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PhotoSecrets Bled, first published February 8, 2018. This version output April 28, 2018.
Curated, coded and designed by Andrew Hudson. Copyright © Andrew Hudson for PhotoSecrets (Photo Tour Books, Inc.). Photos, text and maps copyrights are listed in the credits section.
“‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversations?’”
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Thank you to the many talented photographers that generously made their photos available. Photos distributed by the following:
Text copyright of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).editors and contributors. Licensed under
Map data fromand its contributors. Open data licensed under the .
Cover image by Fesus Robert/Shutterstock.
Back cover image by .
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any way without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner(s) and the publisher of this book.
The information provided within this book is for general informational purposes only. Some information may be inadvertently incorrect, or may be incorrect in the source material, or may have changed since publication, this includes GPS coordinates, addresses, location titles, descriptions, Web links, and photo credits. Use with caution; do not photograph from roads or other dangerous places or when trespassing, even if GPS coordinates and/or maps indicate so; beware of moving vehicles; obey laws. The publisher and author cannot accept responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this book. There are no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, images, or graphics contained in this book for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.
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A great travel photograph, like a great news photograph, requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photographers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”
There are countless books that can help you with photographic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to wander around, track down every potential viewpoint, and essentially re-invent the wheel.
In my career as a professional travel photographer, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photographing instead of wandering about. It’s like having a professional location scout in your camera bag. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photograph on assignment.
PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”
Bob Krist has photographed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photographer of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.
For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photographer magazine as “the best book about travel photography we’ve ever read.”
The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photography, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photographs.
PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic shots, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Get ideas for composition and interesting viewpoints. See what piques your interest. Know what to shoot, where to stand, when to go, and why it’s interesting. Now you can spend less time researching and more time photographing.
The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. Twenty-plus years later, you have this guide. Thanks!
Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!
Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.
Andrew has published 38 nationally-distributed photography books. He has photographed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photography, Where, and Woman’s World.
Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.
At a Glance
|Distance from capital:||about 50 km (31 mi)|
|Length of lake:||2.12 kilometres (1.32 mi)|
Bled is a town on Lake Bled in the Upper Carniolan region of northwestern Slovenia.
Lake Bled viewed from the hill of Osojnica is a spectacular sight, combining the glacial lake, the picturesque Bled Island, and the Karawanks mountains on the Austrian border. The steep hike takes about one hour to reach the 756m-high peak.
|Far:||0.83 km (0.51 miles)|
Ojstrica is a 611 m high hill to the north of Osojnica which amply rewards the 20-minute hike.
|Far:||0.92 km (0.57 miles)|
Delightful wooden Swan Boats provide a foreground to Bled Island from the western shore of Lake Bled.
|Far:||0.60 km (0.37 miles)|
The west bank of Lake Bled offers a view of Bled Island with Bled Castle on the left.
|Far:||420 m (1360 feet)|
From the southwest shore, Bled Island can be combined with the town of Bled, here shown at dusk.
|Far:||0.55 km (0.34 miles)|
The south bank of Lake Bled offers a classic combination of Bled Island, Bled Castle on the right, and Mount Stol (or Hochstuh) which, at 2,236 m (7,336 ft), is the highest mountain of the Karawanks.
|Far:||430 m (1400 feet)|
Bled Island has a Baroque stairway dating from 1655 with 99 stone steps leading up to the Assumption of Mary Church and its 52 m (171 ft) tower.
|Far:||430 m (1410 feet)|
Café Belvedere (Kavarna Belvedere) on the south shore of Lake Bled has an elevated view of Bled Island and its red rooftops.
|Addr:||Cesta Svobode 18,|
|Far:||410 m (1330 feet)|
The grounds of Vila Bled Hotel offer the closest view of Bled Island, with the stairway on the left.
|Far:||360 m (1190 feet)|
An imposing stairway leads to the top of Bled Island.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||40 m (140 feet)|
A public square on Bled Island features a restaurant and views of the Provost’s House and church.
|Far:||30 m (110 feet)|
Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church (Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria, Cerkev Marijinega Vnebovzetja) is a church on Bled Island in Bled Lake. The church was built in its current form near the end of the 17th century, and decorated with remains of Gothic frescos from around 1470 in the presbyterium and rich Baroque equipment. The church has a 52 m (171 ft) tower. The church is frequently visited and weddings are held there regularly. Traditionally it is considered good luck for the groom to carry his bride up the steps on the day of their wedding before ringing the bell and making a wish inside the church.
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||40 m (140 feet)|
|AKA:||Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria, Cerkev Marijinega Vnebovzetja||Wik:|
|Look:||West-southwest ←||Far:||18 m (59 feet)|
|Look:||South ↓||Far:||40 m (130 feet)|
Saint Mary (Sv. Marija) is a statue in the courtyard on Bled Island, facing the Provost’s House.
|Look:||East →||Far:||15 m (49 feet)|
|Look:||West-southwest ←||Far:||30 m (100 feet)|
Bled Island has a great view of Bled Castle on a precipice against the Karawanks mountains.
|Far:||1.11 km (0.69 miles)|
|Far:||1.37 km (0.85 miles)|
|Far:||0.66 km (0.41 miles)|
|Far:||0.64 km (0.40 miles)|
|Addr:||Park ob obali Blejskega jezera,|
|Far:||0.49 km (0.31 miles)|
|Look:||Northwest ↖||Far:||40 m (120 feet)|
|Look:||North ↑||Far:||30 m (110 feet)|
|Look:||North-northeast ↑||Far:||6 m (20 feet)|
|Look:||South-southeast ↓||Far:||24 m (79 feet)|
4 St. Martin’s Parish Church is the parish church of the Parish of Bled.
stands above the village of Zasip, about 2 km (1.2 mi) north of Bled. It is an old pilgrimage church, dating from around 1400 with some early 16th- century additions and 18th-century renovations.
|Look:||East-northeast →||Far:||40 m (120 feet)|
|AKA:||Cerkev Sv. Katarina||Wik:|
Until 1890, the gorge was mainly inaccessible, except for two points at which the Radovna could be reached, and a bridge over Šum Falls was already built in 1878. The rest of the gorge was explored in 1891 by the mayor of Gorje, Jakob Žumer, and by Benedikt Lergetporer, a prominent photographer of the era.
In 1893 the gorge was equipped with wooden observation walkways and bridges with great effort and was opened to the public on August 26, 1893. The walkways, which were later named Žumer Galleries (Žumrove galerije ) in the most prominent part of the gorge, have been renovated several times since.
A hydroelectric dam has also been built below the gorge and an arch railway bridge for the Bohinj Railway. The bridge, built in 1904 and 1905 of cut stone, is the largest stone arch railway bridge preserved in its entirety in Slovenia. It is 65 m (213 ft) long, 4.5 m (15 ft) wide and 33 m (108 ft) high.
|Look:||Southwest ↙||Far:||110 m (340 feet)|
|Look:||Southwest ↙||Far:||110 m (340 feet)|
Šum Falls (literally, ‘noisy falls’), at 13 m (43 ft), is the largest river waterfall in Slovenia.
|Look:||Northeast ↗||Far:||25 m (82 feet)|
Stone arch railway bridge over a weir in the Radovna River.
|Look:||West-northwest ←||Far:||50 m (150 feet)|
Thank you to the many wonderful people and companies that made their work available to use in this guide.
Photo key: Tap the camera icon to see the photo. The two letters reference the distributor and license. Key for distributors: f:Flickr; p:Pixabay; s:Shutterstock; w:Wikipedia. Key for license: a:CC-BY-SA; b:CC-BY; c:CC-PD; h:Shutterstock standard; m:public domain; o:CC0.
Cover image by .Eneko Bidegain ( wb); Borshop ( fc); Ky0n Cheng ( wm); E-Klasse2010 ( wb); Erik ( wa); Mihael Grmek ( fa); Hotice Hsu ( fa); Oleksandr Iskander ( wb); Nikolai Karaneschev ( wb); Milo Van Kovacevic ( wb); Lienyuan Lee ( sh); Dudarev Mikhai ( fb); Milo van Kovacevic ( wb); Tom Mrazek ( wa); Mrpanygoff ( wa); Nocanguru ( wa); Oliver-Bonjoch ( fb); Erik Paakspuu ( wa); Lars Plougmann ( fb); Bryan Pocius ( fa); Richd777 ( fa); Ciaran Roarty ( sh); Fesus Robert ( wa); Rosino ( wa); Amanda Slater ( fb); Guido Sorarù ( fa); Guillaume Speurt ( wa); Imke Stahlmann ( po); User12019 ( po); VBosica ( fa); Vicente Villamón ( po); Walkerssk ( wa); Own Work ( wb); Yeowatzup ( po); YourMonica ( wa); Zairon ( wm); Žiga ( wm). Some text adapted from Wikipedia and its contributors where noted by the URL path in the “Wik” table field, used and modified under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) license. Map data from OpenStreetMap and its contributors, used under the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL).