Away from the crowds and walking tours there are many quieter streets and walks in the centre of Ljubljana to indulge in a bit of street photography and to try and capture the look and feel of the city, even around the Triple Bridge when it isn’t so crowded..
I had no real expectations regarding Ljubljana having little knowledge of the city or indeed of Slovenia beyond the usual photos of Lake Bled. It was however one of the friendliest, relaxed, photogenic and enjoyable cities I’ve been to in Europe, and there seemed to something going on at every junction along the river.
The area around the Triple Bridge can attract the artists and the crowds.
There is a statue of France Prešeren, Slovenia’s greatest literary figure near the bridge which is a general meeting point – and the starting point for the excellent Free Walking Tour.
And in direct line of sight from Prešeren is a little wall statue of his unrequited love and subject of many a poem, Julija Primic.
And of course if you’re hungry there’s many food vendors.
Pula was an hour’s bus ride from Rovinj and is a great spot for a day trip with a bustling old town, Roman ruins and plenty to point the Ricoh at.
Pula has its own amphitheatre, a wee colosseum.
Croatia of course has a fascinating recent history, particularly during the second world war where as well as being occupied by Nazi Germany, it had its own collaborating dark side – the fascist Ustaša which was resisted and subsequently defeated by anti fascist Yugoslav movements. There are a number of memorial to anti-fascism and Pula has a large memorial garden alongside the main harbour.
Back in the old town the town-hall is on a old Roman site
And various remnants of old walls and portals into the old city
The Asakusa district in Tokyo is a real tourist trap, traditionally a ‘pleasure quarter’ – we don’t have many of those in NI.. – it’s a great day trip for the temple and the market.
Photographically I arrived with an Olympus Trip 35 / Fomapan 100 which had a broken meter so was shooting manually on 1/40th – and a Nikon F60 loaded with Tri-X. On probably the brightest sunniest day of the year. Probably a case for digital..
Anyway – the Sensoji temple
A Chōzuya, for pre-worship purification
Then for shopping, there is the Nakamise arcade area.
It’s a smallish area but you can still be sold the guided tours
The magic of travel is that at home two of the least likely things I would do would be worship and shop. With or without the camera.
The inherent risk of bringing your 40 year old film camera on holiday is of course that it decides to call it a day. Before loading the Trip, I always give it a quick check to ensure that it responds reasonably appropriately to light – particularly that the wee red underexposed marker appears in the viewfinder. Day 2 of a trip to Tokyo and before the Fomapan was loaded, it was clear that the Trip meter had finally given up the ghost. However, before putting it back in the suitcase and relying on the Nikon F60, I remembered the manual aperture settings – a quick check showed these to be responding.
So, a pretty useless 1/40th constant shutter speed in a bright summer Tokyo day and it was Sunny 22 to see how the Trip would go on manual only. F22 for the bright outdoors and guess for the shade and indoors.
And… it went ok. Fomapan 100 is pretty forgiving anyway and with the bright harsh sunlight and deep shadows, I couldn’t really complain with the results from a 40 year old malfunctioning compact and a £3.50 roll of budget Czech film.
It would have been a challenge getting any sort of shadow detail here given the contrast between the umbrella and background.
Of course, with an aperture setting now to consider on the Trip, there was the added risk to forget about adjusting the zone focussing from “mountains” to “2 blokes“.
The Trip of course, is a great street camera, all you have to remember is to set the zone focus. My immediate reaction when the meter went was to retire the Trip and have a look on The Bay for a replacement. But doing a quick Sunny 16 setting of the Aperture is no problem, and you can learn to live with the constant 1/40th shutter. The lens is as sharp as ever (after remembering to check the focus) and frankly there is no better looking 35mm compact out there. My meter-less Trip hasn’t had its last holiday just yet.