When you look through taken pictures after some vacation, you typically say: “The whole beauty can’t be experienced through the photos”. To bring excellent pictures from the Carpathians, there is no need to be a photo-guru or carry a full of lenses, tripods and batteries backpack with you to distant mountains. All you need is just to know the places with Carpathian landscapes so sweet. And then your friends will grab all the pictures away to set them as a desktop wallpaper, and you’d even want to copyright the pictures before uploading them to social networks.
This article is originally published by Karpaty.ua. Translated by NovaEuropa.
A professional nature photographer, a multiple photo awards winner and National Geographic Ukraine publications author Denis Kriviy shares his ”trade secrets” with our readers today, and we thank him very much for that. All the pictures here are of his authorship. Want to take something alike? Then Ukrainian Carpathians may be a your next travel destination.
This is one of the most popular locations for weekend photography tours in the Carpathians. To shoot Dzembronya and in Dzembronya there is no need to take any substantial travel gear. The main points for shooting include:
Kosarische Ridge. It’s just 30 minutes’ walk away from the village. On the ridge you will experience a spectacular panoramic view of the Chornohora Range south-eastern part (the highest in Ukraine). You will catch together Smotrych, Vuhaty Kamin (Ear Stone) Peaks and Hoverla from afar off. Besides the mountains, many colourful objects for shooting can be found on the ridge. Say, wooden Hutsul Kolybas (Huts) and haystacks.
Smotrych Polonyna (meadow). Here you will have an occasion to sweat. You will get to the meadow for an hour or two depending on your physical fitness. After rising a bit higher from it, to the mount Smotrych foot, below you will see the meadow itself, the whole Dzembronya village and Kosarische and Krynta ridges. By the way, Hutsul shepherds live right on the Smotrych Polonyna from late spring to early autumn. This is the place where you will have no problem buying fresh local milk and delicious cheese.
How to get there: Dzembronya is not very high, but deep in the mountains. That’s why you will have to change while travelling here by public transport, e.g. at Verkhovyna town (Ivano-Frankivsk region).
What else to see: Most people visit Dzembronya for privacy and peace. This little mountain village is popular with tourists heading for the mountains, but you will not see a massive inrush of tourists here, like in Yaremche. If you want to go rafting down the Chornyi (Black) Cheremosh River, it will be convenient to stay here in May or June. Also, by all means visit Dzembronya waterfalls, Vuhaty Kamin and Pip Ivan Peaks. On the latter you will find a stone observatory, the highest altitude building in Ukraine, erected in late 1930s. All this is definitely worth your time and effort.
2. Yasinya Village Weekend
Though one of the main Carpathian highways goes through Yasinya, the village is cosy and, what is most important, with picturesque outskirts. We recommend climbing one of the nearby mountain ridges for a good shot. The rise will take 20 minutes to one and a half hours. What will we see in the end? – Panoramic views of the Chornohora Range (Petros and Hoverla Peaks) and the Svidovetsky Ridge. Depending on the chosen location, you will be able to capture the Gorgany Mountains – Homyak and Synyak Peaks.
Take picture of the Hutsul way of life in all its beauty here, like in Dzembronya.
How to get there: Trains and shuttle buses services are available to Yasinya, connecting Transcarpathia with the rest of Ukraine through Yablunitsa village. Services are regular, so you shouldn’t experience any transportation problems.
What else to see: Those who ski down Dragobrat in winter and want to save money on accommodation usually stay in Yasinya. Dragobrat Valley is a ski resort which is no distance at all from here. The chairlift is available right in the village. In summer time we recommend to stop by Trufanets Waterfall and Strukivska wooden church – an excellent object for shooting as well.
3. Nemchich Pass
It is not usually found in the Carpathian’s photo tour guides, but if you happen to be to the Carpathians in Chernivtsi region, do not miss the opportunity to visit this place! You will see a tourist complex with the same name on the pass. Though what you need is not the Nemchich Pass itself, but the viewing platforms just above it. Rise up for 30-45 minutes, the Pokutsko-Bukovina Carpathians are usually shot from there.
How to get there: The pass is located to the south of Vyzhnytsia village. You can get to the village by regular bus services from Chernivtsi, Lviv, Verkhovyna or Kosovo.
What else to see: If you wish to walk a bit more, but not more than an hour or two, then walk to the south and you will see Protyati Kaminnya (Cut Stones). There you will see a small waterfalls scattering, bizarre rocks, and one of the most popular location for rock climbers – Sokolyne Oko (Falcon’s Eye).
Bonus: A Secret of a Good Shot.
An SLR camera in your hands may not guarantee you the first-class pictures. What else should be considered?
Weather conditions. Firstly, with no physical comfort you will not have enough patience to experiment with the shot, that’s why always dress for the weather not to have freezing hands, nose burns or wet feet. Secondly, the weather can play into your hands: pictures with fogs and storms are as picturesque as the ones with clear blue sky and green hills stretching behind the horizon.
Lighting conditions – another fundamental factor. Morning light and evening light before sunset are ideal conditions for shooting. In addition, try and adopt modern technology: apps like “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” help to determine the exact sunrise/sunset time for each location.
Your camera and accessories. Study the terrain: look through the pictures taken from the place and a terrain map (Google Earth will help you). This way you will know better what and where to shoot and what to have at hand: lenses for flora macro shooting, wide-angle lens, if multifaceted landscapes are of any interest to you, or telephoto lens for fauna and distance landscapes shooting. By no means exclude the possibility of taking pictures of people, I mean not selfies but Hutsul shepherds’ portraits. If you do not have lenses for all occasions, a zoom lens will be sufficient but mind, image quality will noticeably deteriorate (if quality is what you came here for). You also should consider a tripod, filters, a remote control and protective accessories for your camera in case of “photogenic bad weather”.
Do you know any other places where you could briefly drop in for a photo shoot? Write about them in your comments. We will try to mention them in the following selection of related articles. By the way, a little bit later we will publish the best photo tour routes (of course, they will contain a list of all necessary places and examples of taken pictures).
Enjoy the photo tour! Here is the map of the main locations for your convenience…
Now it’s your turn to do something…