Jacek Kropidlowski, a retired mining surveying assistant, poses for a portrait in his living room while wearing his formal mining uniform, adorned with medals for his services and achievements. Kropidlowski worked 33 years in mining before being forced to retire from his position at the Wałbrzych mine once it was slated to close. “It was really hard for me. It was just impossible to understand. It was incomprehensible. Now when you look at it, it was preempted.”
Jerzy Kosmaty, retired technical director of the mining unions in Wałbrzych, worked full-time in mining in Wałbrzych from 1961 until he retired in 1990. He attended the Academy of Mining and Metalurgy in Krakow and earned degrees in both mining and geology. He was assigned to continue part of his applied studies at the Victoria coalmine in Wałbrzych for five years, but ended up staying for 50, building his career around coalmining in Wałbrzych.
A strong sense of national pride has directed the course of Kosmaty’s life and his ultimate career in Wałbrzych. His father was an officer in the army and died the day that Germany invaded Poland in 1939. After university, when Kosmaty was offered a prestigious position with an Italian company, he balked at the idea of leaving his country, “It was quite popular at that time for people to escape, to runaway from Poland,” he said. “No I can’t do that. This is where my father is buried…It would have been impossible to leave Poland, this is my place.”
Jerry Pierson poses for a portrait outside his home in The Cedars in Dallas, Tx., 2014.
Tyler Lang of Birdseye, 17, waited patiently on the ground as he was crow hunting with family and friends on the Langs' property in Birdseye on Jan. 12. Tyler was injured in a car accident in March 2012, his junior year at Crawford County High School, that left him without the use of his legs. With a strong will and family support, he continues to do what he likes to do the most, hunt.
Monk Lo Chan poses for a portrait inside the Wat Lao Siribuddhavas temple during Laos New Year in Royse City on Sunday, April 20, 2014. Chan has been a monk for four months and said that he did it in order to pay repentance back to his mother and for himself.
Michael Binder, 12, son of the owner of Showtime Farms in Southlake, poses for a portrait in the locker room on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Southlake's household median income from 2008-2012 is $181,122 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Marek, a former miner in the Walbrzych coal mines, now mines coal illegally with his son and two other partners. Working in the mines is hard work, but it allows them to earn money using their skills.
From left, Billy Sturgeon, his wife Jodi Sturgeon, daughter Samantha Sturgeon and son James Patrick Sturgeon, dressed as a Klingon family, pose for a portrait after performing at Cosplay during the Dallas Comic Con and Sci-Fi Expo at the Irving Convention Center on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014.