There is something about these colors, and how I get myself Canon EOS R

In Czech we say something about an apple, which does not fall far from the tree. In my case it is also little bit true, as my son has became interested in photography. In his case it is mainly for his Instagram feed, but I would say quite normal thing in his age. Thanks to that I had a chance to spend some nice time together with him hiking in the mountains last year, and that is something we both will remember. I gave him my old canon 5d mkII, and started to teach the basic of photography. However, I did not expect the side effect of all this. After a while I have started to be interested in colors again, and wanted to give it a try on my own.

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New Photo Gallery

As I promised here I just added selection of my black and white photographs of Northern Lights to our gallery section. At the end I have decided to include photos I took on film and also with digital camera. I want you to see the difference between these two types of media. As much as I love the traditional analog black and white photography I have to admit that the digital system can produce higher technical quality files than the film. But maybe it is too early to say that, since I still have not printed my negatives in darkroom and also it was just my first attempt in this field. As I said earlier there are still a lot of things which can be improved when I have a chance to photograph the northern lights next time. So maybe next year I will tell you exact opposite:)

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Back from Iceland

It is hard to believe that this year’s trip to Iceland is already over, but in the same time it is great to be back home with my family. Now it’s time to develop all negatives, scan them and do the necessary post processing. I can already see, it is going to be quite long process, but I will do my best to share new photographs as soon as possible.

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Black and White Magazine

Few days ago I found out that my portfolio from Iceland won the Excellence Award in yearly portfolio contest organized by well respected Black and White Magazine in USA. I am really excited about it and it is just great motivation for my future work and development. So here are few photographs which were published in the Special issue at the end of May 2012.

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Iceland - Work in Progress

I am still busy with processing my negatives from my trip to Iceland in winter 2012. I am done with scanning and I have started the selecting and adjusting process. Since I am not in a hurry, I do find useful to compare the new photographs with those I took during my two previous trips to Iceland in 2009 and 2010. I am quite amazed how much some of those places have changed and also how my personal photographic vision has changed over the years. The first obvious difference in my photography approach, is the total change of my equipment. Unlike the two previous visits, when I was using mostly digital camera (90 % of time), this time I was using almost exclusively Ebony 4x5 large format camera with black and white films and the digital camera was used only in a few situations as a back-up.

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Photo Exhibition

I am very happy to inform you that Marek and I were invited to exhibit our photographs from Iceland during one of the major photo festivals in Geneva region. Confrontations-Gessiennes is taking place in Gex, France from October 5 to October 7, 2012. We will be showing approximately 20 photographs, which we have taken during our last three trips to Iceland in 2009, 2010 and 2012. The name of our exhibition is “Iceland: One Place Two Visions”, which is also our ongoing project, where we are trying to show the same places taken by two individual photographers using different color and black and white media. More details will follow, but in case you will be around you can put this date already to your calendar.

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Back from Iceland

It has been almost two weeks since I come back from trip to Iceland. As Marek showed is one of the previews posts Brief Report from Iceland we had experienced quite a lot of different weather events, such as very strong winds, snow storms, heavy rain and of course clear and cold nights during which we were extremely lucky and had a chance to witness the amazing Northern lights shows. Just before our trip started, the weather forecasts did not give us much hope to see the Northern lights, since very cloudy and stormy weather was expected for almost every day and night. So our expectations were very low.

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Canon 5D Mark III

This new camera from Canon has been rumored for many moths and finely on Friday, March 2, 2012 Canon launched this new generation of 5D series. I am not technical expert, so I do not want to write a technical review I will leave that for others, but since I own Canon 5D mark II I feel I can write about my own impressions and whether I am going to upgrade or not. So for those who do not want to read the full story, I can say right now that I am not going to upgrade and I will stick to my current camera until it keeps working. I am seriously very happy with it and most of the new features of mark III are not really important for my work. I believe that Canon is right in saying that they listened to the existing 5D mark II users and they tried to satisfy most of their needs. Internet was full of complains about the mark II autofocus and speed with only 3.9 fps. I am not expert on video functionality, but there were also few complains in that area, which Canon tried to solve trough firmware updates.

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Black and white workflow – Part 2

Few months back I wrote first part of this black and white workflow tutorial and I really did not expect that it would take me so long to come up with part two. So here it is:) As I said last time I prefer to have just simple grey files as a starting point.  It helps me to select only the strong photographs, which I really want to present.  I can imagine that everybody has their own system how to mark and rate photographs so just only briefly about my way.  All photographs, which I convert to black and white get red label (number 6 in Lightroom) and during the selection process I do rate individual pictures with stars and one star means that this picture is ready for further adjustments.

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Photo of the Week - September 26, 2011

The longer I do have photography as a hobby, the more it represents an open dialogue between me and nature, rather than speed and quantity oriented picture taking, how It used to right at the beginning of my photography journey. I am personally trying to develop my own active dialogue with nature, but in the same time I am trying to hear or better to say observe ongoing dialogues between other different nature objects and I put myself in the position of distant listener, who does not want to interrupt ongoing discussions.

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Photo of the Week - July 17, 2011

I took this photograph this year in February during my trip to Norway. It was one one the many photo trips I have been together with Marek. However, I now more and more prefer to go out taking pictures on my own, traveling with Marek is always very easy and of course a lot of fun. Even though, we have been visiting the same places for many years we very rarely manage to get similar photographs. I guess that it has also something to do with the fact that we both are using different medium, Marek color slide film Fuji Velvia and I use black and white films or converting the digital files to black and white latter. This trip to Lofoten was little bit different, since unlike for example Iceland, there were not many opportunities to spread around the locations and find different subjects matters.

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Black and White Workflow – Part 1

Quite a lot of people, including my friends from Lightharmony, have been asking me how do I do mine Black and White conversions. So finally I have forced myself to start with this little tutorial about my workflow and black and white landscape photography in general. My attraction to black and white photography started sometime back in 2005, and as I mentioned in previous blog the main trigger for me was John Sexton’s book “Recollections”, where I was so impressed by all the different tones of gray, the precise compositions and the overall strong atmosphere of the photographs that I wanted to try it by myself. The whole transition process from color to black and white photography took me couple of years and approximately from early 2009 I have been seeing the world exclusively in tones of gray. I can say that this switch opens entirely a new world of landscape photography for me. Since, I am now focusing on composition and subject matter more than before and I am trying to keep my photographs as simple as possible. I have found that in some of my older color photographs colors play to big role and more or less are substituting for not very strong compositions. I also think that black and white photographs have kind of more abstract and mystery feel, which forces viewers to use fully their imagination:)

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