Plitvice Lakes

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Back in July I booked a last minute holiday to Split, Croatia. During my stay there I took a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Renowned for it turquoise lakes and abundance of waterfalls, the park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and rightly so. Plitvice is exceptionally stunning and even though it took a few hours to get there I am very glad I took the time to visit. In fact, I am not sure why it has taken me so long to edit my photos from my visit but now I have I am desperate to go back!

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Despite the glorious sunshine that I left in Split it was a lot cooler at the lakes which are much further inland. The weather was changeable and at times stormy, I got caught in the rain a couple of times! It just added to the atmosphere of the places though and made for some much more interesting photos. It took a few hours to walk around the park but there were waterfalls everywhere and the lakes were gorgeous and so clean (they don;t allow anyone to swim in them).

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I’ve always been a massive fan of Croatia in general, the whole country (or at least what I have seen of it) is ridiculously beautiful but these lakes are on a whole other level. In fact their beauty might be their downfall as the national park was jam packed full of tourists. Mass tourism aside though, if you are ever in the area definitely don’t miss out on this natural beauty.

Bamford Edge

After my little adventure in Hope I decided the following weekend that I would explore more of the Peak District. After a bit of research on the old internet I decided that this time I would choose Bamford Edge. These little day trips have made me realise just what I have been missing out on and it is quite astounding that having lived in Doncaster for nearly seven years I have not explored the Peak District more.

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Once again I was very lucky with the weather, although somewhat changeable, it was bright with just the right amount of moody sky that I like for landscape photography. It was however extremely windy and despite it being an unseasonably warm afternoon, once I hiked up to the ledge it was very chilly! To say the hike up there is relatively easy, the views are absolutely stunning. You can see right across Hope Valley and there are great views of Ladybower Reservoir (which might just be my next adventure).

I went for quite a long hike beyond Bamford Edge itself. I believe there is a hike that goes all the way to Stanage Edge but it was a bit late in the day for me to do that so I didn’t go all the way. Its certainly I hike I will be doing soon though.

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I took advantage of the short winter day and stayed to watch the sunset which was lovely. The difference in light between earlier in the day when it was grey and cloudy to golden hour was quite something (although I am a fan of both kinds of light). These photos are some of my favourites I have taken in a long while. I am being much more intentional about what I am taking shots of which is really paying off. These little trips to the countryside are really making me fall in love with photography again and I can’t wait to go out on another adventure with my camera soon!

Comparison

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We all know the saying 'comparison is the thief of joy'. No matter how hard we try it can be hard not to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others sometimes and falling down a rabbit hole of self doubt. As I said in my previous post, this is the year when I am putting my fears aside and really working hard at pushing my photography forward.

Part of this process is finding photographers on platforms like Instagram that inspire me, photographers that are way ahead of me in the game. This is good in the sense that it gives me ideas about how to improve composition and editing and ultimately gives me a goal to aim for. It can however be a double edged sword. Seeing how far I have to go and how good these creatives are at what they do inevitably leads to self doubt and a feeling of not being good enough.

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I know this is a common experience for a lot of people, especially in the creative world. In the past I would let these feelings of negativity get to me, the result being I would just stop trying. I would let that nagging voice inside my head telling me I am not good enough win. I think this is partly the reason I fell out of love with photography last year. I felt like everyone was much better than me and I was just a big failure who shouldn't even bother trying to improve because I will never succeed. What I failed to realise is these people who are top of their game probably went through the same thing but instead of giving up they just worked harder until they got where they wanted to be. 

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Recently something has changed in my mind set. I had that light bulb moment and I finally realised that I definitely won't get where I want to be if I don't even try. This is not rocket science I know, but isn't amazing how we can all let self doubt cripple us?  This is going to be a long process for me and I am certain that this self doubt will be something I have to constantly deal but the way I react to it will change. I need to get out there and start just taking photographs, going new places, trying new ways of shooting. It doesn't really matter if I end up with the most amazing images as long as I try and learn from my mistakes. The point is to just keep moving forward no matter how small the steps.  

This is exactly what I did on Sunday, I hopped on a train to the Peak District with the sole purpose of just taking photos. I did a little hike and I managed to get some nice photos along the way. The weather although unpredictable provided a very nice stormy backdrop making for a more interesting landscape. This little excursion has inspired me to go and do some more exploring of the Peak District next weekend and try and get some even better images.