Today I’m taking you to Croatian region of Zagorje, beautiful green part of Croatia with its picturesque scenery, pretty little villages, magnificent castles and rich cultural heritage. I hope I get to make a blog post one day about this beautiful region situated nearby Zagreb. However, today’s post will be about Golubovec castle. It sadly hasn’t been renovated to its previous glory and there is only one part of it which is functional. The rest of the castle is in very bad condition and requires full renovation as you will see in the photos.
Golubovec castle in Donja Stubica is one of the most valuable Croatian castles of the late Baroque period. The construction of the castle was commissioned around 1800 by Lady Regina Domjanic, who became Countess Draskovic by marriage. However, as soon as 1804, her heirs sold it to the bishop Maksimilian Vrhovac. The bishop renovated the castle. He also bought the nearby estate Donji Golubovec, a manor with smaller estate buildings. Finally, he expanded the manor by adding other buildings and made it a grange of the Golubovec castle. After his death, the castle changed owners and went through a period of stagnation. Eventually, it became the property of the Baron Levin Rauch who renovated and modernised it. Sadly, after the Second World War Golubovec suffered the same destiny as most Croatian castles and began to decline… (source: https://visitzagorje.hr/en/kultura/dvorac-stubicki-golubovec/)
Thanks to the Kajkaviana Society, the castle was not entirely devastate. There is one part of castle that is suitable for use. Ever since 1996, concerts, literary evenings, exhibitions and other events have been taking place there.
With this post, I wanted to show how much beauty can be found in something that has been left behind and where time draw its marks on every corner and every nook. It’s such a wonderful opportunity for photography! To look for beauty and interesting motives but also to bring attention to little piece of history that deserves more care and recognition.
I love photographing old houses, ruins, abandoned castles… It feels incredibly romantic, nostalgic and makes me imagine how life has been in past times when people lived there. Basically, I always have mixed feelings when visiting and photographing a place like that. From one side, I sincerely enjoy the creative process and romantic aspect of it. From other side, I feel sad that such beautiful places could be forgotten and left behind, they deserve to shine in all their glory!
This castle is surrounded by beautiful lush forest and it’s one of the situations where I wished I had a drone so I could capture it from above as well. But I focused on details instead and will leave the bird perspective to some other photographer… 😉
To leave emotions aside for a moment (almost impossible for me but maybe you already know that haha! :D) and talk a bit more about photography.
In this situation when we cannot travel yet or at least not somewhere far away, it’s good to be reminded how much there is to photograph and enjoy nearby to where we live. So, try to think about all the places that you usually pass by, on foot or by car, not having the time or motivation to stop. Now is the perfect time to do that! Explore some scenes that otherwise you perhaps wouldn’t. A place like this one is very inspiring for photography. Besides larger scene don’t forget to focus on little details that tell a story and make the viewer feel like she/he is there with you. That’s what you want to achieve with all travel photo stories, no matter if they are from far away places or a nearby village.
Equipment and editing…
As for the equipment, here I used my Canon 5d mkIII camera and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. That lens is excellent for this type of travel photography as it gives you variety to shoot the whole scene and focus on small details. If I were to have one more lens with me in my backpack (besides this zoom lens or a wide angle prime lens), it would have been my 50mm f/1.2. That’s a beautiful lens to use to isolate parts of the scenes and details while giving it a dreamy bokeh. More affordable versions of 50mm, f/1.4 or f/1.8 would work really well too. But even without that lens, just with my 24-70mm, I’m quite happy with the images I got and the mood I captured. I hope you enjoy it too!
In editing I wanted to show rich deep tones of green but the problem with capturing green is that it can translate as too saturated or too yellow on the images. You deal with that in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) or Lightroom.
In HSL adjustments (hues, saturation, luminance) you can play with colours. It’s such a great tool in editing to control what you want to achieve with tones and colours. I usually desaturate green so it’s not overpowering and also reduce the yellow until it looks good and not too warm. Having said that, I do like my images usually on the cooler side but that’s a personal preference of course.
One other thing I wanted to emphasise with editing is the moody and somewhat melancholic atmosphere. Rich tones, contrast, vignette… all that helps in achieving that!
Finally, I want to start writing more about photography in my blog posts. So, if there is anything that you are interested in and would like to know more of, please write to me in comments or on my social media channels. I’ll be more than happy to listen to your wishes and suggestions! 🙂
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