Spectacle of Light at Cape Planka
Sometimes, you just need to be lucky and all landscape photographers know that. There’s no effort, knowledge or time that can make up for bad weather conditions when nature doesn’t give you that special light we all seek. In a matter of minute a promising light can turn into total disappointment. Yet, it can also be vice versa…
If you like landscape photography, driving endless miles, hiking, getting up in some ungodly hours to wait for the sun on the site, standing up to your knees in a mud, risking falling into ice cold creek, climbing mountains or wandering uncharted trails – and all of that for a single photo – is pretty normal. Sometimes, even after all of the miles and troubles, you don’t get to make the photo you wanted, but sometimes the nature gives us unexpected gift when you least expect it. It pays back for all times of failure, I guess.
Something like that happened to me on that November afternoon. I wanted to go shooting to Cape Planka, a location I’ve been planning to shoot for some time – very interesting location near place Razanj, only one hour of driving from my city of Split. Planka cape is popular photographic location especially in the strong southern wind.
The day was cloudy with dull, flat, diffuse light and bad for landscape photography. Only one detail was telling me that it might not be that hopeless: a very bright yellow stripe over the southwest horizon, a sign that across the Adriatic sea, where the sun will set in couple of hours, there is no thick layer of clouds. We all know what happens when sun falls below the clouds and shines on them through the thick layer of atmosphere: a spectacle of light and colors. I hoped for that….
When I arrived there, weather conditions were promising, sun rays were still playing on the horizon. I jumped around the cape scouting for good spots and subjects I could shoot if good light happens, climbing up and down the rugged, big rocks looking for best positions. I got nervous of all the waiting and thinking will I pick the right ones.
On the very top of the cape peninsula, in the year 1324 people built a small chapel, in honor of St. John. Legend says that, two centuries before, the saint calmed the raging storm, stepped into the sea and saved the sailors from the sinking boat.
After the scouting was done, it was time for preparing the camera, tripod, mounting filters and shutter release, trial shots and planning of technical details how and what to do. All that I could to do then was waiting… Sun appeared to set slower than usual, minutes were long but I knew, when it starts to happen it passes in a blink of an eye…. After several minutes, the show began.
A rush of adrenaline hit my body followed by hundreds of ideas in my head, I started shooting like crazy. When a good light occurs, those 15-20 minutes I live in a parallel dimension in which exist only photos and thoughts about how to capture them best way. Indescribable feeling.
I went up the rocks to capture the chapel…
Punta Planka is very unusual place. Geographically, it is dividing line between South and North Adriatic and the closest point of Croatia’s mainland to the Italy. Along the Croatian coast you usually see some islands, in front of the Cape Planka there is just an open sea.
Meteorologically, it’s a point where two different climates meet, and because of that, weather can be pretty unpredictable and wild so there were many shipwrecks in that area throughout the centuries. Their carcasses are strewn on the sea bed all across the area. Therefore, Punta Planka is also very popular scuba diving point.
Two people came to watch the sunset. They surely have picked the right day. :)
The sun was slowly sinking into the sea… In just a few moments, it will be over.
After I made this photo I went up the rocks, sat down and wondered what just happened in front of my eyes. It felt really amazing to witness and to capture this kind of natural event. That was a great day for my photography and I’ll surely return to Cape Planka again.