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Slovenia in September with Benjamin Graham

21st November 2018

Benjamin Graham joined Sue Bishop in September to lead a tour of eight photographers to photograph the stunning landscapes of Slovenia. Here he shares his thoughts on the trip...

"Almost twelve months on from LPOTY 2017 (geez - is it really that time of year already?!), I finally had my first experience as a ‘Light & Land Leader’ – well, ‘Co-Leader’ to be precise… Actually, come to think of it - I was the minibus driver really but, never mind; I felt like I was almost a leader when I helped the participants to get their gear out the back of the bus…

Our Dear Leader was, really, the rather brilliant Sue Bishop - and what a delight it was to be in her company for the duration. The group of participants was good-humoured, enthusiastic and dynamic, the hotel was spotless and hospitable, the staff there, exemplary and the food, first-rate. Not so sure about the minibus driver though… Hmmm - best ask the passengers…

We stayed on the shores of Lake Bled, a very beautiful but, for obvious reasons (being in the heart of a National Park, in an area of outstanding natural beauty with significant historical points of interest) very touristic location that does rather swarm with buses and crowds, especially at the weekends. But of course we had a cunning plan to beat the masses, we were up at sparrow-fart every day to shoot the local heritage sites, so completely avoided the chaotic daily invasion of the lakeside environs by heading out of town every day after our dawn shoot was done and our breakfast was gobbled.

The intrepid Mrs Bishop had already been on a reconnaissance mission over a few days before I turned up with the group at Ljubljana airport and so we had an itinerary prepared when we arrived. Two Light & Landers, Clive Minnit and Phil Malpas, had previously reconnoitred the terrain and destinations with an earlier group and had provided Sue with notes, so our photo-stops (notwithstanding an utterly rubbish Sat Nav - that rapidly became known as the Crap-Nav…) were well-researched. And despite the aforementioned Crap-Nav in the minibus that left us resorting to an iPhone for directions, we made all our shoot locations in good time and in great spirits. And we were blessed with some fabulous light and meteorological magic when we got to them.

I’ll let a few of the pictures I managed to snap do the talking for a moment... All were shot on my nifty-fifty - and you probably won't be surprised to learn that it was the only lens I took with me...

So. Slovenia. My first visit to this picture-skew jewel of the Balkans - and it won’t be the last. It’s a stunner of a place. When I complimented the hotel receptionist on her fabulous country one morning, she responded with: “yes, it is small and clean…” And, whilst absolutely true, it is small and spotlessly clean and tidy, I had to comment: “well, there’s a bit more to it than that…”

Finally, a massive thank you to the group: Jane, Shu, Tony, Ben, Jeremy, Paul and Ian - and thank you to Our Dear Leader, Sue Bishop, for making the trip so memorable and successful. 

Benjamin will be returning to Slovenia in October 2019, if you would like to read more about the tour or book a place, please click here.

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