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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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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New Photographs From Germany

Hence have a look at the new gallery I just added that includes couple of images from my two travels to Germany. I have mentioned it here few times before - you can read a brief iPhone photo report from my last trip in October, a little story of a creation of one of the pictures, musings about the use of Lee Big Stopper. You can see the amazing woodland near Neinhagen or get briefed about shooting digital instead of film.

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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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4 Things To Know About Iceland

Yesterday, I have returned from the brief trip to Iceland. Although I am allowed to complain about the weather this time, it is undoubtedly fascinating to travel back there now and again. Because I live in the highly urbanised landscape that is vivid in colours and wide in variety of designs, just being there is the ultimate experience that reminds me how Earth looked like it its very beginnings. This feeling always inspires a creative piece in my photography no matter the weather.

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Night Photography with Phase One IQ250 (Part II)

Do not get misled. I am not an expert in night photography. Not at all. There are plenty out there such as Ben Canales, just to name one. I have not taken more than a dozen night shots in my life. And at least ten of them with my iphone when drinking at a friend's stag night. Hence this is not a tutorial for shooting stars. Look at Alister Benn's articlesif you want to read a truly good one.

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Greetings from Isle of Harris

We are now sitting in a small bar in Tarbert, on the beautiful Isle of Harris for the second consecutive day. The good news is that it's just a few steps from the ferry terminal so it's likely we are not going to miss one when it goes. The bad one though is that no ferry to the mainland has been permitted due to the harsh winds over the past 48 hours. By now, we both have missed our flights to home and exhausted any topic that could have been talked (except for photography that is endless), including serious thoughts about settling down over here for good.

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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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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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Isle of Eigg - The Perfect Hideaway

We are now about 10 miles off the Scottish west coast, on Isle of Eigg. Wikipedia says it's 9 km long and 5 km wide (which makes its total area of 31 square kilometers). Locals say there are about 100 people permanently living here. That means we have seen the most of them in the small harbour pub when we arrived. Bruce Percy is saying it is one of the most photogenic islands in Britain. We have not seen many of them but we both absultely trust Bruce and our own eyes.

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Iceland - Winter Landscape Photography Paradise

I truly believe Iceland is the winter landscape photography paradise. Over the past few years, it has become one of the must-go spots for plenty of landscape photographers. For many good reasons that are often discussed on this website and all over the place. What I loved the most during my first two summer visits was the excellent quality of light and angles of sun that allowed to photograph through the (entire) night. I did not mind the community crowd - not too many shot film overnight, their results inspired me and, especially during the second trip, we went quite off the beaten track...

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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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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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Icelandic Diary

We are getting a bit frustrated with the weather. This morning, it required a strong character and a big heart of photographer to get out. The wind blew by the friendly speed of 61 km/h, the snow drifted through the road in an uncontrollable manner. Driving was an adrenaline adventure due to zero visibility, photography impossible for the same reasons. After few minutes, we turned the car back. I managed to take the photo of the day, it seems, with my iPhone right after we parked it by the hotel. I tried the same pre-dawn scene on Velvia, hoping to achieve the blue / yellow contrast and eventually to capture some of the mood out there but not too convinced the tripod withstood the wind.

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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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Linhof Techno at the Equator

I have been married for 10 years. It was impossible to imagine back then but it actually got to this point much faster and easier than expected. What's even more intriguing is that my own wife has been married for 10 years, too! Happily, I have no doubt. So I thought these were two excellent reasons to leave kids behind and spend few days in Seychelles together. And one thing that I made sure not to leave behind had been my Linhof kit. La Digue, one of many islands belonging to Seychelles, looked like the perfect place for the trip that would combine lots of hideaway resting and a little bit of photography. In this scope and order, dear Mrs Potomova. :-)

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Brief Report From Iceland

We are both on Iceland now where we experience everything and more, but the good light. Sometimes, however, we get to see a northern light. Better said, we've had some northern lights once. In the middle of the island, in Landmannalaugar. Yesterday. Our hopes for the rest of our stay remains high though. These trips are really great for us to get together and spend some time together and over photography. There's hardly any better place to do this than moody and dark Iceland.

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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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Notes from Iceland II.

Continued from here. Hveravellir can be read as Hot Spring Fields and also looks and smells like that. In general, it's rather small geothermal place with smoking fumarolees and with colored boiling pools. You can jump and relax in one of them. It is an interesting experience to see and walk around but I was much more amazed by the surroundings of the road that led us there. Well, the road was sort of different, more adventurous of what we in Europe normally call road - our landcruiser proved to be the right tool to drive on it safely and relatively comfortably. Everything else around made me feel like I returned millions of years back in time. This is how the Earth must have looked like when it was being created.

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