Artomatic 2012: Photographer Ed Palasyznski

I attended opening night with 4 artist friends.  I discovered that it is good to have others with you as it slows you down and also helps you to discover work you might overlook.  Ed Palaszynski is one of those discoveries.

I’ll admit I pretty much breeze by photography exhibits – my personal prejudice, I guess.  One of my GalPals is a photographer and graphic artist, however, and pays attention to such exhibits.  Because of her I stopped and was enchanted by Ed’s portrait photo, Waiting for Her Prince.”  The captured nuances of this photo are wonderful (you’ll just have to go see it in person so you can see for yourself), a piece that could tell me many stories and probably different ones each time I come to it.  For me that is great art.  So of course I wanted to interview Ed and he graciously complied.

This is Ed’s first ArtoMatic. Ed was encouraged to show his work this year by his book and comic illustrator daughter, Sarah Palaszynski (3rd floor) who is showing her 4th time at ArtOMatic.  Ed sees his participation as a kind of a “coming out party,” noting that the whole activity of putting yourself “out there” can be pretty anxiety provoking.

Of course my first question to Ed was about Waiting for Her Prince.  Here’s the story behind the picture:

This particular photograph was taken at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD, in March of this year [2012].  There were a few of us doing some “street shooting” and I saw her simply sitting there.  The tiara first caught my attention and I then receded out of her view to see what she was doing or what might happen next.  I kept shooting in the vicinity and when she turned to her right and I saw the facial gesture, I simply shot at high speed in the hope of capturing what I thought I did.  I was using a medium telephoto lens so as not to interfere with anything unknown to me and just keep a “safe” distance.

I do not think she saw me and I had hoped not to disturb anything that she was involved in.  This is difficult to do sometimes on the street and you can get some fascinating results if done discreetly.  I do love to photograph people and am doing more of this kind of shooting.  I hope to do some of this photography at ArtOMatic itself because, as we all know, artists themselves are fascinating subjects!!

Ed thinks that “current day photography and its related techniques are probably at their most powerful in history right now given the power of the digital files and their

ability to go anywhere on this planet in an instant. ”  He continues, “Everyone has access to this technology and can be a chronicler of any event at any time.  So one can make a case for being responsible as well – a whole other discussion.”

Ed chose the photos for his exhibit to depict a range of the work that he does.  He says, “As a photographer, I like beauty, the unique, and the unseen.  One learns/tries to see differently and maybe come up with an insight to something that most people miss as we carry on with our lives.”

In addition to Waiting for Her Prince, Ed shares here two of his other ArtOMatic photos.

Reflections on the Twin Towers at Ground Zero in NYC was shot while waiting to visit the recently opened Ground Zero Memorial last fall – October 2011.  “The light was pretty good and I caught one tower in total reflection of the other.  Not only was it a good exercise in figure/ground relationship, but it also does cause one to pause and reflect on the events that occurred there over ten years ago.

Descending Obliques was taken at Great Falls, MD. ” The major components of this picture are the color, texture and the simple shapes.  Even though we think that photographs of nature are pretty complex, they actually can be simplified into basic shapes.  In this case, the results are multiple triangles with some unique coloration.  If you look really close and stare at the lower right hand quadrant of this picture, you can see the head of a dolphin!  Kind of like imagining animals in clouds – a very human trait BTW!”

When asked why folks should come by his space, Ed replied:   “I hope to have people come by and really see what I have captured.  From my photo of the new Twin Towers being reflected onto each other at Ground Zero to the picture of an eroded rock formation from Great Falls, I want people to stop and stare and put themselves into the picture and imagine what it was like when that picture was taken.”  In fact, when he hits a slump, Ed takes his own advice and takes time to stare at things.  He says, “There is so much right in front of us that it’s hard to separate it from everyday things.  I think that sometimes we get too comfortable with everything and we fail to appreciate the little things that make life great and interesting.”

Ed made the digital photography transition “finally” about three years ago after a hiatus while his kids were in school.  Before that he shot a lot of Kodachrome and Tri-X which he is now beginning to digitize.  He has about 25 years of shooting non-digitally to choose from!

Galen Rowell, is one of Ed’s favorite photographers.  “He was a terrific landscape photographer, and certainly saw things tha most folks missed.”  Another favorite is Jay Maisel, “who is still producing fantastic work.”  Ed draws inspiration not only from their body of work but also from their personalities:  “It’s like an attitude and/or perspective.  I think that is  important and can be used to try as a technique or method when shooting.”

While he has not had time to systematically go through all that ArtOMatic 2012 has to offer yet, he says that the Batala All Women Percussion Band was an instant favorite [opening night].

Ed has no present plans to show his work elsewhere, but you can visit his currently under-construction website at to see what he’s up to.