Slovakia - Meeting The World Behind the Corner with Lumia 1020

11:45 PM
I come from Slovakia. My mom was always a huge traveler and since I was a child, my parents were taking me abroad so I would know the world and its beauties. I loved traveling. I loved (and still love) learning foreign languages, enjoyed communication with local people, knowing habits, living among families, exploring the nature and architecture. I visited almost whole Europe, but still was missing something.
When I grew up and separated from my parents, found a job, started my own life with my man (who is not that huge traveler), moved to own flat, somehow there were always money missing for traveling and if they were, we rather invested them into something else than vacations. But I never regretted, I already saw the sea, desert, Eiffel tower, hills and walleyes with my parents, what else do I need? Maybe it is a time to settle down.
But still… there was some gap inside of me. Even I did not yearn to travel that much like before, without traveling I felt like an empty bowl, needed to see something, do something, and I did not know, what it was.

One day I realized… what was the thing I loved the very most about the travelling? It wasn’t the sea, architecture. It was nature and hills, which attracted me the most. The beautiful views they are offering, the amazing exhaustion and painful feelings in the muscles after the tour… How is it possible, that even I have been living in Slovakia for my whole life, even Slovakia is full of hills and beautiful nature, that I know Mediterranean Sea much better than my own country? That even I always loved my bicycle, I never ride it out of my hometown or the public road? I suddenly knew, what was that missing space in my heart. And I did not have to go far to find it J
I took my man, backpacks, shoes and bicycles (where allowed as Slovakia is not only full of beautiful mountains, but also full of national nature reserves, which are highly protected) and we started to investigate our Slovak countryside.

Let me share with you, what we found J. Even I have many beautiful photos from many corners of Slovakia, I will share only few of them, which are taken by Nokia Lumia 1020 that I own from February 2014. I am sorry I have not managed to capture all Slovak beauties by Lumia yet ;).

Photography was never my intention. It was my man, who owned camera, took amazing photos, I was just enjoying the views. But as we started visiting mountains on bicycles, it was not possible for him to take the huge, heavy and expensive camera with all lenses with him. And I was missing the beautiful photos after each trip at home. I announced that I am buying smaller camera for myself, but wanted something with good quality and still small enough to have it always with me. He advised me to buy Lumia 1020. It is my first and only experience with Lumia by now J
On a way to Ploská (Veľká Fatra), no edit
Ploská - one of my favourite trips. My 1020 was still fresh. Firstly I could not believe the clarity of the far mountains and the quality of the provided photo by Lumia. I also did not know any photo editing program at that time, but usually the photos from Lumia do not even need edits as they look amazing anyway.
The view from Veľký Kriváň (Malá Fatra), no edits
I have never learned photography. I do not keep any rules. No thirds. I think that photography can be as free as the bird, or let’s say as a human being and the whole nature itself. Any photo can find its fans and resistants at the same moment. For me it is important that I like it. That I have good feeling from the photo. That I have the memory I wanted and that it reminds me the moment it was taken.
                Ostrá (Veľká Fatra), slightly adjusted in XnView
Ostrá - my favourite trip from the point of the nature and views. I always take many photos just for the case  that some of them were wrongly focused or taken from wrong angle – and they always are J. Unfortunately it is not always visible on the display of the phone, not when the sun is shining to it and you need to move anyway. So it is better to have more photos and pick the best one later, that to have just one and not usable.
                The autumn view from Chleb (Malá Fatra), Veľký Rozsutec is partially visible in the cloud. Edited in PhotoShop.

The nature changes. It is different in any moment you look at it. Different light, shadows, visibility, different season of the year, different in the morning, afternoon and night. I do not have any problem to visit the same area anytime, as I know that everytime I visit it, it offers different conditions, views and experiences and the photos will always be original.

This time I got used to edit the photos in the programs, but just small adjusts to pull out the color, clarity and sometimes sharpness. I love the natural look of the photos so I am always trying to keep them as close to the reality as possible. Also many edits can sometime decrease the quality by adding the noise and broken parts to your photo and removing these parts removes the details so the photos can look blurry or flat. So for me it is usually about keeping the edits as low as possible.
Šútovský vodopád (Waterfall), edited in Gimp
Well, sometimes I use programs to fix the defects of the object or to remove unwanted objects.
Here for example I used Gimp remove people climbing and posing on the rock near the waterfall. 

My usual camera settings for classical daylight photos (like these) are: ISO 100, EV -0.7 and all others are on AUTO. I use also auto focus when shooting into the distance, as with manual infinity focus usually the photo is focused nowhere. With auto I focus by the touch of my finger exactly to the point I need to have in the focus.
                On an autumn way to Suchý (Malá Fatra) from Strečno, edited in Camera Raw

One of the greatest features of the 1020 is the DNG, on the other words RAW format. Really helpful, as you can “use” more setting options, than the software of the camera offers.
                Inversion view from the way to Kľačianska Magura, edited in PhotoShop
No rules, no thirds, upside down, just as you love it. Maybe I will not love your photo, but thousand other people will. Is it really important? Do YOU love it?
                The view from Malý Kriváň (Malá Fatra), you can see High Tatras on the background

                Sunset on Kľačianska Magura (Malá Fatra), edited in PhotoShop.

And finally, it is not always easy to get to the mountain and take nice photos. Sometimes you get caught by a rain, strong and freezing wind is blowing, snow falling into your eyes, your fingers are frozen to the bones, you want to stop and can’t as you immediately start to cool down, sometimes you shake water out of the phone etc. It all belongs to the photography and just do not be afraid of trying, shooting, even coming back again if you could not shoot or were not satisfied with the photos you made lately. Each step, each shot moves us forward; any disappointment teaches us a lesson. When you fall down, don’t cry but turn your camera on and capture that moment even from the ground. Try angles, distances, all settings that the camera offers. There are so many options, just look, turn around and keep trying J

Oh, one more thing. Do not worry, if you cannot go far. Maybe there are also beautiful and interesting places just behind the corner, waiting to be found and explored ;)
Chata pod Chlebom (Cottage under Chleb) (Malá Fatra), edited in Photoshop
Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it.

This amazing photography article is written by Valeria Kostolna! In her adventure she took her Lumia1020 with her and she used it in the perfect place and took some mind blowing photos! 

We, team WindowsHive and NLUC greatly appreciate her efforts for her awesome work!

Do you also have some amazing photography trip experience to share? Feel free to write to us -

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