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Slovenia: A Photographer's Dream

After having seen photos of Slovenia's incredible landscape pop up all over the place, I decided last autumn to check it out myself. Although I spent only 8 days there and hardly scratched the surface yet, I can already say that Slovenia really is a (landscape) photographer's dream. Squeezed in between the fabulous Alps and the Mediterranean Sea you can find a lot of variety in the landscape and very diverse cultural influences.

Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge

You might recognize this motif. It is Lake Bled with its famous island, topped by the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria. For any Slovenia visitor it is an absolute must to spend a night in Bled. The beautiful valley with its quiet lake and the small city hugging its shore is the perfect place to relax and take some nice photos. What I like most about the shots I took there, is the autumnal mood, which stands in contrast to most photos I have seen of this place.

Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge

Just half an hour's drive from Bled is yet another mountain lake: Bohinj . It is less well known, equally incredible and very different. Not only is it significantly larger, it is also a lot less accessible and not as optimized for tourism. That does, however, turn it into one of the most serene places I have ever been to. Rather than walking around all day, I felt compelled to just sit down for a couple of hours and soak in the calmness.

Around the lake, there are a couple of hotspots worth visiting, especially the Savica waterfall and the mountain plateau Vogel , which is a vast hiking region and skiing resort. The latter provides a great view over the lake, but can be shrouded in fog.

Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge

The next leg of my journey brought me down to the coast. On the way I stopped at the Ĺ kocjanske jame , one of Slovenia's famous cave systems. While absolutely incredible and well worth a visit, the conditions in there are very difficult in terms of photography. The photos you see above were taken in the dolines that can be explored freely after the guided tour through the actual cave.

In the next post I will continue with photos from a very different region (i.e. the Mediterranean coast), which is only 50km further to the West.

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Christmas in Dresden

Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge
Photo by Till Helge Photo by Till Helge

Dresden is a place that has been close to my heart pretty much since we originally moved there. Even now that I'm no longer living there, it is still what my mind brings up when I think of "home". During last year's Christmas holidays I took quite a few photos in and around Dresden.

Surprisingly enough I got some really nice shots out of it, considering the fact that it was winter and therefore quite bare and colorless all around. This lends itself beautifully to black & white photography, of course. I am especially happy with several of the motifs I shot in the famous city center, of which until then I had barely any photos worth mentioning.

Dresden is really just ridiculously photogenic. You can find interesting things to aim your camera at pretty much everywhere you go. The city itself, of course, with famous sites like the Frauenkirche or the Canaletto view. But then there are also the meadows along the Elbe river and the beautiful landscape all around, especially Saxon Switzerland.

Here are my highlights from the Christmas holidays:

  • Frauenkirche Dresden (first two images)
    The most famous church of Dresden (destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt) is probably the most iconic landmark in the city. With the ensemble of the re-imagined Neumarkt around it is very much the heart of the city and a great photo motif, although fairly difficult to shoot without a wide angle lens.

  • Schönfelder Upland (third image)
    When you move upwards from the Elbe river towards the North-East you enter the "highlands", where the city quickly makes way for rolling hills, farmland and winding roads. I love this place for its serenity and beautiful rural, panoramic views.

  • Pillnitz (fourth image)
    This lovely little gem in the East of Dresden is technically a city district. But it still retains a lot of the charme of the standalone village it used to be. Its vineyards and the famous palace gardens invite you to stroll around and let your mind wander.

So, if you haven't been there yet, I can highly recommend adding Dresden to your todo list. :)

An Actual Blog...Finally!

For quite a while I was considering to let the hilarity continue that we have a website online that is supposed to be a photo blog...without actually having a blog on it. And we are just a couple of months short of hitting the one year launch anniversary, too.

But during the weekend I had some time to kill, so I finally sat down to actually implement the code that enables us to do what we have been planning for a long time. And so this post hopefully marks the start of something that is a lot of fun for us and maybe occasionally makes you smile.

What's Going To Happen

There are quite a lot of ideas flying around between Tristan and me regarding the actual content we could put into this blog. I don't want to tease too many things, because who knows, if they ever will become reality. But let me at least give you an idea about the most likely ones:

  • Photo Battles
    This is the idea that originally inspired the whole Brofolio thing. The basic gist is that we pick a topic (either by picking one or by one of us challenging the other). Then we both try to take the best picture we can for this topic and compare the results in a blog post.

  • Knowledge Sharing
    We both spend quite a lot of time developing our photos (i.e. digital editing). If we encounter an aha moment, why not write a little summary and share it here?

  • Travel Stories
    I take most of my photos while I'm traveling. Depending on my mood I sometimes even blog about it. For this blog I would focus mostly on the photos, of course.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of opportunities and now we just have to get started. :)

Kickstarting the Blog

During the last year, both of us have been out and about. As this shiny new blog looks pretty empty right now, we might use the dismal Winter days to write up some of these experiences and breathe some life into this website.

So, we invite you to come visit again soon. Also, you can follow our Twitter account @BrofolioPhotos, where we will do our best to announce new blog posts.