by David Fox
Tomasz Gudzowaty is a polish photographer, who has received many awards for his unique photographs touching upon nature, social commentary, and sports photography.
Often presented in black and white, Tomasz’s photos are imbued with a sense of grandiosity that can be gleaned from quiet observation, even if the movements in the picture involve dramatic movements and spur of the moment actions.
Tomasz Gudzowaty was born on September 19, 1971, in Warsaw, Poland. He became interested in photography since early childhood, mainly because of his uncle, who was very passionate about photography and used to take pictures of his own home town.
When Tomasz was growing up, Poland was still under the Iron Curtain. Photography, like the other types of art in Poland, was controlled by the government.
In the eighties, the Independent Photographic Agency named Dementi was very active with recording the struggle for the restoration of democracy to Poland, and thereafter the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.
Despite his interest in photography, Tomasz has chosen to study Law at Warsaw University.
After graduation with a master’s degree from the Faculty of Law and Administration, he has chosen his way as a professional photographer in then already free country.
The novel photographer started his career first in his homeland and soon after that, got his first awards at Polish Press Photography Contest.
Gudzowaty’s name became known to the international photographers’ community for the first time back in 1999, when he won the First Prize in Nature-singles category in the World Press Photo competition for his picture with wild animals cheetahs.
That shot was breathtaking because of the killing moment in wild nature.
The next year, he continued his success and got two more awards in World Press Photo at the same Nature category, which gave him a well-earned reputation of being an observant and multi-talented nature photographer.
Next to nature-related photography, Tomasz tried him hand at sports photography. But he has chosen to look closer not into classical athletes: he took part in two Summer Paralympic games: in 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens as a photojournalist.
Tomasz was interested in those sports, which didn‘t receive as much media attention. He created images of unique sports featuring different continents around the world.
From the interesting variations of yoga, synchronized swimming, gymnastics stretching and all kinds of peculiar local sports such as slum golf in India, also the Nadaam race (a brutal kind of horse racing taking place in Mongolia), to the Flying Warriors (a variation of the oldest known martial arts type known as Kalaripayattu) or Sumo wrestling in Japan – all these activities, not all very well known to ordinary people in Western countries, got his attention and the result was mesmerizing.
These shots show not only the physical capability of the body but also human philosophy conveyed by body motions.
His works have been printed in world-class magazines like L’Equipe, Newsweek, Forbes, Time, Photo, GQ, National Geographic Traveler and etc.
Tomasz Gudzowaty is also featured in the article, “My Top 10 Best Contemporary Photographers“
In 2016, Gudzowaty came back to nature photography. He released a new photography book called “Closer”, in which he put pictures of various penguins species in Antarctica.
In these, mostly black and white pictures, a photographer captured moments of penguins daily life. Next to the high contrast, mesmerizing pictures, Tomasz is sending a message about the frightening situation in the Antartica Peninsula – that part of Earth is warming five times faster than the rest of the World, which means a huge decline of penguins.
According to Gudzowaty, his goal was to make people “stop and catch their breath in delight at all this diversity.”
Three years have passed from the releasing of this book, but the topic is relevant especially these days when many movements for climate change around the world are trying to draw governments‘ attention to make important decisions.
Tomasz Gudzowaty is married to a Dominican-Spanish model Melody Mir Jimenez and they have two daughters. The couple is living between Warsaw and Spain, also travels around the world.
His wife joined him when he was wandering around Antarctica for three weeks, where he took pictures of its nature and wildlife for his album “Closer“.
During his career, Tomasz received nine World Press Photo awards, won many prizes at Polish Press Photography competition, Grand Press Photo, Black and White Spider Awards and many more.
Accolades aside, Tomasz still keeps working actively and brings joy to the Photography enthusiasts community.
Tomasz Gudzowaty official page:
About David Fox
David Fox is an artist who created davidcharlesfox.com to talk about art and creativity. He loves to write, paint, and take pictures. David is also a big fan of spending time with his family and friends.