Bled Castle at Blue HourBy
Lake Bled in northern Slovenia is one of the countries biggest tourist attractions and you don’t need to look at too many photos to see why. It is set in the Julian Alps, it is as picturesque a destination as you could wish to see anywhere in the world. It is dominated by Bled Castle overlooking the lake from high up on a cliff on the northern edge with Bled Island and church towards the western end.
The lake itself is around 6.5km (4 miles) in circumference so you can easily walk round in under 90 minutes. From a photography point of view, this means you can get a wide variety of views at all times of the day. I spent a couple of days here and there was always a new place to photograph. Additionally, the different seasons each offer something different.
With Blue Hour photos, you ideally want some artificial light on buildings to light them up, giving contrast against the darkening sky. Unfortunately, as stunning as Bled Island is, there is very little artificial light on the church or bell tower. There is no such issue with Bled Castle.
Bled town is at the eastern end of the lake with various hotels, shops and restaurants. The lakeside edge is well light as is the church at the foot of the hill on which Bled Castle is located. With the sun setting over the far end of the lake, all these factors make for the ideal spot for a Blue Hour shot.
For this shot, I positioned myself next to one of the lakeside benches just below the Park Hotel towards the end of Blue Hour. The camera settings were:
- ISO 100
- 18mm focal length
- 30 seconds exposure
I was pretty pleased with this image and it didn’t require too much work in post processing to come up with the final result.