It's been more than a year since we finished our project 15 Treasures of Slovakia with the book printed. Six members of the Lightharmony camera club based in Slovakia photographed 15 places to convey beauties of our country to public and customers of a financial institution we have done the work for, in couple of exhibitions. We are now left with less than 10 prints of the book yet for sale. The texts in there are in both, Slovak and English. Interestingly written, by the way. Wikipedia was not used, they rather talk stories that are unique and unknown about the 15 different spots. For archival purposes, I embed the code to browse through the book electronically:
It's been an amazing experience yet a difficult task to deliver photographs on order, from specifically selected places. It may look piece of cake at the first glance but given extreme time constraints, we many times had only one attempt at a destination. So we had to do unusual things to get the shot even if the weather conditions did not particularly play with us.
The ruins of Spis Castle are one of the largest castles in Central Europe, and are one of the most photographed sites in Slovakia. I had no chance to repeat the session hence it was essential to try various means for achieving results that would eventually stand off what the average image of the castle usually is. I was looking to include Spisska Kapitula into the image as well - it essentially gave the ruins a little bit of context or otherwise I would have to go closer to it I guess. The lighting conditions were not too favorable with the overcast sky moving slowly above the subjects. I've been waiting for a break-through but when it got clear to me that the sun cannot get through the clouds, I went for the long exposure (11 minutes) with as many as 4 different filters assisting me in getting the blur and the warm colors on my Velvia. What I love about shooting this way is that one can hardly predict what all these filters combined with long exposures cause to the film but in this case I remained quite happy about the result.
Coming back to the book, even after long time I'm actually extremely happy with how it looks like although I would do many things differently now. First and foremost, I would never allow the kind of time pressure we had been creating it under. It limited our options and artistic notions to much greater extend I was willing to admit. In fact, I think that for this reason I will hardly want to get commissioned again. If it does not lead straight to destroying of an opinion on a subject then at least, it influences it largely.