Evgeni Dinev: Rila Mountain, Samokov, Bulgaria

The Image

Evgeni Dinev

Rila Mountain, Samokov, Bulgaria

Time / Date:
05:51 / June 19, 2012

The Technical

Camera Body: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
Tripod: Gitzo Mountaineer
Filter: Singh-Ray 2-stop hard GND

Camera Settings:
Shutter Speed: 2.5s
Aperture: f/16
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 17mm

The Story


Rila Mountain is the highest mountain in the Balkan Peninsula (2925 m). It’s located in the Southwest Bulgaria. At the end of the spring,before the snow melts, it’s the reign of the winter flowering crocus. I’ve planned to stay the night in my tent, to go out  before the dawn and to find a sunrise view to the red colored opposite ridge. There’s a soft light early in the morning, I love its warm colors and I choose this hour for my photographs.

The Scene: 

Snow crocuses bloom in Rila, in high places near the lakes above 2000 m altitude. Purple flowers dominate but you can also meet white and yellow blossoms. Urdin Circus is the name of the pictured place, as you see it’s extremely beautiful but it is difficult to reach too. You have to walk above 10 kilometers and climb more than 1500 meters in order to get there. There isn’t any hut around, carry a tent and a sleeping bag for the night.


I made this photo with Canon 5D MkII, 17-40 L lens, tripod and neutral gradient 2-stop hard filter Singh-Ray.

Making the Shot:

I did this shot from a very low angle, because I needed to get the flowers closer. The meadow lied still in the shadow, so I used a neutral gradient filter. It is very important for a balanced exposition, it  removes too bright and dark spots. I always use a tripod in occasions like this, it helps to manage well the adjustments. Otherwise, I shoot at lowest ISO to avoid the noise and to increase the quality of the image. One more reason to use a tripod is the slow speed of the shooting, the aperture should be very high, around f/16,  to achieve a good sharpness in the foreground and background.

Editing & Processing:

I always try to be careful with the technical details of the images when I shoot. That’s why I use a tripod and filters. This way I keep an eye on the histogram in the live-view screen. It’s important for the image to be properly exposed, then the adjustments in the post-processing would be minimal. In this photo I have adjusted only a few settings in Lightroom – exposure/contrast and highlight/blacks.

Looking Back: 

I don’t think something has changed in my way to photograph after taking this photo. The idea of the image is pretty clear – a meadow with crocus flowers on the foreground and a mountain ridge, all in colors of sunrise in the background.


In my opinion, a good landscape photographer firstly has to find and feel the place and then knows how to shoot it. It is the only chance to give your own look through the camera lens. That’s the goal.


My inspiration is the nature and especially those moments of time when it changes completely.


About the Photographer

Evgeni Dinev is a Bulgarian landscape photographer. His creative work in photography began in 2007 giving expression to his will to catch the magnificent view, but in a breathtaking way. In his pictures nature reveals its secrets in the perfect moment. With lots of patience and efforts he shows the ability of the artist to transform the ordinary into the sublime. The talent for landscapes at the right place and time makes his pictures favorites and touches the hearts of thousands.

Website: www.vgenidinevphotography.com
Facebook: /evgenidinev
500px: /evgord

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Comments (1)

  1. Ricardo Vaz

    Outstanding shot Evgeni! I’ve noticed that you used f/16 for this image. Usually how do you focus to get the best foreground to background sharpness, do you use the hyperfocal distance, focus on 1/3 of the way or focus stack in post?
    Thanks in advance!