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Niagara Falls, June 2014

This gallery contains 6 photos.

I took an opportunity to travel to Niagara Falls when I was at the conference in the middle of Pennsylvania. I don’t regret… for the first time in my life I saw such an amount of water demonstrating it’s force. … Continue reading

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El Hierro, October 2014

This gallery contains 16 photos.

People used to believe there is an end of the world somewhere. Up till certain time, it was thought to be on El Hierro, the westernmost island of the Canary archipelago. It’s a love at the first sight. Wild nature, … Continue reading

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Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan, July 2014

This gallery contains 19 photos.

Saying that you’re spending your holidays traveling through Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan usually raises one question: ‘Why?’ Let this gallery be a perfect answer to it. You go to Kyrgyzstan for the gorgeous mountains and to Uzbekistan to see beautiful ancient … Continue reading

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Gran Canaria, May 2014

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Keeping up with my plan of visiting all the islands of the archipelago this year, I ended up spending a long weekend on Gran Canaria. The ‘tourist mecca’ of Canary islands. Interwoven with roads but still hiding beautiful places for … Continue reading

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La Palma, September 2013 & February 2014

This gallery contains 15 photos.

So on the way to explore Canary islands, I visited also La Palma – the steepest island in the world. So farm I’ve visited twice, once for pure joy and once for observations, hence pure work. It’s an amazing place … Continue reading

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La Gomera, March 2014

This gallery contains 11 photos.

No matter where you live, you always keep telling to yourself that the places close by are ‘to be visited later’. And then you move away, realizing how much you’ve missed and suddenly those places are hard to visit. So … Continue reading

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Tenerife 2013

This gallery contains 23 photos.

So, for a while, there wasn’t any picture from Tenerife. I’ve decided to assemble the pictures from the last year, of places I liked and mostly hiked. Some of the pictures were published here as single shots, so this is … Continue reading

La Palma Sky

Okay, life was going crazy fast lately and still is, but I just wanted to share some images I’ve taken not-so recently, during the trip to La Palma (September 2013). The daily ones are still to come, but the mission was to take pictures of the night sky of La Palma, one of the best ones in the world (yes, I mean comparable with Chile and Hawaii).

I’ve actually learned quite a few things during that trip: apparently I don’t mind heavy backpack, as long as it’s full of my photo stuff and I can freeze down for a picture. Anyway, one of the more painful things I’ve learned is that I’ve hit the limitations of my camera. If I take my Canon 7D & 15 mm Fisheye lens, the result will never reach the quality of Canon 5D Mark III with essentially the same settings. Hence whomever wants to send me the note saying ‘your image’s noisy’, buy me a better camera and I’ll prove you I can do better.

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So picture above, from Roque de Los Muchachos observatory. It’s a single shot, 20s exposure @f/2.8 and ISO 4000. Which I think is pretty impressive. The yellow spot on the lower left side is lights from Santa Cruz, the bright spot over the horizon, casting shadow on the water is Venus. Actually you can even see  Zodiacal light going through Venus, pointing to the Milky way (brighter area going above the horizon). The red and green glow is a natural glow of our atmosphere, called airglow. And the bright bridge is the Milky way… looking into the galactic center in Scorpius.

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Since combining the images with a foreground is tricky, I’ve combined only one image of the milky way with no foreground (that’s to come in the future). It’s a combination of 15 images, ISO 4000 and using dark frame. As in the previous pic, the red glow is our own atmosphere.

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Okay, with this picture, I’ve learned how ‘bad’ is my camera compared to the 5D MIII, since we were shooting from the same spot and guess what, I have the noise… But anyway MAGIC telescope and Milky way is a cool combination, worth of almost spraining my ankle in the dark :)

I also got into experimenting with time-lapse. So if you want to check my super short one, go fot it on vimeo.

How to travel to Maldives backpack style

Okay, Maldives are considered as a super posh and expensive location and I cannot disagree. But getting there is actually not impossible, since from 2011, locals got opportunity to build also ‘low-cost’ hostels on islands inhabited by them. That comes with couple of pros and cons. Pro is: a night in the hotel, including breakfast is around 60$. Cheap for Maldivian standards, where the price per night in the cheapest resort usually starts at 150$. Cons: well, for once, if you want to have beautiful reef of pristine beach nearby, the Maafushi island (pretty much only one with hostels) is not perfect, so you’re spending money on trips anyway (approx. 50$ per trip per person).

There is also one more thing to consider. If you’re traveling to Maafushi, have in mind that locals are Muslims. They’re very tolerant and won’t tell you anything bad, but you shouldn’t run around in bikini. If you go to the beach, cover yourself and undress at the beach. I’ve seen people (unfortunately also czech) who were waaay out of line in terms of clothes. Nobody told them anything, but the amount of skin and everything else visible was just okay maybe for the nudist beach. This also means that you won’t get alcohol anywhere on the islands.

How we did it and how much it cost?? 
We have already been on Sri Lanka, so we decided to buy flying ticket to Maldives there. Return costs around 100 euro, which is fairly okay price. We (czechs) don’t need visa, so no additional cost there. The fun thing is: you get to Male, but from there, it’s an hour to get to Maafushi. You can either play rich and pay for speed boat ($100 per ride) or you can take local ferry ($1 per person per ride). Ferry goes once per day, so it might mean quite an overlay in Male. Which is the funniest capital every – you can go around in 30 minutes.

We stayed for three nights and paid for two trips – one to sand bank, which we had literally to ourselves and one to the picnic island Maadhoo. Maadhoo had the downside of many tourists from resorts going there for picnic, but once you walk little bit away from the elderly couples, you’re okay. Sand bank cost $50 and picnic island, including the lunch around  $95. Taking into account all the souvenirs and dinners we had, the total cost of our tree day trip to Maldivas was approx. 300 euro. So if you happen to be around, it pays of to stop by, just for the experience…

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Maldives, August 2013

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Maldives are so close to Sri Lanka that it’d be a sin not to fly over there. After many and many years, I felt really relaxed and just enjoyed the days. Everything was there – the white sand, turquoise water, … Continue reading