Photographs with words

As I mentioned here I have quite decent collection of book about photography. One book, which I like quite a lot is Michael Kenna’s “Love in Black and White”. This books combines amazing Kenna’s photographs with very special poems written by Bianca Rossini. I have always found this combination of the photographs and words as the “ultimate” form of art, and I was dreaming how nice it would be to have a chance to accompany my own photographs with some meaningful words. The problem is that I not very good with words and to write a poem would be definitely a huge disaster. Therefore I was very please, when I got email from Joshua Sellers asking me for approval to use my photograph “Between” with his own translation of passage from Marcus Aurelius. You can see the result here. I think it is very nice and I really like it. So maybe I should start little projects and try to found more meaningful words for my photographs. I am convinced it would be very rewording process and the results might be worth of the extra work.

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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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Lesnicke Sedlo, the Place of Infinite Inspiration

I certainly do not remember when exactly my fondness for this place evolved, but for more than 20 years I have been taking there everything I loved at a time. It started with my bike when I was a teenager, followed by couple of girlfriends that qualified worth showing them around. I then drove my first car there to see how well it can handle the steep curved road that leads up there. In recent years, I have spent endless hours wandering round the place with all my cameras I owned so far. And finally, few weeks ago I brought my kids there to witness a joy in their eyes that would help me recall my first visit thus the beginning of my passion. 

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Time

It has been more than four years since I moved to Geneva. I still remember my excitement from the fact that I had not been so closed to the mountains before and I was so convinced that I would spent all my free time hiking and photographing in the mountains. So that was the plan, however the reality was quite different. There was always something that stopped me from going up there or I was just so lazy and tired from my daily job that I was finding excuses why I should stay home. At the end I have not taken as many photographs in the mountains as I wished four years ago, but I still have a lot of great “mental” photographs in my mind, which I will have a chance to take next year or year after that or...

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Long Story Short

Yet another tree from our always-differently-amazing Horehronie (the region in mid Slovakia for those who might not know) garden. I am actually incredibly grateful to couple of friends from lightharmony who have been showing me around for years now and my fascination of the place is endless ever since I first time took my way through marvelous little hills high above villages. However, I can't say that I always connect to the subject I would wish to photograph for some reason, and this specific tree was not particularly chatty when it came to the communication between the two of us in the past. You sure know the feeling when you see something beautiful to shoot but somehow do not feel any way is the right way to do it.

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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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My Linhof Techno Challenge

Unlike the last two years when I traveled to Iceland, I did not do much photography this July and August. My preferences changed lately more towards winters and scarce time resources allow me to accommodate just one serious trip a year. As I do not like the summer lighting in Central Europe that is too fast and too early too harsh, I did not really go out at all. Not mentioning crazy times of having to get up when set for any short trip outside Prague if I want to catch the first light. Apart from spending great deal of time with kids on few trips (they are just big enough to start appreciate nature and hiking), I kept myself busy building my new kit and trying to understand how my new Linhof Techno works in real life and what else I will need before I actually can start making images.

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Going Larger

"The best camera is the one that you have with you." Don't know who said it but I like it a lot. Hence I always carry my best camera. So I did this past weekend when I went to Geneva to see Ota and his lovely family. The side purpose was to test my new Linhof Techno kit that I put together after struggling two months. Yes, even in today's internet times (or perhaps because of them) I had troubles to learn what bits and pieces of equipment I need to make the Techno work. And I'm yet to be delivered with cables to connect it to my Phase One. For some time already, I wished to go larger (6x9 or better 6x8) to open up fresh horizons by using the potential of controlling the perspective via moving standards. I take this as an entry ticket to a completely different world. A world that is bigger, slower and more intimate and detailed than everything I tried so far. From what I was doing with my camera for the past few years, I found out that I liked the process somewhat more than a result. I had a feeling I could not do anything else than move to this format to significantly increase the joy from a process.

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