I perhaps do not know of any single photographer of landscape who would not nourish a special bias for a place or two and I'm of course no exception. I was grown below magnificent High Tatras so one can easily guess what my favorite spot is. The truth is that I have far less good Tatras images worth sharing than what the place deserves. One of the reason is that I enjoy just being out there much more than anywhere else and I do not feel distracted when I sometimes return home without even pulling a camera out of the bag.
I owe the place so much. A pure appreciation for it is only a one way of repaying my dues. I do not need to take the beauty with me today because I know I will come back for more one day. Unlike all of my travel, there's never any urgency to capture as many keepers as possible when I'm in High Tatras. It may well hold any creativity back as nothing pushes me to my limits when conditions are not all aligned but at the same time, it gives me a great freedom to feel and see more for future opportunities.
And I know there will be many as this is the place I want to return to live one day...
The image presented was actually captured from Lesnicke sedlo, which lies some 40 km from High Tatras. It's the gate to another amazing national park in Slovakia - Pieniny and at the same time one of the most spectacular viewpoints to see Tatras from. Also, the angle is less common as they are usually viewed from south (i.e. from Liptovsky Mikulas or Poprad) whereby this is north-east view with Belianske Tatry dominating on the right. As I've been to Lesnicke sedlo many times, I thought I had had all photographic options explored and the only differentiator amongst possible shots is lighting. I was not too lucky for few times in a row but this morning looked particularly promising with a crisp air and visibility, despite missing clouds up there. While waiting for the sunrise, I decided to walk down few dozens of meters to check if there's anything interesting as the foreground. My hopes were not too high because the lower I went, the view of the Tatras got worse. Then I spotted this tree, which somehow managed to keep its leafs as unexpectedly long as until early November. In a matter of seconds I climbed up to grab the camera to set it up in the best fashion that would allow to capture this beautiful contrast in nature. The very first light on the mountains in the back, Fuji Velvia and the warming polarizer added all ingredients needed to complete the job.