Biography

Martin Stavars is a Polish-born photographer specializing in black & white cityscapes, landscapes, and night photography. While initially studying economics and computer science, Martin ultimately chose to follow his artistic passion - where he has since visited over twenty countries with his camera, Asia holding a key role.

His work has been exhibited in Japan, Poland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with many pieces in private collections around the world. Martin deploys wide perspectives and tilt/shift lenses to capture his intriguing & powerful cityscapes.

“Megalopolis”, his first photographic monograph was published in Charta Editions, 2012.

Named “Architecture Photographer of the Year” at the International Photography Awards, Martin has received the Grand Prix at the Image International in Canada and Hei Ming Prize. His latest series documents the rapidly changing urban landscape in Asia, emphasizing aging architecture, slums, and locations that will soon disappear due to modernization.

Martin is the managing editor of ND Magazine: www.NDMagazine.NET and co-founder of ND Awards: www.NDAwards.NET

Artist Statement (from August, 2006)

I’ve always been fascinated by landscapes – places that are absolutely desolate, where I can stay one on one with nature. For me, the growing joy right before pressing the shutter button as well as the possibility of interacting with the world filled with inspiration is as important as the creative act itself. This initial fascination has rapidly grown into obsession that eventually took control over my life.

Since the beginning of my adventure with photography, every landscape has been an unforgettable experience, thanks to which I’ve learned how to interpret light – the single most important (and the single most waited for) factor that shapes my images. On the other hand, lighting is directly connected with another key element of photography – luck. Proper weather, interesting cloud patterns or even a couple of sunrays breaking through the clouds, have many times decided that after a couple of failed attempts I was able to reach a satisfactory effect the moment nature displayed her most unpredictable face.

Lately, my interests widened to cityscapes, where I pursue qualities characteristic to nature – harmony and peace. As it is getting harder to find traits like that in our more and more hectic world, while taking pictures in the biggest European cities I had to develop the most important virtue of a photographer – patience. That is one of the reasons why there are usually no people (or only their silhouettes) on most of my photographs. But such character of my work is also a result of other factor. Whereas taking pictures with the main focus on a person involves emotions that are relatively easy to define, depicting an empty street or portraying pulsing nature usually requires qualitatively different feelings that have to fill in for the missing elements, thus making such photograph something more than a simple document.

Selected Awards:

2013 - 1st place, Book – Fine Art category for “Megalopolis”, PX3, Paris, France.
2012 -
Photographer of the Year in the Special category, International Photography Awards (IPA), USA.
2012 - 1st place, Night Photography category, International Photography Awards (IPA), USA.
2011 - 1st place, Cityscapes category, International Photography Awards (IPA), USA.
2010 - 1st place, Nature Trees category, International Photography Awards (IPA), USA.
2010 - Hei Ming Prize, International Filter Photo Contest 2008-2009, Japan.
2009 - Grand Prize winner, Image International Photo Life contest, Canada.
2008 - Lucie Awards Nominee, Discovery of the Year: Finalist. New York, USA.
2008 - IPA Architectural Photographer of the Year 2008. Los Angeles, USA.
2008 - 1st place, Historic Architecture category, International Photography Awards (IPA), USA.
2007 - 1st place, Architecture & Urban Sight, VIPC2007, Venice, Italy.
2007 - VIPC Best Young Photographer, Venice, Italy.
2006 - Grand Prix, Czestochowa, Poland.

Selected Publications:

2013 - FOTO Magazine, Interview, Czech Republic.
2013 - Colours Magazine, Article, Indonesia.
2013 - LensWork #105, Portfolio, USA.

2013 - The Wall Street Journal, Book review, USA.
2013 -
SCHWARZWEISS font-family: "Calibri","sans-serif"; color: windowtext;">#92, Portfolio, Germany.
2012 - Digital Camera Polska, Interview, Poland.
2011 - Photographer Magazine, Interview, Ukraine.
2011 - Photobulletin Magazine, Portfolio, Bulgaria.
2011 - Photographer's Companion, Portfolio, April, Beijing, China.
2010 - Refoto, Article and portfolio, Serbia.
2010 - Foto Magazine, Portfolio, Poland.
2010 - Soura Magazine, Portfolio, United Arab Emirates.
2009 - Parteaguas magazine, March, Mexico.
2009 - Fotografia & Aparaty Cyfrowe, Interview, February, Poland.
2008 - I-Mag Magazine, Interview, October. Philippines.
2008 - Soura Magazine, Portfolio, Semptember. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
2008 - Digital SLR Photography Magazine, Portfolio, October. England.
2008 - Practical Photography Magazine, Interview, August. England.
2008 - Amateur Photographer Magazine, Featured Website, August. England.
2008 - Asian Photography Magazine, Interview, May. India.
2008 - Idea PHOTOS Magazine, Interview, May/June. Taipei, Taiwan.

Exhibitions:

2013 - Tokyo Arts Gallery - Tokyo, Japan
2012 - Galeria WOAK - Bialystok, Poland
2012 - Gallery Prospero - Lublin, Poland
2012 - Fairfields Arts Centre - Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Previous exhibitions: Kew Gardens in London, Photo Festival Fotojatka in Czech Republic, Art Gallery Ryf in Zurich.

Please send all your inquiries about exhibitions, contests and projects: martin.stavars@gmail.com