Col des Aravis - My Unlimited Playground

Col des Aravis is very nice and easily accessible area close to the mountain town La Clusaz in France (my favorite skiing resort). It is known for its countless outdoor possibilities from hiking to ski touring. To me it provides also interesting but in the same time challenging opportunity to pursue my photography. It is relatively small area with two dominate mountains on both side of the pass. When you arrive from La Clusaz, there is L’Etale on your right hand side. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful mountains in the chain of Aravis. 

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Expect the Unexpected

As a hobby photographer I cannot choose to go out when the conditions are perfect. I have to squeeze my photo adventures to couple of weekends a year. When I am not outside making pictures I do think about what kind pf photographs I would like to make next time, and I usually set  high expectations for the next trip. But as I cannot choose the perfect moment I am heavily relaying on given weather conditions on one specific weekend. 

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Small World - Photographs Added to The Gallery

I did mention my latest project “Small World” here some time ago, and I have been continuously working on it since than. This week I went to see my friend Jorg Brockmann who is a photographer and gallery owner here in Geneva. I did ask him for his opinion about this project and It was really nice and productive discussion and I was positively surprised by his comments and suggestions he made to me at the end. 

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Darkroom Saga Continues

I have spent quite some time in darkroom during last few months. I have been printing photographs for our exhibition Marek and I will have in November this year here in Geneva. It has been quite interesting process full of surprises, positive and negative. Those negative were actually not so bad, since I was able to learn new things from them, and those positive they are always nice.

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We are still here

Our blog has been quiet for some time, so I think it is time to bring some life back here. Marek and I have been very busy with our daily jobs recently, and it has been extremely difficult for me to find some extra time to sit in front of computer screen also at home. But do not worry we have not abandoned photography and this blog at all. We are still here and continue this journey, even though in a bit slower pace than we would wish. Today I would like share an update on what I have been up to recently.

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Busy days

I have been quite busy with my work, which is why I have not been active much here recently. To be honest it was not only work, which kept me away from writing blogs and sharing photos. I also spent very nice time with my parents who came to visit us to Geneva. Regarding photography, I have been mainly thinking about my current and future projects and of course I have spent some time in darkroom. I have almost finished my next silver print offer for November. This time it takes me bit longer than I expected, since I have to do some spotting in the final picture, nothing major just few small dots, but I have to say spotting is art on its own and I have already wasted few prints.

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Silver Gelatin Prints

Today I would like to announce start of this new product. Until now we have been offering inject prints only in our shop section, but from today I would like to offer you unique chance to buy newsilver gelatin prints. My objective is to print a new print in archival quality every month and present it here. I am also planning to share all details about the printing process and the photograph itself. I have found this inspiration in LensWork magazine and I strongly believe in systematic work, so I am willing to put this kind of pressure on me from now on.

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Prix de la Photographie Paris 2013

I just come back from my family vacation in south of France, so that is why our blog has been bit quiet recently. Today I would like to share one great news. My series of photographs of Northern Lights in Black and White was awarded First Price in this year's Prix de la Photographie Paris 2013 in category Fine Art. You can see the winning photographs here or in our gallery section. I am currently working very hard in darkroom to get them all printed on baryta paper. This unexpected success is huge motivation for my future work.

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New Photographs From Lake Geneva Added

Today just very briefly. The weather has been extremely hot here during last few days, so I am not able to write anything interesting nor meaningful. Therefore I just want to let you know, that I added few new black and white photographs from Lake Geneva area to our gallery section here. Lac Leman has been my ongoing project for several years and I am now getting to know the lake little bit more. I have discovered few new places recently, which I would like to revisit, when the conditions get ready. Summer time is usually very busy around the lake, so I will wait until late September, when holiday season is over, and I will be able to enjoy again those very special quiet mornings, which I like so much. My plans for summer are quite simple, I would like to spent as much time as possible in darkroom and also to do some mountain hiking. I hope you enjoy those new photographs and survive this heat wave:)  

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Exposing Negative

I wrote about my darkroom experience here, but later on I thought I should also write bit more about individual stages of my analog workflow. Therefore in this post I would like to focus on exposure and film development, since both are very important for future work in darkroom or in Photoshop. I am aware that internet is full of similar post and tutorials, so please take this as my individual approach, which is not the only one possible, but rather the one which works oaky for me. There are plenty of more experienced photographers, which I believe might have different opinion:)

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Northern Lights in Black and White

Seeing Northern Lights is very exceptional and amazing experience. I hope that I never forget the feeling I had after the first magical show I saw last winter in Landmanalaugar. The explosion of colors and shapes was unbelievable and definitely not from this world. On the other hand, from pure photographer’s perspective it is not easy to capture those special moments. That time I really did not handle it well from technical perspective. For example I was using only ISO 800, but I could have used even higher and get much shorter times, without blurry stars, and there were many other little things I should have done differently. With this experience I was getting ready for this year’s trip. I tested my Canon 5D mark II and I was sure that I can use up to ISO 1600 without any obvious quality deterioration, that I can use the lowest aperture on my 17-40 lens and I really have to pay attention to focus properly, manual focusing recommended.

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Black and White Photo Gallery

As Marek mentioned here we have decided to share more of our photographs with you. I would like to start with selection of my black and white photographs from Lake Geneva area, since it is my main ongoing photo project. I have been working on this project for few years with intention to discover capture the specific mood of the lake. For that purpose I am frequently visiting more or less hidden ports and beaches. I have been avoiding photographing the main lake’s icons for some time, but everything can change this spring, when I feel finely ready capturing those places and hopping to find a little bit different and inventive way. The whole project is designed to be in black and white and approximately since 2011 I am using exclusively the traditional black and white films, mainly Kodak T-Max, to achieve my goals. I do not have any strong reason for it, it is just personal preference, since I feel that black and white film together with silver gelatin print can produce excellent photograph with very specific and unique mood respective for the place.

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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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Latest Thoughts

I know that I have been talking about the photo festival in Gex quite a lot already. But I would like to share one more thought, or I should rather say the result of my presence there. The really great thing about the festival was the opportunity to talk to other photographers and visitors. I was very much surprised how all the attending photographers were willing to talk about their work, share their experiences and ideas. It was really special.

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Large format photography

It has been almost a year since I started with Ebony RSW 45 camera and I am finally getting to the point when I do have better control at least over the technical part of large format photography. During the year I have been facing some challenges, partly due to wrong purchases of used equipment or due to my own mistakes and lack of knowledge.

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Long Exposure Photography

I have been interested in long exposure photography for quite some time. My interest started after I saw amazing photographs made by Denis Olivier, his pictures look like they are not from this world, being unreal but tranquil and meditative in the same time. Since then I have been trying to master this technique on my own. I was learning by mistakes, and digital camera was extremely helpful tool thanks to which I manage to understand the whole workflow. However two years ago I switched to analog camera system and now I am using mainly black and white films.

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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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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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