A Moment with Mom
Plitvice Lakes National Park,
August 7, 2018
The photo was taken in Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia which is a series of lakes that descend into one another but rather than a river connecting each one, the water goes on many different paths flowing through forests and down cliffs to get to the next lake. This meant that there were many waterfalls everywhere ranging dramatically in size. I spent all day wandering the park, taking photos, and enjoying the scenery. As a photographer though, I wanted to capture blended water as it's more photogenic and is a different picture than what everyone else is taking. To capture blended water, a longer exposure is necessary, which means the camera needs to be stabilized to prevent blurring (on everything else besides the water) and you need a filter to allow you to hold the shutter open for longer periods of time without overexposing the image. I had 2 problems - I didn't have either.
I was in Croatia as part of a month-long European backpacking trip and I wanted to carry the least amount of gear possible which meant that, after much deliberation, I had decided against bringing a tripod as I've gotten pretty good at finding ways to use the natural environment to stabilize pictures if needed. This was one of those needed moments and I should add that I had not planned to come here. (I got stranded at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia because I missed the last bus due to looking at the wrong day's schedule and ended up hitchhiking back to Lake Bled, became friends with the couple that drove me, and they recommended that I visit this Plitvice Lakes National Park. (That is before I came back through to Slovenia where I stayed with them, went hiking, had dinner and met their parents and daughter.)) I also didn't have a neutral density filter (makes everything darker evenly) because I hadn't really taken waterfall pictures before (though this experience inspired me to get one as soon as I was back in the States).
Luckily, many of the paths in the national park were raised wooden walkways so you could walk right on top of the water and not damage any plant life. This provided elevated and (somewhat) rigid structures to brace my camera against. However, while the wood itself was rigid, the walkway itself would vibrate and shake every time a person walked by - and I was in Europe in August. Luckily, because I didn't have a filter, I couldn't expose the pictures for more than a few seconds without overexposing the image with my settings on extremes to darken the image. I only needed a small window without people moving nearby to get the picture. As I was crouched down holding my camera tightly against a wooden post for several straight minutes, I probably looked strange to the other people but that's not new for me. I made numerous attempts during that time and luckily captured this mother taking a quick break with her daughter. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I had captured them so clearly until later in the day as I assumed they would be blurry. I tried to find them to share the picture with them but was unable to spot them again.
Below are some more pictures from this beautiful national park!