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


Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm @38mm, 1/40sec @ f/10, ISO 200


Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, 1/640sec @ f/3.5, ISO 100


Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, 1/1000sec @ f/6.3, ISO 400


Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, 1/1000sec @ f/6.3, ISO 200

Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, 1/500sec @ f/6.3, ISO 400


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


Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @200mm, 1/250sec @ f/6.3, ISO 200


Nikon D800, Nikkor 70-200mm @120mm, 1/500sec @ f/6.3, ISO 1000


Nikon D800, Nikkor 24-70mm @70mm, 1/320sec @ 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

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70 at 24mm, 1/2 sec @ f/7, ISO 500

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70 at 45mm, 1/2 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 500

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70 at 24mm, 1/15 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 320

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70 at 24mm, 1.5 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 2000

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.































And here's also video made with the underwater camera - combined WITH above the water view! Amazing comparison what an effort is done below the water! Congratulations to all!

show must go on

If you ever visit Montreux, Switzerland, you'll probably hear very soon, that this charming city at the Geneva lake was Freddie Mercury's favorite place. So favorite, he bought (and decorated) a flat. And even more importantly - with his Queen mates they bought their own recording studio there! So they spent quite a bit of time around and many great songs and albums you know, were recorded in Montreux! BTW - studio is opened to public now and it is a great experience to visit...
So it is not a surprise, that Freddie's statue has been erected in Montreux, next to a lake and is definitely one of the popular places (to photograph or to meet or to take a selfie ;). It is a less known fact, that this iconic statue (copied then in many other places) has been made by Czechoslovakia born sculptor Irena Sedlecká, who has to flee her own country in 1968 after a shameful occupation by Soviet tanks... So pardon my sentiment, but I have to enjoy once again how things turned out to better later on in November of 1989...

Obviously - with a great view, nice weather, gorgeous sky and sunset timing - I couldn't resist to capture Freddie's and his surroundings as well.


Nikon D810, Nikkor 16-35mm at 24mm, f/8 at 5 sec, ISO 320

Ak niekedy navšívite Montreux vo Švajčiarsku, tak si určite čoskoro dozviete o tom, že toto malebné mestečko na brehu Ženevského jazera bolo obľúbeným mestom Freddieho Mercuryho. Tak si ho obľúbil, že si tam aj kúpil a zariadil vlastný byt. A čo je ešte dôležitejšie - so svojou Queen partiou si tam kúpili vlastné náhravacie štúdio! Takže tam trávili pomerne veľa času a mnoho skvelých pesničiek a albumov, ktoré určite poznáte bolo nahraných práve v Montreux! Mimochdom - štúdio je stále otvorené pre verejnosť a vrelo ho odporúčam navštíviť...
Nie je teda až takým prekvapním, že Freddiemu postavili v Montreux sochu, hneď vedľa jazera a je to obľúbeným miestom (na fotenie, na stretávanie alebo na nafotenie svojky ;) Menej známym faktom je to, že túto ikonickú sochu (ktorá bola skopírovaná na mnohých ďaších miestach) vytvorila sochárka Irena Sedlecká, ktorá sa narodila v Československu a ktorá musela utiecť z rodnej krajiny v roku 1968 po hanebnej sovietskej okupácii... Takže mi odpustite môj sentiment, ale som proste veľmi rád, že sa to znova zlepšilo v Novembri 1989...

No a samozrejme - s takým skvelým výhľadom, pekným počasím, úžasnou oblohou a podvečerným načasovaním - som proste nemohol odolať a nenafotiť si Freddieho a jeho okolie.