own original devices, identical with what you feel inside. “A Man Feeding Swans in the Snow” with its worldwide success and warm feedback from the audience all over the world as well as valued professional photographers, have motivated me to further work and creation of new consistent images. It has reassured me that I’m heading in the right direction and have found my own path of artistic development. I’m happy that some other works of mine appeal to people as well, sometimes even more than my most famous photo, they are published and receive awards. I believe it all comes down to the fact that I don’t get artistically distracted and create a coherent portfolio. It allows me to present my works all around the world at exhibitions and photo contests. The possibility of a direct contact and dialogue with the audience is the greatest professional prize I could ever get.


Marcin Ryczek