Mt. Belmeken In Bulgaria’s Rila Mountains

Wanting to do some plain old landscape shooting for a change, I decided to make use of the brilliant weather this week and went up Mt. Belmeken, one of the higher peaks (2,626 m) in the eastern Rila Mountains.

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(All Images Copyright Johann Brandstätter/JB Photography)

The walk up the Belmeken has no particular challenges apart from a pretty steep middle section and (at this time of the year) the mushy snow that makes going up a torture, but coming down a pleasure. During most of the way up the south-facing slope I had the sun beating down on my back and the reflection from the snow in my face. I felt like a hamburger in one of those solar ovens and the skin on my face only didn’t get crunchy because I used my hard-core sun screen (zinc paste).

But once I was up on the summit ridge a nice breeze made the heat bearable and I spent some time shooting (and massaging my aching legs…) before sliding back down in a third the time it took me to get up.

A technical note: when shooting a snowy landscape, especially on a sunny day, don’t forget to overexpose your shots to at least 2/3 of a stop! Otherwise your shots will end up way too dark because your metering is getting tricked by all those little highlights in the snow. 

More landscape and travel shots on my website: