Croatia - Speedrun

 Rovinj

Rovinj

Speedrun - The title was program.... 

Actually the long handed plan was a trip to the french alps. A milkyway shooting at new-moon, on a great location, with friends, and so on... But this year, like all milkyway-interested people allready know, is not a year for milky-shootings. 

The weather just is not on our side, it seems. Though some of us had holidays planned exactly for the new-moon weekend, the long-time weather forecasts made us sad. Every day we were hoping for changes but finally, when the week was there, we knew we had to cancel our plans. Too much late snow on the planned location, and maybe still some ice on the lake where we planned to shoot. AND, not to forget, a bad weather-forecast.

So some of us began to talk about a "Plan B". Mainly it was Christian Schipflinger who said to me: "Why not go to croatia?" I was surprised, because i had never been there...  But hey, why not, i thought, i hav holidays anyway... So i checked the cloud-charts for the location. Kap Kamenjak lies at the very end of istria. 

And the charts were looking quiet good. So i said to Chris: "OK, let´s go!" He was not really expecting this answer, as he told me later, it was more kind of a joke when he talked about croatia, but the idea pleased him so well that he said: "OK, lets do it!" So we began to plan more accurate. If we start early on friday, we would be there at about 10:00 in the morning. Perfect for a breakfast-surprise for our friend  Fabio Hain who was having holidays too there, and did not know that we were coming. 

So i picked up Chris on friday morning at about four o´clock at Kichbichl and we headed down to croatia. We took the motorway-route over the "german corner", down the "Tauernautobahn" and short before the "Karawankentunnel" there was traffic jam... A little surprised of that we got out of the car for a short pause and found out its just a small wait so 10 minutes later we were on the road again. The rest of the trip was problem free, and so we were on the camping-place as planed. The only one who was NOT there was Fabio. We hoped to meet him before he would have left his site, but he allready had. So we built up our base-camp and, after that, drove to Kap Kamenjak for some location-scouting for the night. 

 Kap Kamenjak

Kap Kamenjak

After a nice hike we decided to drive back to our camping-site and have a look if Fabio was there by now - He was not... So what to do now though it was still late afternoon? We went for something to eat with our bikes, that we had brought with us. Some time later when we came back to our place, Fabios car finally was there and his girlfriend Sarah, who i allready knew quiet well, was sitting in front of their tent. It was a big surprise for her, though she allready saw my car. But when she told Fabio about, he just said that cannot be, ´cause there´s no way that i have holidays in june... :-) When he came baclk from showering, he was totally surprised too and it was a big hello. We had some wine together before Chris packed our backpacks and started for the nightshooting with our mountainbikes to the Kap that lies about 4 kilometers away.

 Day to night @ Kap Kamenjak

Day to night @ Kap Kamenjak

We went direct to the scouted locations and did what we were here for. And the weather did what we were hoping for.

 Milky meets cloudfront

Milky meets cloudfront

 Milkyway-selfie

Milkyway-selfie

 270° panorama

270° panorama

After we had our shots captured, we decided to not go to the second location that was planned, because the clouds were moving too fast, they would have been faster then us. So we made our way home to the camping site on our bikes. Again it was a pain with so much weight in my backpack sitting on a mountain bike... :-)

Tired from the biking we fell asleep fast...

The next day, it was sunday, we talked to fabio who told us about the SPECIAL ORNITHOLOGICAL RESERVE PALUD, he found on researches about wildlife. Chris and i were still thinking about what we could do with our spare-time and though i had my 150-600mm Tamron in the car, i was perfectly equipped for the task. Chris used my 5DIII with the Canon 70-200mm and a 2X teleconverter.

The reserve was a little hard to find, and at first, turned out to be total letdown, so we were roaming around the site photographing some small birds, lizards and butterflys, until we found a small bar down at the beach.

We met a tyrolean couple from near my place there and talked to them. They told us that the perfect time of year for the birds reserve was allready gone, and so we thought about leaving and going direct to rovinj, the next point on our list. Ond our way back, we stopped one more time at the professional built hideout to have a second view if there would be some birds. And we were lucky! There was one single egret fishing a little. So we stopped to take some shots.

 Fishing egret

Fishing egret

After some time more birds were coming in, mainly different kinds of limicolines.

And then our main subject appeared on our screen. A very active silky heron.

 Silky heron incoming

Silky heron incoming

 Nice landing

Nice landing

 Fast approach

Fast approach

 Silky heron coming nearer and nearer

Silky heron coming nearer and nearer

After a long time of shooting, i decided to try some video, because it seemed that the bird was used to the clicking sounds of our cameras. 

There were some other guests there as well, mainly the gull, sitting right in front of us, enjoying her view on us. 

 Seagull cleaning time

Seagull cleaning time

 Allmost fell from the tree due to fatigue...

Allmost fell from the tree due to fatigue...

 Up and away

Up and away

 Flight!

Flight!

 Starting...

Starting...

On our way back we met lots of lizards and butterflys again.

 Butterflys everywhere

Butterflys everywhere

 Lizard chaincheing skin

Lizard chaincheing skin

We drove directly to Rovinj after the birdshooting. Mainly to get something to eat, and in second place to try some shots of the famous oldtown of Rovinj, a well known postcard-motive.

 Rovinj

Rovinj

 Long-exposure of Rovinj with an incoming thunderstorm.

Long-exposure of Rovinj with an incoming thunderstorm.

After our meal and taking some photos we organized some wine and drove back to the camping site where Sarah and Fabio allready were waiting for a nice come-together and a lot of talk.  Lots of fun and some bottles of wine later we went to bed, to be prepared for our drive back home, that would take about 7 hours. 

Maybe some people will say it was a crazy photosession, so far away, but it was totally worth it.

 

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Niki Haselwanter