Semi-finalist, Playground: Piotrek Deska
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Semi-finalist, Playground: Piotrek Deska

Semi-finalist for the Playground category, Red Bull Illume 2019: Piotrek Deska, Poland

Location: Mirów, Poland

Biography quote: 'Climber and photographer combined in one.'

Biography: I was born in Czestochowa, Poland, on November 20, 1986 – in the city located at the north side of the biggest climbing area in Poland - Jura. It was only a matter of time before I started to climb and explore the outdoor possibilities of the area. During my teenage years climbing became my true passion.

I was inspired by the rocks around and was always eager to climb another eye-catching line. As soon as I got my first camera from my father, who is also a photographer, I found out the great joy in creating long-lasting memories by shooting pictures. Both – climbing and photography – can be symbiotic, and since I was able to get some first good looking shots at an early age, I became more and more passionate about taking a camera at the crag every time.

Nowadays I'm still an active climber trying to spend free time either at the crag or in the mountains. A couple of years ago, I quit my job as a web analyst and decided to take a chance of being a full-time photographer. I'm focused mostly on the outdoor world, trying to picture passionate people doing what makes them happy - be it climbing, mountaineering or any other activity.

With every picture, I'm trying to show something more than just an athlete. As photographers, we have only one frame that freezes just a split of a second, and it's important to show something more in it. With every shot I make, I always try to create an image that will look great in large format on the wall.

About the photo: In Deska's words, 'last climb of the day in the typical Jurassic scenery. The common view of Polish Jura: bone-white limestone and a medieval castle ruins. Just add the climber, and you have a perfect combination for a picture.

While going to Mirów, I wasn't thinking about a climbing picture. I had only a landscape shot in my mind of that specific frame. But I was lucky enough – even though it wasn’t one of the weekend days, which are usual time for climbing activity, I spotted a climber at the Turnia Kukuczki crag. Every piece came together – the timing (just before the sunset) and the climber, who filled up the frame. I “only” had to hit the shutter and make it a climbing picture instead of "just" a landscape photo.'

Gear and specs: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV; Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 lens; ISO: 100; F-Stop: 11; Shutter Speed: 1/15 sec.