Simple, because it was the first winter, after some warm ones, with snow. And that makes Slovenian landscape magical. I was hoping this year that we will get some snow, so it would be nice to get the classical Slovenian spots with the background of the snow-capped mountains and also in different colour as normal. In one of my favourite places in Slovenia, Bled, at beginning of the January, it didn't look like it will be a good winter.
There was some snow in the Alps, but not in the lower parts of the country. But Bled is always cool. No matter what kind of weather you have, the nearby hills offer lots of possibilities of different compositions, views and light. You just need to pick the right one.
But after that, the weather went other way and there were several snow falls in the short period, which provided quite a lot of snow in whole Slovenia and open the possibilities to get the Slovenian classics in the winter edition.
One of the classics is definitely the St.Primus church on Jamnik. This church became famous with the shot of Steve McCurry in the 90ies, when he made a reportage for National Geographic about Yugoslavia and took a controversial shot of the church with the rising full moon in the background, which was later accused as fake.
And another rising star, St. Thomas church, recently, one of the bestsellers of Slovenia and standard part of our Slovenian Tour. In winter time, this church has nice selective layer of light just on the church, soon after sunrise. The place become so popular recently on all the internet galleries as 500px, Viewbug, Gurushots and Photocrowd as well as in lots and lots of photo competitions all over the world, so you can be sure, you won't be alone up there. After some heavy snow, there are always at least a dozen of photographers, some even with drones and take different shots of this amazing place. What I like about this view is that every time you come up to the clear road from the forest, you get a feeling that this spot is something special. Even on cloudy day, it can not dissappoint. I also have an opinion that the best time here is on sunrise, and when I come up here early, there is a kind of powerful energy that I feel and enjoy no matter how cold can it be.
Lovely morning is not finished without jump to the nearby city of Kranj, where you can enjoy another view. Of course, Slovenian landscape is not perfect without churches. This one, called St. Urshula forms a strong composition with the layers of the fields and power lines and the presence of the snow, makes a superb contrast. Less popular as St. Thomas but still worth of photographing.
At the end of the winter, if the conditions are right, in Željnske jame, near my hometown of Kočevje, ice stalagmites can rise. They are formed, if there is a period of extremely cold weather, so the cold air can go inside of the caves, and after, there is a period of warmer weather so the snow on the top of the caves starts to melt and the water sinks through the limestone and drips in the cold cave. Sometimes they can grow up to half meter, this winter were smaller, but still very nice.
There are a lot of places in Slovenia, which can be photographed during the winter time, and we save some of them for the next year Slovenia Winter Photo Workshop, where we would like to take our participants to experience some of the great places in the Triglav National park as well as the classics, presented above. Stay tuned for the workshop dates.