Each of the two mornings that I spent in the Soča Valley I was up for sunrise.  This is always my favorite time to go for a hike and take pictures.  Not only do you typically find even the most beautiful places to yourself in the still dark morning hours, but also no matter how the rest of your day goes, at least you tried to make the very best of it.  That sort of initiative has such a positive impact on your outlook, which typically carries through the entire day.

The first afternoon in the Soča Valley, I went on a humid and rainy hike.  Usually I do try to avoid the rain, as soaking my camera gear is not high on my to-do list.  However, the storm was intermittent and teased with expansive views of the Soča Valley from high up on the ridge to Slap Boka, Slovenia's tallest waterfall.  Encased in my fireman red rain jacket, I trudged up the steep trail all the way to the top of the waterfall, almost 1,500ft of gain in just over a mile.  From this vantage point I could tell that with a clear forecast for the next morning, that there would likely be a lot of moisture in the valley until the sun was high in the sky.

I repeated the hike early the next morning, having scouted my favorite view of the valley the day before.  As forecasted, there was not a cloud in the sky.  However, just before the sun crept over the horizon, the moisture in the valley began to lift off the river and forest floor, quickly canvasing the entire valley in a drifting blanket of fog.   

From my perch, I was fortunate to witness the ebbs and flows of the fog in the valley.  The moisture climbed up the walls of the steep mountainsides, only to recede to the valley floor like an exhausted hiker minutes later.  Once the sun broke over the jagged mountaintops of the Julian Alps, the real show began. 

The tops of the tallest pine trees began to poke through the dense fog just as the unimpeded sun stuck the valley floor.  The intense light simultaneously reflected off of dense sections of fog, while being absorbed by thick forest in other areas.  This stunning contrast of light also created incredible lines in an otherwise abstract arrangement of natural patterns.  

This photograph exemplifies the divergence of the natural world, and how it is not so dissimilar from the human experience.  Light versus dark.  Order versus chaos.  Lasting versus fleeting.  In one simple frame, I find so much to learn from.  I also find comfort in these parallels serving as a reminder that the human experience is not just similar to the flow of the natural world, it is a product of it.  

Elements of the Forest

$4,500. Limited Edition 1 of 10. 40x60" Print on Fuji Crystal Archive & Face Mounted on Matte Acrylic Glass with sturdy Aluminum DiBond backing.

Soča Valley, Slovenia

Without this photograph, I doubt I would have been able to take all of this in.  This sort of reflection and contemplation takes time, and thankfully a photograph can give us that in abundance.  Otherwise, this moment occurs in an instant, and is gone just as quickly.  Such is the manner of the moments I desire to capture the most.  

The camera settings were a shutter speed of 1/200sec, aperture of f/8, and ISO 100. This was captured at 400mm with a Nikon Z7 and a Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 lens and an F-mount adaptor on a Feisol Carbon Fiber Tripod.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In