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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Empty (Landscapes)

I took it very light with my blog (and imagery) lately. Partially because it’s low season for my kind of photography. And, the summer is definitely not my favorite part of the year in general. The sun rises way too early and it is moving way too fast for my Linhof (and my age) to catch up. Also, it’s been extremely hot over here in Prague so my basement workroom provided for a good (cold) place to sleep rather than servicing its usual duty as a landscape photography meditation center. Another reason behind the silence is my ‘civil’ life. Too many changes have been occurring around here; I’ve gone through one of the busiest period in my daily work that included lots of travel. I could not refrain from watching the political turmoil in Czech, which by the way is one of the weirdest thing I have seen ever since I remember following the scene – one of the cleanest prime ministers they (we) ever had got naively swept by his own efforts to make the politics less corrupted... What a world we live in.

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Norway Photo Gallery

I just added new images to our Norway photo gallery. It is always interesting to look back to your photographic journal to see a progress (?) or downfall (?) in your image making development path. This time, I feel attracted again by the place I initially went to to shoot northern light, with some hopes for something else interesting should we end up at a right place. From all I have been shooting so far, Lofoten differ by being quite populous yet able to keep not only signs but rather whole features of wilderness at the same time. Returning back to my transparencies and digital files nowadays, after two years, I can see an interesting shift in the way I value final photographs from the place. I can now see and appreciate much more the intimate moods and colors in my work that I brought from there than anytime before.

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Adding Photo Gallery

It took us considerable amount of time but I am finally happy to announce that we added photo gallery to our website. I believe it will be interesting and nice for our visitors to find all images that we decide to publish at one place. There are two parts of our collection there - Black & White is the selection of Ota's work, Land & Colors represents color portfolio of mine. I decided to organize it by country, at least until I get some of my projects finished so that I will be able to present photographs under some other headline.

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Where Water Falls From Heaven

It takes 500 kilometers to get from Reykjavik to the Lake Myvatn, which is about 6 hours of non-stop driving. It's actually a very interesting route for the most of time, passing through couple of mountain ridges and valleys with some spectacular views. We had dropped Ota at the airport on Friday morning and decided to drive over to Myvatn for the weekend, sort of fed up with the southern sceneries. The plan came out quite well despite the tight schedule - we aimed to stop at Godafoss for sunset shooting. One more hour of drive to Myvatn. We would definitely used some more time to explore the location but what actually helped was that we have been there before 2 years ago. Unlucky though then, leaving with few documentary shots only. I now happened to have a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do there. And that was to get off the official parking place to the other side of the river. The short walk to the waterfall allowed for a little bit of time to absorb the surroundings while the lighting that was turning to get quite dramatic and beautiful.

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Northern Lights

I'm not a great believer in luck but we've spent some significant amount of time trying to collide with it. Except for exploring various spots and photographing for the most of our days here in Iceland, we have been checking out forecasts (weather and aurora forecasts) and moving around so that we maximized our chances to see northern lights.

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Iceland Calling

"The one who has seen the light has seen the true Iceland and will never lose sight of it again." Pall Asgeir Asgeirsson in the foreword to the book of Daniel Bergmann Iceland Landscapes. It was back in 2009  when I first travelled to Iceland, with two particular interests in mind. I looked for much simplified landscape from what I used to know in the Central Europe. And I hoped to photograph when the nordic sun stays shallow below the horizon and the bright nights still provide enough lighting to do so. But I found much more.

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From Dusk Till Dawn

This is the enriched re-draft of my older text that celebrated the passion for shooting when the sun stays below the horizon. As it largely influenced my approach to photography, I wanted to post it here and now as well. There are many forms of light but generally a “golden hour” is widely considered as the very best time to take photos. No matter how cliche-ish this sounds. Whoever (landscape photographer or not) gets to any attractive place on  Earth during the “golden hour”, which is something totally different from a common daylight must always be amazed. You just can’t escape, unless your feelings are as dull as a rock on the bottom of a lake. Lighting conditions that are unusual for our eyes change any subject matter to a previously unrecognized quality. The landscape is gaining some extra hues and the real feel of three-dimensional space thanks to a long trip the sun needs to take through the atmosphere and a low angle it is illuminating the ground.

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The Essence of Selfoss

In a couple of weeks, we shall again depart north for our annual photography outing (i.e. no business, no family, no problems - just shooting). Though we initially planned Lofoten, for some reasons we ended up going to Iceland once more, this time in winter. So no wonder I go through my older work when planning the trip. I've posted some texts and images already here and some other, too. And a few more here and even Ota created a video. We simply love the place. I have many more photographs to share but one place was really special. Read on. (Summer 2010)... After having spent few miserable rainy days in the fishermens village near Landmannalaugar, we lost patience and decided to cross the island to try our chances in the north. The journey itself turned into much more adventurous event than what we expected, with rough rocky roads, deep and wild river crossings and endless lava fields to go through.

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Souvenir from Iceland

Having started to plan my third visit to Iceland for March next year, I am closely watching news on signs of an increased seismic activity of Katla volcano with hopes nothing serious will happen that would stop us from going there. On the other hand, some 'peaceful drama' that would not hurt nothing can be of a desire. But of course, just to add sceneries to our trip rather than cause a massive disruption in air traffic as Eyjafjallajokull did last year. Well, I cannot influence anything hence staying tuned in case I will have to replace an airplane with a car. In the meantime, I look forward to photographing this wonderful place on Earth during winter. I also keep myself busy thinking whether to take my Linhof Techno kit to enjoy more and shoot less, or Hasselblad to be on a faster and safer side. The latter is winning by a nose right now because of my previous experience with the weather. It changes so quickly that I would face a huge risk with my Techno to become just a passive beholder rather than doing an action packed photography. It reminds me one of my most favorite image from my first trip to Iceland in 2009.

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Golden Times

As my adventure with Linhof Techno continues, I let myself enjoy few days back in my home land returning to places I know and love to photograph. Lesnica has always provided for endless inspiration. This view of High Tatras is by far my favorite and I can spend hours just watching the vista of spectacular mountain ridge with its two dominants - Havran and Zdiarska vidla. The evening did not seem too promising but few minutes before sunset, I was blessed with true golden light at its lowest angle, flashed straight onto Tatras. After few minutes, it all got gone with only some purple left in the sky... I soon will come back for more.

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From a Distance

Sometimes I like to look back at my work that I created few years ago. Except for studying places I witnessed and might go to again one day, I'm also trying to see if and how I developed as a photographer. The results vary. In many cases, I would not show a photograph to public for either mistakes in exposure, composition or post-process, or because I changed my tastes and simply stopped being confident about an image. Some other shots, I would not even push the trigger as I got my eye better trained for seeing a potential of a scene. On the other hand, there are couple of photographs that I doubt I will ever be able to beat. This is where the weather conditions were right, I used the right equipment and focal length, I somehow managed to build a nice composition and even measure the light precisely.

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