Cosmos Discovery is a large scale exhibition about space exploration, mapping the short but exciting history of manned and unmanned flights from Earth to its orbit and beyond. It is currently held in Incheba Expo Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia from October 1st 2022. It is the second and expanded edition – this time borrowing some of the large exhibits from Gateway to Space Exhibition, such as section of Mir Space Station or Space Shuttle cockpit and Mission Control Room. On September 30th news and media were invited for the opening of the exhibition. Among the guests was Ivan Bella, first Slovak cosmonaut, who spent almost 8 days on Mir Space Station in 1999.
When Francisco Pizarro coquered Inca Empire in 1532 with only 168 men and 27 horses he came into posession of a tremendeous amount of gold, silver and artifacts. It is believed that over 180 tons of gold and more than 16 800 tons of silver was melted and transported back to Europe. Only a fraction of breathtaking artifacts remained in the existence. Museo Oro del Perú has loaned them to “Inca Gold” Exhibition and they have been touring Europe for the first time in history. On June 24th, the exhibition opened in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Mummies of the World is an exhibition displaying mummies. It also displays artefacts and fates of the mummified from around the world. It opened for the first time in Europe on February 1st 2018 in Prague. The exhibition displays genuine mummies and artifacts from Egypt, South America, Germany, Hungary and other countries. Part of the exhibition displays MUMAB Experiment from Baltimore, which took place in 1994. At the end of the exhibition, mummies from Czech museums are presented.
Thanks to organiser for the kind invitation and opportunity to photograph selected parts of the exhibition.
In mid November I attended the 9th edition of Tennis Chamipons Exhibition in Bratislava. This year’s line-up consisted of WTA Champion from Singapore Dominika Cibulkova, Swiss rising star Belinda Bencic, Czech and Slovak Davis Cup heroes Radek Stepanek and Dominik Hrbaty, as well as first class tennis entertainers Yannick Noah and Mansour Bahrami. Some of my photos from the event appeared in the articles on WTA Tennis.com and Tennis.com.
In September I was fortunate to attend the grand opening of Cosmos Discovery in Bratislava, Slovakia. Cosmos Discovery is currently the largest exhibition dedicated to space exploration in the world. The highlights of the exhibition include Gemini and Sojuz capsules, Apollo landing module, various space suits, as well as various personal items of astronauts. Perhaps the most precious item is the engine part of Saturn V rocket, that was recently recovered and restored. Visitors can see the authentic part of Saturn V for the first time outside the United States. The exhibition lasts from September 12th, 2016 until mid-January 2017.
In June 2015, I photographed the Gateway to Space exhibition in Prague. This exciting exhibition maps the achievements of space exploration from the early days to present times. There were severa scaled-down and full scale models, including the Space Shuttle cockpit, sections of MIR space station and several space suits.
The treasures of entrance room
Burial chamber with photo projection
The “mess” of treasure room
The wall of burial capsule
The detail of stone sarcophagus
The statuette of a small coffin
The outer coffin
The middle coffin
The cover of inner coffin
Tutankhamun’s burial mask, as seen at the exhibition
The face of Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun’s mask and sunstar
One of Tutankhamun’s boats (a scaled down model)
A treasure case with Anubis statuette (the God of Afterlife)
Statuettes of Tutankhamun
Statuettes of Tutankhamun – a detailed view
Tutankhamun’s chariot – used for parades
Tutankhamun’s chariot – a detailed view
The statuette of Sopdu (God of the Sky)
Tutankhamun’s canopic jar
Vesebt’s (Pharaoh’s servants)
Tutankhamun with blue crown
A photogallery from the world renowned exhibition “Tutankhamun”, which I photographed in January 2015 during the last days of the exhibition in Slovakia. Due to popular demand, the exhibition was extended twice.
Yesterday, I attended the 6th annual Tennis Classic Exhibition in Bratislava. This year’s participants were the former leader of WTA Ranking Martina Hingis from Switzerland, the French ATP tennis players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils and the Slovak tennis star Daniela Hantuchova.
Because of the odd choice of lighting, I gave it a nick name “The Twilight Edition”. The lights were a lot dimmer than usual and they also used various colored spotlights. This created an intimate and visually interesting atmosphere for the fans, but it was a nightmare to shoot it due to darkness, changing lights and changing white balance.
The exhibition consisted of three matches and a charity auction. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils played the first singles match. Tsonga won the match in three sets. Daniela Hantuchova and Martina Hingis then played the short singles game. Hingis won the match 11:9. The traditional auction took place during the intermission. All players donated their autographed racquets, apparel and various other prices. The proceedings will support various charitable causes.
The mixed doubles was the last match of the exhibition. Even though Daniela and Martina started with their chosen partners, they ended up playing together and won the match. During the match, all players had microphones on them. I must say I’m not a fan of this “feature”. A lot of times, the words players say are pretty much inaudible. Two years ago, all the talking was downright annoying. This year it was surprisingly natural and it wasn’t very distracting. The hightlight of the mixed doubles was Daniela Hantuchova playing the piano.
My favorite photos from the event are below (click on the photos to see larger versions) and the whole gallery can be seen on my Slovak blog: http://hutera.blog.sme.sk/c/343916/Tennis-Classic-2013.html.
Martina Hingis, Daniela Hantuchova, Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Martina Hingis and Daniela Hantuchova
Gael Monfils, Chair Umpire of the match Michal Varmus and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Daniela Hantuchova playing the piano
This weekend, I attended the 7th annual Fotopark Exhibition, held in Bratislava. As the title says, it’s a photo exhibition held in a park. I covered the last year’s edition and my rather surprising win in the last year’s report.
A slight change of the scenery
The exhibition is traditionally held in a big park on the waterfront of the river Danube. A few weeks prior to the exhibition, Bratislava suffered a large-scale floodings. Because of this, the exhibition was moved to the less affected part of the waterfront. There were around 50 photographers showcasing their work. A different setting and a smaller amount of photographers resulted into the intimate atmosphere of the event.
You can’t please everybody
Last year, the jury said I should focus more on the night photographs, since not many people do that. I took their advice and put together a portfolio of night and twilight photographs I captured earlier this year:
The Night of Wonders
The Wheel of Time
Obscured by Clouds
On The Cross-Road
During the day, I talked with quite a few people who were quite taken with my collection. I was the only one who showcased this kind of photos. I got lots of technical questions which I tried to answer as clearly as possible. I hope I inspired at least some of the visitors to try it themselves, even though it’s quite hard to get the night photos you’re at least partly happy with.
When the jury came to evaluate my work, they said something in line of “yeah, it’s quite good, better than last year, but we’d like to see something more extreme”. They were talking about the ridiculously visible Milky Way photos, that are very popular these days (That might change soon. Ian Plant has a different opinion about them). I answered this kind of phots are almost impossible to get in western Slovakia because of light pollution. I’m also not a big fan of “unrealistic” photos that are obtained by using astro-trac for several minutes to capture the Milky Way and then blended together with the regular twilight photo. The jury’s answer was “but the viewer doesn’t care about these things”. I guess you can’t please everybody.
Last year I wrote about the position of landscape photography in Slovakia. I have a feeling most professional jurys consider landscape photography as a second-class “art” that’s just there to please amateurs and uninitiated. The jury’s primary argument is, that there’s so much landscape photography in the world that no one’s original anymore. The competition is simply too great and therefore it’s pointless to showcase photos that aren’t unique, out-of-this-world etc. I’m very happy to report that the photo set that received most votes awarded by the visitors were landscapes. The jury also awarded the honorable mention award to the photographer who presented his mountain photographs from High Tatras National Park. Perhaps this is a sign of changing times and over time landscape photography will eventually get more recognition.
Seven years is a long time. I’ve made a tremendeous progress since the first edition and I’m always looking forward to see complete strangers admiring my humble efforts and talking with about my photos. I’m not sure what I’ll be exhibiting next year, but perhaps I should make an effort to seek out another exhibitions and try something new in addition to this traditional exhibition.
Me with my collection of photographs. Photo courtesy of Andrea Hulalova