Behind the Photograph: Konrad Bartelski

Konrad Bartelski

At Loxley Colour, we’re very much focused on making sure your photographs look amazing. We’re all about the print finish here, but this new series will instead be looking behind the photograph.

We want to know what inspired some of our customers’ best images. In this first instalment of our series, we chat with landscape photographer Konrad Bartelski about this gorgeous shot he captured on a trip to Chile.

Tell us about this image

This early morning shot was taken by Konrad in Torres del Paine at the southern end of Patagonia in Chile. He was with a group on their way to Antarctica, but due to travel issues, they had to stop in Chile for a few days. A detour that proved beneficial for Konrad, as he captured this and a selection of other fascinating images:

“I had not planned on being at this truly magnificent part of the world, yet my group, on an expedition to ski in Antarctica, we were diverted there… So, it was a real bonus to experience the most beautiful parts of the Andes.”

Konrad Bartelski

His impromptu trip to Chile found him nestled next to some of the most dramatic views in the world, which Konrad had to make the most of:

“I had just finished breakfast and I noticed the swirling clouds and the light dancing over the spectacular peaks, so I grabbed by 70-200mm lens and walked down from my hotel to get a clear view of the lake and the peaks.”

In Chile for three days, the morning of this photograph gave him the best conditions for shooting. The unique lighting of the moment meant Konrad had to capture it:

“I rarely am able to take a tripod on my expeditions, I was shooting hand held. I used a fast shutter speed of 1/2500. Aperture was F4.5 at 150. I have such faith in my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. With this lens, I have managed to capture skiers in my landscape photographs who have been six miles away.”

Life on the mountains

A former Olympic skier, Konrad has been on mountains for most of his life, travelling around the world for his sport and photography. Despite this, he never lost his sense of awe when standing in front of such a gorgeous scene:

“My life has been influenced by the mountains in so many ways, yet each day that I am in company of the majesty of geography, I still always feel an immense sense of privilege. All over the world, the mountains all have such a strong personality and their impressions resonate in such very different ways.”

Konrad Bartelski

This trip to the Andes was no different for Konrad. He was blown away by the grandeur of this mountain range and was thrilled to have had the opportunity to admire and photograph them:

“Flying over the Andes was such a revelation. The scale of the glaciers and the incredible geography was just remarkable, of a dimension that I have never experienced before. The mountains in South America might not be the very highest, yet they certainly have a dramatic and expansive geography that has to be seen to be believed.”

From the Olympics to Olympus

Now retired from professional skiing, Konrad has more time to focus on his other passion in life, photography. He’s still on those mountains, now capturing stunning landscape shots or fantastic sports images.

Konrad Bartelski

Photography has always been something he’s been interested in, and his sports career meant he had great opportunities to photograph around the world:

“I was always interested in photography as a young teenager and then when I started to travel the world for my ski training and the competitions, I would always travel with my Olympus OM-2. It was such a different experience taking photographs back then; sometimes I would be travelling for five weeks and only after I got home did I get a chance to see the finished product. There were so many disappointments, as well as some wonderful surprises too.”

Konrad Bartelski

Konrad uses Loxley Colour to display his landscapes because he understands the power of print. He knows the best way for people to appreciate and admire his work is to print and display them on something equally as professional:

“Having cut my teeth processing my negatives and printing in a darkroom that I had built in the loft of my parents’ house, I am aware that taking a photograph is just 40% of the whole process. My work is never completed until I get to see the final print, properly mounted and framed. Only then do I feel that my work is complete, and for that I always use Loxley’s Hahnemühle fine art paper – the Fine Art Pearl 285gsm. I just love the delicacy of the tones, both in black and white and colour. And the team there, who print the fine art work, really do make my prints sing!”


What’s next for Konrad?

Konrad had a successful debut exhibition in November last year at Wimbledon Fine Art Gallery. He’s now busy working on his next project:

“Seeing the encouraging reception to my minimalistic winter mountainscapes, I am currently working on my next project: ‘The 7 Cs’, an exhibition that opens on the 19th of November at the D-Contemporary Gallery.”

You can see Konrad’s next exhibition at the D-Contemporary Gallery on 23 Grafton Street in Mayfair, London in November.

Next month, we’ll be looking behind one of Loxley Colour Ambassador Hamish Scott-Brown’s images to discover his inspirations.