Small country in Central Europe and my homeland - that is the Czech Republic. While many mountain areas and the capital of Prague are covered in its own categories, rest is presented here. Both places that surround my hometown and places that are further but I do not visit them that often.
Frosty morning outside Pardubice
It is not often that the lowlands around Pardubice are engulfed by frost below -10°C. Two exceptional mornings right at the beginning of the year promise even more and also completely clear skies. During the frosty mornings, the landscape acquires a fairy-tale and dreamy dimension, which is worth the effort. I don't hesitate and set off for the only distinctive hill nearby - Kunětická Mountain with dominant castle sitting on its top. The thermometer reads -13°C, the castle hides in a fine frosty haze, while the sky slowly turns pink.
Evening by the lake
After a cloudy day, the sky cracks open in the evening and the golden sun illuminates the autumn-coloured trees on the lake's embankment. I choose a spot with five trees growing on a nearby ledge. They complement the otherwise flat horizon, while the clouds form a perfect counterbalance.
A group of lonely trees in the middle of high mountain pastures never disappoints. Here, the trees complement each other in shape, with the necessary mist adding to the atmosphere.
Colours of Highlands
The air is getting colder and autumn is peaking. The Highlands are dressed in bright colours. The forest smells of damp leaves, while the meadows are enveloped in a brooding silence.
At Krkavčí skála
Autumn is slowly coming to the lower parts of the Czech mountains, even the trees of the Bohemian Central Highlands are slowly turning orange. The sunset is spoiled by a thin band of clouds, however, towards the south there are light clouds stretching out, which the sun manages to colour for a moment.
Before sunrise the valleys in the Eagle Mountains are filled with fog. For a while there is more of it, for a while there is less, until finally it spreads out so that a rounded hill with a lone tree peeks out.
Morning in the Eagle Mountains
As the sun rises above the horizon and bathes the landscape in a pleasant light, the fog in the valleys begins to dissipate. There is still just enough of it to allow the individual rows of treetops lining the vast surrounding meadows to rise above it.
The witch tree
Immediately upon arriving at the vast meadow dotted with solitary trees, this half-dried and broken giant catches my eye. As the sun dips lower, I look for a composition near it. The eve of a May night in the White Carpathians.
Morning in a rock city
Central part of the rock city from the viewpoint U Lvíčka. The crowns of the trees, not yet awake in the early pre-spring, reflect the first rays of the cool morning sun, while a dark shadow lingers between the rocks.
The Hrubá Skála rock city
A quiet evening in a rock city. The trunks of old pine trees frame the view of the rock block, at the top of which grows a solitary tree.
Sunset from Holý vrch towards the highest peak of the Bohemian Central Highlands, Milešovka. The fog gradually descends into the valley as the evening progresses, so that the most prominent hills rise above it. So do the nearby trees dressed in autumn colours.
Mosaic of woods
Evening sun-drenched meadows around the village of Hlinná in the Bohemian Central Highlands. The smoke resembling veil of fog seems rather disappointing at first , but eventually it softens the landscape transitions towards the horizon quite well.
Autumn in the Central Highlands
Autumn-coloured forests and glades of the Bohemian Central Highlands. The evening sun penetrates a thin veil of mist and illuminates the mosaic of colourful treetops.
Early morning in a wild river gorge. The chill of the departing night permeates the forest, while golden leaves drift silently down from the trees. Hints of mist creep between the trunks. A perfect peak of autumn on the Divoká Orlice River.
Podzim na řece
I came to the gorge by the river for the colourful autumn. And it did not disappoint this time. It created a light mist permeating the spruce forests and coloured the leaves in yellow-orange tones. Amongst all the leaves, my gaze is drawn to the river surface, over which an old crane leans with red berries.
Mushrooms over the river
The slopes above Divoká Orlice river are covered with an incredible amount of autumn-coloured leaves. In the place where the oldest beech trees with massive trunks grow, I see a cluster of almost white mushrooms sticking out of the leaves. A clear signal to stop and look around. And within a moment I find another clump, with views directly to the river.
The Eagle Mountains are rather low wooded hills, so I usually prefer other locations. However, one cannot deny them a certain genius loci of the former Sudetenland. Moreover, one place is almost a sure bet in autumn - the rocky gorge through which the Wild Orlice River leaves Poland and flows into the Czech Republic.
Contrary to popular belief, I do not like Czech Switzerland very much. Too much infrastructure, too many people. I'm only attracted by the presence of freshly burned sites. Finally, however, one classic catches my eye - the building of the former gasworks in Hřensko, crouching off to the side in the forest among the rocks.
Spring comes suddenly and abruptly to the mountains, the forest spreads out into a fragrant meadow. At first glance, it looks quite ordinary, rippling through the wooded slopes. Only a second glance at the flowering trees, the neatly tended copses and the overgrown foundations of long-gone houses reveals that there used to be a remote settlement here - Hraničky.
The woods on hillsides slowly disappear, while the acrid smell of smoke wafts through the air. No, it's not fog, but smoke rising from the spots where branches and scraps of wood are burned. Only the last few trees remain, mostly pines, their crowns standing out against the white veil.
Clouds stayed over the mountains, but the bright strip of sky just above the horizon still promised hope of good light. Arriving to this lookout, it was obvious that the light would be absolutely exceptional. The clouds darkened while golden light flooded the landscape. In combination with the autumn-colored trees, the conditions were simply ideal. 9 portrait images stitched together.
Vodopád Černého potoka
About halfway up the the valley, in a jagged gorge, Černý potok forms a 7 meter high waterfall. With the trunk fallen directly into the riverbed and the autumn-colored trees around, this place cannot be simply missed during this season. 6 portrait images stitched together.
First thing that made me stop on this place was light - it just could not be better. Soft late afternoon light dispersed by tree branches shining just where I needed it. Those branches were the second and definitive thing to make me to stop and take the shot. Emerging from the endless ocean of flowers like an isle it was just right icing on the cake of composition.
In early spring lowland forests are between the first places booming with colours. Wild anemones create nice floor cover while the trees are still leafless. I chose ultrawide lens for this image to emphasize the closest soft leaves while maintaining full view of large colourful carpets.
It has been a long time since I first saw this tree in the middle of the fields. However, it is only now when I found some time and will to plan on shooting there. Passing clouds made me worry about visibility of the Milky way, but when this hole in the skies apperared I was prepared. Light pollution kind of strikes here, altough camera being pointed towards less inhabited areas of Czech Highlands. 8 exposures median-stitched for the skies and ground separately. 1 dark frame.
Waiting for the clouds to pass I got lucky with this bloody sunset. So I switched to my new Samy ultra-wide and tried to capture some of its colours. Despite some concern I kind of like its 6-blade aperture and effect it has when shooting to direct light.
During descent from Lysá hora the sun was already down enough to paint the landscape with orange colors. View towards nearby Travný mountain and further towards Slovakia; shot at -15°C accompanied by freezing wind.
The sun was setting down in warm colors which contrasted with blueish ice on trees. I was prepared to crop the image to emphasize branches texture but finally default setting seems the best with closer white branches framing the view.
Morning light led me into the meadows of Czech highlands where spiders strained their webs on thistles. Intentionally overexposed in order to boost fresh morning atmosphere.
Old times witness
Classical harmony in Czech countryside. Wheat fields lined with old trees and crosses. Centered composition was my intention as red poppy makes sufficient distraction from center.
Shooting in spring forest finally ended up with finding best angle to take picture of still frozen stream. Taken in national Reserve Ransko.
January 2013 is not one I´d like - it´s not cold. However, I found this frozen "lake" few days ago. Luckilly it remained there altough temperatures were high above zero so I hurried purposefully to it when I expected colorful sunset.
Noticed interesting light and went out for a bike ride. Sunshine broke through the sky and played nice game on the trees and over the fields.