Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria by Simon Betteridge

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Picture Story

I was excited to visit Bulgaria for the first time, especially as we were traveling in October and hoping to catch the best of the autumnal colour across the landscape. The plan was to spend ten days traveling across the country photographing not only landscapes but also village life deep in the Rhodope mountains, including many derelict buildings and architectures.

The days were hot, mostly clear skies with cold mornings as we explored our way up and around the mountain roads in search of compositions. We were spoilt for choice, such diverse landscapes in all its autumnal glory including the ginormous sandstone pyramids in the south-western region with heights reaching up to 100m.

We decided to drive up to one of the highest points in the Rhodope mountains at almost 2000m for a dawn shoot. We arrived at our location in plenty of time before sunrise, the temperature was well below freezing with a covering of frost. At this height, the views were just breathtaking.

As the sun started to rise over the mountain peaks, rays of warm light blanketed the valley below revealing this tranquil misty scene. I used a telephoto lens to compress the numerous layers and reveal the detail of the golden sunlit trees.

It wasn't long before the sun became too harsh, so we headed back for a well deserved breakfast after such a successful shoot.

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