Formerly one country, today two standalone countries: Slovakia and Czech Republic. From these two Slovakia offers wider variety of mountains - from high rocky alpine peaks to picturesque hills with old forests. All of those being part of Carpathian mountain range it is always sure to find some interesting landscapes there.
Burning spikes on the horizon
Views towards High Tatras fascinated me throughout the entire hike on the Low Tatras main ridge trail. It was here, just below the highest peak of Ďumbier, where composition and light met ideally. Who would have thought that in the morning clear skies will be replaced by dense fog that will last for days?
In the land of mountains
I was in awe to find this place close to Krúpova hoľa with curved path leading atop the sunlit ridge while grass in front of me was frozen. Half of Slovakia was visible in the distance, starting with Malá Fatra on the left, Liptovská Mara water reservoir on the left from image center and Western and High Tatras on the right.
Highest of Carpathians
High Tatras seen from Ďumbier in Low Tatras. The mountains were already completelly empty long before sunset. As the sun got lower, nearby ridges were bathing in light while deep valleys stayed in dark shade.
Morning at Ramža shelter
There comes the time when stove is almost cold, everything is packed again in your backpack and you have to go on the trail again. You take one last look over the shoulder to memorize the cold autumnal morning.
During lunch break heavy clouds started to shape up in the north. Not long after that on Zadná hoľa sunlit High Tatras emerged over Veľký bok while most of the skies were still dark gray. While midday light usually promises nothing more than documentary shots, this was one of the rare exceptions.
Upper Hron valley
Ascending to the main ridge of Low Tatras, views towards opposing Muráňská planina emerged first followed by views to the valley of river Hron. Meadows and fields with scattered trees in late afternoon light made for necessary photographic break.
Evening in Veľká Fatra
The highest part of the mountains with Ostredok and Frčkov as seen from Kráľova skala viewpoint. The sunset went better than expected with nice soft light and scattered incoming clouds.
Dusk in Veľká Fatra
View towards the highest mountain of Velká Fatra - Ostredok - captured minutes after sunset from Kráľova skala. The clouds played the main role here reflecting residual purple light on the hills.
Rocks in Fatra mountains
Everything combined here almost ideally: colours of starting autumn, sun setting just over the interesting rocky pillars and clouds dramatically coming into the scene. Stitched from six images with exposure blending.
Morning below Úplaz
Starting autumn with cold nights and warm first sunrays at the edge of national park Velká Fatra. The sun was already way up but the trees dispersed the light nicely so I stopped to capture its wonderful colours.
Game of clouds
After a few cloudy days it is always nice to see sunshine again. If clouds are moving fast and light is constantly changing, then it is even better. The sun will eventually highlight the exact place you wish for.
Amidst the tree oceans
Away from the marked trails of Little Carpathians I hiked to this hill to find it the very best place there. It may not be the highest of the hills nor the rockiest but its simple presence in the center of the forests and combination of solitary trees with scattered stones makes it special.
The sun had been up for some time but the meadow of Holint, surrounded by deep forests, was still half in the morning shade. On mornings like this one can not want much more than a company of wild deer on a place like this.
Slopes of Vysoká
Passing beauty of wild garlic forming endless green carpets in the spring was originally what draw me to Little Carpathians. Two prominent mountains Vápenná and Vysoká were the places I found the most interesting concerning the magic of spring.
Essence of Little Carpathians
One of the rare places in Little Carpathians where lack of trees allows for some views - slopes of Vysoká. While not the top itself, which is definitely more dramatic with large rocky ridge, I liked this compact meadow below more.
Last light on Belianské Tatry. Clouds started forming in the valley and moved quickly to the east. If I have waited longer I would not get the chance to capture this shot.
First sunrays woke me up reflecting of the wall. My first steps that day led to close Zelené pleso to capture light on Kežmarský štít. 8 shots (in 2 columns) stitched together.
View towards Zmrzlé and České pleso and further into the Bielovodská dolina. Altough it was early afternoon, light prepared some nice contrasting scenes worth capturing. Captured on the way down from Rysy. 5 vetical shots stitched together.
New hut below Rysy
Newly renovated Chata pod Rysmi (Hut below Rysy) where final ascent to Rysy begins. Clouds added some drama to the shot.
Path to Rysy
Path from Slovakian side to border summit of Rysy which is also highest mountain in Poland. People in the scene were unavoidable but serve as a good scale compared to the mountains. 5 vertical photos.
Clouds played a nice game on surrounding summits which were for a few seconds completely visible while in another moment got fully hidden in white clouds. It was just waiting for the right second to balance clouds and mountains in the captured scene.
There was a lot of chamoises in Velká Studená dolina and it was possible to get just a few meters away of them so even short focal lenght of 90mm in 35mm terms was enough to capture some wildlife shots.