• Around home and village

    Appeal of gardening

    Is gardening an acquired taste or do you need to have particular genes to enjoy working in the garden? I loved my grandma’s garden since childhood but for our children (who actually are not kids any more), our garden represents just hard and repetitive work. Yes mom, the flowers are nice, the gooseberries are good, but don’t pressure us to waste our precious time by performing those tiresome and boring gardening activities… How could I make them understand? Perhaps YOU understand? OK, I won’t torture you by asking such questions, I’ll rather share some of the beauty I find worthy of the gardening effort. First, would you recognise the plants…

  • Focused on photography

    Peony magic

    The tree Peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) that we have in our garden does not look great this year. The weather has been enormously dry this spring and the leaves of the bush are partly dry as well. Also the buds and flowers have been fading quickly. My son noticed yesterday that one of the lower growing branches was broken so I cut it off entirely and put into a little vase at home. It looked tempting to be captured and eventually I used it and another even more faded flower for my still life photography. Funnily enough, I ended up with quite a different photo than I started with… Isn’t the…

  • Focused on photography

    Focus propriety

    The other day I was taking photos of some of my succulents, playing with both composition and focus. In the triptych below I put together three versions of one of the photos. When I showed the photos to my husband, he told me that in his opinion, the focus must definitely be on the succulent as it is the main subject in the photo. He evaluated the first version with the sharp ribbon and blurred succulent as utterly bad. I thought about it a lot but although I respect the opinion, I don’t quite see eye to eye with him on the matter. We put the focus where we want…

  • Focused on photography

    Scrapyard inspiration

    When shooting photos in a scrapyard for the theme “Rusty” in my photo-project in 2017, I took a photo that I found quite simple and yet intriguing. Several corrugated sheets were lying on the ground among other scrap and sharp sunny light painted lines on the top sheet. I saw a potential in that geometry but after editing the photo for a while I abandoned it, dissatisfied with my results. Today I came across the photo again and decided to give it a second chance by creatively playing with it. I can tell you, I’m glad I did. To start with, here is its black&white version… … and here a…

  • Reflections

    Behind the mask

    The other day I was passing a parked car and was rather startled by a smiling face with empty eyes “sitting” inside the car. When having looked properly, I found out it was just a mask attached to the front headrest. I was delighted to have my camera at hand and took a photo or two. It’s an image that makes you think, isn’t it? I used to believe that wearing a mask is wrong, that it’s just a form of a lie. Yet I understand today that a mask may not only hide a hideous face but may also protect a  fragile face and who I am to criticise…

  • Focused on photography

    Pink hen and flowers

    A few weeks ago, when I was thinking about what kind of photos I would like to focus on this year, I was thinking about returning to still life and its creativity. A few days ago, when I was thinking about spring and Easter, I was thinking about creating something playful and joyful and yet a bit serious. So here is my little playful yet thoughtful still-life variation featuring a figure of a hen I bought once as a prop… – In a whirl of events – – Waiting for a decision – – Devoted – – Lost in thought on a sunny day – – Lost in expectation –

  • Around home and village

    Living Living Stones

    Some time ago I told my family that I love succulents and would be happy to get some on the occasion of my birthdays and name days and soon after that I got a little pot from my son with a little succulent called “living stones”. The plant didn’t seem to thrive at first, its leaves were fading, so I decided the pot was way too small and replanted the succulent into a little bigger one. I think it helped but in the first place I had to learn that it is normal that the older leaves shrivel up and also that I need to respect the existence of winter…

  • Places in Czech Republic

    Winter trip to Karlovy Vary

    In the Czech Republic, we have a tradition of so called “spring holidays” for schoolchildren. The holidays last one week but they are planned within several weeks so that all districts don’t have them at the same time, this year the span is from February 5 to March 18. My younger son Zbyněk has had the holidays this week and because we don’t go skiing, we were thinking about a trip to make. Finally we decided to visit the spa Karlovy Vary where Zbyněk was on a school trip last June and it seemed interesting to visit the spa in winter under quite different conditions. Also, I had never been…

  • Poetry

    Life is like a whirling ball

    Life is like a whirling ball, Experiencing rise and fall. In a land of ice, In a land of fire, In the realms of fancy, Shifted by desire. Sometimes moving up, Sometimes moving down, Sometimes gathering speed, Sometimes slowing down. Heading to the left, Turning to the right, Facing walls around, Getting to the light. Can you feel the rise? Can you see the fall? Life is so much more than the whirling ball. I have to tell you… that when I published the post, my poem ended with words saying “life is nothing else but the whirling ball”. When I came back a while later, it suddenly dawned on…

  • Focused on photography

    Captured in three different ways

    December will end tomorrow so here I am with the final photos that I’ve taken and selected to represent the theme A THING OR SCENE CAPTURED IN THREE DIFFERENT WAYS assigned to this month in my 12-month photo project. The aim of this theme was to look at the objects and scenes that we photograph from different angles, perspective or distance to realise there is more than one way how to see and capture them. I decided to arrange the final trios into horizontal triptychs to visualise the differences, here they are. No. 1: Door If I am not mistaken, this door leads to a cafe but I had different thoughts to deal…