Daily Inspiration #340 by Mateusz Zareba

Hi Steve. Thanks for great job with your website!

I’m amateur photographer from Poland. My photos are inspired by my hometown – Krakow, with its dark, dreamy and magic atmosphere and two muses: my wife and my daughter. I use Voigtlander Bessa R3A rangefinder camera with Leica Summilux 50 mm lenses.

My photo portfolio is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mateozareba/

My other projects, including paintings, movies and music (I’m also the vocalist of an alternative rock band) can be found at http://dante.art.pl

1. Triangular dance – Leica Summilux 50 mm – Fuji Superia 1600 – F1.4 – Taken during New Years Eve in one of most famous Cracow’s basements – Alchemia.
2. Jan Matejko – Leica Summilux 50 mm – Illford Delta 3200 – F1.4 – Jan Matejko was famous Polish painter who lived in 19th century. I swear I saw him month ago in one of Cracow’s pubs. He had a distant look in his eyes. He smoked one cigarette and has gone in dark night.
3. Hard talk – Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 Nocton Classic – Fuji Film Superia 1600 – F2
It’s really hard to talk sometimes. Night scene from Kazimierz (old jewish district). I put some imagination and photoshop work in this scene.
4. Waiting for the sun – Leica Summilux 50 mm – Illford Delta 3200 – F1.4
Some fun with christmas tree lighting during december – the day is so short then and everybody in Poland are waiting for the sun.
All the best
Mateo Zareba


  1. great photos, great flickr, great wife and child, great city and great music too, (reminds me of Nick Cave…), you’re a lucky and talented guy.
    Where can I hear more from Dante and the band ?

    • Thanks Manu. “Dante and the band” is the new project – we plan to record something this year and play some concerts in Crocow the next. All the best. Mateo

  2. Thank you very much for your warm comments. It was my first public experience and your opinion was very important to me. Thank’s again. Mateo

  3. I most like #2, but also like #4 very much. Aside from the wonderful composition, these are of particular interest to me because I just recently started purchasing serious black-and-white film, which includes two rolls of the Ilford Delta 3200.

  4. Hi Mateusz-

    Love your pictures.
    I think the last shot of your daughter(?) with the Christmas lights is superb, the grain and eye contact make it very special.
    It would make a fantastic wall print.
    Thanks for posting some of your work it is wonderful.

    • Well. It’s just a grain of ilford delta – which i like very much. I didnt edit these photos – just scan and that’s all ( exept 3rd one ofcourse:))

  5. Mateusz,
    I like your shots, I agree with the long winter nights making everyone wish for the sun but you have made the best of it. I left England and found Australia where the sun lasts a little longer in winter, well in most of Australia.
    I will have to go on a quest to find Jan Matejko if he is to be found in a pub, sounds like my sort of quest. Does it matter that I am not in Cracow or that he is dead? A great shot.

    • Thanks! We plan with my family ‘one year escape’ to warmer regions too. We starting this year in Spain than Argentina, New Zeland, Indonesia. Than my photos will be more optimistic:)
      Matejko is dead for sure:) Guy on the photo is just profesor of Cracow’s Fine Art Academy – he looks exactly the same.

  6. Excellent!!! Your work with Delta 3200 in particular is wonderful, but they’re all great pictures. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Great style and personality to these images. Very unique look which I absolutely love. Great work and thanks for sharing!

  8. Great, imaginative images for sure; a photographer who likes a challenge. I like to take photographs in impossible lighting as well (a lot easier with a D700 I can tell you).

    One tip: the grain in the Delta 3200 images looks plain ugly; I recognize it, I have used Delta 3200 as well (using a Zeiss 1.4/35 at full bore on an RTS III). Developed, scanned and processed properly the grain will be coarse, but a lot nicer than this.

    Mateo, I don’t know how you treated the film, so my comments might be wide off the mark, but could you enlighten us a bit? Was it underexposed?

    • I checked negative – exposition seems to be right. If the grain is too big (comparing to your experience) I think that’s something went wrong in development process. But to be honest I love this huge grain – looks like painted with ash dot by dot.

      During the 4rd photo session I used also Canon 5D MkII with 50 1.4, pictures were knife sharp, detailed … but effects didn’t satisfy me at all 🙁

  9. I thank you so much for posting these, truly magical images. Krakow has to be one of my favorite places, steeped in history and culture, a thoroughly vibrant city that I would urge people to visit. You’ve captured it’s essence in a handful of images. Congratulations. Jason

  10. Hi Mateo,
    Excellent images. The second image (Jan Matejko) is wonderful. It would pass on as shot on film. Might turn out to be one of your best images. It’s got a lot of character. Thanks for sharing these.

  11. Wow, very nice shots man. Very dreamy, all of them inspire the imagination and make me try to think up the rest of the story behind the shot. I visited Krakow once, very beautiful city indeed.

  12. Hmm… ISO 3200 film, low light, challenging combination of subject and environment: Could there be a much more effective statement that modern digital camera technology is not a necessity for making beautiful and expressive pictures in almost any situation, excepting perhaps a few plainly inappropriate applications for a 35mm film rangefinder camera? Hey, Ibraar, I think this is your cue!

    • Hi Fred! haha! You made me giggle there man!
      What can I say man? Mateusz has nailed every shot here, and made the most of the fast film’s characteristics giving it a look many others simply couldn’t manage – why? cos the dude has talent and has all the elements in place

      I suppose that’s really what it’s all about – Subject – Composition – Light – – and anything else just isn’t photography!

  13. Some creative work here Mateusz. Are you sure that the R3 doesn’t come with a few optional extras – if you know what I mean – or is everyone in Poland on one giant acid trip? Certainly seems like the place to go to meet 19th century writers and people with horses heads!

  14. Absolutely great. Something new, something beautifully traditional, and I loved the two black and whites. I would be very proud to have done #2.

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