Jacek Bonecki – Friends with Vision

How did you get your start in photography?
I started taking photos out of boredom. I was bursting at the seams with passion and creativity, but I had zero drawing skills. I was also attracted to photography as a way of capturing moments, so in my last year of primary school, I documented my summer vacation in the pictures.” – JB



What type of photography do you shoot and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
During my long career as a photographer, I tried practically every kind of photography, from advertising to fashion, nudes to landscapes. Besides, film school taught me how to photograph everything.
I see myself as an artist and proponent of photography. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of photography with others and above all, I live to travel. I’ve published 6 books on photography, several of which I illustrated with my own photos. I’ve traveled the world and have been able to capture some incredible moments and events. I’ve been to the Dakar Rally 14 times, plus 5 similar rallies, and have photographed the fastest yachts in the world. These events are always exciting, even if they’ve happened under some of the worst conditions – in my travels I’ve broken my spine, had my eye stitched, almost dislocated my shoulder, and was unable to bend my knees. I’ve had Lyme disease, amoebiasis, and giardia lamblia. I’ve had close contact with scorpions, tropical ants, and snakes. I’ve even let a few dogs bite me, but only because I love them so much. My prying photographic eye has landed me in jail in several countries, but I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people throughout all of my travels.



I’ve  had several exhibitions, and was the face of the world premiere of the new, revolutionary generation of Sony cameras during Photokina, where I spoke about photography to a crowd of journalists from around the world. I was a juror in many prestigious photography competitions. I sold many of my collector photos (including one for over $15,000) with all the proceeds going to those in need. I’ve had a great time as a photographer, overall!


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
I don’t feel like I have achieved anything extraordinary in photography. I don’t treat it like a sport where you win laurels. It’s my passion, and in that sense, my biggest achievement is that I still enjoy it. After 30 years, I haven’t gotten bored of it – and I have had many passions that fizzled out or were replaced with new ones. Photography is still my number one.



Who and/or what inspires you most?
“I’m inspired by the events around me. Light, people, travel, action and the beauty of this world.”- JB


What is your approach?
EN To what…?



Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Color is important to me because I am very sensitive and sensual – I feel life with all of my senses. Visual imagery is particularly essential to me. I see in color and that’s also how I take pictures. I have a certain color intelligence. From the whole range of colors that surround us, I can extract images with the use of very controlled colors. And vice versa – sometimes I see color where it seems like there is none. Because of this, color reproduction is crucial, like well-positioned crosshairs for a sniper. There is no room for mistakes.



Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
Images in photography should be built logically, by creating the harmony of composition step-by-step. You should live in symbiosis with technique and use any technical means available to create the image. You should know the relationship between technique and the effects of its use. This is called skillful handling of image language elements – elements such as light, perspective, color, depth of field, and movement. How to master it? The key is to photograph a lot and analyze the effects of your work. Why is a given photo the way it is? Why does it look like that and not differently? Once you find the answers, it will allow you to take photos in a more conscious manner. And another important thing … the picture is taken when we press the shutter button, not when we upload the file to creative software.


Jacek is using Datacolor equipment like the SpyderX Elite for his photographic workflow.

  About the Author – Jacek Bonecki  

Born in 1969, Jacek Bonecki has traveled the world for his passion – photography – but has also worked as a cinematographer, television producer and journalist. He has been credited with several hundred television productions and his photographs have been exhibited both in his home country of Poland and abroad. Bonecki lectures at many photography schools in Poland and is greatly sought after for his popular photography workshops. Fueled by his passion for travelling, he has visited over one hundred countries on six continents and has authored the following books on photography: Photographic Traveler, Dakar Stop, Photographer On-the-Go, How to Photograph with a Smartphone, Photography and Film.


Articles from Jacek Bonecki