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A piece of Africa in Europe II

A piece of Africa in Europe II
Photo Information
Copyright: Michal Grabowski (cedryk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-07-31
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 5000, 28-105 mm, @ ISO 100
Exposure: f/8, 1/550 seconds
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Geological Wonders [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-20 17:19
Viewed: 6458
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Dear Friends, let me take you back to one of my belowed Balkan countries - Bulgaria.

Oce upon a time I have posted an image from a very picturesque and one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in that country - Melnik pyramids.
Today I'd like to show and tell you more of that place.

Melnik pyramids take an area of 17 sq. km among three settlements: Melnik, Rozhen and Kurlanovo, in southwestern corner of Bulgaria, between the Greek and Macedonian borders and on the outskirts of the Pirin Mountains.

The area (some 440 m above sea level) is known as heaving the highest summer temperatures in Bulgaria, arid climate and one of the best vineries in the country. Another attraction is Melnik itself - the smallest settlement classified as a town in the Republic of Bulgaria, inhabited only by some 500 people. The town is an architectural reserve and 96 of its buildings are cultural monuments. Some of them are among the oldest civilian buildings in the Balkans, built in 12th-13th century. Another interesting landmark is an ancient Roman bridge, still in use...
This small town is really beautiful, full of nice houses, restaurants and wineries and surprisingly - still not too crowded by tourist (well, that's probably going to change as Bulgaria joined the EU).

But even more unusal than the town itself is its surrounding. All around you may see impressive natural sand pyramids in various forms, resembling giant mushrooms, ancient towers and obelisks. In fact, name "Melnik" has been derived from that formations - the Slavonic word "mel" means "white clay", "chalk".

Due to the climate characteristics, the area is overgrown with xerothermic souther flora and extremely rich in reptiles, insects, spiders and birds. A true heaven for a naturalist and photographer. Some more TN contributions from Melnik you may see here. From time to time I will show you more pictures from that place.

In the workshop, you will find another view on the presented hills.

To learn more about Melnik and see some pictures from the town, please go here and here.

delic, XOTAELE, Juyona, horia, uleko, ramthakur, Viera, PaulH, cicindela, Hormon_Manyer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-04-20 17:27]

Hello Michal,
I have seen this sort of landscape which is a product of erosion in many countries. They are always a pleasure to watch, esp. in golden hours of the day. A well-composed, sharp image presented with an excellent note, as usual.
Best wishes,

Hola Michal.
Preciosos colores los de la tierra en contraste con los cerdes de los árboles.
Bellas formaciones rocosas.
Saludos, Jl.

The detail in the beautiful landscape are amazing, a really incredible shot Michal. :)

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-20 23:17]

Hello Michal

A wonderful POV on this shot.The image is razor sharp.Excellent colour saturation.Well done.TFS


  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-21 2:20]

Hi Michal,
Beautiful mountain! I like pov and composition a lot.
TFS, José M.

Hi Michal.
Great colour and composition. A really nice, yet dramatic landscape image of an unusual location. Well found, well done.
Regards, Steve.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-04-21 4:02]

Hola Michal,
me agrada esta vista,
original pov.
la montaña ofrece unos detalles espectaculares...

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-21 5:04]

Hi Michal

A very interesting and beautiful post!
I must say that i pretty much missed your Melnik shots, but simply becasue i only joined TN later :) I took a look at them and they all are superb! It does indeed sound like a place worth visiting.
The town, too, sounds great and apparently has some very fascinating landmarks. It will become a tourist attraction for sure soon :)
This is a superb landscape shot with a very impressive 3D look! All those realief forms are fantastic and the effect created here by the shadows and lighted is outstanding!
The exposure is also spot-on and due to that all the natural colors are lovely and very well saturated.
A charming compositon!

Bravo and TFS

PS: you also mentioned that it's an ideal place for reptiles...when will we see some shots of those? ;))

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-04-21 9:06]

Hello Michal,
Your landscapes are all fascinating and these rock formations very interesting and beautiful. I really like the POV and the colours are wonderful. Must be an interesting area for birds too! Excellent composition!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

These nature-made pyramids are fascinating to look at, Michal.
You know what? We have exactly the same kind of formations in the region I come from in India. The sub-Himalayan hills and mountains of this region gradually fade into the north Indian plains of Punjab and the transitional low hills are called Shivaliks in the native language. These formations located in the Shivalik hills are spread over a large area and the road to my place (Chamba in Himachal Pradesh) passes through them for about 5 miles.

This is a lovely image of similar land features in Bulgaria.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Viera Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 82 W: 0 N: 74] (494)
  • [2007-04-22 3:14]

Hi Michal,
very interesting shot, it is important information for us about its name ( in your note). Very nice landscape , superb POV, excellent work.
Have a nice day

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-04-22 16:54]

Hello Michal,

a stunning image of a part of the world i have wanted to visit for some time! The lighting is wonderful and the dramatic arete in the foreground looks razor sharp. You are lucky to be able to expore such an amazing place my friend!

Thanks for sharing,


I like this image Michal. I like the angular formations and the juxtaposition of them with the sweeping curve in the foreground. Exposure. sharpness and DOF look good. The color looks very natural. Are any of those reptiles, insects and spiders poisonous? I am so "squeamish"... isn't that terrible? It's just that we have dangerous spiders like the brown recluse here and rattlesnakes in so many places that we frequent.

Evelynn : )

Witam ponownie!
Co tu duzo mowic, Melnik to jedno z bardziej odjechanych miejsc jakie w zyciu widzialem! Nic nie moze byc porownane z tymi gorkami, i to wlasnie widac na tej fotce :)

Hi Michal,
Simply fantastic landscape. Everything's right here from colours to sharpness, from compo to DOF. Instead of writing more clichés I rather bookmark this image as one of my faves - this tells everything.
Otherwise, title would fit to the land more without trees or so...
Awesome photo, big congratulations, and of course, tfs. Best regards, László

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