London Art Spot: Przemek Wajerowicz

Photo of Przemek by Sandra Stainberg 

Equipped with his camera, Przemek climbs the stairs to the upper deck on one of London’s iconic double decker busses, takes a seat by the window and waits for a moment of inspiration. With hundreds of bus routes in this bustling city, he has plenty of options. Looking down, he has only a second for a scene to speak to him. If he catches it in time, which he often does, he captures the idiosyncrasies of ordinary people, normalcy and oddity of daily life in a large city, our diversity, work habits, all those things we do when we think no one is watching… 

63 to King's Cross

Przemek has turned his photography of daily London life into a project called From the Upper Deck and continues to post images to his blog daily. When he has enough, he plans to publish a book. He’s agreed to share some of his images here for this week’s London Art Spot and answer a few questions about the goals and challenges of his ongoing infatuation with the view from London’s upper decks.

237 to Shepherd's Bush

LLO: I hear you’re aiming to ride every bus route in London to take photos from the upper deck. That’s a lot of buses. How many have you done so far? 

PW: I am not really sure how many. I think I have done more than a hundred, but I don’t have exact number. I know that there are more than 200 bus routes in total, so it will take some time. I take some notes and the route is recorded with each photo anyway but I don’t have the exact number. It’s a bit messy, I know, but it works for me. 

28 to Wandsworth

 LLO: What sort of camera do you have?

 PW: Digital SLR camera with 50mm fixed lens.

For more London Art Spot interviews, click here.

41 to Tottenham Hale

LLO: What is the goal of From the Upper Deck?

The goal? The goal is simple and that is just to capture ordinary everyday life in London in the early 21st century.  

188 to North Greenwich

LLO: Most of your images are well composed despite the obvious limitations. Colours match up, people are in motion and contradictions that make an interesting photograph are in place. What do you look for in a scene before you snap a photo? 

PW: There are lot of factors – colours, sunlight, people, interactions between people that draw my attention. To be honest, the impulses that make me press the button are very random and often unpredictable.    

9 to Aldwych

LLO: Taking photos of strangers through bus windows with limited time to capture a scene must pose a few challenges. What issues have you dealt with and how do you overcome them?

PW: Well, the main difficulty is that you don’t have control of your position. In other words, you can’t stop and wait for the situation to unfold. The situation is either there and ready to be snapped, or it’s not. So it can be frustrating sometimes.

69 to Canning Town

LLO: How long have you been working on this project so far?  

PW: I have been taking photos from buses for about four years. I started on my daily routes to and form work just for fun and without any project idea in mind. It evolved into a project about two years ago when I started taking some remote routes and going to, for me, some really esoteric and obscure parts of London.   

19 to Battersea Bridge

 Thanks Przemek!

For more London Art Spot interviews, click here.

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