There are many great places on earth but just a couple are magical. This is one of them. The Plitivice Lakes in Croatia.
This is the second time that we visited the place. Last year on a beautiful and sunny late autumn day.
This time we chose to walk the less popular track but less popular doesn’t mean it’s not busy. The Plitivce Lakes are anything but a secret escape. There are a lot of tourists and also a lot of people with tripods. Problem is: The wooden walkways are narrow and the swing like crazy when people are passing by. Not the best location for a tripod. I didn’t bring a tripod but a backpack full of camera gear. At the end I exclusively shot with the XF 12-24/4 OIS. I great lens and IS helped a lot to deal with the shaky walkways.
The water is crystal clear. It’s amazing. Just have a look at the image above.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/9, 1/40 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/20, 1/4 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/9, 1/60 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/10, 1/15 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (17.4mm, f/8, 1/15 sec, ISO200)
Most of the time I tried to keep the visitors out of the frame but I could not resist to take a picture of the orange dressed monk on the bridge. Shooting without a tripod means that you can react much faster. And thanks to OIS I was still able to shoot at 1/15s to blur the water.
We live in great times.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/22, 1/15 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (15.1mm, f/9, 1/15 sec, ISO250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (11.5mm, f/10, 1/20 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/9, 1/18 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/9, 1/30 sec, ISO200)
On my business trips to Asia I prefer to shoot with the XF 14/2.8 R but nothing beats the XF 10-24/4 OIS here. Sometimes I even wished for a slightly wider lens like for the image above. Obviously I could not step back so I leaned backwards just enough to not fall into the water and took the shot.
On the right side you can see a group of tourist. There is no way to shoot from the tripod here. Beside the happily swinging walkway you would be a major obstacle and there is a high risk that someone would trip over your tripod. This is true for many touristic spots in Croatia. They are far too busy to shoot from a tripod. Tripods are perfect for lonely land- or seascapes, everywhere else they are just a burden. Speaking of burden: Next time I will only take my camera with the 10-24 and two spare batteries. There is no need to bring anything else.
The more I shoot the more I realise that small is beautiful. Long ago when I was shooting film I always traveled with a heavy camera bag. And because there were no IS lenses and because my film of choice was Velvia 50 (that was only ISO 40 (seems that Fuji had already a different view on ISO values back then)) I had to shoot from a tripod.
Today all it needs is a good camera with a lens that fits the purpose. Here it has to be a real wide angle lens to cover as much of the beautiful scenery as possible and it has to be a zoom because there is no chance to walk closer or take a step back most of the time. Life for photographers has become simple. Sometimes (in good light) all it takes is the phone in your pocket. And a beautiful location of course.