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

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

(Toušeň, Eastern Bohemia, Czech Republic)

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.

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

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

(Odkaliště Venuše, North West Bohemia, Czech Republic)

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.

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

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

(Křivoklát area, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic)

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.

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

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

(Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain)

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.

River mouth bringing dead trees and sediments into the lake.

River mouth bringing dead trees and sediments into the lake.

(Lago Maggiore, Northern Italy)

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.

A former quarry now filled with water.

A former quarry now filled with water.

(Rychlebské mountains, Nothern Moravia, Czech Republic)

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.