The Edge of Autumn

This very morning, I left Prague at 4am to go to Jested aiming to again weigh my Linhof camera in my hand after what was almost six months. Martin Rak made me a pleasant company so here we were, driving a steep little road that leads right on top of the hill. Extremely comfortable photography from a parking lot with 360 degrees views. I have never been there before hence I wondered and hoped for some good conditions. The weather is promising, actually amazing - we saw autumn leaves still on trees here and there, and rather warm colors in valleys while noticed snow on top of mountains. We pass fogged foothills and it is freezing healthy.

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Isle of Eigg - Blessed With Light

It was a pretty dull early morning there on Isle of Eigg, but we decided to go explore the place despite, as we just arrived. It took a few hundred meters to get from the lodge we slept in to the Bay of Laig, the beautiful sandy beach with the amazingly photogenic silhouette of Isle of Rum in view right on the horizon. We found the beach fully naked, with the lowest tide revealing lovely sandy mosaics and structures. They were constantly on the move, as small streams of the water played with the dark and light sands mixing them nicely together. Fascinated I walked carefully on the moving sand looking for some strong schemas for the foreground. The lighting looked awful (to no surprise for me - I'm used), but we have had the entire week for this place so I remained calm and actually enjoyed a lot that I don't need to be in a rush here whatsoever.

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Twenty Four Trees and More

Near Rostock, that day I have been looking for a perfect shoreline that I could spend a good time with, but I happened to discover an amazing forest to photograph instead. I walked through it, stubbornly hoping that the coastal views my map would suggest are going to be worth it. Only at the cliff, enjoying the visual range of few kilometers, I found out that it looked the same way as those I shot this morning, previous evening, previous morning, pre-previous evening... Turning back though, this is what I saw:

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View Point

It has been few months since I bought the Ebony 4x5 camera  and I have been quiet busy learning how to use it since then. For my personal education I borrowed the famous Jack Dykinga’s “Large Format Nature Photography” book from Marek, and I bought “View Camera Technique” by Leslie Stroebel on Amazon. Both of these books are proving great introduction to large format camera system, but the latter gives more technical details, to which I personally begun to understand just after I started to use my camera and be able to test all the tricks in real life. I am still quite far away from mastering the large format camera technique, but I am slowly discovering the amazing potential, which such camera can provide to landscape photographer.  I am especially impressed by the possibility to get the ultimate control of the “Depth of Field” even with wide angle lenses, which is quiet difficult to achieve with any other camera system I have used yet. What I actually mean is that I am now able to get just very small area in focus, while the rest is remaining blurred or out of focus, something like the lonely bench in this photograph.

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Sony NEX-5n - More Than a Scrapbook

As I slowly climb my learning curve with the technical camera, I'm being introduced to its stumbling blocks of various kind. One of them, and quite major, is that I find difficult to compose and eventually focus with a wide angle lens in low light conditions. The converted reflection of a scene on the ground glass is simply too dark to work with it. Also, when I want to preview how the image might look like, there is no viewfinder for almost an instant feedback. It obviously takes considerable amount of time to set the system up, put a dark cloth over my head and see what the final result could look like. If I don't like what I see, I need some 5 minutes to pack it back. For these reasons, I decided to look for a small camera to use for sketching designs and previewing scenes.

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Countless Reasons to Love High Tatras

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.

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Czech-in Time

I have been living in the Czech Republic for the past three years. I was also here between 2003 and 2006, which makes the total period spent in Prague 6 long years. All this time mostly working and enjoying free time with my kids and wife. When I recently browsed through my archive, I realized that I had very few images of Czech landscapes that I am happy with. It's perhaps because I actually did expose just a few rolls of Velvia in here. The very most of my photography happens on the trips out of the country, be it photo expeditions to the north of Europe that I started to travel to couple of years back, or journeys home to Slovakia where I do not need to work and can leave my family behind with their family and go shooting. :-) But that's not the end of the shame, I have to admit that I have not tried to photograph anywhere else than in the Bohemian Switzerland, which I urge myself to change no later than within the next 2-3 months when testing my new Linhof Techno kit. The learning curve seems to be steep enough to look for any opportunity to get out of home not just wait for the next trip.

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