6 Days of Iceland

Iceland left me spellbound when I first visited in 2009. I have been coming every year since, up until 2013. Don’t get me wrong here, my passion for the simple, moon-like design of its landscape has not faded at all. To me, it is somewhat less of a traditional landscape and more of a workspace that can be perfectly decomposed into shapes, structures, lines, patterns and tones. The reason I stopped returning was the enormous hype for photographing the country and its famous spots, apparently fuelled by spectacular images on every social media around. See the stats - in 2009, only 493,000 tourists visited the country. The number grew to almost 800,000 in 2013 and it has banged to over 2 million in 2017.

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone - First Impressions

In my photography, I have always been intrigued by different perspective. As an old school guy with fixed focal length lenses, I had no other choice but my feet to get it. And I liked it as it was the part of the process and it will stay like this - horizontally.

But. There is also a vertical direction to get the unusual sights. For years, I was ignoring it as drones were simply too large, too heavy and not portable enough. It was not the option until some time last year when I spotted the first Mavic Pro in one of the shops and I got immediately striked by its compact size when folded. The size of one middle range lens (198 x 83 x 83mm). Meaning that I could now carry my main kit and only replace one lens with the drone and put the controller to the pocket. I took it for a test drive to Baikal this Spring and I wrote some bits here and here. I wanted to do a more comprehensive review that has not happened eventually.

And now with Mavic 2 in my hands it makes a little sense to do it.

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The Place To Be

I wrote before a bit about my new toy that I took with me to Baikal this year - DJI Mavic Pro. I'm still flattered by the new possibilities it adds to my landscape photography practice. My photographic sessions became longer as I used the drone at all times when I finished shooting or when the light was too flat. What's the most amazing about it all is that you don't really need too much to start producing an interesting footage and imagery from the air.

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Baikal Again. And Again.

Today was certainly the coldest day I have ever experienced. My phone showed minus 29 when I was leaving the hotel at about 5am. And it did not get any warmer later. All my outdoor and photography equipment went through the ultimate test. And I’m happy to report that except for iPhone X losing the image transition signal when flying the drone, everything else including Phase One (that I was afraid it might have been built mainly for a studio shooting) worked flawlessly and reliably - it definitely exceeded my own operational longevity at such weather.

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Postcard from South Korea

I’m back from (South) Korea for a few days now, but postcards always arrive with delays. The business that feeds me brought me to Seoul and I could not miss the opportunity to see Korean nature and experience a bit of its culture. It has been a very short trip – 5 days of wandering through the country without any plan. Although usually I like to take a hippie approach and instantly react to opportunities, not having a plan proved to be a problem this time when it came to photographing. Together with the weather – even when I got to a nice place, there were no clouds, no colors and the blue skies only.

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Never Assume

Have you ever been frustrated and disappointed on your vacation? This is how I felt for a few days when we arrived to Olkhon this Saturday. The structures of the frozen lake are now covered by snow and there has been very little clouds until now. The warm and windless weather (around zero degrees at noon) transformed a wild and rough beast into a calm and gentle princess, ideal destination for traveling parents with their toddlers.

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Why Do You Photograph?

Not long ago, I have come across a striking and a thought provoking meditation by Guy Tal on why we photograph. I have been following and admiring Guy's work and story for many years. I mention the story on purpose as it chiefly exceeds his photography.

It is the whole process of creating photographs and not so much the photographs themselves that blows me away. As if anything in one's existence that is different from ordinary and that goes beyond bare necessities of life, it has a beneficial effect on all vital functions and human senses.

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Baikal Calling

This place is so different from all I have experienced so far that it deserves every kind of engagement and one is actually unable to avoid it unless he / she lives there. I just feel I owe Baikal more than what I have done last year. Hence, I'm going there on March 11 for a week.

In case of interest, I would be very happy if any of you joined me. Seriously - I can help with the logistics and everything else. Just write me an email right now.

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The Kit Is Complete

It did not come easy, but I left film behind lately and switched to digital. Despite of what I wrote about the comparison of the two before. Or perhaps because of it - the CMOS Phase One chip of my IQ150 has somehow become more vibrant and of a character than extremely neutralised CCD of previous models.

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Scotland Exhibition Gallery

First off, we would like to thank you all so much for the interest in our exhibition. Also, the turnout for the opening could hardly be any larger, we're so grateful! It will take few more days only so those who missed it for any reason, please don't be scared to visit Cafe Velryba and check it out. Here's what you get to see in colour, but it's always more impressive live than virtually:

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