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Jamnik, Church of St. Primus and Felician

Jamnik is a really small settlement on the eastern slopes of the Jelovica Plateau, literally bellow the less traveled road between Kropa and Dražgoše  There are many similar villages scattered around those hills, but Jamnik is famous by its Church of St. Primus and Felician, which is built close to the village at an impressive location on a hill overlooking most of the northern part of the Ljubljana Basin with the Julian Alps as a backdrop towards the northwest and the Kamnik–Savinja Alps towards the east.

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We have to admit that this  is not the only church atop a hill in Slovenia and many of them offer great sights and photo opportunities. Nevertheless Jamnik is probably the most photographed one and definitely owns a lot of it’s fame to the spread of social media like Instagram and others.

jamnikAlready the road to the church itself is a fascinating view and each step further reveals a different scenery. It is beautiful in all conditions, even in not so good weather, when fog and mist can make the picture totally mystical.Never mind if on the day of your visit mountains in the background are hidden behind the clouds – it’s a dramatic view and you would have an excuse to come again.IMG_7366In late spring and early summer everything is so green and blossoming, but it has a special charm in winter, too, especially if snow covers also the mountains behind. Sun rises above mountains somewhere just behind the church, depends on the time of the year, and sunset can colour the same peaks in psychedelic colours.

 

IMG_7362If happens that this would be your first visit to the region, steep hills can surprise you, but for centuries people around here survived farming on the same hills.

Coming from Kropa you would find an exit leading to the church just when road slowly becomes less steep, but watch out since it is very narrow and windy all the time. Only two or three cars can park there so if you find it full just continue, about 300 m further you can find more space just above the village itself. Coming from the Dražgoše it is probably the best tactics to park the car wherever available once you spotted the church and entered the village area. A few steps more can do no harm but offer even more fascinating views.

IMG_7364All photos are made with iPhone 6s, but I would recommend to bring some real gear for the distance shots.

Zoran Leban Trojar @zokus_gf

lukaesenko

Luka Esenko. Amazing landscape photographer and an Instagrammer that – sometimes – makes me crazy. Each and every photo he publishes on Instagram could end up on @Igslovenia profile. Every day. But this only means – he is good at what he does. And this is – photography, sharing his knowledge about photography & connecting great photographers and incredible locations in his new app. I just had to ask him a few questions;,

Hi there Luka, we will start as we always do; can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you, what do you do?

Hi Sanja, I am a local photographer based in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Photography has been my work for the last eight years when I started running workshops in Slovenia and Croatia. I also love the outdoors, the Alps above all, this is why a lot of my photos are from there.

Ljubljana from the Nebotičnik / Skyscraper caffee.

Ljubljana from the Nebotičnik / Skyscraper caffee.

You are a professional photographer, I know that. What does Instagram mean to you? Or better; People say that Instagram is only for amateur photographers. What do you think about that?

To be honest I am pretty new to Instagram. I started last summer when I was on a vacation in Croatia. It soon became quite fun and I’ve had a lot of feedback and interaction on my posts. What I like about it is its focus on photography and I find it more enjoyable to browse through the feed. For photographers (pro and amateur alike) this is a great channel to promote their work and services.

Slovenia. You take people around our country for photography workshops. Can you say that there is a place that amazes people more than other? Or – what is your favourite photo-destination in Slovenia?

Quite obviously Lake Bled and its island is the most popular among my clients. But there are many other less “iconic” places that people love and make great subjects for photography. Unique to Slovenia are its hilltop churches – my clients always wonder how crazy we are in Slovenia to build churches on top of the hill – who wants to walk up there?!? I always reply – well – photographers 🙂 Personally, my favourite place is the Julian Alps. I love the mountains, but unfortunately I’m usually way too busy to get out and spend the time I’d like to out there. For that reason every moment I do get to spend there is even more precious.

Church of St. Thomas / Sveti Tomaž.

Speaking of photo-destinations. You took connecting amazing photographers and incredible destination to a whole new level. You are a co-founder of the snappguides application. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

Recently we released SNAPP Guides – destination guides for photographers. This is a mobile app (currently available on iOS with Android coming soon) where photographers can purchase guides to destination they are traveling to. With these guides they get exact coordinates with interactive maps (routing, current position, different layers..), information how to get there, when to go, practical advice on photographing that location as well as inspirational images. We work with pro photographers around the world to deliver the best possible information and currently we have ten destinations available – new ones are being added to the collection every month.

Laka Bled; Island & Castle in the back.

Sounds amazing! And looking at the @snappguiddes social media profiles and page … you have tons, literally tons of amazing photos. Who are the photographers that you are working with? How did you meet?

We sure have a lot of great images to share! Through my previous work I met many excellent photographers from all around the world. With their help we partnered with the best authors/photographers from destinations such as the UK, California, Oregon, South Africa, Ireland, Austria and many others. Now we’re receiving requests from photographers who want to make guides with us and we’re growing our team of photographers quickly. If you have extensive knowledge of photo locations in your area and would like to build a guide with us do get in touch!

Can you share some ‘behind the app’ information with us? What are the places (locations) that people love most? How is Slovenia doing? Can we expect more photographers here soon?:)

A tremendous amount of work goes into each guide. Every spot has to be populated with relevant information, exact coordinates and beautiful images. Most of the spots have been scouted more than just once to make sure the information is valid. At the moment, the most popular guides are Yosemite NP in California and London, UK. Slovenia is doing well, but it is obvious that it gets fewer visitors per year compared to other better known destinations in the world. I’m working hard to change that!

What are the plans for the future? Which destinations in Slovenia will be presented in the app?

Right now the most popular places of Slovenia are covered, Lakes Bled & Bohinj, Ljubljana and Istria. The Complete Guide to Slovenia will follow but I can’t promise when – it is huge amount of work to cover it all! As for SNAPP Guides, we want to cover as many destinations as possible. We’re working hard to deliver new destinations, but because of our high standards it takes time.

As a local and as an amazing photographer … what would you say to a person visiting Slovenia for the first time? Where to go, what to see? (Beside – Bled, Ljubljana & Piran, that is:)

Well, the ones you mentioned are definitely the obvious, right? My first suggestion is make sure you allow enough time – Slovenia might be small but it has lots of great places to photograph! Be prepared to do some hiking and you’ll need a car. Visit one or two hilltop churches for sunrise or sunset, don’t miss the wine region (Brda or Prlekija) and be sure to explore Soča river valley.

Thanks Luka! And … all the best with your amazing projects! 

Thanks for giving me this opportunity at Igslovenia!

 

Sanja Leban Trojar – @sanya_lt

You can find more about Luka Esenko and his work on his web page, Facebook or Twitter profile & you can follow him on Instagram.