step outside

So the weather in Bulgaria has been very foggy lately, including in Sofia, which is actually quite normal for the season. A couple of nights ago, despite feeling absolutely tired after the long day, I decided to get out there and try to see it from above the fog by going up Vitosha mountain. Initially I drove up to this viewing point (called The Hoof, interestingly enough) which is easy to access and gives you a great view of the city. This is what I was rewarded with…


Yep, those are indeed stars over Sofia 🙂


I love how the fog was creeping up the mountains, engulfing half of the houses…


Yet, from that point you can’t see half the city so I decided to take it a step further, continuing on foot and hiking up for an hour to get to the best place to see Sofia — Kamen Del. It was cold, absolutely dark (thankfully I keep a headlamp in my camera bag), windy, very slippery (with lots of falling down) and overall not the most pleasant of experiences when it’s close to 1am and all you could think about was your comfy, warm bed. But man was I happy that I kicked myself to do it when I got to the top 🙂


It was so windy I had to protect the camera from shaking with my body and try a number of times with the long exposure shots to get it right, meaning I was up there for close to an hour. But because the fog was pushing the light down, you could actually see the stars — especially if you turned around to look at the mountain itself — that normally would be hard to discern so it was worth every second 😉


So, moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to step outside of your box / comfort zone. It is almost always worth it!


194 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Local news - Page 14 - Ultimate Metal Forum

  2. It’s real, unfortunately. The author says it’s notmal for Sofia to be foggy at that time of the year, but it’s not. The way it is and the way it should be are different things. In my opinion it’s just a consolation for people living in Sofia. Ten years ago there was no fog in winter, or at least not so often. Besides it was a real fog and not smog as it is now. Poor Sofia, you don’t deserve it.

  3. The foggy wheather is not so typical for Sofia. Actually it is fogy because there were no winds from more then 3 weeks now.. The fog will spread once the wind comes which by the weather people is one day from now. In sofia there is at least 1 month of fogs once in four yeas so this is typical..

    Congrats to the authour for this great shots that he made.

  4. I live my entire life in Sofia and it is not very unusual to be foggy in January. I don’t know why, but the big fogs are mainly in January … and sometimes in November 🙂

  5. I tend to agree with Julia — for years now fogs have been an issue. There were even times when I was flying back from abroad and we’d have to touch down in Plovdiv before the airport got a new blind landing system. Sure, smog is a part of it, but the whole Sofia plateau is prone to fog formation because of the lack of winds that Alex mentioned. In any case, the point of the post is to take a different perspective on an otherwise seemingly gloomy situation 😉

    • The wider shots are with the Canon 24-105mm f/4 and the tighter ones with the Canon 70-200mm f/4. I primarily shot with an ISO 800-1000 (the last one with the sign & stars is at ISO 4000 since it was much darker), 20-25sec exposure @ f/4, custom WB around 3300K. Good luck 🙂

  6. Stunning! The colors are so beautiful it’s unbelievable how pretty the fog actually looks, because photographies of fogs are usually so creepy and dark.

  7. Breath-taking photography! Thanks for doing that trip – it was worth it, just so we could marvel at something normally so tedious as the fog. Seen from above it looks absolutely stunning!

  8. Great idea to get above Sofia into the clouds in one of most unphotogenic wether conditions. The imagination of an artist is often triggered by unusual events and conditions. And thanks God that the author of that photo essay used its intuition and knowledge in order to transforms the play of city light and mist into a fairy-tail . The heaven is just a step away, right above our ordinary day.

  9. These are amazing. sometimes i wish i had enough desire to go for a photography course or really just get out there and start capturing whatever i can. lol the only issue is that where im from, yuou kinda worry who’s gonna try and steal your camera and kill you in the process, lol. do not venture from and do not venture alone

      • South Africa, Cape Town. It’s not dangerous per say, but i happen to be one of those paranoid individuals. It’s a question of location. If you go and take a pic of the city from say signal hill here, then chances are some dude is hiding int he bushes and he’s likely gonna hurt ya. But if you take a picture from the top of Table Mountain, then you’re good, cause there’s security but also it’s gonna cost you R200 to get up there with the cable car.

          • ya for the most part it’s safe, but like any other country it does have it’s dodgy areas and like any other country tourists, the same like locals, can be targeted. so ya just keep an eye out and try not to go alone everywhere

  10. These are amazing photos, wow. I love the color reflected in the clouds/fog. The vibrance and shimmer of the stars is great as well. That’s a heck of a journey at 1am , clearly you were rewarded handsomely for it. Hopefully you weren’t alone! What kind of camera do you use?

    Thanks for sharing.


  11. So cool! You have inspired me to get out there and get some shots no matter what the conditions. I live in Chicago, so now I am wondering what great Polar Vortex shots I missed. Great post! Thank you for sharing.

  12. Awesome sauce. It’s pretty! And I love the song by Jose Gonzales. It’s been on loop in my iPod for a week already. Very apt.

  13. These images are breathtaking and I love how you reminded us that stepping outside the box can lead to the most beautiful things we have ever experienced. If I was closer to this place, I would hike up there tonight just to see this!

  14. I for one am very thankful you did step outside the comfort zone these photos are truly stunning they make you stare at them. I did not realize the pricks of lights were stars until you mentioned it then when you turned the camera round to show the night sky I was so envious of you. That one photo would of been worth the trouble but added with all your shots it was so worth it Again just like to say thanks

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  17. Oh, how i recognise that kicking-yourself-out, even if i’m tired and rather want to stay inside – you know – but it’s those times, when you du it anyway, that you’ll see the wonders. Fantastic pictures!!!! Thank you for sharing. Hugs’n’wheels!

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  20. I love how supposedly ‘bad’ weather can be just as – beautiful if not more so – as the more traditional ‘beautiful’ weather. And look at those stars! Just think that’s how it always looks above the rain and fog and clouds.

  21. Pingback: step outside |

  22. Fantastic pictures! They remind me of my previous visits…I very much enjoyed the food & atmosphere in the Evergreen Restaurant (Studentski Grad)

  23. Pingback: Beauty, it’s Everywhere | islandgirlvibes

  24. Isn’t it wonderful, the rewards we sometimes reap when we push ahead and do what we know we ‘must’ do? I’m glad you ventured out on this safari. Wonderful images!

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  28. LOL This must have been another FP piece! 486 likes — yikes! I can see why. That is a most stunning shot with the lights *beneath* the fog and the stars above it. Worth all the work it took to get it, I’m sure. Thanks for linking back so I (a new follower) could enjoy. Cheers!

  29. Pingback: In search of balance. Фотограф и пътешественик. - House of Likers : House of Likers

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