After an entire year without annual leave with 2 movies completed at work, it was finally a time to take a well-deserved holiday. It's been a very long time since I seen my family so my obvious destination was my homeland, Slovakia. It was not a holiday of exciting adventures, but days full or rest and relaxation. Couple of easy trips here and there, family, friends, good food, some gardening and lots of fresh air. What else can one wish for?
The journey from Sydney to my home was a long one. 3 different flights, 2 transits and final car ride from Vienna International Airport took nearly 40 hours. But I made it home at last. Exhausted, sleepy but happy. There is an entire month of rest ahead of me. The weather was awesome, and the obligatory welcome drink got me me started on the right note (well, it almost knocked me off after 40 sleepless hours). I don't even have to mention the fact that I was in a small village away from the city. No noise, crowds or heavy traffic. That made my holiday that much better.
This holiday was not a photography trip. I had my camera with me, of course. I planned to be at home most of the time, doing some work in the garden. It was a welcome change compared to my office job. A whole day on the fresh air was something I missed a lot. At work, I only get to see the office walls. Depressing.
I met our new family member Xara for the first time. This was high on my "looking forward to" list. She is a the Appenzeller Sennenhund dog. I soon learned that she has an abundance of energy and temperament. Obviously, being only 7 months old she is still a playful puppy ready to discover and chew on everything she can find. It is fun to observe how she gets along with our older dog Lola. They have an interesting chemistry. I noticed Xara is sometimes over provocative towards her and occasionally Lola's patience boils over. and lets her know who is the boss here. Other than that they got along just fine. It is nice to have two dogs again. Lola mourned the passing of Borka a year ago and she was noticeably sad and lonely.
I made two one-day trips in Slovakia. The first one was a trekking trip to Maly Rozsutec in the north of the country in Malá Fatra National Park close to the village of Terchová. The village is most famous for being the birthplace of Juraj Jánošík (outlaw and Slovak national hero). During the second trip, I visited two well-known castle ruins, Beckov and Čachtice. The latter was the home of Elisabeth Bathory. She was a noblewoman and serial killer labeled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer.
When it comes to photography I didn't make too much effort to scout the locations, be there in the perfect time of day etc. I just wanted to enjoy my break rather than focus too much on photography. I tried to make the most of the situation and lighting conditions I encountered. Some of the photographs are a good example of how to make the most of uninteresting flat light. I also photographed my sister quite a lot. I don't do that kind of photography often but why not do a practice when I can.
These photographs are a selection of shots I took over this month. I shot with Fujifilm X-T2 coupled with XF 14mm F/2.8, XF 50-150mm F/2.8, XF 56mm F/1.2 and XF 35mm F/2 lenses. All photographs are processed in Adobe Lightroom. I used Astia, Classic Chrome or Acros image profiles coupled with basic exposure and contrast changes (global and local) . There is not much editing going on except the infrared images which require Photoshop for channel swap.