Category: Croatia

Landscape photograpy – Croatia

My best winter images

    Photo tips:
Wintertime is a very special time in Croatia. For the last two years, we did not have any serious amounts of snow. But 2021 started really well with more than 12 days of snow so far.
Everyone who tried snow photography came to the conclusion (or should I say illusion) that taking pictures of such scenery is far from easy. Why exactly? Because your camera is overwhelmed by the amount of light that the snow reflects. That is something that you really have to take into account. You need to manipulate the lighting a bit and preferably take at least two or three images of the same scenery with different apertures.

The best opportunities you will get when the weather is half cloudy. The diffuse light will still bring some warm colours to the mostly black and white landscape but not too much so your pictures get overexposed. The picture with the man carrying the basket to his barn is my best example of this kind of diffuse light. It was just a matter of seconds and then the sun was gone again. But as you can see the sun created the so much needed soft touch to this image and a fairytale atmosphere.

Try to avoid the kind of landscape with a lot of barren trees. That means if there is now snow on the branches. The difference between the black and brown trees and the white layers of snow is too much for your camera to handle. Besides, the result will be very disappointing. Make sure that you shoot your images the morning after the snow fell. The snow is still fresh without any traces of cars and animals. All these 13 pictures in this gallery have one thing in common. The landscape does not just have snow on the ground but all the trees and other objects have snow on them.  Rooftops, churches, bridges and even ugly bushes become so much more interesting when they are dressed with a soft layer of snow.

As for almost all your photography, your best pictures will be taken before and just after sunrise. Picture three shows the castle of Bosiljevo. Taken 40 minutes after sunrise. The warm light created by the oblique position of the sun adds great interest to this image.

Churches and chapels in a snowy landscape are one of my favourite subjects. A while ago I asked the parish clerk if he would be willing to switch on the lights in the church after a fresh snow shower. It added so much more atmosphere tot my image. The picture of the old little chapel in the forest was taken one hour after sunset. There was a bright moon and I laid my cell phone in the window opening just to have a little light that would attract the eye and give some more variety in this picture.

Parking your car is very difficult when there is a lot of snow. So make sure you leave in time as you probably need some more time to walk to your favourite subject.

I really advise you to wear proper water-resistant shoes and insulation underwear. I usually have the thermos with me to treat myself on some hot tea after my photo session.

If you have some questions or comments feel free to add and to ask. I hope you like my blog. If you want to get notifications of new blogs, please subscribe. I would appreciate that.

Warm winter greetings from Croatia!

Wonderful Vivodina

   Location: Vivodina in the Nature Park Zumberak
One of the most astonishing and breathtaking photo spots in the Zumberak Nature Park is Vivodina. From the cemetery of Petrus Vrh the view is so very rewarding. Many times I went to this location and very often I was able to shoot some very diverse pictures. Especially during late Autumn days and in winter Vivodina is almost transformed into some scene from a fairytale world. Special about the Vivodina church is that when the sun sets low the church transfigures into a 3d object. That shows really well in your pictures. Therefore Vivodina is such a great location for your photography. 

   Take a walk:
There is a signposted hiking trail that starts at the church of Vivodina. You can park your car for free. Do not forget to see the view from the church itself on the surrounding vineyards. It takes you through vineyards, hilltops and villages. The hike takes about 3 hours and has a moderate level.

   Take a break:
The homestead of Frlan offers great meals (mostly meat dishes) and homemade cakes.

    Photo tip:
Vivodina is great in the wintertime. Snow on the roofs of houses and light trough the windows gives your picture an extra magical touch. As you can see in one of my pictures it is worthwhile waiting for the street lights to switch on the village. They also add this extra fairytale atmosphere. Most churches in Croatia are illuminated during the dark hours. Be in time when those lights are switched on. Especially when there is mist. You need to be in time as after one minute of switching on the lights they will get too bright and your photo object will lose detail.

Great photo spots in the Zumberak

   Photo tips: 
OK, I will not share all of them and keep a few to myself. Realize that hunting the right locations for great pictures is more than half the job. A time consuming and costly process. But I simply love exploring. There is so much to discover in Croatia.

Lucky shots are very seldom. You need to prepare well and venture out to find great locations. Nowadays it has become much easier by means of Google maps. I stored more than 1100 locations in Croatia alone in them.

After finding your location take some time to see if there are no disturbing elements. Find out where the sun comes up and goes down. See if there are some interesting details that attribute to your future picture.

Then the third part begins…. You start making the visual and mental picture. That means; start dreaming of how you want your picture to look like. What season? What time? What kind of circumstances.
Be prepared for some disappointments. Be prepared to come back a few more times until you meet the right conditions. The right light, an interesting sky, some nice layers of fog and warm colours can make such a huge difference.

   Zumberak Nature Park: 
This nature park is really one of my favourite places for photography. It is actually divided in the Samborske Gorje and the Zumberak. In this blog I will be focused on the Zumberak. Here the mountains are not as steep as in the Samoborske Gorje.  You will hardly meet any tourists here. Especially the part around Vivodina is very picturesque. It is the unique combination of rolling hills, meandering creeks and rivers and churches adding interesting detail for the landscape photographer.

   Locations:
In my future blogs, I will post many more tips about the Zumberak. But here are a few great places for you to enjoy.

The road from Sosice to Petrus Vrh is very pretty and offers some great viewpoints. The best view on Vivodina is at the cemetery at Petrus Vrh. In Vivodina itself the view behind the church is also very pretty. The road is very narrow but has a hardened surface. Do not forget to stop at Danculovici ( a short sidetrack). It offers a great view of the Vivodina area. The next village of Dojutrovica offers also great views.

You can still deviate a little more from this beautiful road and overlook the little hamlet of Kast. Another great view with a church.

You will also love this special viewpoint. It is a steep drive up but well worth the view. It is about 2 kilometres from Petrus Vrh.

Another one of my personal favourites is the valley at Stupe. A very little village but with a very special hill, almost shaped like a pyramid.

   Take a break: 
Restaurant Zumberacki Raj in Zamarija offers great trout dishes with fresh salad and roasted potatoes.
Restaurant Frlan in Vivodina offers meat dishes and great strudel.

   Take a walk:
You can take a wonderful walk, indicated with signs, from Vivodina. Your starting point is at the church of Vivodina. Free parking.