Filip Majerčík, a diverse Slovak photographer, shares his incredible project that has taken six years to complete over 50 trips, resulting in 3 TB of data to process. His passion and dedication capture his country’s beauty from a sensitive, awe-inspiring perspective.
As for many of us, Filip was exposed to photography by his father during the analog era. His curiosity drove him to dive deeper, and eventually, he pursued a career in photography and graphic design. From weddings to architecture, Filip covers a diverse range of subjects. However, he has a special love for the outdoors and spends countless hours capturing the beauty of the Slovak countryside.
Long hikes with over 30 kg of gear are what it takes to get to the most beautiful locations and capture truly stunning time-lapses. Filip and his friend often sleep without cover, joined by wildlife ranging from deer to wolves, and even occasionally have close encounters like waking up with a beaver on his back or having a fox chewing on his rig’s cables! Planning is essential for such trips; however, brutally cold conditions have caught him off-guard once or twice. Being studio-bound most of the time, I have the utmost respect for landscape and nature photographers who put so much effort into bringing these incredible scenes to our screens.
I asked Filip to describe his gear, which he had to say:
I have a setup from Dynamic Perception, specifically the Stage R: Pan/Tilt Digital System with NMX Motion Controller and carbon slider. I photograph with a Nikon D810 and Nikon D600. I most frequently use the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 lens and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. For longer focal length shots, I use the Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Another essential component is the power banks that power the entire setup from Dynamic Perception, including lens heating (that’s the black box; the GoPro is just a sticker). Lens heating is a crucial part of time-lapse photography, as it prevents lens fogging during temperature changes and high humidity. Additionally, I use intervalometers or the NMX motion controller unit.
On his post-processing workflow, he had the following to say:
I shoot in raw format. During sunset and sunrise, the ramping technique is used, which involves adjusting the exposure gradually. These steps need to be balanced in post-processing and, of course, bring life to all those raw shots. I use LRTimelapse software, an Adobe Lightroom plugin, for editing such frames. The video is composed of the originals without compression.
Needless to say, those uncompressed images take up a lot of space and a lot of processing power to render into the video above finally. I really wanted to know the actual purpose of all this hard work to make such a video, to which he replied:
It’s an incredibly beautiful feeling to prove to myself that I can do something like this. It is my passion, and I do it for the joy it brings me. Occasionally, I sell some shots, but it’s just by chance. Primarily, it’s a form of relaxation for me and a motivation to go somewhere into the mountains to get my bones moving and detach myself for a while from the worries of everyday life.
While waiting for the time-lapse to complete, he spends time with his friend, Andrej, who also helps carry the non-photographic supplies, talking and enjoying the outdoors. Their effort does not go unnoticed, and the results are spectacular. They are already planning their next trip to capture more of magnificent Slovakia. Looking at the buzz about AI and how easy it has now become to generate high-quality images, it is refreshing to view the work of someone who loves the effort that goes into creating. The world out there is incredible, and exploring has become easier than ever. Filip should inspire many of us that the hard work we put into our creative endeavors is not for nothing, and the reward is not the final image or video, but in the adventures, hours, blood, sweat, and tears it took to be creative. That fulfillment cannot be replaced.
Images used with permission of Filip Majerčík.