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Ales Krivec: Featured Photographer

by Yvette Depaepe 
Published in June 2020

Ales Krivec  is an excellent Slovenian photographer.  Much of his work are images from his country showing high Alpine peaks, emerald rivers, vineyard countryside, mediaeval castles, thriving cities and the small but distinctive coast. 
Beside the rugged landscapes, Ales also is passionate by wildlife photography. 
He developed his own style in both styles and is continuously evolving.
Let's wander together with him through his country – a hidden jewel of Europe – and learn more about the artist behind his photographs.


'Milky way over Triglav'

Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Ales.
I started with photography about 5 years ago when I bought my first DSLR. The reason why I started is probably a bit unusual. I develop WordPress Themes and that is my primary profession. I was buying images from different stock markets like Shutterstock to use in the Themes. One day I thought it would be nice if I could make my own images and use them in my Themes. That's how I got into photography, but this soon evolved from making just a few stock images to an obsession with landscape photography. And I believe the
Theme which uses only my landscape images turned out great.

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography? 
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
I think the mountains had the biggest impact. My father used to take me and my brother hiking into the mountains, starting when I was only five years old. At seven I already stood on the top of Slovenia's highest mountain, Triglav (2864m). Those memories stayed with me and when I started photographing, the mountains were the first place I revisited with my camera. That is why most of my best images come from the Julian Alps, the mountainous region of Slovenia.


'Alpine Ibex in the mountains'

What first attracted you to photography?
I think it was mostly a coincidence connected to my work as a WordPress developer. Then it all evolved from there. It became almost an obsession that is driving me to the mountains, to visit new places and admire the beautiful landscape all around me. I visited a lot of new places just because I wanted to photograph them and that's a big plus in my opinion. A drive to visit and explore new locations.

Describe your overall photographic vision.
Nothing very special I suppose. I would like to capture as many good images of my homeland as possible. The wildlife and rugged landscape of the Julian Alps were always my priorities when planning my trips. Slovenia has a lot to offer and I will sometimes go photograph lake Bled or one of many picturesque churches on the top of the hills that Slovenia has, but images from the mountains mean the most to me.


'Duck family at Lake Bled'


'Magical morning'


'St. Thomas Church'


'Mountain goat'

Why are you so drawn by landscape photography?
It's very hard to answer this question. I think we all photograph what we like the most. So it is very simple, you are drawn to what you prefer in general also (photography aside). So if you just look at what you photograph for yourself (not professionally), you can see that you will visit the same places that you would visit without the camera. Just to enjoy the views, or sit calmly on the steep slopes of the mountain among the ibexes. :)

What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
The images that stand out the most are the ones that have both. But in general, I think the atmosphere and story are more important. Even if you end up with an image that is not technically perfect, you still captured a fragment of time that was in some way special to you.


'Portal to another world'

'Drama in the mountains'

What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
I usually prepare carefully only for night photography. I will check tools like Stellarium and to see how the stars and Moon will align at a certain time. Other than that I just visit a spot once before during the day to see the potential it has composition wise. <

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I have Nikon D800 and D810A which I bought for nightscapes. In the future, I hope to sometimes own D850 or a version that will come after it. :)


'Tre Cime di Lavaredo'


'Cottage below the mountains'


'Alpe di Siusi at night'

I have several lenses which in my opinion are more important as you can diversify your options. I have Nikkor 28-300, Nikkor 14-24, Sigma 105mm macro, Tamron 150-600, and Tamron 70-200 G2 which is the latest addition as I just bought it. I will use it as a portrait lens for the Alpine ibexes as unlike other wildlife you can get very close to them and I would like to make a nice series of their portraits this year.


'In the deep forest'

'Happy trio'

'High in the mountains'

What software do you use to process your images?
I use Lightroom and Photoshop. I do general processing in Lightroom and if necessary I do some extra adjustments like luminosity masking in Photoshop. Sometimes I like to deepen the mood on the "foggy" images.



Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I don't have a steady workflow when it comes to photography. I just try to visit as many locations (mostly in the Alps) as possible and try to catch the best possible light conditions. The busiest month for me is June when the spring comes to the mountains and wildlife returns to life after a long winter. You can once again hear the marmots whistling and chamois observing you from the distance. It's a peaceful time as it's not crowded with people yet so it's easier to photograph the wildlife and just enjoy peaceful moments high above the valleys.

What is your most important advice to a beginner in landscape photography and how do you get started?
I think all advice has been told so many times on the internet these days that I am not sure I can offer anything new. For me, the most important thing was to photograph as much as possible. I just tried to go outside almost every morning or evening and try to improve my skills, focus, and compositions. Then after I got home I was browsing and selecting the images carefully and processing them. And simply redo the whole process hundreds of times. Eventually you will notice that you are developing a certain style and that it is always evolving. I also watched a lot of tutorials and some online workshops to see how others are approaching photography and what techniques they are using.

Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
There are several photographers who had a big impact on me and on my photography. I first started following Slovenian photographers as they were already taking images of the motives that I wanted to capture also. 

One of the first photographers that I was following on a Slovenian page similar to 1x was Aleš Komovec (who also has a big portfolio on 1x). I was very impressed with his work as I had no idea back then how it's even possible to take images like that. And even to this time, his colour grading is one of my favourites.

There are a lot of great landscape photographers in Slovenia, I am not sure how many have a portfolio here on 1x.  I know Peter Zajfrid  and Jaka Ivančič  also have a lot of images here.
And there is of course Milan Malovrh with his unique technique of photographing horses.

Michael Shainblum also had a big impact on me as his images convinced me to try night photography also.
I still really enjoy it, as I am always impressed by how much more a good camera can see compared to the naked eye. The colours and light just feel so different, almost a bit alien since we are not used to it.

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
Yes, it's an image of Lake Bled from Aleš Komovec but it's not on 1x.
A similar image from him is this one:


'Icy carpet' by Aleš Komovec

I saw it when I was starting with photography and I remember wishing back then, that I could someday take a similar image and just take images like that in general. And images like that from other Slovenian photographers were driving me forward as I really wanted to get to the same level.

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
In the last month, I was focusing a lot on mountain wildlife photography and I would like to do it, even more, this summer. So, hopefully, I can soon "catch" a few animals that are not yet a part of my portfolio.

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
There are several photographs that mean a lot to me, but in the last year probably my favourite image is the one of a tree with the halo effect around it. It was a very cold morning and mist and frost particles were just floating in the air. I knew this could create some special effects after the sunrise, but didn't expect to see such a vivid halo around the tree. It was just such an ethereal moment to observe and I still remember it vividly. This image also won the national award at Sony World Photography Awards of which I am very proud of.


'Ring of frost'

Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
I really like to upload my images here as it's interesting to see if an image I like will also be published on 1x. And it's of course a great place for inspiration and I check the latest images on a daily basis.


'Lake Bled'


'Museum train'

Hvala lepa Matej.
B.R.A.V.O. ;-)
Hvala lepa Barbara.
Hvala lepa Sandi.
Beautiful gallery and a great interview, Aleš. Well done.
Thank you Bojan.
Bravo Aleš !!! :) :)
Hvala lepa Aleš. :)
Interesting interview and very nice images. Bravo Ales !!.....
Thank you Cristiano.
Ales and Yvette First Class work - love the interview and the wonderful images so well presented. Congratulations...
Thanks for your appreciation, Daniel !
Thank you Daniel.
Thank you Yvette for making the interview. :)
Thanks for your fine collaboration, Ales. Congratulations as 'Photographer of the week'. Well deserved, splendid work and interesting interview. Cheers, Yvette