cyclo cross (damn so close!)

We decided to go for a family walk over the weekend to a nearby lake. And to our surprise, there was cyclo cross race going on in the area. Great weather and colorful fast bikers - of course I was ready and in a moment I have found a strategic position below the hill, where the cyclosrossers were passing me with apx. 1m distance. Shooting low with 16mm wide angle I was hoping to get darn close and got some action. And I was doing fine, until the moment this one crazy biker go off the track and pass apx. 20cm in front of me! I could smell his wheel and feel the vibration! And believe or not, I just click the shutter (probably just triggered by the passing wind) and voilá - when I looked at my display after all the group pass - I could't believe how lucky I got! I framed the guy perfectly, he is looking directly to the camera - with a fear I guess of hoping not to hit me - and he is perfectly sharp! Picture is not even cropped a bit. You can see below, how closely they were riding anyway (and my strategic position at the very bottom). So, what's the moral story here? I was lucky and probably stupid to get so close, as I was really few centimeters away not to get hit. But you know what? As a real photographer, I am of course now very happy I was there - in that decisive moment and click it in the right moment.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35@16mm; f/5.6 @1/2000sec 

Rozhodli sme sa vybrať cez víkend na rodinný výlet k neďalekému jazeru. A k nášmu prekvapeniu sa v oblasti práve konal cyclo crossový závod. Nádherné počasie a farebné a rýchle bicykle - samozrejme som bol v momente nachystaný a našiel som si strategickú pozíciu, pod kopčekom, tak aby ma cyklisti míňali asi v metrovej vzdialenosti. Fotil som širokouhlým 16mm objektívom a veril som, že sa dostanem sakra blízko a podarí sa mi zachytiť nejakú akciu! A išlo mi to celkom dobre, dokiaľ jeden bláznivý cyklista nezišiel mimo trate a prešiel mi asi 20cm popred objektív! Úplne som cítil gumu z kolesa ako aj vibrácie, keď popred mňa prefrčal. A verte alebo nie, ale podarilo sa mi stlačiť aj spúšť (asi do mňa narazil ten tlak vzduchu) a zrazu voilá - keď som sa pozrel na displej po tom, ako prefrčal celý peletón - nemohol som uveriť svojmu šťastiu! Zarámoval som toho blázna úplne perfektne, pozerá mi priamo do objektívu - mám pocit, že s pocitom strachu, aby ma nezrazil - a je navyše úplne ostrý! Záber som ani chlp neorezal, takto to bolo nafotené. Nižšie môžete vidieť ako blízko jazdili normálne (ako aj úplne dole moju strategickú polohu). Aké je teda ponaučenie z tohto fotenia? Mal so šťastie a bolo to odo mňa asi riadne hlúpe postaviť sa tak blízko - fakt chýbalo len pár centimetrov do nešťastia. Ale viete čo? Ako správny fotograf som samozrejme výskam od šťastia, že som bol, tam kde som bol - v tom "rozhodujúcom okamžiku" a podarilo sa mi stlačiť spúšť v ten správny moment!


Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35@16mm; f/5.6 @1/1250sec



Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35@16mm; f/14 @1/15sec


Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35@16mm; f/20 @1/8sec


Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35@16mm; f/9 @1/200sec


Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35@16mm; f/16 @1/40sec



Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35@16mm; f/14 @1/30sec


© mamina, exif unknown ;)


Tuscany | is it summer yet?

Fall season is almost gone and long dark winter evenings are here - whether we want or no...
Good time to warm up while going through the folder taken during May's Tuscany visit! Oh that helps! Is it summer yet?
And you know what? I am going back to Tuscany next year again! This time as co-instructor (and scout agent, entertainer, Nikon expert and driver) with Scott Stulberg, who invited me after our famous trips to Death Valley, Palouse and of course one in Tuscany, where we spent nice time together scouting and preparing a year in advance! This Scotty's workshop was sold out within literally few hours and I am really looking forward to revisit this Italian gem...
Meanwhile, open the bottle of the good wine (Italian would be preferred), light up the fireplace and ... enjoy!



Jeseň je takmer preč a dlhé, tmavé, zimné večery sa pomaly ale isto vkrádajú - či sa nám to páči alebo nie... Správny čas na zohriatie sa tým, že jeden konečne pretriedi adresár nafotený v máji v Toskánsku! Oh, to ale pomohlo... Už je tu leto?
Najlepšie na tom je, že do Toskánska sa chystám znova na budúci rok. Tentokrát ako spolu inštruktor (a vyhliadavač miest, zábavač, Nikon expert a šofér) spolu so Scottym Stulbergom, ktorý ma pozval po našich skvelých spoločných výletoch do Death Valley, Palouse a samozrejme v Toskánsku, kde sme strávili spoločný čas obhliadkou miest a pripravovaním sa rok vopred! Tento Scottyho workshop sa vypredal doslova za pár hodín a ja sa fakt znova teším na návštevu tejto talianskej perly...
Medzitým, otvorte si fľašu vína (odporúčam talianske), zakúrte si v kozube... a užívajte!














vineyards | photo walk

Yes, it is THE season to be in the vineyards and take pictures there! Vine makers keep saying this year is going to be a great year! Experiencing such a wonderful Indian summer - I am not surprised a bit... So do not forget to stock up once the wine will hit stores!
And how did I end up in the vineyards? We had another session of our Photo WalkieTalkie. This time we decided to walk in and photograph beautiful vineyards of Unesco heritage in Lavaux. Thanks to our participants I had a wonderful Saturday, had fun and we all were able to get really great shots.
Enjoy with me... and Cheers!
Thanks Mariel, Polly, Rachel, Lina, Kim, Chris, Dovile, Mariana and Elyse!



Áno, teraz je ten správny čas ísť do viníc a zafotiť si! Vinári tvrdia, že tento rok bude skvelý ročník! Keďže babie leto bolo také úžasné, tak ma to ani trochu neprekvapuje ... Takže si nezabudnite nakúpiť do zásoby, keď víno príde na pulty ;)
A ako som sa ocitol vo viniciach? Mali sme našu ďalšiu Photo WalkieTalkie. Tentokrát sme sa rozhodli vybrať sa na prechádzku a zafotiť si vo viniciach zapísanych na Unsesco zozname svetového dedičstva v Lavaux. A vďaka naším účastníkom som mal skvelú sobotu, kopec zábavy a podarilo sa mi (a aj im!) nafotiť pekné momentky.
Užite si so mnou a ... na zdravie!













jump!

Every passion is worth to capture! Especially when passion is such beautiful like the one I was able to shoot over the weekend. Little jockey and her four legged friend Leon are so harmonized, that it was just enough to stay, observe and press the shutter...
Big thanks to pixien photography for her wonderful workshop, so images like this could happen!


Každá záľuba stojí za to, aby sa zachytila. Obzvlášť ak je tou záľubou niečo tak krásne, ako som fotil cez víkend. Malá žokejka a jej štvornohý priateľ Leon boli tak skvelo zladní, že len stačilo postávať, užívať si to a stláčať spúšť...
Veľké poďakovanie pixien photography za jej skvelý workshop, že takéto zábery mohli vzniknúť!









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 has cool lightning in the evening, but inside you can visit only the entry hall and the roof terrace (see shot below). I haven't seen one book, which I was really looking forward to it! Only catalogs - see here. Everything is securely and safely deposited above...






This one I couldn't resist. Did you noticed a "gentleman"? ;)








And oh yes, election were just behind the corner. Volunteers like these below were everywhere.
I understood they were explaining other citizens advantages of staying with Bathuska Sasha Alexander, to make sure that "Belarus will have independent future". Unfortunately, all of them completely ignored my initiatives to have a conversation about Belarus and Alexander. Just turning around and completely disengaging... Pity, maybe they would convinced me too... Like other 80+ percents who voted for Alexander later on.



Oh yes, as I said, complete flashback... Throw back Thursday. Where on Earth you can still find old Soviet Union flag being proudly flapping in the wind on the top of the government owned building? Seriously... This flag disappeared about 25 years ago and even in Russia you can't find it being placed on official buildings.



Belarus has quite turbulent history with borders being redrawn many times and they were part of different other countries. Being the area between Poland and Russia it is not so surprising and no wonder Alexander is playing with "independence card" in his election campaign. Within 100 or so years Minsk was part of Poland (department of Minsk Guberniya), then Soviet Union and now they are independent state. History become so obvious and readable when I've visited old cemetery (which I always love visiting in new places!). Within few meters you can see thumb stones written in Polish and then in Russian, some of them in Belorussian.
BTW, Belarus has their own language. But official languages are two, with Russian of course. It wasn't surprise to me, that everybody speaks and understands Russian, but it was a bit of surprise to find out, that Belorussian language is close to be extinct, youth not understanding it, in school it is not mandatory and government really is not making a lot of effort to prioritize Belorussian over Russian - I would say other way around. Completely different to Ukrainian approach...  



And then I also visited this small "airplane museum" next to the international airport.
Pictures are here.

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"...