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Pics of Warsaw by the Guardian's David Levene


dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
5 Apr 2011 #1
A look at Warsaw through the eyes of one of Guardian's best photojournalists, David Levene.

Interesting.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
5 Apr 2011 #2
through the eyes of one of Guardian's best photojournalists, David Levene.

i don't think much of the piccys, to be honest.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
5 Apr 2011 #3
Warsaw looks very chilly in those photos.
Crow 137 | 7,756
5 Apr 2011 #4
i don't think much of the piccys, to be honest.

i have much better collection of Warsaw photos. Warsaw is very important to us Serbs. Its center of our civilization. Pride of Sarmatia

few pics from my selection

Warsaw7
sascha 1 | 826
5 Apr 2011 #5
Nice pics of Warsaw and I have to agree with crow, to me it's nicer than Bruxelles, less pomp. ;)
OP dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
5 Apr 2011 #6
i don't think much of the piccys, to be honest.

I don't think he was attempting to glamourise Warsaw but rather show a more truthful portrayal.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
5 Apr 2011 #7
i have much better collection of Warsaw photos.

if u are going to comment on the photos, please do so. but there is no need to mention Serbia/Serbs.

I don't think he was attempting to glamourise Warsaw

point taken.

Some of the photos are typical for any Polish city. neither a good or bad thing. just an observation.
Monia
5 Apr 2011 #8
The pictures have not been taken recently . Today it is warm and sunny +11 C .

These pictures are not showing the city in a true and honest way . Why did he show old people , rather poor , some looking like homeless or parts of the city with rubbish on the soil , partially without pavement ? This is not Warsaw its just his vision , entirely distorted . What was his idea of showing milk bars , there are maybe 1 or 2 in the entire city for poor and old people ? We don`t dine out there ! Why didn`t he show Warsaw in a more normal way , not taking sides , showing young , smiling people instead of old and grim. I don`t like this portrayal , seems to be rather misleading .

I could go to London and make the same photo session of poor suburbs and show to Polish readers how London looks like . Would it be fair ?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
5 Apr 2011 #9
not taking sides , showing young , smiling people instead of old and grim.

not taking sides would be to show both.
southern 75 | 7,096
5 Apr 2011 #10
Beautiful Poland.It has a colour we have to admit.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
5 Apr 2011 #11
Levene's photos are ugly and uninspiring. Subject matter aside, they have this amateurish "flat" look about them, no depth either spatial or artistic.
OP dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
5 Apr 2011 #12
Why did he show old people , rather poor , some looking like homeless or parts of the city with rubbish on the soil , partially without pavement ?

Because like any city in the world, another photo collection of all the historical and touristy place are ten a dozen. For example some of the more interesting places in Glasgow are the poorer districts, they speak volumes from where the city has come from.

This is not Warsaw its just his vision

That's the point is it not?

entirely distorted

That's your opinion.

Why didn`t he show Warsaw in a more normal way , not taking sides , showing young , smiling people instead of old and grim.

Because he wasn't taking the pics to put them into a tourist book. He was taking the pics to show the other side of Warsaw.

We don`t dine out there !

But some still do.

I could go to London and make the same photo session of poor suburbs and show to Polish readers how London looks like . Would it be fair ?

No, because he is not trying to portray Warsaw as a poor city. He is just showing some parts that maybe don't get a mention in most books. Praga being case and point, how many people actually know about that part of the city. Same as Krakow, not many people knew about Nowa Huta in the past but now it's becoming more and more famous with tourists.
southern 75 | 7,096
5 Apr 2011 #13
I liked the photo with the polish child.It is amazing that small children and babies in Poland look like Poles very interesting and beautiful to watch.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
5 Apr 2011 #14
Why did he show the Hasidim and the weird building covered with photographs of former residents? I suspect Levene is a Levite.
Crow 137 | 7,756
5 Apr 2011 #15
but just to tell you frankly,... David Levene's photographs are quite boring
southern 75 | 7,096
5 Apr 2011 #16
He basically wanted to show the merge of capitalism and communism the old buildings and symbols with the new ones.However the result does not convince though it keeps a part of polish magic.I would post my version next time in Poland I will try to take some real pictures of how it seems to foreigners.
mephias 11 | 304
5 Apr 2011 #17
Pics of Warsaw by the Guardian's David Levene

Nice photos, Some has the stories and realistic as they should be.
Marynka11 4 | 675
5 Apr 2011 #18
First thing I would do is run the pictures through Photoshop and remove the gray midtones and add some highlight. They wouldn't look so drab.
OP dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
5 Apr 2011 #19
Point being though, is that how the scene looked at the time? Why change something to make it look less drab if the actual scene is drab and dull in the first place.
valpomike 11 | 197
5 Apr 2011 #20
These are just some of the places I remember of Poland, and I wish I could be there now.
LONG LIVE POLAND, AND HER GREAT PEOPLE.

Those who have never been to Poland, this is just a small bit of the wonderful things in Poland, and if you ever have a chance to go there, make sure you plan on spending no less that four weeks, if you just want to see some of the great things.

On my visits, I rent a place in Warsaw, for no less than a month, and go from there, all over.

POLAND RULES!!!!!!

Mike
Marynka11 4 | 675
5 Apr 2011 #21
Why change something to make it look less drab if the actual scene is drab and dull in the first place.

Nah, world never looks this flat and drab to me.
Monia
5 Apr 2011 #23
He was taking the pics to show the other side of Warsaw.

I haven`t got the title of his article , give me a link , please . So then I will judge myself what his point was .
I am nor sure if an average reader of The Guardian would obtain any idea of Warsaw by looking at those pictures and wanted to visit such places . Motropolitan of Warsaw is more than 3 milion so who cares if 100 people go to a milk bar or if there are some old buildings which need to be renovated . The building at Próżna street is about to be rebuild , like the rest of the street ( this one is the last to be finished ) . The rest of the street is full of beautifullly renovated old , noble houses . He made a picture of the last unrenovated house , why ? I guess he is not intending to make a picture album of old , relic Warsaw or maybe he is .
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
5 Apr 2011 #24
if the actual scene is drab and dull in the first place.

Why take the picture then? And then another, and another? I'm all for realism, but this is not realism, it's "uglyfication" ;-)
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
5 Apr 2011 #25
Warsaw has seen a remarkable change in the last 20 years, i remember being there in 91' the first time, what a sh1thole, old gray tower blocks everywhere with only a few skyscrapers, it looked like a communist showpiece trying to look glamorous, yet failing. They still need to get rid of many buildings but they'll get there eventually. Just don't turn it into Hong Kong or Manhattan on the Vistula with a hundred skyscrapers, a few more is enough, less or them makes the city look more spacious.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,615
5 Apr 2011 #26
As an every-day commuter to the capital, I've found those pictures really good. We all have enough of tourist Warsaw (but Crow's photos are nice nonetheless) and these show the real life in some districts of the capital. I was particularly moved by the photo taken in a bar mleczny; though I haven't been in any of them for ages, I distinctly remember the atmosphere in them and it is still there on this photo! One or two interesting pictures of the recently modernized Krakowskie Przedmieście, part of the Royal Route, would have perhaps brought some balance to the city's image, but on avarage Praga and Ursynów are portrayed as what they really are. Warsaw is not only the city of the posh and the prosperous, but also of the poor and the starving!
valpomike 11 | 197
5 Apr 2011 #27
This is and will be, a large city. Other parts of Poland, still have the Polish style. This is what make Poland the great place she is. There are needs for large tall buildings.

Mike
Marynka11 4 | 675
5 Apr 2011 #28
Always smiling eh :)

Doing my best :)

What I was trying to say, on most pictures there is a focal point in stronger color that tries to stand out, but it get's lost in too much grey. It's not strong enough. I like the the picture with the racoon. The colors look pretty.

As far as his subject matter, I like the pictures. They are not some washing powder advert type pictures that's for sure. But there is a quite beauty in each of them.
OP dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
5 Apr 2011 #29
Why take the picture then? And then another, and another? I'm all for realism, but this is not realism, it's "uglyfication" ;-)

Why not? No one has given me any clear reason not to apart from moaning that it makes Warsaw look bad, which it neither does nor does it portray Warsaw as a some kind of paradise.

I haven`t got the title of his article

They were just a group of pics, there wasn't an article to go with them from my knowledge. But they come under the New Europe series.

Motropolitan of Warsaw is more than 3 milion so who cares if 100 people go to a milk bar or if there are some old buildings which need to be renovated .

Because there is still a story to be told, you can't just say there are 100 people only in Warsaw that live poor lives. Even well off people may still use the milk bars, in Krk a lot of students also did. But there must be a reason why he chose to take a photo of older people eating there...no?

Regarding who cares about the older buildings, I'm guessing most of the residents who live in those districts. Most of Warsawians(sic) are pretty well off, but there are some problem areas that still need to be addressed. Hiding them from the world does no good.

The building at Próżna street is about to be rebuild , like the rest of the street ( this one is the last to be finished ) .

Exactly, so why not show the past Warsaw? If this the last building to be renovated then it's an even better photo as it holds the story of how this area used to be.

One of my friends who also is a photographer from Warsaw says he gets fed up of the white washing of photos used in magazines and article in the city. That the place is full of rubble and tacky advertising, though he does recognise the fact that the city is going through a transitional period.

I think it's a shame that some people in Warsaw feel ashamed of the poorer districts and have the need to protest when someone chooses to highlight the area. Maybe by highlighting the poorer areas he is choosing to show the difference in how the city is changing.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
5 Apr 2011 #30
it makes Warsaw look bad

No, it's not really about making Warsaw look "bad". The pictures, IMHO, are just... amateur-looking. Like I gave my auntie an idiot-proof camera and told her to shoot away. OK, there are probably two or three in the whole lot that look a bit better than that. But overall, they are just disappointing, as pictures. They do not make me feel anything much. Or, to be more precise, they kinda make me feel "meh".


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