Expect the Unexpected

I just returned from long expected and looked forward to journey to High Tatras, my home land. Spending 4 days with one of my best photography buddies, Stefan Mestan (see his gallery), walking long hours below cloudless skies and familiarizing with my linhof techno was both, exciting and refreshing. As it always is when I get out there to do nothing but shoot. I'm now looking at processed slides and I have to confess that I never returned back from any trip with such pathetic results. The autumn has not come and likely won't this year - instead of rich yellows of birch trees and reds of rowans, we only saw leafs that were drying up alive. We saw far too much grey and perhaps two-three clouds, not more.

It seems like the summer will switch straight away into winter. I read somewhere that this September was warmest since 1901... It reminded me the extremely dry winter 2008 when there was no snow whatsoever. I paid few visits to my favorite spots but suffered to get an IMAGE out of it. On that particular day I gave up morning shoot out in Lesnicke sedlo even before sunrise as I could see nothing through the thick fog that did not even try to move for an inch. But on the way back, I got above it and witnessed a 10 minutes performance that I'm gonna remember forever.

I parked my car on the top of a hill while crossing Spisska Magura and walked a contour line. It is the spot I tried to photograph few times however, no result was worth publishing yet. I like a solitaire spruce standing there posing just to be shot but as I'm not a bird photographer, I do not possess a long enough lens to get to a satisfying result. This is how the place looks like when lit with soft morning light and subsequently cropped to eliminate elements that one cannot retouch even if he's a machine.

  Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 210mm, Film: Phase One P30, ISO: 100, Exposure: 1/6s, Aperture: f/11

Camera: Hasselblad H1, Lens: 210mm, Film: Phase One P30, ISO: 100, Exposure: 1/6s, Aperture: f/11

On the day I'm talking about, I got lucky to see nothing else but mists playing with the spruce tree. MY TREE could be seen and I was completely ecstatic. Normally, fogs on Velvia can easily turn too bright and cold hence I decided to use my strongest warming filter 81C combined with Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer and slightly underexposed the image. It's always a lottery to guess how the slide would look like and this time I felt it felt too yellowish and on a darker side but at the end of the day, this is what I hoped for. Because of the haze, I lacked a contrast on the slide that was added in the post-process. Basically nothing else was made to the image. The result shows how different can a scenery turn if non-standard atmospheric conditions happen and you're lucky enough to be there and expect the unexpected. By the way, no crop was needed for this one.

  Camera: Mamyia 645 Pro TL, Lens: 105-210 at 210mm, Film: Fuji Velvia 50, Filters: Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer, Lee Warming 81C, Exposure & Aperture: unrecorded

Camera: Mamyia 645 Pro TL, Lens: 105-210 at 210mm, Film: Fuji Velvia 50, Filters: Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer, Lee Warming 81C, Exposure & Aperture: unrecorded