Aug 27, 2014

Featured Mobile Artist Wojtek Papaj

I never run out of talented people to interview from the mobile photography community. Today I present my interview with Wojtek Papaj. I believe Wojtek is the first Windows Phone user I've interviewed. 

© Wojtek Papaj
What is your name and where do you live?
WP:  My name is Wojtek Papaj. I live in Nowy Sącz - a small town in the deep south of Poland. This is a great country of mountains, woods, meadows and orchards.

How did you get started with mobile photography? What device do you use?
WP:  Photography attracted me for many years - I tried it with various cameras, even with SLR, but I've always had too little time - for photo walks, for editing etc. Just with my first smartphone - Samsung Wave, I realized that mobile photography is just what I was looking for. And with Nokia Lumia 800 the adventure started in full.

© Wojtek Papaj
a white road I

Do you have a traditional photography or art background?
WP:  Essentially not. Just several years of photographing and many years of being a compulsive consumer of visual arts - from painting to photography.

© Wojtek Papaj
the waste land / the peal of bells White towers
Who or what inspires you?
WP:  Primarily - the community of mobile photographers sharing their works in social media like EyeEm, AMPt and Flickr. Especially the groups on Flickr let me know the possibilities of mobile devices and encouraged me to experiments; at the same time the blogs connected with the groups presented the photographers: their stories, techniques, tips and tricks and - what drives them. Different artists such as Clint Cline, Nettie Edwards, Paul Toussaint or Patrick St-Hillaire led the way in the beginning.

Finding my own way in mobile photography I submitted my pictures to Flickr groups to receive feedback. These included "Mobile Photography and Imagery" (by The App Whisperer), "1000 Words by We Are Juxt" (now Grryo), but above all, Painterly Mobile Art (now Mob Paint) gave me the first opinion and first appreciation. One piece (IX) of my triptych "unportrayed/ of laughter I said 'Mad' - Ecclesiastes 2,2" was selected to the Painterly Mobile Art Monday at - fortunately it wasn't the last one. 

© Wojtek Papaj
unportrayed IX / of laughter I said "Mad", Ecclesiastes 2.2
Then I was invited to join "Grupa Mobilni" - the first collective of Polish mobile photographers. We started to cooperate to promote in Poland not just ourselves but the phenomenon of mobile photography: we present the biographies of interesting photographers, publish the articles and tutorials, organize the community (especially on Instagram) about the cyclical actions like "Mobile Week" (#mobilnytydzien) and "Photo of the Day", arrange the exhibitions (international also). I'm proud and happy to be a part of the enterprise together with so many brilliant people like Gosia RadziszewskaŁukasz Gurbiel and our leader andspiritus movens - Michał Koralewski.

© Wojtek Papaj
lower silesia in silver III
What piece are you most proud of and why?
WP:  On the whole, I like all my pictures. But there are two series that I'm particularly proud of. The first, "a-muse-meant or a tautology", beacuse of its synthetic and ironical nature; at the same time, trying to show an affectation of humans wanting "to have a fun", I used a typical for me technique of app stacking.

© Wojtek Papaj
a-muse-meant or a tautology, part II
The second series is "still life: arts & crafts". The photos were taken during a local village fair. They depict some cultural shifts in the last century: nowadays the objects from pure household utility were reinterpreted as the "recreational" and just esthetic articles. The most important was (especially in the photo number six) to show a case in statu nascendi, as "the going on" - getting a new meaning on the archaic one; something like a transitioning from a tradition to an abstraction.

© Wojtek Papaj
provincial notes / still life: arts & crafts VI
What apps do like for editing your photos?
WP:  Windows Phone (especially the WP7.X) doesn't equal iOS or even Android with the number of apps for photographers. But I have some favourites:
- Basic (the most universal and - brilliant): Fhotoroom and Fantasia Painter;
- Special Purposes: Pictomaphone (colour and contrast) and Photo Shader (blur);
- Destruction: Decim8 and Superphoto
- Blending: MultiExpose and Blend.

Do you edit on your phone or do you use a tablet?
WP:  All my pictures are taken, edited and published only with my smartphone.

© Wojtek Papaj
minimal zen style
© Wojtek Papaj
street of mind / disjunction
Your Flickr gallery is mainly focused on sweeping landscapes and beautiful abstract collage imagery. Do you have a favorite style?
WP:  I regard mobile photography as a kind of playing with pictures - but although playing with a smidgen of creativity. In my "pic-creation” I use filters of Tradition and Imagination which allows one to see in the reality its potential of transgressing itself and becoming the other form. I love landscapes but I appreciate especially the places undisturbed by their natural or cultural uniqueness, unspectacular spaces in the middle of nowhere and objects so far taken out of context, so that nothing defines a perception of them. Faced with these places or objects, I try to find emotions in what seems to be boring and insipid or to show a sense of what seemingly is meaningless.

I’m not trying to document  a reality or to create new reality. I’m just trying to read it in my own way, what is included in both and subjectivity of experience and perception as well as stabilizing influence of tradition.

© Wojtek Papaj
street of mind / fever III
© Wojtek Papaj
here comes the rain. again
Have you ever sold any of your work? If so, where?
WP:  No, I haven't. For the time being, the photography is just my hobby. I appreciate just to see and to be seen in the community of people gifted with the similar sensibility.

© Wojtek Papaj
the waste land / here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks, the lady of situations
© Wojtek Papaj
along Dunajec River / the poppy
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
WP:  Thank You, Geri! For the showing and popularizing so many brilliant photographers, for the inspiration, the knowledge and for all the support!

© Wojtek Papaj
abscapes / come in, part III

Find Wojtek: Instagram / Twitter / Flickr


  1. Great interview - enjoyed reading it, I love your "a-muse-meant or a tautology" series. I remember seeing some of those images on the AMPtCommunity website last year. I hadn't seen anything like them before.

  2. Amazing work! Love "The poppy" and "abscapes..." Geri, it would be great when you do an Interview that the artist would pick one of his pictures and deconstruct it, so that some of us newbies get some insight into their work process.

  3. That's is a great idea Georges! Hopefully the artists will be up for that request =)

  4. Wojtek is a very talented artist. I adore his photo-paintings and I'm really proud and happy he is a member of our group. It's a great honour and privilege for me to know him and to see his artwork in Art of Mob. Interesting interview!

  5. I agree and your group certainly contains some talented people!


 photo copyright.jpg
envye template.