PHOTO STORIES
 

There is a story behind every photo - the location of the photo, the creation of the photo, sometimes also the path the photo has taken since its creation. With all my photos, I want to take you through these stories. Today we start with the first larger batch of them. PS I give names to photos only when absolutely necessary. I leave the name imagination up to you. Still, to understand which is photo which, they have numbers.
8/11/2022, Dan

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Last group of trees with leaves amidst a deep autumn forest

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Last group of trees with leaves amidst a deep autumn forest

I was concerned that I may not get great photos, coming to the area so late in the autumn with most trees already having shaken their leaves down. However, some patches still could be found and especially in the bright sun of that day they created incredible views.

(near Koněprusy, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Cross Country skiers on a cold January day.

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Cross Country skiers on a cold January day.


This particular region on the top of Krušné Hory mountains is hugely popular among cross skiers and many international competitions take place there regularly.

(Krušné hory Mountains, North Western Bohemia, Czech Reoublic)

A highland creek floating over a ferrous soil.

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A highland creek floating over a ferrous soil.

On the top of Krušné hory, you can find many meadows with highland bush and vegetation. It’s also where many creeks originate, join each other and perhaps disappear somewhere in the woods again. When adjusting contrasts of this image, the reddish color of the ferrous soil became immediately visible.

(Krušné hory mountains, North Western Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Blind stream Musík of the Slapy Dam near Prague in early autumn.

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Blind stream Musík of the Slapy Dam near Prague in early autumn.

The Slapy dam - created to protect Prague from previously devastating floods - is another popular destination for my photo trips. Both the water surface as well as surrounding hills and forests and almost an endless source of surprises.

(Slapy dam, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A forest on the top of the mountains.

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A forest on the top of the mountains.

I found this place by a pure coincidence - as is the case of quite a few other photos here - when flying from a site that actually didn’t prove to be as appealing as I’d have guessed from the online “satellite” maps (this also happens quite often). But I’m glad I did. And after seeing this photo in large prints, I understand why people sometimes take this part of the forest to their homes!

(Krušné hory Mountains, North Western Bohemia, Czech Republic)

South Moravian hills and fields in early spring.

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South Moravian hills and fields in early spring.

The large agricultural country area of South Moravian hills is quite difficult to photograph from above - but when you get to the right place, it literally flies. I I spent a lot of time with this photo sailing on its waves, because it contains several almost optical illusions (sometime due to eroding surface due to removed trees, which is nothing great actually), at the same time the colors of the South Moravian spring are difficult to interpret, let alone when you want to extract the spirit you feel there.

I found this particular place between Bílovice and Čejkovice by chance, it is not one of the usual South Moravian photo locations.

(Southern Moravia, Czech Republic)

South Moravian hills and fields in early spring.

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South Moravian hills and fields in early spring.

The large agricultural country area of South Moravian hills is quite difficult to photograph from above - but when you get to the right place, it literally flies. I I spent a lot of time with this photo sailing on its waves, because it contains several almost optical illusions (sometime due to eroding surface due to removed trees, which is nothing great actually), at the same time the colors of the South Moravian spring are difficult to interpret, let alone when you want to extract the spirit you feel there.

I found this particular place between Bílovice and Čejkovice by chance, it is not one of the usual South Moravian photo locations.

( Southern Moravia, Czech Republic)

An unnamed pond in a former surface mining area near Chomutov

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An unnamed pond in a former surface mining area near Chomutov

This mining area - including long abandoned surface mines and other mining operations - is a surprisingly fantastic location for admiration of a truly hidden beauty. From the land, the country seems beaten, broken or even destroyed - and it actually quite is. From the air… there’s a whole new world opening, given some hope to this hard tried area. This little pond didn’t look so intriguing on the map, but I thought I wanted to take a bit of a relax at its side while driving from a day of shooting. I almost didn’t want to take the drone with me - and glad I did.

(Chomutov region, North Western Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A dead tree fallen to the dead arm of Labe on a dark spring day.

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A dead tree fallen to the dead arm of Labe on a dark spring day.

There are actually many visually attractive areas around this part of Labe near Kolín, but I got most intrigued by the many stories that this tree is telling us.. when looking at it from the right angle.

(near Kolín, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A dead tree fallen into a pond in the Průhonice park.

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A dead tree fallen into a pond in the Průhonice park.

I came to photograph this fascinating view several times, but it proved to be very difficult to retell the story of what you’d see there on a late autumn day like this. It was only when I made the red colors really stand out that I think you can experience it in the same way like I did from the air - as a wild dance of reds and blues to the tones of coming winter, death and rebirth.

(Prague, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Fagradalsfjall Volcano, about 3 weeks before ceasing activity.

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Fagradalsfjall Volcano, about 3 weeks before ceasing activity.

This day of shooting at the volcano resulted in many other fascinating views like straight from a Tolkien book. In these late phases of the volcanic activity, the lava eruptions occurred just every other 10 minutes or so. You could very well anticipate them, as the air filled with a strange hissing sound for a few seconds before the eruption, which then lasted no longer than about 10 seconds. I found the smoking volcano more intriguing though!

(Fagradalsfjall Volcano,, South Western Iceland)

Waterfall in the Stuðlagil canyon in the late autumn.

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Waterfall in the Stuðlagil canyon in the late autumn.

The canyon was until recently "undiscovered" by people - a very strong river used to flow there and the area around the eastern inland highlands is very inhospitable even for weathered Icelanders. But 13 years ago, the river level dropped by almost 9m due to a nearby power plant and a completely unsuspected canyon full of basalt columns appeared. The canyon is now on side 2, may be 3, of all Icelandic tourist catalogs, less so this waterfall.

The day was a pretty bad light, it was a cold winter, it was raining with snow (which my drone especially likes) and I was still a long way from my accomodation far up in the mountains. So I'm glad that this photo came out quite well and I can present it to you now.

(Stuðlagil, Eastern Iceland)

A mountain top in the South East Iceland coast.

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A mountain top in the South East Iceland coast.

Often I love driving to a tourist destination only to find out that its surroundings are often just as interesting. This was the case - I was driving to the very popular Stokksnes beach, but this caught my attention. I parked on the side and spent about 1 hour there, actually missing the Stokksnes at all due to bad weather coming very shortly. I don’t regret it!

(South Eastern Iceland)

A glacial delta river at the South Iceland coast.

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A glacial delta river at the South Iceland coast.

Sometimes people don’t believe this isn't photo manipulation in Photoshop. And I always reply with my mantra: what you see was really there. No editing of shapes or adding stuff to my photos. Let’s just agree I was very lucky to have spotted this black heart. It did bring some rather dark symbolism for me in the following weeks so I don’t have an easy relationship with this photo, but I guess what else to expect from a heart that intense…

(South Eastern Iceland)

An island on a little pond close to Káraný in a chilling January weather.

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An island on a little pond close to Káraný in a chilling January weather.

This island isn’t man made - nature presents us here with a torn mind of this complicated island. The January morning freeze painted the trees white, while it wasn’t cold enough to make the water freeze and hide the sand and mud texture of the island “lagoon”.

I took this photo on an early morning drive on January 2nd from vacations in the mountains to get a shot at a doctor’s and then coming back to join my group. This image - one of the first photos I took in 2020 - then became a strong symbol of a torn mind, dualities, things we need to reconcile… for me, this remained one of the strongest photos I took that year.

(Toušeň, Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

An early bird couple takes a morning stroll on a beach on Xmas day at the Canary Islands.

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An early bird couple takes a morning stroll on a beach on Xmas day at the Canary Islands.

This Canary beach was actually a man made lagoon, which made the see completely flat, especially in the early morning.

Very soon, the beach got very full, but this moment must have had been serene from the ground, as it definitely was from the air as well.

(Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain)

Sunbathers at a shore.

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Sunbathers at a shore.

This was actually a little urban beach in a little bay in an originally fishermen village, with a road for cars being right next to it. Still, the few beach goers over there definitely didn’t mind and enjoyed their time.

This Croatian trip wasn’t intended to be a drone photo trip, but my Mavic 2 Pro drone being so lightweight, I carry it everywhere. And sometimes, it’s a nice opportunity for people in my company to take their own time off, since during my drone sessions, I’m the worst human being in the world - at least socially speaking.

(Island of Brač, Croatia)

Early morning at a hotel beach.

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Early morning at a hotel beach.

The early morning is the only time to capture this beach - even and perhaps especially during the Xmas week - without the lively murmur of tons of people who escaped from the snow and gloom of Europe.

(Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain)

River mouth bringing dead trees and sediments into the lake.

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River mouth bringing dead trees and sediments into the lake.

The river that flows from the Alps to the lake brings in all kinds of messages from the mountains - should it be trees or various colorful sediments. Of all the rather more complex images I took at this area this one strikes out clearly… a combination of happiness vs endings, tranquility vs. strong currents, merry colors vs. the blackness of decay. It really depends on what you want to see in this and there’s definitely tons more stories than what the simple view would tell.

(Lago Maggiore, Northern Italy)

A swimming platform extending to the lake.

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A swimming platform extending to the lake.

The muddy coast of this very large Alpine lake wasn’t too welcoming for swimmers, so occasionally you could find these swimming platforms. Together with the water colored by all kinds of sediments brought by the rivers from the Alps, you can rightly feel like on a space mission.

(Lago Maggiore, Northern Italy)

Fallen leaves and algae on the top of Slapy dam near Prague in the Autumn.

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Fallen leaves and algae on the top of Slapy dam near Prague in the Autumn.

The colorful pattern is created by a combination of leaves fallen down from the forests of the surrounding hills and various colored algae that grew massively during the summer. A fisherman makes his way through it to land shortly on the shore.

It was late in the afternoon and of the last little trips outside of Prague that year. I have fond memories of that evening and this image printed in a very large format is reminding me of it in my own living room.

(Slapy dam, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A tiny island on a little pond in the Autumn.

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A tiny island on a little pond in the Autumn.

South Bohemia is a region with hundreds of man-made lakes and ponds dating back to the medieval era. These ponds are scattered by many muddy islands, often providing home to many bird species.

This photo was taken during one of the most colorful autumn days and is a part of a rather large series of similar islands.

(Třeboň area, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Start of a lava stream (flowing to the left for a few kilometers) at the Icelandic volcano.

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Start of a lava stream (flowing to the left for a few kilometers) at the Icelandic volcano.

Many volcanoes have side openings near to them, from which lava flows (not erupts, or just very lightly) down in long lava creeks. This one was about 3 meters wide at a maximum, but the hot lava lasted for at least a kilometer or two down the valley.

I was lucky enough to visit the Fagradalsfjall volcano on an active day, moreover, there were several of these side craters. The opening of this one reminds me of a fire dragon that's been released from the Earth. This was my first day in Iceland and I was concerned about the drone surviving when I flew so close to the lava - some 25 meters - and there indeed was very minor damage, but other than that, the drone survived for the next month in Iceland. Still, this photo from Day 1 remains one of the best from the whole trip.

(Fagradalsfjall volcano, South Western Iceland)

A late Autumn forest in bright afternoon sunlight.

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A late Autumn forest in bright afternoon sunlight.

The Koněprusy area is a place covered by many fairly deep forests, which are also a favorite destination for many weekend hikers or tramps.

I so much wanted to take a photo of another location a kilometer from here but I managed to crash my drone a few days before that. Thanks to a friend who lent me her drone I managed to get to the place anyway, but my original location didn’t reveal anything that would speak to me that day. In some disappointment, I just flew around the area rather randomly, only to discover this forest. It had almost all leaves already fallen and the sharp yet low-angle sun created an incredible canvas out of it.

(Koněprusy, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Bush took over former Soviet military barracks

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Bush took over former Soviet military barracks

A quick victory of a bush over an empire is all that remains of a barrack at the largest military base of the former Soviet occupational army in Milovice near Prague. More than 80,000 Soviet soldiers were stationed there after the Soviet 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. Now it's an urbex area where wild vegetation is taking over. Also, curiously, a part of the base was converted to a natural reservation for wild horses and bisons.

(Milovice, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Fallen tree amidst the wild Autumn vegetation and leaves

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Fallen tree amidst the wild Autumn vegetation and leaves

This tree was lying on a wild inhabited island on one of the many Třeboň ponds. Thanks to the particular time of the year, it was glowing reddish colors that could be visible even on my drone preview screen. I edited the contrasts lightly to bring them even more up to reveal a true autumn fire…

The Třeboň area in the “pond district” of Southern Bohemia is one of my favorite places for aerial explorations, as the very diverse landscape of ponds, forests, paths and meadows creates incredibly beautiful vistas. I have many photos from there in my portfolio and this one is less common amongst them as it doesn’t show any water surface (water is everywhere in the Třeboň area!)

(Třeboň area, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A sand drill, bringing a sand on the carrier to create a cone of various segments of a diverse colored sand.

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A sand drill, bringing a sand on the carrier to create a cone of various segments of a diverse colored sand.

The places which we deem ugly, even toxic, places that we associate with destruction of Earth – even those have a hidden side where a new kind of beauty emerges. I love exploring these places, almost giving them a chance to shine, to tell their story, to let them contribute at least some beauty to the world of natural beauty in which they seem to be the opposite.

(Roudnice nad Labem, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A wastewater substance in a puddle in the surface mining area.

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A wastewater substance in a puddle in the surface mining area.

Another of my photos which were taken on completely randomly discovered locations. I actually went to photograph something different, but parked right next to this puddle, which caught my attention right after the take off. Needless to say, I spent a generous time right at my spot looking at this colorful beast before flying to my final location (out of which, as far as I remember, not significant photo was made…)

(Mostecko , North Western Bohemia, Czech Republic)

The last tree with leaves in a late autumn forest.

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The last tree with leaves in a late autumn forest.

This was so late in the autumn that virtually all trees had their leaves down. This one last standing hero remained and thanks to a very sharp sun that day, strong contrasts were created, strongly differentiating it from the rest of the already winter-ready forest.

I used to think that the forests in the time closer to winter than anything else are rather depressing places. But from the air, I learned that the undressing of the trees leaves some of them are still exposed in their full autumn beauty. Yes, even this tree will get ready for winter soon… but now it is like the candle waiting to be extinguished and the world falling to darkness.

(Koněprusy, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A dump into a wastewater reservoir in an industrial area.

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A dump into a wastewater reservoir in an industrial area.

The liquid waste is being dumped from the pipes on the bottom into a pond with already sedimented waste.

These dumps are very uninspiring from the ground and nobody comes to visit. However, from a bird's perspective, a wholly different realm opens up. I love flying, whenever possible, above these areas - definitely being avoided by an average tourist. But again, if you look at them with a different perspective, and a different attitude, perhaps, they reveal flowers of a wholly different kind.

(Chomutov region, Western Bohemia, Czech Republic)

An island in monochromatic colors with trees on the many ponds of Třeboň.

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An island in monochromatic colors with trees on the many ponds of Třeboň.

I don’t think you can even count how many of these islands are in the Southern Bohemia of the Czech Republic. Some of them emerge for a few years, some of them disappear, some of them are so tiny that you don’t even know if it’s just a tree sticking out of a water or a piece of land. This makes it an extremely satisfying scenery to fly around and I admit I still have more South Bohemian island pictures than I’m even able to process.

(Třeboň area, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

An island in monochromatic colors with trees on the many ponds of Třeboň.

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An island in monochromatic colors with trees on the many ponds of Třeboň.

I don’t think you can even count how many of these islands are in the Southern Bohemia of the Czech Republic. Some of them emerge for a few years, some of them disappear, some of them are so tiny that you don’t even know if it’s just a tree sticking out of a water or a piece of land. This makes it an extremely satisfying scenery to fly around and I admit I still have more South Bohemian island pictures than I’m even able to process.

(Třeboň area, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A  lone tree on a spring field with fast flowing clouds.

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A lone tree on a spring field with fast flowing clouds.

I found it totally by coincidence while flying from a “water” shoot to replace my batteries and return to photo that lake. Well, I never made it to the lake again as I spent a rather long time waiting for the best combination of clouds and sun.

(Jindřichův Hradec, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Two dead trees in the middle of an autumn-colored forest.

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Two dead trees in the middle of an autumn-colored forest.

The hilly region around castle Křivoklát is one of the most beautifully forested places not far from Prague. In the autumn, it’s a real therapy to take walks around there. And there are a few places to capture the color madness from the air - even to realize that death, which met these two drying out trees, can highlight a beauty everywhere.

(Křivoklát area, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

The Lužnice river flowing south of Třeboň, CZ.

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The Lužnice river flowing south of Třeboň, CZ.

The river flows between two autumn-colored forests.

I used to go on canoeing trips with my dad and his friends as a kid on this river. I remember how joyful, adventurous and mosquito-ridden these trips were. These days, this experience gets a bit more orderly, but I still get good memories of these days even when looking at the river from the air…

( Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A fisherman in a lake deep in Oregon forests close to Mt. St. Helens.

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A fisherman in a lake deep in Oregon forests close to Mt. St. Helens.

I admit: there are so so many photos I have from my drive from Seattle to Portland, capturing the incredible beauty of the wild forests in the autumn. But somehow it happened that this tranquil moment - which I could take anywhere in the world, right - won my heart over all the other ones. Just stay with the image for a bit and you may also get that feel…

(Mt. St. Helens area, Oregon, North Western USA)

A dead end of the Labe river meeting autumn fields.

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A dead end of the Labe river meeting autumn fields.

A field with a tree line in autumn colors and water covered by algae.

I discovered this part of Labe - the biggest Czech river, here flowing through a very flat and agricultural country - pretty much randomly on a bike trip. I didn’t have much time so I flew only for may be 20 minutes looking for interesting areas, lucky enough to discover this somewhat ethereal area.


(Labe river, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A path between two ponds.

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A path between two ponds.

This curious path separates two man made ponds. My theory is that the curious shape was there before the ponds, which probably only filled the areas on the side of an already existing road between villages in this part of South Bohemia.

One of my clients purchased this print once saying “Story of my life: troubles from the left, fools from the right”. But actually, these two ponds do have very different names: it’s actually Hope and Love. I trust it will bring all these to the gentleman!

(Naděje pond system, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Two small rivers floating into the ocean through an area partly covered by autumn moss.

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Two small rivers floating into the ocean through an area partly covered by autumn moss.

This image often puzzles people and for the right reason - everything here is not very common to the sights we are used to seeing in continental Europe. The golden area was a moss in late stages of autumn, turning into dark yellow colors. The area on the left is a combination of lava sand and some soil mixture - I even don’t know as I physically wasn’t there but I was standing on a road a bit to the north from here. Next time I’m in Iceland, I’ll explore this area more, promise!

( , , Southern Iceland)

A former quarry now filled with water.

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A former quarry now filled with water.

This quarry heart is one of the many man made tiny lakes in the very remote area of the Rychlebské mountains on the border of the Czech Republic and Poland. These quarries are a fantastic destination for a couple day hike through the wilderness of the mountains, but from the sky, they reveal even another level of beauty. And mind you, since I don’t artificially create new shapes in the photos during the post production, this heart is “really” there.

(Rychlebské mountains, Nothern Moravia, Czech Republic)

Gulls over a dried out pond with a few centimeters of water.

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Gulls over a dried out pond with a few centimeters of water.

The Czech Republic saw some heavy droughts in the Spring 2020. Many ponds dried out, especially in South Moravia. When rains brought a few centimeters of water in later, it did not dissolve the dry mud and a "cracked water" pond full of birds was born.

This was one of the few trips we were able to make during the initial onset of Covid 19 and I loved every minute of it. This photo also brings back some nice personal memories from that trip.

(Hodonín area, Eastern Moravia, Czech Republic)

A view of the little peninsula of Hvalnes from above the sea

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A view of the little peninsula of Hvalnes from above the sea

From the perspective of Iceland, you are the beginning of the world and everything feels “down to the South”. The Hvalnes lighthouse is an area that definitely invites you to have a look from a bit away - for which you need a ship (I didn't have) or a drone (I had!). It was a wildly windy day and I was seriously concerned that the drone wouldn't come back from the sea, but it did and brought this amazing panorama with it. I had extreme luck with good light and excellent wind and weather conditions…

(Hvalnes lighthouse, , Southern Iceland)

A flock of wild geese during sunset on a glacier river.

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A flock of wild geese during sunset on a glacier river.

A wide river about a kilometer before it flew to the ocean on the northern coast of Iceland.

I was at this location a few times until I got very lucky with weather conditions and a full day of sun and low wind (quite a rarity in Iceland and many of good photo intentions stay just on paper due to the conditions that Ódin creates for us there). This was one of the last photos I took that day. Even standing with my drone controller on the ground, I was completely taken away by the tranquility of the moment. Actually, even now when looking at this photo I hear the silence that started preparing the entry of the night…

( Northern Iceland)

A dried out pond before the Fall fish-takeaway season.

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A dried out pond before the Fall fish-takeaway season.

In the autumn, fishermen in the Czech Republic remove water from many of the medieval man made ponds they manage so that they can take out fish and especially carp for the Xmas season - with carp being the preferred meal of the Xmas Eve dinner in the country. The "mud ponds" are then a haven for many bird species.

(Nákří, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Swans at a pond.

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Swans at a pond.

This is one of my most tranquil photos. I feel like this is the Swan Lake that was the inspiration for the ballet, the Tchaikovsky music and everything else which is somewhat ethereal, flowing, quiet, slow yet powerful… I took a polite distance to these swans but had been observing them from their perspective for quite some time, totally forgetting about the areas I originally planned for that day's shoot. I totally don’t regret it.

(Lázně Bohdaneč area,, Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Wild geese on a glacier river at the beginning of sunset.

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Wild geese on a glacier river at the beginning of sunset.

Glacial rivers are a major attraction for my aerial photography as Iceland is a true paradise in this regard. These incredible patterns created by the interaction of the river bed, various sediments brought from the mountains, combinations of many incoming streams and the profile of the surface can provide endless possibilities for abstract discoveries. However, the best views happen when you manage to encounter the true local inhabitants of these magical places… like these geese.

(Northern Iceland)

Glacial river before finding its entrance to the ocean.

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Glacial river before finding its entrance to the ocean.

This mesmerizing puzzle of shapes, patterns and shades is painted by a river flowing from nearby glaciers straight to the ocean - provided that there isn’t a lava sand barrier between the river and the waves. It took the river about 600 meters around the shore to finally find the opening and enter the Atlantic ocean. This day was very dark, windy and rainy and flying around taking photos was quite an adventure. It was only back home that I realized that what I saw from the top is quite incredible.

(Southern Iceland)

A glacial river tries to find its way over the lava sand barrier to the ocean.

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A glacial river tries to find its way over the lava sand barrier to the ocean.

Only from the air when flying above the shore, I saw this incredible almost optical illusion of the river looking almost 3D thanks to the play of sediments. But… it’s completely flat (except the little sand barrier between the river and the ocean), there is no ice and the water is free flowing. After checking the maps afterwards, I realized that this pattern is just temporary, aerial maps from other periods showed a very different image. So, it’s likely gone now as well… how lucky we are to be able to witness this!

Many of my locations were not planned in advance and I found them by mere coincidence. This magic place is one of these, not being at all among the tourist attractions of Iceland. I drove around the shore and saw the river from the road, wondering how it gets to the water.

(Southern Iceland)

The black sand lava beach on the South Iceland coast.

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The black sand lava beach on the South Iceland coast.

This beach - along with its many sisters - featured in quite a few of recent movies and TV shows and for a reason. It looks straight from another planet. Combine this with the very bad weather that day (thanks drone for surviving) and quite disastrous light conditions, we can really feel that Earth transformed to something else this particular afternoon…

( South Eastern Iceland)

A yacht in the Adriatic Sea.

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A yacht in the Adriatic Sea.

This day was actually very bright, sunny, one joyful summer experience in Croatia. I took my drone and myself off the beach and chased - from a polite distance - a few of the yachts around. When shooting against the sun, the epic contrast hid everything in sight and we are left only with the boat, the waves, the reflection… and nothing else. Sometimes I feel I’d enjoy, if for a few days, to live in a world as simple as that.

(near Brač Island, Croatia)

A pipe pumping some oily waste to a partly frozen wastewater pond.

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A pipe pumping some oily waste to a partly frozen wastewater pond.

Odkaliště Venuše (“Sludge pond Venus”) is probably the last place where you’d look for beauty in the Czech Republic. In the middle of a land destroyed by mining and industrial activity is a pond with a content you don’t even want to think of. Yet - here we are presented with a magically pretty flower… an acid flower, perhaps.

That January afternoon was truly a mix of all extremes of what feelings you can have about a countryside and this image is a part of a larger series of similar acid beauties.

(Odkaliště Venuše, North West Bohemia, Czech Republic)

A wastewater management facility.

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A wastewater management facility.

I often say it’s a submarine base of a Czech Navy. Well, we have no military navy, yet even submarines, as a happily landlocked country. I have no idea how this facility works - so I'll choose the parallel universe where there's a sub or two waiting underwater for their time that will come one day.

( Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Fish farms near the coast.

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Fish farms near the coast.

We were driving to the beach that sunny day when we suddenly saw these ships somewhat in the distance in the sea. Me carrying the drone pretty much everywhere asked to stop and I took some time exploring what’s going on, before we indulged in the summer fun on the beach. The nets and the ships and boats around provided an unexpectedly visually satisfying view…

(near Brač Island, Croatia)

Mumlava river in the winter.

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Mumlava river in the winter.

This river, or creek, flowing through a mountain valley is a home to some of the Czech waterfalls - modest in size but big in attractiveness. This was taken during a trip right before the New Year's eve and everything was so right that week - hopefully that feeling got somehow translated to how I saw the winter forest that day and captured it for us here.

This mountain area is mostly off limits for recreational drone shooting, but you can still find places like this. And with proper flight permits, even the rest.

(Mumlava river, Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Winter in the forest Hvězda.

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Winter in the forest Hvězda.

One of the oldest forests in Prague is around the summer castle Hvězda (“Star”, because of its shape) where the kings of the nearby Prague Castle would go to hunt and enjoy their time with whatever kings did over the weekends those days. While the summer castle itself is a true medieval gem, I love the various shapes and forms created by the forest especially during winter. Oh, and it’s also my childhood area as I grew nearby and as kids we would spend quite a lot of time there (much to the disdain of our parents and their concerns that something would happen to us over there, which of course even increased its attractiveness for us).

(Prague, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

First snow at the Aurora spa park.

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First snow at the Aurora spa park.

This was a very special moment that lasted for about 2 hours in its entirety… The park at spa Aurora got covered by the first snow that managed to cover some areas but left the trees - some still in autumn colors - only slightly touched. The sun melted everything soon but before that, I managed to get my drone out and freeze that moment for us for much longer than 2 hours…

(Třeboň, Southern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

The first snow at the reserve.

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The first snow at the reserve.

This was only the second day after the first snow which formed only a fine carpet over the still-visible black lava bedrock and the ponds still didn't freeze. It was already fairly difficult to get to this area even in my 4WD and later in the evening that day, the rangers closed the reservation for normal entry for about 8 months, so I was very lucky not with light and weather that day, but also the timing. Yes I did plan to spend several more days in this area, but the photos I managed to take definitely pay back for this result of weather games.

Like many other of my Iceland photos, this was taken with proper permissions by Icelandic authorities. Although it does take a bit of time and money to arrange for it, I definitely advise having them. Iceland is a drone paradise and we want to be responsible pilots, not spoiling nature or the atmosphere of it for others.

(Friðland að Fjallabaki highlands, Central Iceland)

A micro island covered by autumn vegetation in the middle of a glacial river.

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A micro island covered by autumn vegetation in the middle of a glacial river.

This river has a wide delta stretching for more than a kilometer before entering the Atlantic ocean. The colorful surface - which you can see really only from the skies - is caused by sediments brought by the stream from the mountains and their interaction with the bedrock. I could fly there for hours… no, days… and still find mesmerizing new abstract views.

(Northern Iceland)

A pseudocrater covered by autumn moss.

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A pseudocrater covered by autumn moss.

It is not a classic volcanic crater because it is not "connected" to the magma in the earth and has never spewed lava. Still, these craters were created thanks to lava streams from nearby volcanoes flowing over a wet surface in the past, creating massive explosions of steam.

This was one of my last photos of the day. It was too late and very quickly the wind began to rise from the south (at the top of the photo), which brought a lot of clouds, fog and rain. My drone very much dislikes these conditions, so I took this picture and headed for the landing quickly.

(Lake Mývatn, North Eastern Iceland)

The DC3 crash site.

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The DC3 crash site.

In 1973m a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, in the South Coast of Iceland. Fortunately, everyone in that plane survived. Later it turned out that the pilot had simply switched over to the wrong fuel tank. The remains are still on the sand very close to the sea. The photo is almost a rescue mission for a pilot crash landed on another planet - these little red dots are quad bikes of a tour expedition.

(Sólheimasandur, Southern Iceland)

A river on a black moss beach covered with autumn-colored moss.

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A river on a black moss beach covered with autumn-colored moss.

The black sand beaches in South Iceland look especially otherworldly in late September.

(Sólheimasandur, Southern Iceland)

A braided river with a storm quickly approaching.

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A braided river with a storm quickly approaching.

Braided rivers are an endless source of wonderful abstractions. Driving over them - ideally over a bridge, yes - is an otherworldly experience. But it's only when you get to the bird's eye view that you capture the true beauty. These colors or patterns cannot be seen from the ground and the perspective literally opens a new world.

( Southern Iceland)

Braided river in Southern Iceland.

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Braided river in Southern Iceland.

This photo is a crop of a huge 600 megapixel composite I made with my drone covering a larger area of the river. I then opened it at home, taking crops of the source image and looking for patterns and rhythms.

(Southern Iceland)

A river flowing from a glacier to a lake.

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A river flowing from a glacier to a lake.

This river was just a few kilometers long, originating in a glacier and flowing in a nearby glacial lake.

Norway is a true photo paradise, but actually a somewhat challenging environment for aerial photos. The beauty of Norway is often hidden in its mountains and canyons and waterfalls and these are traditionally hard to capture with my favorite 90-deg top down camera orientation. But, when it comes to braided glacial rivers, it’s a whole different story and a bit of a photo paradise.

(Kjendallselva, Central Norway)

More photos and stories will be added continuously.