I took a long break from everything for the last 3-4 weeks hence the return to all the ordinary lives has been quite uneasy. I am now slowly getting back to all stuff I left behind in 2011. Before I happen to take any image this year, I thought it could be refreshing to look back and browse through my images for a while to see - what exactly? Don't know, really. Not that I expected to find anything mind-blowing. I actually awaited nothing. And, for a wonder, I found nothing. But going through my archive I realized I had seen so many beautiful places on Earth (in Europe, more precisely, but Earth surely sounds more fatal) that I struggled to say, which of them was the best looking. My database is organized by places and I got stuck switching from one folder to another to identify my Place (Miss) World (okay, Europe). I finally sorted them down but apparently not by the final result in the form of a photograph, but by the appeal a place has been having on me. And while PJ Harvey is trying to Let England Shake with her gorgeous voice, I list 5 of them for you below:
1. High Tatras, Slovakia
It goes without saying that my most favorite spot to photograph is High Tatras near where I was born. The small but splendid mountains that I'm spending relatively plenty of time in but I have to say that with very few exceptions, it has yet been difficult to make a satisfying image. I know though that it will come one day - I just have to be patient and bring some more dedication. Up to now, I was slightly more successful when shooting Tatras from a foothill, which is actually how I used to see them when I was growing up.
2. Landmannalaugar, Iceland
I have a special bias for nordic landscapes and sceneries. They are elementary and rough, and I believe this is how our world must have looked like millions years ago. Even more so in the region of Landmannalaugar, the place of colorful rhyolite hills and enormous lava fields covered by fresh-green moss. All of this threaded by hairs of rivers and eyes of lakes. Can't wait for our March trip to there.
3. Lofoten, Norway
Travelling to Lofoten has been my dream ever since I first time read of expeditions of Roald Amundsen. As with many other things, some dreams outwear the others and here I was, landing in Tromso twice last winter; heading straight to Reine and Svolvaer. One can easily die there as a magnificence of landscape makes him stop breathing easily. Unlike rough Icelandic sceneries, massive and snowed rock formations rearing up high from the sea act much more romantic. The beauty has a vast number of versions.
4. Isle of Skye, Scotland
Like plenty of others, few years ago I happily admired the taste of Tallisker whisky and configuration of landscape at Isle of Skye. What I found particularly amazing had been how peaceful and inspiring the place was despite it felt so close to a civilization like no other northern region in Europe I visited. Also, the ever-changing weather provided for lots of opportunities. I then wished badly to return there one day but I actually never did. Perhaps, because the Britain seems to be full of excellent landscape shooters who made Isle of Skye so over-photographed that I lost a hope to create anything different there. Not that I do elsewhere but I might have better chances and you kindly leave me with that hope.
5. Bokod, Hungary
Bokod is the lake in Hungary, some 80 kilometers west of Budapest. It's an interesting spot - everything else but beautiful. Plenty of old fishing houses on the water look incredibly romantic but the most wooden bridges would not carry a cat and I bet majority of cottages remained empty and destroyed. The infrastructure round the lake brought lively memories of ancient communist times and I do not think I'm too wrong saying that nobody touched benches, party tables and small playgrounds for at least 20 years. And what's more, there is a huge smoking and loud factory on the shore of the lake that destroys almost all views from every position. Nevertheless, I left with few photographs which show how even an ugly place can turn into a beauty when a right framing eliminates the sh*t. Pity the lighting could not turn better.
To conclude, I have no doubt that I'm somehow attracted by bold, cold and simple landscapes that makes mathematical sense. I appreciate a clear graphic designs of scenes in the North of Europe while keeping a tight connection to my homeland, which disposes with an absolutely different appeal. And to refresh myself, I guess I sometimes need to go to weird places... I just hope you enjoy my list but any comments and suggestions welcome!