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I was born in the latter half of the last century (1958) in Beroun, though frankly, I must admit, I don´t recall much about the event. But I do remember when I started taking photos seriously, it was in the spring of 1999. From the dawn of my time I have had a relationship with visual arts, first attending the Folk School of Art, where I painted my first picture, that of a cock, under the guidance of Mr. Patak, painter and teacher. I learnt to compose pictures, I discovered the secret of gold cutting and from time to time I skipped the classes. Then my parents laid into me at home and art was over. Also, I don´t really remember getting my first camera but I know that it was a "Pioneer", a big bakelite which could do almost nothing, much like myself. Then later I also had a Russian "Ljubitel", a two-shutter reflex camera.

But back to the year 1999. I was introduced to photography by my friend Jirka Semrad and he even advised me what camera I should buy, a Canon EOS 50E with a 28-135 lens - quite a super combination. Even though I don´t use it anymore, I still have it and it will always be dear to my heart. Always. I have stayed loyal to Canon and presently I use a Canon EOS 1Dx and a 1Ds Mark III with lenses from 14 to 400 mm.

I prefer to take photos of people. Reportages, genre photos, portraits and nude models. I enjoy travelling and do it frequently which brings me the inspiration for my photography. Perhaps the greatest experiences were in Armenia, Mountainous Karabakh, Cuba and on Bali Island. It was really a pleasure to shoot there. Several times I have shot re-enactment of the "battle by Austerlitz". From time to time I make photos for my friends I have made some CD booklets or posters together with them.

I am a member of a free association of similarly disoriented people calling themselves "Beroun´s Fotorici". I annually exhibit with them in the gallery "Holandsky dum" in Beroun, besides this I have had a few individual and collective exhibitions from Paris displayed in the village of Zelkovice. I have published or I partook in publishing of some books e.g. a collection of photos and texts “Znam Te malo” with a co-author Honza Velisek and a photographic publication “Obrazy a pribehy” with Jirka Semrad and I published a book Homo Berounensis in the year 2008 where I made portraits of interesting people from Beroun and its surroundings. Also Mr Pavel Bobek chose one of my photos for his treatise “Pulstoleti na podiu” that made me very happy.

Since I know how difficult it is to arrange an exhibition for amateurs, I established "Certak Gallery" in the Lime Plant Certovy Schody in the village of Tman near Beroun where it is possible to exhibit under very favourable conditions. The gallery was created especially for amateur photographer presentation even though I try to also include the professional works from time to time. Gallery has its opening in July 2004 and for example artists such as Lucka Svobodova, Petr Hasal, Garik Avanesian, Jan Karbusicky and Daniela Duskova, Jirka Semrad, Simona Boarova, Jiri Kolis, Miroslav Hucek or Vilem Kropp have exhibited their works already there.

It is my great pleasure to be in a contact with people such as Mr. and Mrs. Hucek, Jiri Kolis and Josef Koudelka. They have been a great asset to me for which I am very thankful.

I enjoy the Beatles, good wine and straight-forward people.

Good luck and best wishes to all.

Jan Sroubek