First up, Plitvice Lakes in Croatia are awesome! The tiered system of 16 lakes has waterfalls connecting the cascading water from one lake to the next until it eventually reaches the Korana River is a place high up on many visitor’s wish lists from both Croatia and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. The lakes are shallow and it’s from this fact that the lakes bear their name – Plitvak is an old Croatian word for a shallow basin and this word has been spun through the ages since 1777 until today where the name Plitvice (pronounced Plit-vicka) has stuck. Let me first set the scene with a selfie – it seems only right!
This world famous destination was high on my list whilst I was in Croatia and the sheer volume of moving water here meant I needed stability to shoot it effectively. I love to shoot places in such a way that makes the viewer want to be there so to achieve this I knew I had to get the best shots possible, and when there are waterfalls involved that means getting shots of silky-smooth, flowing water shot with a longer exposure speed than I’m able to shoot handheld.
On entering the area it’s all pretty bland. There’s a forest that seems to extend for miles in each direction and nothing much to see, which left me wondering two things: - where are the lakes, and how many bears are around here? Whilst that was running through my mind I walked down a path and suddenly in front of me, there they were. The depression in the Dinaric Alps in which the lakes sit revealed itself within the landscape, first presenting the most amazing, enormous waterfalls plummeting down a brown, sheer cliff face across the valley from where I was.
I managed to find a nice, framed view through the trees to get the shot I wanted to start off my little adventure by resting my Platypod Ultra on the handrail which gave me a solid platform for my camera and allowed me to shoot the flowing water with my 70-200mm lens attached.
As I ventured deeper into the national park the views just got better and better. I made my way towards the enormous falls and on my way there I was captivated by another view. It turns out that between me and that cliff face there was another series of waterfalls and the section that particularly caught my eye was a scene whereby waterfalls left and right of me were roaring as the water crested the edge of the mountain faces and plummeted away from me. I switched my lens to a wider one to take in the vista and compress everything into one frame, dropping it straight to the floor for a sturdy platform allowing for another long exposure.
The entire National Park was awesome, and the water really is that colour! Plitvice Lakes couldn’t defeat the Platypod, they were actually a perfect pairing.
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