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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a natural spectacle which is second to none. First and foremost, I was there to photograph the house of a good friend and his family, which they rent to tourists. But, as life goes by, you do not spend your time in a beautiful national park without taking your time into landscape photography. So it happened that I shot on two days, on the one hand a real estate shooting for the friend and landscapes and nature photos for my portfolio. And as it is, when I am in a beautiful environment, ideas and new plans emerge. I like to write more about this at the end of this blog post.

What is it about the Plitvice Lakes and why are they so fascinating for a photographer? Well, I like to describe my opinion here.

It is the countless small and large waterfalls and lakes in the midst of a vast forest which offer countless possibilities for a landscape photographer. But also classic nature photographers and travel photographers can take home great photos from the park. In my view, there is something very important to note, not just to take beautiful photos, but to end the stay in the park with exceptional photos. And that’s the time factor.

It is usually the case that tourists simply do not plan enough time for the park. Of course you can visit the park in one day and take pictures at different spots. But, just this rush and self-imposed hustle and bustle is not the right way to visit this National Park. How can anyone look at a natural wonder in a single day, which took over hundreds of years in its creation. That just does not do justice to this park.

So I thought, I could give you some recommendations on the way, so you can on the one hand experience the park without any hassle and on the other hand can take the great photos you want.

Here are my tips to enjoy the Plitvice Lakes National Park as a photographer.

  1. Allow enough time for your visit.
    Come at least for two or three days. You can plan the first day with you to scout your locations and make a plan which you want to photograph when and how.
  2. Choose days during the week rather than weekends for your visit.
    It is mostly the weekend where the park can be extremely crowded.
  3. Use entrance 2 to enter the park.
    Most tourist buses stop at the entrance 1 and let out there the whole human hordes. And right there at the lower lakes and waterfalls it’s where the morning is the busiest when people go in. Waiting in line and waiting times are not excluded.
  4. Be first in the park.
    Take a close look at the opening hours to make sure you’re one of the first to go inside. Very early in the morning, the big tourist streams are not yet in the park. After you’ve walked into the park at Entrance 2, you’ll usually be able to take pictures in the morning at the upper lakes and waterfalls. Here you can, with a few exceptions, set up your tripod on the jetties and simply stand still to avoid vibration. So longer exposure times should not be a problem.
  5. Buy your entry ticket online.
    It is best to buy your entry ticket online a few days in advance.
  6. Upper Lakes in the morning, Lower Lakes in the afternoon.
    Photograph the upper lakes in the morning and the lower lakes in the late afternoon. So around noon, you can avoid the biggest tourist crowds. This gives you the opportunity to take pictures of some of the hotspots in a relaxed way. At least mostly. You know for sure, no rules without exception.
  7. The upper trails
    Do not forget to go to the upper trails as well. These can be used well to go wide-angle but also zoom lenses are great for shooting. From here you have a good view into the distance and are slightly elevated which is very nice for sunrises and sunsets. There are several viewpoints where you can set up your tripod and photos with great Vista. I especially recommend the viewpoint opposite Entrance 1, where you can set up your camera towards the south and take pictures of the Great Waterfall “Veliki Slap” and the Lower Lakes. This spot is suitable for sunrises as well as for sunsets.
  8. Hike also in the surrounding forest.
    There are several trails in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Even those who go further into the surrounding forests and mountains. Use these if you would like to take photos of forests.
  9. Which is the best season for a visit.
    Well, there is such a widespread opinion that you should have visited this park at least once every season to get to know its full beauty. In spring, when everything awakens and starts to bloom. In the summer, when everything is in full swing. In autumn, when everything is wrapped in golden hues. And then in winter, when everything is winter wonderland.
  10. Visit one of my upcoming phototours and workshops.
    In the coming months I plan various photo tours and workshops in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Please contact me directly if you are interested in visiting this wonderful park. We spend the night in Plitvice Selo next to the park and have the great advantage of being the first and the last in the park. Get in touch early to get one of the limited places to participate. It will be a small group of 4-6 participants. So I can make sure everyone is well looked after. A guide can also be booked if you wish and have a deeper interest in the natural wonders of Plitvice Lakes than just taking pictures of them.

I would be very happy to welcome you to one of my photo tours and workshops in the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park. The exact dates and further information for the first tour are still in planning and will be published on the website as soon as possible. If you want more information in advance then just contact me via email. Of course I am at your disposal.

I hope you like this blog post and maybe it will help you if you want to visit the Plitvice Lakes with your camera on your own.

Below is a list of useful links regarding the National Park.

  • Website: Klick on this Link
  • If you would like to make videos or photos for commercial purposes then you will find the necessary application here: Klick on this Link
  • Rules of conduct in the park: Klick on this Link

Where to sleep? I can highly recommend following Guesthouses!

Here are my recommendations for your stay:

  • Lake Fairy Plitvice Guesthouse – Link
  • House by the River Guesthouse – Link
  • 33 Shades of Green Guesthouse – Link
  • If you would like to find another place to stay then check Airbnb: Klick on this Link

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I look forward to your newsletter subscription and wish you a wonderful day!
Manuel


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