Dragon Rock and the Rest

One of the reasons I keep returning to Baikal is that you have plenty of photographically creative options even if you avoid local icons and typical views. Two years ago, I was so amazed with the frozen lake that I forgot about everything I pre-visualised having seen images of the iconic spots on internet. Now, with heavily increased tourist traffic, it became actually impossible to be alone in such place at the best time of a day. That is why I did not make a single image of Ogoy island or Shamanka viewpoint despite of 3 trips to Baikal.

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Baikal Reflections

I'm blown away.

By the Lake Baikal, by its immensity and liveliness; its subtletness and tranquility. You get it all - monumental vistas with shorelines, islands and rocks, and tiny little details sculpted in the ice under your feet. Loud cracks of the ice plates and absolute silence, occasionally broken by blasts of the freezy wind forcing tears in to your eyes.

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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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