One rock massif, no more was needed…
Many of us tend to take only a couple of pictures of a subject before moving on. We may experiment with different angles and orientations, but usually do not devote too much time to a single subject. However, Miroslav Hlinka takes a different approach. For those familiar with his work, it is evident that he commits himself entirely to a subject. He captures it at different times of the day and even during different seasons of the year. During his recent holiday in Italy, he focused on a mountain and the result is a captivating story that should not be missed.
At the beginning of spring, my family and I went on holiday to Italy. On the first day, I went to explore the surroundings of our accommodation. After a few hours of going for a walking trip, I had a clear idea. A nice rock massif caught my eye. It became the main object of my interest for the whole week.
The way I like it, every day I returned to views of the massif – either in the morning or evening. I found a few places that seemed suitable for photography, and then I was waiting for the right weather. Since the week seemed to be full of clouds and I wanted to focus on minimalist landscapes, I only had a 90mm lens on most of the time.
It was just a good choice for me when I wanted to catch the tops of rocks rising like islands out of a sea of clouds and fog (if conditions were right). It was no surprise that I wanted to see the sunrise at least a few times during the week. So while everyone else slept, I got up earlier a few times a week.
As I walked up the hill in the dark and the sky was overcast, I was hoping that the clouds would at least break up a little at dawn. In vain. When I arrived after an hour of walking to reach one’s destination I had discovered a few days ago, like a good place for photography, the entire rock block was drowned in low clouds, and so there was nothing to photograph at first.
But good things come to those who wait. I finally took a few shots of rock block emerging from the clouds. Although I enjoyed my time in nature, I hoped for better conditions the next morning.
But even the next day was not successful for a morning photo shoot. For a change, it was a tinny grey sky. Not a cloud, not even a bit of fog around the rock. Just a uniform grey. I waited for some time. There didn’t seem to be any change coming. So I went on, walking through the countryside and enjoying the silence.
I was slowly descending back into the town when I noticed a wisp of cloud beginning to wrap around a rock peak. And cracks were beginning to appear in the higher layers. And then I saw the last thing that decided to stay. In the distance, a wall of dark grey clouds rolled in. It promised an interesting spectacle.
I knew I didn’t have much time, so I started walking back up a little higher. The daily walks turned out to be a great help. I knew exactly where I would be able to walk to, and what would be the best place to direct my steps so I wouldn’t miss the spectacle.
And what followed was wonderful.
First, several cloud tongues emerged along the rock face, slowly but surely wrapping around the peak. Then came the first rush of thick clouds, the scene changing in seconds. And then some of the clouds broke and sunlight rays through the gaps. Amazing.
Just when it seemed the show was going to be over, there another cloud came, and everything came alive again.
For a moment, I exchanged the 90mm lens for the 27mm to capture, in addition to the intended minimalistic landscapes, an overall view of the beauty I witnessed.
I returned home from my holiday satisfied. I successfully divided my time between family and photo trips. And I took away images that made me happy.
And most of the time, one lens was enough for one rock block.
Artist, graphic designer and amateur photographer. He makes graphic technique mezzotint and he loves BW photography. (For example – He likes paintings by Rembrandt and Carravagio and photography by Bill Brandt, Michael Kenna, Josef Koudelka, pictorialism and much more). In his photography, you can find primary landscapes (mainly forest, trees and urban nooks) even if sometimes takes pictures reportage of graphic collectors’ meetings and portraits. His website is in reconstruction, so you can see some of his mezzotint and photos on FB page Miroslav Hlinka Art or his FB personal account.