As a city dweller, I confess to finding nature tourism somewhat bizarre. Somehow, it’s perfectly acceptable to my mind to take a photo of a building documented a million times before; but I see something ridiculous in a coachload of people arriving in a peaceful national park to form a queue and photograph the same unremarkable tree. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with hiking, camping, and generally being at one with Mother Nature. However, it seems the closer you get to the wilderness, the less you can avoid running into comically long zoom lenses poking out of the foliage.
This sense of absurdity might be what tempted photographer Kushal Gupta to visit Slovenia — which boasts some of the most breathtaking, postcard-perfect views in all of Europe — during the least popular season.
The Logar Valley, in the north of the country, is home to rolling hills, waterfalls, and craggy alps. In the summer months, it is an idyllic spectacle of verdant greens. This photo was taken last October on a roadtrip across the country. “It was a trip me and my partner took together, before the arrival of our first child. Seeing as we would not be traveling together for a while after becoming parents, we took 10 days out to drive the length and breadth of Slovenia,” he recalls.
October is a quiet month for tourists, who tend to save all their nature-exploring for summer, while winter is devoted to skiing. Visiting off-season, the couple had the beautiful landscapes to themselves. “The whole valley was empty and we were completely alone, surrounded by nothing but cold grey mountains and thick valley fog,” the self-taught photographer continues.
Gupta shoots primarily on film, which, along with an eye for subtle changes in light, give his images a soft, atmospheric quality. I really recommend checking out his ongoing project about India’s polluted Yamuna river that evocatively captures nature at its most fragile.