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Miroslav Petrasko

By: Alexandre Clappier


Image Miroslav Petrasko







Miroslav Petrasko

33 year old



Professional photographer



Born in Eastern Slovakia,

currently lives in Bratislava,

Slovakia's capital city.


Canon 5D MkII with Magic lantern firmware.


Canon 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8.


Manfrotto tripod, Promote Control remote controls.


Lightroom, Photoshop, Color Efex Pro, Imagenomic Noiseware, TK actions and Oloneo PhotoEngine.



All images © Miroslav Petrasko



HDR traveler

From Prague to London, from Madrid to Dubai, Miroslav Petrasko has been traveling the world over with an almost single idea in mind: take astounding HDR photos of every place he visits.


The result: one high-quality HDR picture posted on his blog every day for nearly 4 years in a row.


Join us to meet photographer -and early PhotoEngine fan- Miroslav Petrasko and discover his background, work and techniques.



Favorite themes

What are your favorite subjects and themes?


"Anyone who visits my blog regularly could answer this :) . I really like to take photos of bridges. They are usually so huge and majestic, a perfect photo subject. Other than that, I really like to include reflections and the sun in my photos. That's actually also an example why I like using HDR. Taking photos with the sun without HDR is not really possible."



In the beginning

When and how did you become a photographer?


"I started photography around 7 or 8 years ago. When I was a university student, I became very interested in Photoshop, reading a huge amount of tutorials and books about it. I started creating my own abstract art images with it, and also retouching photos for friends. And from that, over time, I also started taking my own photos, and editing them."



Judging a photography

What is the most important feature of a photography?


"Composition is always the most important thing. When I choose what photo to edit, and what photo to publish, a bad composition is the top reason why I discard a photo. Nothing in editing can save a photo if it was composed badly."



First gears and pictures

What was your first camera? Do you remember your first photo?


"My first camera was a Canon 450D with a Sigma 18-200mm lens. It was the best camera available at that time, with a nicely balanced price and performance. I don't remember my first photo, but I do remember my first HDR photo. It was not with this camera, but with a borrowed Panasonic. And I still have that photo!"


Do you have experience in film photography?


"No. I started with photography too late. But I would like to try it out, and even already have a small collection of film cameras, just haven't gotten to it yet."




Any favorite photographers?


"My current favorite photographers are Elia Locardy, Beboy and Daniel Cheong. All represent the looks and styles that I aim for."


Do you work with other photographers?


"I don't really collaborate that much, but every time I find myself in a city with any of my photographer friends, I like to meet up and take huge amounts of photos."



HDR from the start

When did you start making HDR photography?


"At the same time when I started with photography in general. It was the style that intrigued me and one of the reasons I started with photography."


So are you more inclined to do HDR photography for artistic motives rather than technical ones?


"It started with artistic reasons. I just liked the look of HDR photos, as it was something quite new and different. Over time it became more of a technical tool, to get all the information I needed in a photo."



PhotoEngine in Miroslav's workflow

How does Oloneo PhotoEngine fit in your workflow?


"It's a part of my basic workflow, going from Lightroom, through PhotoEngine ending in Photoshop. I use PhotoEngine to create one of the inputs into my manual blending. This means that I don't just use the exposures I take, but add the PhotoEngine result on top of them."


When did you start using PhotoEngine?


"Around 2 or 3 years ago. I was experimenting with different tonemapping software solutions, and PhotoEngine impressed me the most."




Travels and shootings

Is photography the main reason for choosing one destination rather than another one?


"Yes it is. I travel often alone and just focus on photography and nothing else during the trip. Either way, one can't really do much more when trying to catch every sunrise and sunset."




Being a Pro photographer

As a professional photographer, do you have a specialty?


"Landscape and architecture photos. I do very little outside these styles. My photos are quite popular with travel agencies and hotels, and those are my main customers."


Do you plan on doing other styles of pictures in the future, such as studio photography, people, portraits, etc.?


"Yes I do, and I have also already done some of them. But this is mostly only as experimenting, as doing the same thing over and over can become boring. It's great to try something new here and there, even if I get back to the regular stuff again."




Did you study photography?


"No. I studied computer science as I was a game designer before becoming a photographer. All my knowledge about photography comes from books, internet articles and tutorials. And from a lot of experimenting."




Planning a shooting travel

Do you plan your shootings in advance?


"Yes I do. I like to create myself a personalized map, where I note the interesting locations. I also go through google images, Flickr and other photo sites to look at photos from that destination. I also check the sunset/sunrise locations, to know where to go. And if there are any photographers I know from there, I try to organize a meet up. It's always best to go taking photos with someone local. They always know the best spots."




Miroslav's take on PhotoEngine

What do you like the most about PhotoEngine?


"PhotoEngine is very quick, with the results being shown in real-time. It also works fine with huge panoramas, which usually creates problem for a lot of software. I use PhotoEngine with about 50 to 75% of all my photos."





Did you know the style you wanted to achieve before doing HDR photography, or did HDR photography helped you achieve your own style?


"I had no style when I started. I was just trying to get a result that looked at least interesting, if not good. Over time and as I learned new techniques of composition and editing, I think I stumbled into a look that I was happy with and that has been represented in my photos for a few years now."




PhotoEngine tips and tricks

As a PhotoEngine power user, would you like to share a few tips and tricks?


"I usually advice photographers not to forget about PhotoEngine's Natural Mode that tones down all over-saturated areas of the photo, to take advantage of the two different Contrast sliders or to try using a single exposure as an input. More technical details on these tips, as well as other tips, can be found on my blog."




HDR techniques

Do you have a particular technique to make HDR photos?


"I try to combine multiple techniques in my workflow. Usually manual blending using luminance mask, combined with tone mapping results. I try to get the best from both approaches."




Gigapixel HDR

Are there objectives, styles or special effects that you have thought about but that you are still not able to achieve today?


"I'm very drawn towards huge images. I already got to 100Mpix+ panoramas, but my goal is to do a gigapixel one soon. It's just quite hard to edit them when one does them as HDR. I'm also experimenting with timelapse videos, but my results are not yet what I hope for."




Future projects

Any particular projects you are currently working on?


"Following my videos series on exposure blending I'm slowly working on another series dedicated to HDR editing for beginners."


Do you have one dream in photography that you wish to fulfill someday?


"Some upgrades to my gear are always needed; especially I would like to move to a higher megapixel camera, as I love having crazy amount of details in my photos, and to get a tilt-shift lens. I would also like to travel even more, mostly through Asia, places like China, Japan and Korea."