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Bohemian Forest - Großer Osser (1,293 m) - beautiful winter and new Tripod test from 3LT.

Updated: Aug 16

There are good weeks and bad weeks... and this one was an absolute massacre... stuck at work non-stop, everything I touched seemed to go wrong. So, I am eagerly looking forward to the weekend when we finally escape to the mountains, and my brain can reset...

However, my wife won't even let me take a breath and already nags me that man does not live by landscapes alone and I should finally take some profile shots for her website. So, I quickly call @jaroslavholy, asking if he can lend me his lights. He agrees, even though his partner @nia.tattooing is about to burst (thanks, buddy). In the end, we end up chatting for quite some time, which means we have to cancel our Saturday mountain plans - sometimes sleep is necessary too (getting to the top of Ostrý (mountain peak in Czech Republic - 1293m) for sunrise means waking up at a "pleasant" 3 am, even in winter)...

Finally, it's Sunday! I learned my lesson from last time, so I don't turn on the coffee maker right at 3 am, to wake up the whole house again (I couldn't believe how much noise it made in silence...) and head towards Hamry...

Arriving just before 5 am and happily finding a free parking spot right after the Hamry sign. Repacking my stuff, taking out the cookies hidden away (because my wife @rencastehlikova is a nutrition therapist and keeps banning them to me), and off I go up the mountain...

I deliberately came here to photograph snow since it was supposed to snow in the mountains all week, and I also got a beautiful new tripod from 3Legged Thing - Legends Mike, with an even lovelier ball head - AirHed Vu, so they needed proper testing...

How to get to Großer Osser

However, there is absolutely nothing here... like really nothing... just a few ice slabs...I don't even see a tourist sign, so after about a kilometer I take out to find out that I am indeed in Hamry in the parking lot, but in the wrong one and from here it is 4 hours to Großer Osser mountain… grrrr, OK, next time I'll definitely start planning more precisely... definitely!

Quick return to the car, slip and bang... I slip on the only piece of ice and fall flat on my ass like a sack of potatoes... my butt is wet, I'm all covered in mud, my back hurts, and I'm starting to consider giving up for today... However, after catching my breath and a quick dust-off, I jump back into the car and drive a bit further up (thank goodness... this whole part was on an asphalt agony about nothing and I wouldn't make it up for sunrise like this no way...).

Photo of Solitary frozen tree on a snowy plain with the rising sun in the background - photographer Michal Stehlik.

Sony A7 IV, Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD, ISO100, 1/100, f/4.5, VFFOTO magnetic UV GS adapter 67-82mm

I take the blue trail up, and voilà, there's already some snow, and with every meter in elevation, there's more and more… but that also means that my every step sinks 10-20 centimeters... obviously, today is not my day... everything is wrong... too little snow, too much snow...

Photo of Mountain hut on the mountaintop with blurred trees in the foreground, frozen mountains, and snow everywhere - photographer Michal Stehlik.

Sony A7 IV, Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD, ISO200, 1/320, f/6.3, VFFOTO magnetic UV GS adapter 67-82mm

After three kilometers of stepping and sinking, and with zero sleep in the last 100 years since having kids, I'm pretty drained... what the hell is going on my dear fitness condition?! Snowshoes would really come in handy, I've been drooling over them since the trip to Grosser Arber…. But when I finally reach the clearings and pass through the sparse trees, I witness the brutal contrast - heaps of snow beneath my feet and "spring" down in the valleys, that gives me some newfound energy and I keep pushing up…

Photo of the View into a mountain valley and ridge with abundant snow, broken trees, and the rising sun illuminating the entire scene - photographer Michal Stehlik.

Sony A7 IV, Tamron 28-200mm F/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD, ISO100, 1/40, f/10, VFFOTO magnetic UV GS adapter 67-82mm

It's absolutely stunning up here... the trees and rocks are beautifully covered in frost... clouds are racing above me, occasionally rays of sun break through... it's like a firework... except for the strong wind, which is pretty wild...

I'm here all alone, which is absolute heaven for an introvert... as long as nobody's looking at me or talking, I have a blast…

Alright, no more procrastination, time to shoot because it's freezing, and the clouds rushing here mean this light show will end pretty quickly...

Photo of the summit of Grosser Osser mountain in the Czech Republic with frozen rocks and a summit cross at sunrise - photographer Michal Stehlik.

Sony A7 IV, Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD, ISO100, 1/40, f/10, VFFOTO magnetic UV GS adapter 67-82mm - composed of 3 shots

The wind is brutal... it's minus five degrees, but Meteoblue shows wind speeds of 62-82 km/h, and the perceived temperature is -19ºC xD, it's a psycho… Nevertheless, I'm super excited... there are a million possible compositions and the 3LT Mike tripod holds like nailed... and it's soo beautiful... look at those colors...

Product photo of the 3 Legged Thing Legends Mike Carbon Fibre Leveling System - photographer Michal Stehlik.

Product photo of the 3 Legged Thing AirHed VU ballhead, blue color - photographer Michal Stehlik.

After 20 minutes of photographic ecstasy, I'm peeling the icicles off my nostrils and robotically move to a sheltered spot... I love these raw photo experiences!

Whether introverted or not, as soon as I find myself in situations and conditions like today, I always miss sharing it with my better half (or the worse half? he he…)... but someone has to take care of our two little dragons... but I'll take you here soon, baby... the experiences from Ostrý (means “sharp” in Czech due to its shape) are really sharp!

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Until next time!



Camera: Sony A7 IV

Lens: Tamron 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD, Tamron 28-200 mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD

Filters: VFFOTO magnetic UV GS 67-82mm, ND 16x & 2000xVFFOTO NANO-PRO 82 mm

Tripod: 3 Legged Thing Mike Legends Mike

Drone: Mavic Air 2s

Backpack: Shimoda Action x70

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