Filip Kowalkowski's picture


I took this image of Mr Adam a watchmaker from Bydgoszcz last week. He's quite a character, working for over 50 years in the oldest watchmaker works in town, which has been opened for 86 years. It took me a year and a half to convince Adam that taking a photograph of him in his workplace is worth his time. The light Is a off camera strobe 600Ws with a CTO 1/2. This is a part of my ongoing series of craftsmen

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mark wilkins's picture

Great shot...and it sure is telling on his personality that it took over a year for him to say yes! He probably gets up at 4am every day and doesnt waste a minute until he goes to bed! But...it also shows how persistent you were...asking for over a year to shoot him! It was worth it.

Filip Kowalkowski's picture

Thank you very much, yes persistence pays off :) I really like that there's a sense of work ethic transcending from this image, that was also my goal. Thank you for noticing and bringing it up!

Graham Hebel's picture

It was certainly well worth your persistence to get this shot! I love the composition and the timeless feel. I'd believe you if you said you photographed this in 1950!

Filip Kowalkowski's picture

Thank you Graham! Much appreciate! He's been working there for 50 years, and I bet the works didn't change a lot since the time they opened it for the first time. Fun fact, Mr Adam still has a portrait at the back of the shop :)

Arun Hegden's picture

Woah, What a shot. ^_^

Filip Kowalkowski's picture

Cheers Arun!! :)

Arun K.'s picture


Filip Kowalkowski's picture

Thank you Arun!

Steven Inge's picture

This really is an amazing photo! That light is so interesting. Would you mind sharing what you used to break it up like that? I assume the light is far away since there's very little falloff, bare bulb, and shooting it through a window or some other flags maybe to get those interesting streaks? Really well done!

Filip Kowalkowski's picture

Hi Steven, thank you for your kind words! You are right on target with light setup. I've used one light 600Ws about 8-10meters from Adam, behind the large exhibition window. light was on a light stand on the streets. I've put a 1/2 CTO gel on light. It was not a bare bulb, I had this small canopy (don't know if that's the right word) on the light bulb. Streaks are the effect of light falling through the window.

Chris Sampson's picture

Excellent, Filip. I'll have to study this shot for a while and it does so much very well. Great tones, lighting and focus of subject. Bless Adam, and yes, it was worth his time. May this photo help honor all that dedication. Keep up the series.

Filip Kowalkowski's picture

Hi Chris, thank you so much for your kind comment! I'm currently working on next master craftsmen :)

Chris Sampson's picture

I gave this 5 stars. It deserves it.