About - Filip Wolak

About the series

The Winter from Above series is a result of passion, commitment, love of flying, and photography. For an experienced pilot and an accomplished photographer, this marriage is a natural way to express the beauty of the world as seen from above. It is also the appreciation of the simplicity and the elegance of nature. It offers a unique way to look at common things from a different perspective.

It’s the world where familiar objects take new shapes by vividly contrasting against featureless backgrounds, often recognizable only by the shadow they cast. Some structures remain unknown until the viewer dives into the details. The featureless background makes the images appear almost graphic, crossing the boundary between photography and drawing.

All photographs in this series have been taken from Cessna 172, a personal airplane and flight trainer. In majority of the cases, Filip is piloting the plane and photographing at the same time. This configuration allows him the full control over the attitude of the plane – so critical to the outcome. Sometimes, a safety pilot is present to monitor the flight. Each flight is a mission that required careful planning ⎯ the weather, the visibility, the winds, the angle of the sun⎯all must come together at the right time, with a little bit of luck and chance. 


About the author

Filip Wolak is a photographer, commercial pilot, and flight instructor. Originally from Poland, he began flight training in 2005, at first for the pure joy of the challenge. After a few years, Filip completed his training and received airline pilot privileges. Filip currently works as a professional photographer in New York City, specializing in various areas of commercial photography.

He is flying actively for work, leisure or fun. His experience in photography and piloting allows him to merge these passions and create unique photographs of the world, as seen from above. His ultimate goal is to be able to fly floatplanes in Alaska, with the camera always ready, by his side.

Previously named the 'Coolest Nightlife Photographer' by Time Out New York and 'Most Influential' by Lens Magazine for a series of photographs covering nightlife in New York City. His aerial photograph of wintry Central Park has won the Sony World Photography Award (in the Open Architecture category in 2016) – world largest photographic competition – which got over 230,000 photo submissions that year. It also took 2nd place in Poland National Award of the WPO.

The Winter from Above series has also received Silver Award in PX3 (Prix de la Photographie Paris) in 2017, and was the winner of 'Cityscapes' category of 2017 Chromatic Photography Awards. His recent success is a Honorable Mention at IPA: International Photography Awards, in 2018 and took 3 awards at TIFA: Tokyo International Photography Awards the same year.

His large-format photographs has been displayed on numerous shows in his native country of Poland and around the world. You can see his work published in major media, both print and on-line.

For his contributions to his hometown of Toruń, Filip has been recognized by a permanent plaque in the "Gingerbread Boulevard of Stars" in the city Center.

His commercial work along with other photographic projects can be seen at www.fotofilip.com.


You can reach Filip via email at filip@fotofilip.com or under +1 917-971-9323

"Winter from Above" video by Josephus Tudtud

Select exhibitions

Stara Galeria ZPAF, Warsaw, Poland

February 27—March 8, 2019
Plac Zamkowy 8, Warsaw

Galeria Wozownia, Toruń, Poland

January 11—February 11, 2019
Rabiańska 20, Toruń

Alicja Stańska Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

December 7, 2018–January 7 2019,
Aleje Jerozolimskie 47, Wasaw

Salomon Arts Gallery*, NYC

November 15–20, 2018
83 Leonard St, New York

Sohn Fine Art*, Lenox MA

December 1, 2017–January 29, 2018
69 Church St, Lenox, Massachusetts

Państwowa Galeria Sztuki, Sopot, Poland

September 23rd–October 23rd, 2016
Plac Zdrojowy 2, Sopot, Poland

Somerset House*, London

April 22nd—May 8th, 2016
Strand, London WC2R 1LA, United Kingdom

U Space*, Beijing

June 7— June 26, 2016
Guangqu Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

Willy-Brandt-Haus*, Berlin

July 5—September 30, 2016
Wilhelmstraße 140, 10963 Berlin, Germany



Select media appearances

Print / On-line

"Here's what it's like to watch New York's Fourth of July fireworks show from 7,000 feet in a private plane" – Business Insider

"Majestic Aerials of the Winter Wonderland" – Wired Magazine

"Aerial Photographer Prefers Airplanes over Drones" – The Weather Channel

"Make it unique - The extraordinary aerial photos of Filip Wolak" – World Photography Organisation
"...jest niezwykłe" – Gazeta Wyborcza Weekend
"Najlepszy na świecie latający fotograf", Interview – Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto
"Wyjątkowa wystawa w Sopocie" – Onet
Interview – Fakt 24
Interview – Gazeta Wyborcza (national)
"Most Influential" – Lens Magazine
"Cool New York Photographer" – Time Out New York


TVN24 News – Interview 
Pytanie na Śniadanie – Interview, TVP2
Świat się Kręci – Talk Show Appearance, TVP


"Oscarowa fotografia w PGS", Interview – Polskie Radio, Program 3
"World's best architecture photographer", Interview – Polskie Radio / Radio Poland
"...Najlepszy na Świecie Latający Fotograf", Inteview – Radio Gdańsk
Interview – Polskie Radio, Program 1

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