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Meet the curators - Peter Svoboda

"Photography is a wonderful journey"


Hardest working man

For a long time I have wondered what makes the photos of Peter Svoboda so special. Landscape photography is a very popular genre and there are many wonderful landscape photographers out there. Still, no photographs look quite like Peter’s.

Saying that it’s because they are in black & white is making it too easy. Peter Svoboda has several photos in full color that in other regards don’t differ much. So what is it then? Is it the composition? The amount of grain? The lighting or the clouds that always seem to be exactly where they should be. How does he do it? Maybe he is just lucky to be at the right place at the right time.

Peter Svoboda was born in the city of Kosice in Slovakia, where he still lives. As a teenager he expressed his interest in art in several ways. He made canvas oil paintings and did graphic work. He later attended art school where he got the opportunity to further develop his artistic talents in drawing and water color painting. It was around that time that his father introduced him to the allure of photography and he made his first black & white photographs. In the beginning, taking photos was only a way for him to capture motifs that he later could recreate in paint. What kind of motifs? Landscapes, of course!

After graduating Medical University, he started working and was forced to prioritize among his activities in art. As a result, the painting and drawing had to step aside in favor of photography. The choice of focusing on landscapes was natural:

”I’m a rather outdoor type of person and I’m spending most of my leisure activities in nature. Especially mountain biking, running, hiking and ski mountaineering. Of course with my camera, searching for interesting places and planning my next trips.”

It’s sometimes claimed that being under pressure is useful for the creative mind. With Peter Svoboda, this seems to be true. He finds that the busier his schedule is, the more inspiration he finds in those valuable silent moments:

”Photography is something of an escape to another dimension for me. Hard to describe in words, but I’m addicted to it for sure!”

Despite the fact that his photos look very well thought out and are exceptionally well composed, Peter still considers himself a passionate photographer simply searching for special and rare moments:

”My effort is to get photos that are easy to read, atmospheric and impressive. Those are the shots I’m satisfied with. I’m hunting for the special moments and moods. It doesn’t matter if success comes after the 20th or 30th visit to the same place. Those photos with a mood or a story have a value for me every time I take them.”

This is also his philosophy when he is reviewing photos as a curator. He can have oversight with minior technichal and compositional issues, if the photo is strong in message, story, mood or estheatics:

”Try to shoot special moments and places. Find a different point of view, story, message or a mood. Then success has to come!”

A common misstake that he feels many novice photographers do is to take too many photos, instead of taking photos that really counts:

”In our digital age it’s so ”cheap” to shoot even 200-300 pictures during an hour, but try to imagine that you have a limited amount of shots only. Look around with your eyes wide open and press the trigger in the moment when you consider it’s worth doing so”.

He feels that becoming a good photographer is a process that deserves to take some time:

”Photography is a wonderful journey and also learning itself is a beautiful process. My advice is that each photographer should do his work with an effort, it must bring a joy. Never hurry. Go your own way and don’t try to copy someone else’s work, because then the photographs will not tell much about you.”

Perhaps the photos of Peter Svoboda tell me more about him than I first thought. All the hard work and all the time spent by going to the same place 30 times, just to be there when the conditions are just right. It’s all there for everyone to see. In the grain, in the light and in the clouds. Magical moments turned into magical photos.

Your work is really amazing, the simplicity, the way you play with the mood and colors is just wow!! I really like it. Thanks for sharing this magnific article
Fantastic and inspirational gallery. Thanks for sharing, Peter.....
Wonderful work and portfolio Peter and thanks for sharing. Have a great new week and take care! Kind regards, Edith :-)
Peter your portfolio of landscape photographs is absolutely amazing, without a doubt you are a primer landscape artist, but your image titled "occupied house" , the image of the birds on the tip of the branches in the snow, is an incredible moment in nature.... absolutely stunning! Congratulations!!!
Truly masterful images Peter and a fantastic person to work with. Chris
Thank you very much Chris. Much appreciated! My best. Peter
Peter, Your experience with other artistic expressions , like watercolor, oil paintings... reflect in you in exceptional landscape pictures full of mood. On top you have an excellent photographic eye. which is a gift. I'm very happy to work with you and I rate high you opinion as curator.
Hi Ben. Thank you very much for all your beautiful words. They mean a lot to me! My best. Peter
Wonderful photos. Peter is a really great artist. I always admire the artistic look, the wonderful BW editing, and the breathtaking places . fantastic eye ... Bravo, Peter :))))
Thank you so much Monique! I appreciate your kind words very much! My best. Peter
Thomas, thank you very much for taking your time for writing this article!
Peter your photos are simply outstanding and your words reflect the dedication you put in your work. Your B&W are truly special for sure but with your eye, experience and timing you could take an image of just about anything in colour or B&W and make it shine. I am so happy to work with you and so glad to have had the opportunity here to gain more insight into the way you approach and create your work as well as the very fine soul behind the camera. Thanks a lot for this interview. Fantastic article once again Thomas. Lara :)
Thank you very much Lara!
Thank you so much dear Lara for all these wonderful words. They really mean a lot to me ! My best, Peter :)
Very interesting read and insight in your work Peter. It's really interesting to learn how you come to your strong landscapes photos. And although you have also some strong colour ones, my preference goes definitely to your black and white landscapes. They reduce the landscape to a beautiful graphic art work, emphasizing on the light, lines and shapes of it.
Thank you so much Jef! Fully agree with you and Ricky, BW are my choice N-1 too :) My best, Peter
Peter beside work with you in the screening room I admire your work ! specially your BW landscape ! they are so beautiful even though in BW. I love to read the story about you too :
Thank you very much Ricky! :)
Peter's photographs are spectacular, it is so wonderful to see them spotlighted here. He was also a wonderful administrator of the black and white group; always supportive and welcoming of everyone but also a great teacher, willingly offering his advice and knowledge. So glad that you chose to highlight Peter's work and choosing him as a curator was Brilliant! Paula
Thank you so much dear Paula for your kind words! :) My best. Peter
Love the write up and love your philosophy Peter. Great insight! Have a nice day.
Thank you very much Ben! My best, Peter
Peter, Hello...Happy to see these words from you, and of course your photos. You are very talented, and so I am glad to see these photos here from you. One thing I learned about you when you were managing the b/w group is how devoted you are to anything you decide to do. You never do 'just so much' but always go the extra mile. This kind of devotion takes patience, and this characteristic shows up in all of your photography work. You are always a kind, and outstanding teacher. You have my greatest respect. Take care, Phyllis
Thank you so much dear Phyllis. Its so nice to hear these kind words from you! :) My best, Peter