Selection of December 2022: The way of life by David Ilkovic

The way of life by David Ilkovic

I like nature and walks in the fresh air. During the long summer evenings, I got to know the localities near my place of residence. The Spiš region in Slovakia is known for its mining history. During mining, an unwanted product was created - mine sludge, rich in heavy metals. It is a place where there is no life, as the environment is toxic, even after many years. The tailings area has an area of 35 hectares and contains 9,901,160 tons of mine sludge (waste). This is a huge amount of heavy metals, and a long-term stay in such an environment can be detrimental to health.

The photograph was created during an activity which I call "terrain mapping", during which I get to know the surroundings, look for interesting places and compositions that would be worth capturing. Photography is my passion and that's why I always have my camera with me. As they say: "happiness favors the prepared". The summer was extremely hot due to global warming and with little rainfall, the soil was dry and it showed through cracks in the soil. During the walk, I noticed a skull of an animal lying around. I immediately had an image of how to photograph the scene. It was sunset, and I was in the right place at the right time. Photography symbolism allows to show how human activity can threaten nature and destroy life. As humans, we are aware of it, but we don't want to do anything about it. This is exactly how other animal species will end up, if we do not stop as soon as possible with our destruction of the planet and with wars.

I'm a believer in the theory that a well-taken photo is just a good foundation. It is post-processing that will make it possible to crop the photo in such a way that it can convey to the viewer the mood and feelings that I felt and experienced while taking the given photo. This photo didn't need a lot of editing, it was enough to highlight the direction of the incoming light, adjust the shadows to give the photo depth and create a guiding line that directs the viewer's eye where I wanted it to go. I highlighted the light to enhance the impression of the gold watch. 

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