Winter High Tatras – landscape photography
I had planned to write an article about the High Tatras related to travel photography and landscape photography for a long time . And finally I made it! I have quite a lot of experience with raveling to High Tatras. I have been there so many times that I could not count it on the fingers of both hands. So I experienced the beauty of the High Tatras in all seasons. And believe me, these mountains could always surprise me! This article will focus on taking pictures of mountain landscape in winter.
Preparation for safe shooting of winter landscapes
Generally traveler photography requires preparation. Therefore, do not underestimate the preparation for landscape photography and, especially then the mountain landscape in the winter. In case you do it properly, you will took more interesting pictures and at the same time you fully enjoy the trip.
Before you go to the High Tatras, I recommend you visiting the website of Mountain Rescue Services of Slovakia. Here you find the current weather conditions in the Tatras mountains and possible warnings. If you go to the mountains in winter, dress up well. There is nothing worse when you freeze during shooting, which can degrade the trip. Charge your cell phone! For the sufficient security, install the Czech Rescue mobile application, which works in Slovakia from the beginning of 2019. Mountains can be and are treacherous! Do not underestimate the weather conditions or your mountaineering skills!
Photography equipment for winter landscape photography
From your photography equipment, you can use both short and long focal lenght lenses. I think it is better to pack up a zoom lens (short to medium focal lenght), eventually pack telephoto lens. If you pack up a telephoto lens, it is advisable to have a tripod. In the mountains, the weather conditon changes often, so you do not always have enough light to take pictures of the landscape.
TIP: If you do not have a tripod, use a trekking pole, rock, or a backpack to stabilize the camera.
Hiking trails in High Tatras
At the beginning I would like to warn you that some hiking trails in High Tatras are closed in winter! So look ahead the direction and destination of your trip. In the following article, I will focus on one day trips to winter High Tatras with different difficulty.
Winter landscape photography on Popradske pleso lake
This option is easier one (the length of the route is 10 Km, for more details see the map below).
A relatively undemanding trip should not be a problem for families with children as well. From the Popradské pleso railway station, take the blue hiking trail along the Mengusovska dolina towards Popradské pleso lake. In case of cold winter you will arrive in a large snowy field. Yes, it will be the frozen Popradské pleso lake! There you can take beautiful photos of winter mountain landscape. You will be surrounded by the massive snowy rocks of the High Tatras, with the Popradské pleso hut in the background . Take a rest in this hut and taste one of local soups or herbal tea.
The return way leads along the green hiking trail, towards Štrbské pleso lake. Almost the whole route leads through a wooded valley, so you can also find there interesting places to take a landscape photography.
Strbske Pleso lake has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years. There are usually significantly more tourists than in the mountains themselves. However, especially during the winter you have there special feelings, like at fairytale. Feel it through the next photo.
Winter landscape photography in eastern part of High Tatras
A more challenging trail option runs through the mountain chut at Zelené Pleso lake (the length of the route is 20 Km, for more details see the map below).
The mountain hut in Zelené Pleso lake in eastern part of High Tatras is open all year round. There are more ways to get to this hut. I will describe you one of the several options. Start at the bus stop Biela Voda. The blue hiking trail runs from the bus stop through the valley of Kežmarovskej Bielej vody. Already at the beginning you can see the beautiful view of the snowy High Tatras mountian ranges.
The second half of this valley is more interesting for landscape photography. Rocky mountain ranges will accompany you by left side towards to the Velké Bielé Pleso lake, which you probably won’t see because of snow 😊. Here you can prepare wide-angle lenses for the landscape photography. Panorama photography mode can also be usefull there.
From the Velké Bielé Pleso lake, follow the red hiking trail to the mountain hut of Zelené Pleso lake. You can rest and relax here. From this hut along the Zelený potok water stream you can move by yellow, blue and then green hiking trail to Tatranská Lomnica.
Summary of winter photography tour
The High Tatras in winter are the perfect place to take pictures of the mountain landscape. Before the photography tour, prepare properly, especially do not forget about safety issues. The High Tatras offer various photographic options. So go out, look for beautiful places and enjoy the landscape photography!
May be useful
Transportation to High Tatras from Prague (Ostrava)
Take advantage of the convenient Prague-Poprad railway connection provided by Regiojet. Especially for the weekend trip to the High Tatras, we were like to use the night train connection with the deck chairs. In this case, he goes to Poprad on Friday night and returns to Prague on Monday morning, when you sleep well and in then can work again.
Local transportation in High tatras
Local transportation is mainly provided by the Tatra Electric Railways (price list). Using local trains is very convenient for starting trips to the High Tatras.
You can stay in High Tatras using the airbnb.com (to get a discount on AirBNB click here), booking.com (to get a 10 % discount on Booking.com click here) or directly in the mountain huts. For staying in mountain huts, read the specific terms of each hut on their websites.
Recommended tourist equipment
Depending on the weather conditions and type of your tour, trekking poles, snowshoes or crampons may be useful. In some parts of the trails it is good to have avalanche equipment.
Diet and drinking Mode
If it does not freeze, there is a lot of drinking water in the High Tatras. So in the winter there may be a little bit worse conditions. That is why I recommend pack up the thermos flash of hot tea. On mountain huts you can taste local cuisine.
Orientation in the mountains
Marking on hiking trails is great in the High Tatras, however I recommend having a classic map or an offline map on a mobile device for better orientation.