Tomasz Tomaszewski”…the private, intriguing, strong visual interpretation”

Honoree Małgorzata Niezabitowska is the award-winning co-author with her photographer husband Tomasz Tomaszewski of Remnants – The Last Jews of Poland, one of the first books to recognize and explore contemporary Jewish life in Poland, Solidarity activist, and a Council Member of the award-winning Museum of the History of Polish Jews, whose core exhibition opens in October (2014) in Warsaw. National Geographic published a cover story about Remnants in September 1986, when Niezabitowska was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard; but until now, she has never publicly told the story of how the manuscript was smuggled out.

NG forside september 1986National Geographic – September 1986 – Vol. 170, No. 3

I happened to read the above quoted article back in 1986 and had the courage to contact Tomasz Tomaszewski in 2008 after a visit to Poland:

For some time ago I came across your and your wife’s article The Last Jews of Poland in National Geographic.I found it very interesting. Last May I gave it away to a Polish friend, living in Sopot. Her husband has Jewish roots. My wife and I were fortunate and had the chance to visit Poland with some friends in 2006. We had a great week. I bought a book, “Poland 1946” by the American photograph John Vachon, in Warsaw. I only know Polish history from your article, Vachons book and a visit in Muzeum Powstania Warszawskiego. I’m a devoted amateur photographer constantly striving to be better and “crack the code”. I’m always looking for potential mentors who might be willing to give me some feedback. I admire your work. May I ask if you would be so kind and spare me a moment of your time and look through my “Poland Gallery” and, give me your honest opinion and if I may hope so, an advice on how to progress.Kind regards, Stein

I think more People than me should read TT’s answer and advice to me:

Dear Mr. Stein,
thank you for your email. I’m late with the answer because I was away for a month on a trip to Africa. I’m back now going rough may emails, so the answer to yours will be quick. You should come to one of the workshop I do with National Geographic. The next one is in Tuscany, Italy in May. You should look at the NG site to see the Schedule. You know a great deal concerning the technical aspect of photography, but your pictures are more of a document of how things look like rather then the interpretation of them. It is 21 century, so we pretty know how the planet looks like but what remains interesting is the private, intriguing, strong visual interpretation. Look at the Magnum Agency site, or the site of agency VII and you will understand what I’m talking about. Or simply come over to the workshop. All the best to you,

I never did go to Tuscany, but I have I’ve kept his advice in my mind. Remnants

“The Last Jews of Poland” – This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS Device.


Why do I take all these pictures???


I see/discover  pictures everywhere.

But why isn’t it enough to store these impessions in my brain, why do I have to share them on SmugMug, Instagram and Twitter??? Publish BLURB-books and send articles to photography magazines (I have got a few published)???

On Digital Photography School I found this  that partially answers my question:

Perhaps there is a deeper psychological explanation. Our time on this earth only lasts for so long, and a camera allows us to preserve memories far past when they might have slipped our mind. It helps us pass those memories into the hands of future generations. Our photos are little legacies of the life we have lived – our travels, experiences, food, family, friends, work relationships and more. Each photo is a window into a moment, and the collections of images we take over the years are a window into who we were and what we valued. Ultimately it comes down to a simple truth – seeing that moment captured makes us genuinely happy.

Photography should make you happy. Never let someone impede on your personal happiness. You love HDRs and someone else doesn’t – who cares? You are enamored with landscapes but your friends think they’re droll – don’t let it bother you. You’re a fashion nut but no one gets your style – just keep being you. Enjoy your photography for what it is – your own. Know that not everyone will appreciate it, but if it personally fulfills you, that’s all that truly matters. Be true to yourself and you’ll never regret a day of your life.

Additionally creative urge is an important impetus (boost) for me.

I’m a lousy drawer and I cannot Paint – my camera is my pencil and paintbrush.

If cut to the bone – ‘struggle for recognition’ (kampf um anerkennung) may be the answer.

Humanist Photography

Lommetyv Lommetyven0505


Up till now I have categorized most of the Pictures I share as “Street photography”. I should rather  call it “Humanist Photography”. I base this on that I primarily want to show:

  1. Human interaction
  2. The beauty of man.
  3. Poetry in life
  4. Humor
  5. Caring

This do not happen only in the street. 🙂

Of course I am a realist and aware that the world is not fair and that sorrow is more common than joy. I am sure, however, that other channels keep you informed about this.  Keep in mind that I’m somewhat naive 😉

Street Photography

I’m trying to find out what the term ‘Street Photography’ comprises.

Some of my attempts (click on image to enlarge):

What happens here??

I haven’t the faintest idea. Did the girl in the yellow raincoat fall down from the sky? Did she stumbel (if so – in what) reading her magazine?
The proof that it happened is in my files  – a colour slide telling it occurred in Oslo 29. april 1986. Luftig gange Luftiggange ny scan02Me and my camera was there. 😉


The ultimate answer?

A brief excerpt of a conversation that Radcliffe “Ruddy” Roye had with Colin Westerbeck, co-author of Bystander, the definitive book on the history of street photography.
The interview was conducted as part of a promotion for another book, Street Photography 2015. Publisert 21. apr. 2017

Interview With Colin Westerbeck

Great reading

Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen Mc Laren Thames & Hudson 2010

The Street Photographer’s Manual by David Gibson
Thames & Hudson 2014

Recommended links to tutorials etc.:

Magnum learn



7 TIPS for Street Photography EduardoPavezGoye

A Guide to Street Photography: Matt Stuart, manners and human autofocus | Engadget

Celebration of Photography 2017: Matt Stuart about working with the Leica M10:

My Street Photography

The term
I consider myself a Street Photographer – in a somewhat extended understanding of the term. If you include “people” and “candid” you come closer to where to file me.

Continue reading Street Photography

Books on BLURB

Frontpage 6 booksI found BLURB some years ago.  It proved to be just what I had been looking for, an easy to use digital book-publishing tool. Very professional with reasonable pricing. (Above front pages of some of my books.)

Have a preview:

About the Book:
Maitreyee Manglurkar has 23 July 2009, very well described what it’s all about: “Street photography – as the name suggests – literally means shooting on the street. It may be regarded as a close relative of documentary photography. However, there is more to it than just picking up your camera and clicking images on the street. The basic idea of street photography is to capture life in its candid moments. Call it a voyeuristic documentation, if you will. And easy as it sounds, there is a technique and logic behind it as well. And it’s not all about being trigger happy all the time.” Hope MM will stumble across my book City Folk one Sunny Day 🙂

About the Book:
Images of people and places in Gdynia, Gdansk, Sopot and Warsaw July 2006 is what you will find in this book. Ill never forget this travel – hope you’ll like it too. March 2013 Stein B-O.

About the Book:
Images from my world – in black and white. As a humanist sees it. Private and universal. I try to be timeless and true to “The decisive moment”.

About the Book:
A selection of Instagrams. Chosen by heart. Nothing more and nothing less. Photos not disturbed by Words.

About the Book:
Besides my Family, Photography is the passion of my life. Very often my Family brings me to places, sights and events where I experience moments worth collecting. Bohuslän in Western Sweden is such a place. Deliberately I have omitted caption with details about time and places. The images in this book is of course my subjective choice. Dream and create your personal visions. Halden in November 2016. Stein Beyer-Olsen

About the book:
Ad lib choice from my Instagramaccount. More “interpretation” than documentation. Colourful and¨”extracted”. Often from iPhone. Treated with Snapseed.

About the book:
I show a Collection of images which I denotes as “Humanist Photography”. Intended to show and celebrate Human interaction -The beauty of man – Poetry in life – Humor – Caring.

About the book:
Photo-fighting  – I like to fight With my pictures. If I belive it’s possible to squeeze what I saw out of a poor photo, I try “everything” based on my conviction that Beauty, Passion and Expression beat Perfection. The images in this book has ben treated with SNAPSEED and published on his Instagram account ‘steinbeyerolsen’.

About the book:
I welcome you to share my impressions of the beautiful Island of Gran Canaria – tourist and everyday life. Your search for date and place information, will be invain. Turn the pages randomly and create your own stories and pictures. Have a nice trip!


Poland July 2006 – An early digital journy

Images of people and places in Gdynia, Gdansk, Sopot and Warsaw July 2006 is what you will find in this book. Ill never forget this travel – hope you’ll like it too.

You are welcome to preview the book. Follow the link above.

NSFF anniversary Exhibition Paris 19.11.2012 – 25.01.2012 Galerie FIAP Gallery – 85 years of Norwegian Photography

The Catalogue

My picture “Sol i stol” was chosen for the exibition in Paris and appear in the catalouge.