people of china

I admit - summarize by all people of china in a few pictures is a bit of overstatement, but I really like taking photos of those particular people (and their laundry!) in China. Flashback to my 2008 folder!!

















fireworks creatively (again!)

You know already that shooting fireworks is my specialty and this year's New year I couldn't resist to pick the camera and shoot it again - right after the midnight kisses and glass of sparkling wine with all my beloved ones, of course!



In the small village where we were spending our end and beginning of the year there was no lack of fireworks, so it was easy to point and shoot.
I have written a post about how to shoot fireworks differently few years ago (see here), but this creative way is actually very easy:

  1. manual mode, time between 1 to 2 seconds, aperture f/5.6, ISO 200 
  2. turn off auto focus
  3. point at the (expected) epicenter of the explosion
  4. hit the shutter and at the same time rotate your focus ring on the lens
That's it! You should play with the exposure settings and change ISO depending on the intensity of the explosions. Important is to use focusing ring (and not zoom ring!), so you will be "defocusing" while taking one second exposure. And there is no difference on which side you will start - from sharp to totally blurred or other way around.

This time I have used 70-200mm lens as explosions were a bit far away, but I worked in the past with 24-70mm lens too.

Wait for your next fireworks and go to enjoy it!
Patrik






















Už asi viete, že fotenie ohňostrojov je moja špecialita a tento Nový rok som znova neodolal a zobral foťák von si to nafotiť znova - samozrejme až potom ako som sa vybozkával a štrngol si sektom s mojimi drahými!

Koniec a začiatok roka sme trávili v malej dedinke a miestni sa naozaj vyšantili a vyhádzali do vzduchu množstvo pyrotechniky, takže o farebné objekty nebola núdza.
Už pred pár rokmi som napísal článok ako fotiť ohňostroje ináč (viď tu), ale kreatívne nastavenie je naozaj veľmi jednoduché:
  1. manuálny mód, čas medzi 1 až 2 sekundami, clona f/5.6, ISO 200
  2. vypnúť auto focus
  3. namieriť na (očakávané) epicentrum výbuchu
  4. stlačiť spúšť a zároveň otáčať kolieskom ostrenia na objektíve
A je to! Pohrajte sa s celkovou expozíciou a možno zmeňte ISO, v závislosti od intenzity výbuchu. Dôležité je používať ostriace koliesko na objektíve (nie zoomovacie!), takže vlastne budete "rozostrovať" počas snímania sekundovej expozície. A nezáleží na tom, z ktorej strany začnete - od zaostreného ohňostroja do úplne rozmazaného - alebo naopak!

Tentokrát som používal tele objektív 70-200mm, nakoľko bolo výbuchy trochu ďalej odo mňa, ale minule som fotil aj s 24-70mm a fungovalo to tiež v pohode.

Tak si počkajte na nejaké oňostroje a choďte si to vyskúšať!
Patrik

church of san giovanni battista in mogno

Alarm clock 4:30. 4.5 hours drive through two borders. Unbelievably curvy and steep serpentine ride to middle of nowhere (see at the bottom). Literally - in the village we have met nobody. Just a few empty looking seasonal houses. And there it was. Hidden gem. Architectural beauty and photography feast. Oh yeah, and soul asylum and place to talk to him too. Quite in private. Open 24/7. Church of San Giovanni Battista in Mogno - Fusio. Tiny village in Italian canton Ticino in Switzerland. Who knew?!
So, I have talked to him for a bit. But also I have photograph his place. For more then two hours I was looking for angles, lines, patterns, symmetry and all elements of design I could think of. I was in heaven (spiritually and photographically).
And what's the story with this church in the middle of nowhere? Well, village has their own church since 1636. But in 1986 a devastating avalanche completely buried the church and local patriots were looking for somebody who could built them new place to worship. Swiss born architect Mario Botta stand up to a challenge, but he come up with something visionary and so out of that small region, so word is that locals were apparently against this "non-classical" way how church should look like. Anyway, in 1996 church was opened (do you seen those "six"? 1636, 1986, 1996?) and since then it is there. Here's a link to a very nice leaflet with a church history, including a photo of avalanche!
Plan your trip there! Just a road to go there is an adventure itself and whole Ticino region with all waterfalls around the road is terrific! Now - less word, more pictures...
PS: Thanks Mom! For all...




Budík na 4:30. 4,5 hodiny šoférovania cez dvojo hraníc. Neuveriteľné zákruty do prudkého kopca na ceste plnej serpentín (viď video dole), ktorá nás doviedla až tam kde líšky dávajú dobrú noc. Doslova, lebo nestretli sme ani živú dušu. Iba niekoľko prázdno vyzerajúcich sezónnych domčekov. A tam bol. Schovaný poklad. Architektonická nádhera a fotografické hody. A hej, taktiež duševný stánok a miesto kde sa s ním môžete tiež aj porozprávať. Pomerne v súkromí. Otvorené nonstop. Kostol San Giovanni Battista v Mogno - Fusio. Piďolatá dedinka v talianskom kantóne Ticino vo Švajčiarsku. Kto by to bol povedal?
Tak som sa s ním chvíľku porozprával. Ale potom som si to tam u neho aj nafotil. Viac ako dve hodiny som hľadal uhly, línie, vzory, symetriu a všetky dizajnové elementy, ktoré ma napadli. Bol som v nebi (duševne a fotograficky).
A ako sa teda vlastne vyskytol takýto kostol uprostred ničoho? Nuž, dedinka mala svoj vlastný kostol od roku 1636. Ale v 1986 im na neho spadla obrovská lavína a kompletne ho zrovnala zo zemou a tak sa miestni zástupcovia vybrali hľadať niekoho, kto by im postavil nový svätostánok. A švajčiarsky architekt Mario Botta to zobral ako výzvu, ale prišiel so svojskou víziou a niečím, čo bolo úplne tak mimo tohto kúska sveta, že podľa dostupných historiek sa lokálni obyvatelia pomerne hlasito vyjadrovali proti niečomu tak "inému". Každopádne, kostol sa vysvätil a otvoril v roku 1996 (všímate si tie šestky? 1636, 1986, 1996?) a odvtedy je tam. Tu je link na krásny leták o histórii kostola, vrátane fotky so spadnutou lavínou! Naplánujte si tam cestu. Už len tá samotná cesta tam je zážitkom a celý región Ticino s vodopádmi všade okolo cesty je úžasný... A teraz už menej slov a viac fotiek...
PS: Díky mami! Za všetko...







































Hide and seek

Yes, we played kind of "hide and seek". Well, actually - he was just doing his job and I've tried to follow him, to predict his moves and to not disturb him while capturing his work in such peaceful place... But then I got him. Almost where I wanted to...

But those "hide and seek" ones are worth to share as well to document that waiting for the perfect shot is great. But to work on it, is even better! ;)

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis - you are beautiful! How could I not see that earlier?!

And thank you anonymous cleaning service man for your work and for being my anonymous model...



And here are my "hide and seek" trials ;)

sweet cherries

Yes! Spring is here. And cherries are usually the first messengers to confirm that! When I was growing up, my grandparents had a beautiful old cherry tree in the garden, which I loved to climb and when I saw it in the blossom, I hardly could wait for cherries to be there! It was "the early" type of cherry tree, which always ensured a lot of friends in the school when I brought freshly picked cherries to school! Also, my very very first seasonal job at the high school was in the cherry orchard near Dresden. And of course, I am kissing my beautiful wife for over 20 years every 1st of May under the cherry tree - cause I love her :) So yes, there is something going on between myself and all those cherry trees. And when I have found out and planned very carefully this year's trip to this magic cherry orchard - right at the peak blossoming moment AND with the perfect weather - 2 hours trip was nothing! So worth it and I was so excited. And so rewarded after all. And the best thing? I was able to share this enchanted place with others and we actually had a great Photo walk after all. Enjoy with me.

Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm @26mm, 1/125sec @ f/22, ISO 400

Áno! Jar je tu. A čerešne sú zvyčajne tými prvými poslami, ktorí to zvestujú. Keď som bol malý chlapec, tak moji starí rodičia mali na dvore nádhernú starú čerešňu, po ktorej som zbožnoval loziť. A v momente keď som ju videl zakvitnutú, tak som sa nevedel dočkať, kedy už budú na strome čerešne. Bola to "májovka", čiže čerešne boli naozaj veľmi skoro a v škole som mal vždy veľa kámošov, keď som ich doniesol čerstvo nazbierané ;D Tiež jedna z mojich prvých brigád na strednej škole bola v čerešňovom sade neďaleko Drážďan. No a samozrejme, už viac ako 20 rokov bozkávam svoju nádhernú manželku na 1. mája pod čerešňou - lebo ju milujem ;) Takže áno, naozaj mám k čerešniam špecifický vzťah. Preto keď som objavil a precízne naplánoval výlet do tohto magického čerešňového sadu - v tom najlepšom momente a s úplne perfektným počasím - tak 2 hodinová cesta zbehla ako voda. Stálo to za to a bol som od nedočkania napnutý ako traky ;) A stálo to za to, bol som odmenený. A to najlepšie? Podarilo sa mi sa podeliť o túto kúzelnú krásu s ďalšími a mali sme nakoniec skvelú Photo Walk. Užite si čerešne aj vy...


Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, 1/1600sec @ f/2.8, ISO 100


Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @145mm, 1/800sec @ f/6.3, ISO 320


Nikon D800, Nikkor 16-35mm @16mm, 1/500sec @ f/6.3, ISO 100

up up and away

Hot air balloon show in the night, full of colorful and photogenic source of lights? Count me in!
Once organizers confirmed weather conditions and event was okayed, I knew I'll go there. Even got a great company (thanks Lina and Juliana!).
After arrival I have quickly realized that balloons are located on the top of the hill, so all spectator would have a nice view from the valley. But that wasn't good enough for me, as the background was black forest. So we "speed walked" up the hill and were able to catch the last moments of Blue hour and got a few shots of color splash against blue sky (and even some stars already)!
Rest of the photo trip was about trying to catch the right moment for the right exposure! I was surprised, that correct exposure for the balloon with a available light and balloon illuminated from the inside by a burst of flame was several seconds, otherwise I was capturing just orange fireballs! :)
Show was spectacular with balloons throwing flames to the rhythm of local folk music (! try to coordinate that!), with parachutist with huge sparkles (impossible to capture, I just gave up and enjoyed the view) and of course with nice firework to enhance my background. Feast for the photographer eye! :) 
PS: Special thanks to guys from "FlyingPictures.eu" in the nearest balloon (Travel Department) for being so nice to throw us photo flame upon requests (many of them!! :)

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70 at 38mm, 1/2 sec @ f/7, ISO 500
Nočná balónova šou plná farieb a fotogenických zdrojov svetla? Idem tam! Akonáhle organizátori potvrdili dobré počasie na akciu, tak bolo jasné, že idem. A mal som dokonca aj skvelú spoločnosť (díky Lina a Juliana!)
Po príjazde som sa zorientoval a zistil, že balóny sú ukotvené na vrchole kopca, tak aby mali diváci dobrý výhľad z doliny. Ale to nevyhovovalo mne, nakoľko ako pozadie by som mal tmavý les. Tak sme si dali rýchly výstup do kopca a podarilo sa nám zachytiť posledné zvyšky Modrej hodinky a nafotiť zopár záberov farebných škvŕn oproti  modrej oblohe (a dokonca aj nejaké hviezdy)!
Zvyšok výletu už bol o zachytení správneho momentu pri správnej expozícii! Musím priznať, že som bol prekvapený z toho aký veľký rozdiel bol medzi správnou expozíciou balónu osvieteného z dostupného svetla a balónu osvetleného zvnútra s blčiacim horákom. Bolo to dokonca pár sekúnd, ináč som mal na fotke len oranžovú ohňovú guľu ;) Show bola nádherná, balóny dokonca púšťali oheň do rytmu lokálnej dychovky (! skúste toto skoordinovať!), prileteli aj parašutisti s obrovskými "prskavkami", ktoré púšťali nádherné iskry (a bolo to nemožné nafotiť, tak som to vzdal a len sa kochal). No a nakoniec samozrejme krásny ohňostroj, ktorý mi pekne zvýraznil pozadie za balónmi. Úplna pastva pre fotografove oči! ;)

Nikon D810, Nikkor 70-200 at 150mm, 3 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 1600

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70 at 32mm, 1/2 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 640

we love synchronized swimming

Synchronized swimming is beautiful and hard sport! And I had a pleasure to photograph my beloved daughter's Synchro Christmas show again. What a pleasure! Equipped with mirrorless SONY Alfa 6000 with Meikon Waterproof Camera case I got very, very close! And I got rewarded... 
PS: Video with "below and above" view is at the very bottom.


Synchronizované plávanie je nádherný a namáhavý šport! A ja som mal tú česť si znova nafotiť Synchro Vianočnú show mojej milovanej dcéry! Aká nádhera! Vybavený so Sony Alfa 6000 a Meikon vodotesným púzdrom som sa dostal naozaj veľmi, veľmi blízko! A odmena ma neminula...
PS: Video s "pod a nad" zábermi je úplne dole.