Small natural bridge in the moonlight
Rakov Škocjan has been a popular tourist destination for some years now, known locally as well as internationally. It reached its peak of popularity with the internet publishing of photographs of the main special parts of the Karst valley, especially the Small and Large natural bridge. During the end of the week, today it is almost impossible to soak in the peaceful nature here, as the visitors are more plentiful than decades ago. Back then, when we were younger, we could research the secret passages of the valley undisturbed and walked our first path of nature ‘survival’.
The last time I rummaged around the Small Natural Bridge and tried to take some photos, the hikers kept arriving under the bridge in minute-long intervals. Each one took a detailed look at the bottom part of the bridge before respectfully moving away from my photographing installation, but up at the bridge, new visitors were already waiting, heading bravely towards the bottom of the cave. Of course that meant that a good shot was not made, but at least I could look at the bridge in peace and put together a nighttime photograph in my mind. And then this happened:
The August full moon, which lured many photographers out in the nighttime with its size and lightness, was perfect to fill in the dramatic scene. If the scenario was to be most ideal, it should be directly over the arch of the bridge, but I had no idea when – or if – that would happen. I headed under the bridge at around 9 p.m. to make sure I would not miss it, and tried to pass the time as I eagerly watched the slow moving of light across the walls of the collapse doline. The moon only started to appear weakly between the trees around 1.30 in the morning, and hid behind the arch of the bridge for 15 minutes.
I spent an interesting night in the company of bats, who were diligently flying from the Zelške Caves, while, ‘surprisingly’, there was no trace of hikers. Bigger photos in the gallery.
Technical information of the shots of the Small Natural Bridge: Canon 5D mkII, 16-35mm/f2.8 pri f5.6, exposure 20s, ISO 800, enlightened with LED Lenser X21, Scurion 1500, bulb Osram AG3B.