The last week of July was dedicated to mineral collecting trip to the Alps. Unlike the last year, we had pretty nice weather all the time in the Mont Blanc massif. Our base camp was significantly higher this time and we managed to make some long trips over the glacier to the peaks around. The irony is that the best crystal pocket was discovered just about 15 minutes from our base camp. However the last day was really nasty weather, lot of rain and cold wind. The weather forecast promised another 3 days of rain, so we had to cancel our planned visit to other alpine localities in Switzerland. Despite the shortened program, the hikes, collecting minerals and photography conditions were simply great.
You have to hike up the loooong glacier to get to some promising spots.
Awesome views but also hard work to carry all the stuff up to the base camp.
Camping on the upper part of the glacier.
Fresh snow covered the peaks during the night thunderstorm.
Climbing these steep and cracked glaciers is not that easy – you bet there is a reason why alpine minerals are so expensive!
Sunset in the cold base camp.
Some quartz crystals mined from the pockets called alpine clefts.
Sometimes you got lucky and find such nice cluster of smoky quartz just laying on the glacier.
I had a great time at the Ksiaz castle in Poland, where I was at the mineralogical conference PEG 2015. The Ksiaz castle is very nice place with awesome landscape around. There was also some short fencing show with fire dance – this inspired me too make some long exposures and the result is pretty nice. We did also some field trips to the famous granite quarries in Strzegom. The mineral finds were not that awesome but the locals had some pretty impressive specimens. Despite some rainy weather I really enjoyed it and of course managed to make a few pictures too.
The main building of the Ksiaz castle from the central yard.
The castle from the nearby viewpoint about an hour after sunset.
This is how dance with the torches looks like with 20 second shutter speed.
Killer piece of smoky quartz crystal on the albite feldspar from Strzegom.
Very nice cluster of orthoclase and albite with small smoky quartz crystals from Strzegom.
The short visit of Martin Gruell in Linz resulted in some nice mineral photos from his collection. I learned some new photo tricks from Martin and my friend Albert Russ, both very skilled mineral photographers. I finally managed to properly merge the photos with various focus to achieve very high DOF, improved the background isolation process and learned to create false reflection. This brings the photos to the whole new level. It means more Photoshop work – but I save a lot of time while shooting and do not have to bring whole studio with me.
Nice 3.5 cm high pink tourmaline in white albite from Paprok, Afghanistan. This photo was made of 3 layers to achieve good DOF.
The multiple rotated twin of smoky quartz (called gwindel) from the Alps, about 8 cm wide.
I did this photo of moving train on the way home.