Lake Baikal Photo Gallery

I like to sit on images for some time after I come from trips, absorb them and work on them at a rather slow pace. I do so as I learnt over years that I need some emotional distance if I want to process more 'objectively', without panting of impressions from places. This time, it took even longer to finalise imagery from my two travels to Baikal. I think it is because I got disappointed on my second trip earlier this year, for a lot of snow on ice that destroyed all my plans...

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Scotland Gallery Updated

I added 18 images to my Scotland gallery today. And I deleted two that I do not like anymore.

Even though I am still sitting on plenty of unprocessed scans and raw files, you can now see a pretty much comprehensive collection of photographs that I made during my four trips to Scotland over the past few years.

The gallery might look somewhat "over-Eigged" I agree. But I must say that the Isle of Eigg was one of the greatest photographic experiences I have ever been through. One tiny beach, one beautiful island on the horizon, one week of returning to the same place of mickle moods and designs.

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Inspiration

I wanted to write little review about my beautiful Mamiya RB 67 camera today, but at the very last moment I decided to share some inspiration, which I have found recently. Those who follow our blog regularly know that i am not the biggest fan of social networks and internet overall. But form time to time I am very happy that we have it, that we can find very interesting and inspiring things in the vast ocean of all the information available.

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Inspiration for photographers

I wanted to write about something totally different today. But I spent quite a lot of time in darkroom yesterday, and it was not the easiest session (a lot of paper got wasted), it really took me long time to get all the tiny little details right in final prints. It was hard work, but when I came today to pick up the dry prints I could not believe how well the prints turned out. The hours of work really paid off. The prints look really great! I really enjoy the incredible scale of gray tones and their smooth transition, which in my opinion makes silver gelatin prints very special.

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Icelandic Experience Rewinded

I am having an interesting evening with Ypahh and my Iceland photographs tonight. The initial idea was to finally finalize my Iceland gallery on this website so that everything I consider worth showing from all 4 trips over there is presented at one place. I processed the very most of the stuff by now, but shortlisting the right work turns out to be more difficult endeavor than I initially thought.

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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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Back to Iceland

Here we are again, sitting in the cosy little hotel by Myvatn lake in Iceland. Waiting for the heavy storm snow to pass by. The strong gale plays some nice bass vibes behind the lobby windows. We are wasting our photography time now, but in big hopes for brighter future (days). Good that they have a good beer as this is how it looks outside right now:

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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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Photo Exhibition

As mentioned here, Land and Colors was participating in one of the biggest photography events in Geneva area called “Confrontations Gessiennes de la Photographie”. We were invited to show our photo series “Iceland: One Place Two Visions” and few extra photographs. Together we presented 35 color and black and white prints, which can now be seen and purchased from Shop section on our website.

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Baltic Sea with Phase One IQ140

This past weekend I spent couple of interesting days in eastern part of Germany, by the Baltic Sea. I did not expect more than just locations scouting and (mainly) testing my Phase One IQ140 digital back. I've owned it for few months but did not have much time to find out what it can actually do. And I can say now it can deliver a lot, much more than the P30 I used before. I'm still waiting for my slide films to be processed but unlike anytime before, I don't need to wait to see them in order to publish a note as I'm happy with what I captured digitally. Or, perhaps, following the announcement on Velvia discontinuation, I should rather feel that way. I have not done any explicit tests but the bottom line is that, compared to P30, the Phase One IQ140 made a tremendous progress when it comes to colour rendition. It's been showing a character, a sense to capture much less instantly and eventually show what has really been happening out there in the atmosphere.

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Photographing Northern Lights in Iceland

This past winter provided some excellent opportunity to get photographing northern lights in Iceland as we could have witnessed strong solar activity capable to produce fantastic performance of green dances up in the sky. We believed Landmannalaugar to be one of the best locations to shoot it. Deserted and wild, very remote and hard to visit. Actually the only way to get there, with a little bit of luck, is to hire a guide with a special truck and naval GPS as roads are invisible - covered by thick plates of snow and ice. We agreed with Stefan from Icelandic Mountain Guides to drive us there. One video is better than 1000 words, so check out below how beautifully it all looked like. And yes, many thanks to Dead Can Dance for their Frontier (Demo) that plays out there instead of our small talks, car sounds and winds.

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Beach Graphics

I have been silent to this blog in the recent weeks. Too hot in my roof workroom, too much football (the most of it quite crapy though), too much happening in my non-photographic life that proved to be no less important than images. But now, it's time to catch up fast. It's raining in Prague now. Pleasing more than 20 degrees difference from how it was in Bratislava today - 41 Celsius when I sat into the car this afternoon. I went through some storm drama on the highway that somehow associated my thoughts with two things. One is the concert of Soley, one of endless musical talents from Iceland, whose concert in Prague was cancelled earlier this month (sadly) and I'm still left with the ticket (I will survive till the next one hopefully). So I'm playing her now while the soft rain kisses the terrace of my house on the background. It always amazes me how deep the music of many Icelandic artists I get to discover over time (and trust me, it's so many of them) connects with their landscape and its mood. Try this one while looking at photographs below, for instance. And be patient for a minute (or rewind :-)).

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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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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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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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Four Most Beautiful Places I Photographed And One, Well, Not So Beautiful.

I took a long break from everything for the last 3-4 weeks hence the return to all the ordinary lives has been quite uneasy. I am now slowly getting back to all stuff I left behind in 2011. Before I happen to take any image this year, I thought it could be refreshing to look back and browse through my images for a while to see - what exactly? Don't know, really. Not that I expected to find anything mind-blowing. I actually awaited nothing. And, for a wonder, I found nothing. But going through my archive I realized I had seen so many beautiful places on Earth (in Europe, more precisely, but Earth surely sounds more fatal) that I struggled to say, which of them was the best looking. My database is organized by places and I got stuck switching from one folder to another to identify my Place (Miss) World (okay, Europe). I finally sorted them down but apparently not by the final result in the form of a photograph, but by the appeal a place has been having on me. And while PJ Harvey is trying to Let England Shake with her gorgeous voice, I list 5 of them for you below:

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Peter Lik Gallery in Prague

I first came across Peter Lik's photography few years ago (www.lik.com, unfortunately recently redesigned in such a way that you can't really look at pictures unless you register). Having seen web previews only, I had mixed feelings - some of his photographs were stunning, while others I found really pathetic. It's actually the case till now. I think Lik's imagery contains variety of average quality shots of America's well known vistas that you can google out easily and see no difference from thousands other images in composition or lighting. On the other hand, he is making wonderful photographs of trees and forests that have their unique atmosphere and feel, and much more.

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