My name is Stefan Condik and I am a landscape photography enthusiast based in Slovakia.
Despite being born and raised in a city, many of my childhood memories are connected to nature, especially forests and mountains. I spent a lot of time with my parents in woods near our cottage, collecting berries or looking for mushrooms. And in the winter, we skied. I also remember that I was one of those few who enjoyed hikes on school trips or summer camps and did not complain.
When I got old enough, I started to visit nature with my friends instead of with my parents and spent time camping in tents, snoring in mountain huts and wandering through the mountains.
My connection with photography is a completely different story though. My access to the world of photography was very limited during my childhood – we had some film compact, but „I was too young to hold such a complicated device“. The photographer in our family was my sister and not only did she greatly influence my music taste, she also opened the door of the photography world to me. She let me pose as a model a couple times and I remember admiring her shots from jazz concerts we visited together.
Photography and mountains slowly connected thanks to the incoming digital era. Some of us started to document our hikes with borrowed tiny compact cameras. Without any artistic ambition. But around 2010, something changed. Tiny camera became standard part of my bag and I fiddled more and more with my sisters DSLR.
As a result, I bought my own camera. Ambition to create nicer images appeared almost instantly, but instead of improving my skills, I fell into standard photography trap and believed that better gear will produce better results. Except for lower amount on my bank account and more weight in my bag, nothing changed.
This ramble ended at the beginning of 2018 on a photography workshop with excellent landscape photographer and teacher Martin Dodrv (www.wide-photo.sk). From that moment, I pay more attention to photography theory and post-processing skills instead of reading about cameras and lenses. I also started to adjust trips towards photography needs – to be in interesting places during the best possible light and not in the midday as it was on standard hikes. This allowed me to see many places I already knew in a completely different perspective and visit many others, not only in Slovakia, but also in France, Switzerland, Italy or Slovenia and produce a couple of the images I am very proud of.
Nowadays, we like to spend our photo trips in nature which often means a week without hot water, eating meals of questionable quality cooked on camping stoves, freezing or being sunburnt and of course sleeping in (or under?) a million star hotels.
As I progressed as a photographer, I do not consider myself as a documentary photographer anymore. I often like to take an „artistic licence“ to present my version of what I have experienced and felt. Hopefully, you will like my vision translated into my work too.In case any of the presented images caught your attention, I offer high quality prints of various sizes and finishes.