Winter overview and plans for the summer

Despite the fact, that there is still a lot of snow in the Alps, the winter is definitely over, at least for me. However, I have to say that it was one of my best winters in many respects. We did spend quite a lot of family time in the mountains skiing and I also did take some interesting photographs. As I mentioned in one of my previews posts I have spent some time around Lake Geneva and I was very fortunate with the weather conditions, especially in February, when the temperature had dropped significantly below zero Celsius. As usual we also went to Gran Canaria during the winter school break and I have continued to work on my  two ongoing projects “Open Space” and “Dreaming Dunes”.

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Photo of the Week - August 28, 2011

This is probably my favorite photograph from both trips to Iceland. I took it last year in the northern part of Iceland in area called Krafla. There were definitely much more interesting subjects to photograph, but I was quite impressed with this view, where the last remaining snow splotches created a great contrast against green grass and dark cloudy sky. It was also one of my first experiences with medium format analog camera. I had had my Contax 645 for just few weeks before this trip. Unfortunately, I do still do not have a long lens, so I had to use standard 80 mm lens instead. I was little bit worried that the sky will be little bit to big for such small motive like that, so I decided to use long exposure, and was hoping that the moving clouds will get the very much needed third dimension to this relatively flat scene, and I was also hoping that the photograph would get the kind of feeling of “unstoppable time”.

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Photo of the Week – August 7, 2011

Today was quite special day for me, since I went to a first photo workshop in my life. The topic was traditional black and white printing, and my tutor was one of the best printers in Geneva region, or maybe in whole Switzerland, Aurélien Garzarolli from Actinic studio here in Geneva. We started at 9 am with some introduction to silver gelatin black and white process and after a while I was learning how to use masking tools for dodging and burning    with some prints on RC paper. In the afternoon, when I got some confidence with using the masking tools, I had a chance to start with printing on baryta papers (Ilford Multigrade FB Warmtone). I do realize that I am still influence by this experience, but watching the photograph to slowly emerge on baryta paper is somehow special and when I saw the final photograph under normal light, with all the deep shadows, rich whites and smooth gradient in mid tones, I was very very impressed, despite the fact that my mentor was not so happy about my first print, but that was kind of expected:)

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Photo of the Week - July 4, 2011

I took this photograph in February 2011 during our family vacation on Gran Canaria. We have been returning to the same place every year since our son was born in 2006. I know that family holiday and landscape photography do not necessary match together, but I am quite lucky that my loved family members let me spend some mornings alone by the Atlantic Ocean cost and focus on my photography. This year was quite tough for me since the weather conditions were not in favor to me and I was quite disappointed already on the very first morning since I did not get the chance to take the photographs I was pre-visualizing back home. Unfortunately, the same weather conditions had persisted also during my second morning and cloudless blue sky forced me to rethink my objectives and I went to explore nearby sand dunes, which is very beautiful small area with a lot of photo possibilities, but very often visited by many tourists so the amazing dunes structures are destroyed by footprints and in the worse case by trash left over by some irresponsible people.

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Lee Big Stopper

In this post I would like to share my personal experience with Lee Big Stopper ND filter, rather that provide full technical review, which you might be used to from other websites. I have been experimenting with Long Exposure techniques for couple of years.   I started with just three EV stop full ND filter, which allowed me to get exposures in range from 1 to 30 seconds during the day. Latter on I become quite curios what the photographs can look like with longer exposures and I purchased ten stop round ND filter with the tread to attach to my lenses.

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