minsk, belarus | no passport, no password!

No passport? No password! That’s the sentence which resonated the most during my trip to Minsk in Belarus. When I stopped by for a lunch in the local restaurant in the downtown of Minsk and asked the waiter for wifi password, she asked me to see my passport. After my perplexed expression, she added: “It’s the new law. So no passport? No password!” Wow, that really took me back and just confirmed general observation that Belarus government (aka czar Alexander Lukashenko) takes the protection of the nation (and especially censorship of those pesky foreign visitors 😉 really seriously.Visiting Belarus was for me like a time machine trip going 25 years back to communism. Only cars were more modern and everybody have mobile phone. But otherwise… Police with huge flat hats everywhere controlling everything. Just in case. City primarily of big blocks of flats, even the “downtown” was only modern version of those blocks. And most of all – people were not smiling. Not a bit. Just looking very seriously, in front of them and being – well – expression-less. I am sure that after knowing them closer and spending a time with them they would become friendlier and they would open up (as some of those I have spent a time together did). But overall… pretty depressing state of mind. And this is it. The most desirable object worth to visit in Minsk. I have asked about 5 people independently, what is worth to visit in Minsk and everybody mentioned as must-see National Library. Usually people send me to see their city’s castle, church, river bank, red-district or tower.  But hey, nothing against the National Library, except I was expecting some old historical building, which upon arrival happen to be another big block of concrete. OK, shape is interesting and it […]

giverdy | burgundy | france

Me, myself and I. Roaming and relaxing with camera and just enjoying photogenic landscape in the central France, in Burgundy. Name of the tiny village is Giverdy and it is the end of the world as you can imagine it from the romantic movies about french countryside… Rolling hills with tractor tracks, lonely trees and sky full of contrasty clouds. What else do you need? Oh yeah, how about some sunset which can highlight the scenery? Of course, just wait a moment. This is what I call relax. Two hours on my own. And with a bit of delay, here’s the return to the beginning of the wonderful summer of 2016.PS: Big thanks to family Vernillat for letting me to enter their property. Hills behind your farm are so nice, did you know? 🙂 Iba ja sám s foťákom, to mám rád. Túlať sa, relaxovať a užívať si fotogenickú krajinku v strede Francúzska, v Burgundsku. Maličká dedinka sa volá Giverdy a presne takto som si vždy predstavoval koniec sveta, keď som ho videl v nejakom romantickom filme z francúzskeho vidieka. Vlnité kopce s pásmi po traktoroch, osamelé stromy a obloha plná krásne nadýchaných oblakov. Čo viac človek potrebuje? Aha, veď áno, čo takto nejaký ten krásny gýčový západ slnka, ktorý zvýrazní celú krajinku? Samozrejme, žiaden problém, stačí iba chvíľku počkať… Tak toto ja nazývam relaxom. Dve hodinky iba pre mňa. A s menším omeškaním návrat na začiatok skvelého leta roku 2016. PS: Veľké poďakovanie rodine Vernillat za to, že ma vpustila na ich pozemok. Viete o tom, že tie kopce za vašou farmou sú tak nádherné? 😉

Beauty of the early morning

As a travel photographer (which means being a photographer who travels a lot) I am privileged to take pictures in the beautiful parts of the world. I am also lucky to have an opportunity to meet great people and help them to become better photographers. And that was again a case last Sunday when we had early morning “Photo Walkie-Talkie” next to Lac Leman. Early alarm was so worth it and we all were rewarded with a spectacular sunrise with all the colors and clouds to make it pop! As often is the case, light show lasted for about 15 minutes, but during that time… Oh my, I have heard a lot of woooows and yeaaahs. Thank you Mariel, Mariana, Tony, Kylie, Lina and Polly!PS: And as a side bonus – I could get picture for this theme of project 52, which is: Magic of the early morning! 🙂 Mám to šťastie byť fotografom, ktorý veľa cestuje a to mi dáva nádhernú príležitosť stretávať skvelých ľudí, ktorých baví fotografovanie a ja im môžem pomáhať aby sa stali lepšími fotografmi. A presne takto sme sa stretli minulú nedeľu na jednej z mojich “Photo Walkie-Talkie” vedľa jazera Lac Leman. Budík nastavený na skorú rannú hodinu stál za to a boli sme všetci odmenení úžasným východom slnka so všetkými tými nádhernými farbami a mrakmi, ktoré to zvýraznili! Ako to v takýchto prípadoch býva, svetelná show trvala asi 15 minút, ale počas tej doby… Čéče, počul som veľa jééééj a waaaauw. Ďakujem vám Mariel, Mariana, Tony, Kylie, Lina and Polly!PS: A ako bonus mám fotky do tohtotýždňovej témy Projektu 52 – Kúzlo skorého rána! 😉 And some behind the scenes of course 😉 / A samozrejme zopár záberov “spoza scény”…

prague in black and white

It is not a big surprise, that I am colorful guy. Starting with my colorful socks through the way I am seeing things and objects around me. Colors are catching my eyes and I am pointing my camera immediately. I’ve learnt to photograph this way. So it is quite rarely for me to to think in black and white while shooting already. But the photo below was the case! I was ending up my morning walk in Prague and was ready to call a day as sun was getting too high. And I knew I would get to this specific point later on, during sunset to get more colors (like here). But those lines of safety barrier on Vltava river got my attention, they were perfectly leading my eye into the image and towards the main subject, which is Prague’s castle here of course. And I knew, that those lines will look amazing in black and white, because their contrast will be cleaner and more dominant. At the end of the day, with sun so high, they weren’t at all so attractive. And I was right! They look pretty good to me in black and white. What you think? PS: And you know what is also interesting about this photo? It took me 5 years to post it! It was originally shot in 2011 (!) and it would get lost in my archive. But I was cleaning folders and I have rejoined with this image happily again. So what’s the moral story here? Do the cleaning, you’ll never know what you will re-discover again 🙂 Určite pre vás nie je prekvapením, že som na farby. Počnúc mojimi strakatými ponožkami až po spôsob ako sa pozerám na veci okolo mňa. Farby ma priťahujú a hneď na ne mierim fotoaparátom. Takto som […]