on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Stories in the Landscape

Vladimir Kysela

Vladimír Kysela

Vladimir Kysela

I like stories, I am fascinated by the talents and skills of writers but also of music composers, painters, and architects. I am fascinated by the ability of actors and musicians to interpret given works. But do not look for snapshots or documentaries of a scene in my pictures, rather for an echo of stories embedded in interwoven layers that are both real and abstract in the manner of a writer embedding individual scenes in the pages of their book.


I am a photographer, a photographer of stories in the landscape. I try to look at the world around me, and despite all its complexity, superficiality and speed, I present its beauty in an unusual, inventive way. I take pictures of joy, freedom, melancholy, sadness or fairy-tale, roughness, infinity.

For years I tried to master and perfect my landscape photography. Like every enlightened landscape photographer, I graduated from many courses, (physically or virtually), reading stacks of literature and perfecting the post process. And I was still not happy, it was not enough to be technically perfect (although I still have a long way to go).

One day I discovered Chris Friel and his photographs for me. I remembered my childhood when I went to painting courses… And I started again, this time with ICM.

After hundreds of hours in the field and at the computer, and suddenly, what I did not experience with classic photos. I got internationally awarded, I came across my holy grail. Recently, one of my colleagues, whom I very much appreciate, has said over my photographs that one has to get matured and I think it finally happened to me. It was clear to both of us, that she was not talking about composition and post-processing, she did not evaluate what she saw as a photograph, but as a story, that addressed her.

I then asked myself, what happened to me after so many years of photography, but I did not come to anything wiser, than just letting my hands and my heart do their job and not getting into my head.

My photographs are influenced by impressionism. Impressionism is simply a way to capture the world around us. I like to go to the Impressionist exhibitions, but I am mainly interested in how they worked with the light and whether the camera with the light can work the same way.

Story projects in the landscape are emerging in my portfolio over the past three years. I have found, that the linking of literary stimuli, musical inspiration and imagination, work for my greatly. I decided to connect my technical and aesthetic development with the literary world and planned triptych, where I combined three authors and three different historical periods. Czech poet Karel Hynek Mácha, narrator Hans Christian Andersen and humanist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

The first two projects are successfully accomplished. In the case of Mácha, it was mainly about the romantic expression of the coloured surfaces and their interrelationships, while at Andersen I caught the mentioned rich "staccato" tongue, whose response was found in the work with light and colour contrasts, boundary signs and details. While in Mácha as a pure romance, whose poetry is a somewhat artificial concept of a dramatic scenario, lyrical sceneries turn into horror and tragedy, the more realistic Andersen blends with brilliant imagery with the premonition of unfortunate decay, and the fairytale dream ends with harsh awakening. However, the lyrics are common to both authors, the dreamlike vision of the story, and the scenery of the landscape, mournful and melancholy.

Macha Contemplations

The project is based on the poem Máj (May), written by the poet Karel Hynek Mácha. The story itself took place in the 70s of the 18th century, 60 years before Mácha made it in his poem. Mácha has created a masterpiece of the landscape that is full of water, hidden rocks, sun, moons, colours, overflowing with love and grief. Individual shots were taken in the landscapes around Mácha’s Lake and in Bohemian Paradise. The collection won the 3rd prize at the Prix de la Photographie Paris, 2016, it was awarded the Los Angeles Jury (2016 – IPA, International Photography Awards) and Luxembourg Art Prize (2016). Example of “Mácha contemplations” project was published in the annual publication “Vision 2016” of the 1X.com curator.

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