Prendergast to feature Warren photographer

The Prendergast Library Art Gallery will present “A Journey in Photographs,” the travel photography of Brad M. Bielawski of Warren June 21-July 26. There will be an opening reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 21, to meet Bielawski and view his work.

“You never know where a great image may arise, so I always keep my camera at the ready. More often than not, the image finds you,” Bielawski said.

The show will feature a variety of subjects from his travels near and far including hiking in the surrounding area, road tripping across the continent, and backpacking around the world. Some of the pieces are exhibited in a multi-media format, breaking from the standard frame.

“My technique is something like that of a photojournalist, creatively capturing every moment from the obligatory landmarks to the more ‘ordinary’ bits. In many parts of the world, the ‘commonplace’ things are novel and noteworthy like a white-knuckled rickshaw ride through insane traffic or the ‘I-can’t-believe-people-eat-that’ offerings at the butcher shop,” he said.

Bielawski began dabbling in photography 18 years ago as a protege of local photographer Robert K. Olejniczak.

“While hiking the mountains of the Adirondacks with our cameras, he shared the secrets of capturing the ideal photograph, especially demonstrating the profound effects lighting can have on an image. When I later began taking road trips and traveling abroad, my camera became a tool to help communicate what I was experiencing with those back home,” Bielawski said.

The photographer prefers the least amount of equipment necessary. He speaks from experience when he says expensive equipment can be a liability in the developing world, since he once was mugged and relieved of a new camera an hour after touching down in Zimbabwe.

“Compact gear allows for candidness, portability, and spontaneity. There is some sacrifice in technical quality, but you can do magic with post-processing software these days,” he said.

Bielawski works in consumer products at Whirley DrinkWorks, using a variety of techniques from traditional hand sketching to digital sculpting.

He and his wife, Anna, a music teacher, enjoy reading, travel, maintaining an old farmhouse, exploring the outdoors, and dabbling in a variety of artistic endeavors.

Library hours to view “A Journey in Photographs” will be 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The next Prendergast Library exhibitor will be Casey Brink.

The library is located at 509 Cherry St., Jamestown. For information, call (716) 484-7135.