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River Turiec is the only unregulated Slovak river. The central reach of the river flows through a flat country where the river regularly floods the landscape and it forms wetlands with unique fauna and flora. While most of the area is a nature reserve with restricted access, some parts are accessible to the public.
It is a unique place with a lot of possibilities for landscape and wildlife photography throughout the whole year. Every season offers something different. Recently, the winters in Slovakia have been relatively mild and without much snow. Every year, however, Slovakia gets some days of very cold weather when temperatures drop down to -20 or even -30 degrees which allows large bodies of water to freeze. This weather is caused by arctic air from Russia which makes its way to central Europe. Because this air is typically dry, there is no snowfall and the ice stays clear. In places where the wetland is shallow, plants and leaves from the trees get locked in the ice. Together with bubbles trapped in the ice, cracks and frost on the surface, they form interesting patterns and intimate scenes which lend themselves well to abstract or intimate landscape photography. The image presented here is a good example of a larger body of work I created over a period of several days while the conditions were favorable. Unfortunately, snow covered the ice before I managed to explore all the possibilities that the place had to offer. While all the photographs have relatively similar character, they vary considerably depending on the quality of light, characteristics of the ice as well as shapes and colours of plants trapped in the ice.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor