2011-2014 All rights reserved © Dinko Stopić.
All photos are © Dinko Stopić and they may not be used in any form without my permission.
Use of any image in any way without permission is violation of the International Copyright laws.
I was born in 1976, in Karlovac, Croatia. graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Zagreb as I make my living by designing bridges and other engineering structures. Together with the formal education the informal one took place – speleo photography.
My caving photos have been recognized internationally. My career so far included photos published, among other places, on calendars of National Geographic Croatia. An interview with me posted by the online edition of Wired magazine brought great publicity to my portfolio, a couple of international web sites published my photos (telegraph.co.uk, corriere.it...). Recently, Microsoft included my photo in the Windows 10 Spotlight collection. The renowned website 500px.com editors have chosen my work several times as best in the category.
With my photographs I'm trying to uncover the hidden world that most people do not even consider stepping into. Hanging on a rope, wriggling through the mud and narrow passages something that I usually do to get a photo. At the same time I try not only to shoot my environments, but also to capture the atmosphere at the moment shutter release. In photographic terms, my work is literally drawing a light on a black canvas. Absence of any type of light gives me full control over composition. I can choose what is highlighted and what stays in the dark. Many times I illuminate space, unsure what it looks like until I see it on the back screen of my camera.
To illuminate space I use radio-controlled flashes. When we enter an underground hall or a channel, I visualize the picture in my head, then arrange assistants in space and give them instructions where to direct flashlights. I control the power and scope of each flashlight via radio transmitter mounted on the camera. I usually work with two or more assistants (ideally four).
It all started in 1996 when I accepted the invitation of a friend to spend a week on the Velebit Mountain (Croatia), surveying and photographing nature above and below ground. From then on I have participated in many cave expeditions and explorations, at home and abroad.
I started photographing the underworld with Yashica FX 3. I mostly photographed to document events of the Speleological Society Karlovac. From time to time a really successful photo happened and it encouraged me to grow in that direction. Today I very rarely go to purely exploration visits. Most of my trips underground are oriented to speleo-photography. Digitization simplified the process, because it allows instant correction of the composition and re-shooting.
I began my digital career with the Canon system with the model 7D combined with Tamron 17-50/f2.8 lens. Today I'm using model 5DMark II, Canon 24-105/f4-, or (mainly) Canon 17-35/f2.8. I do not change lens mounted on the camera in a cave because of the hostile environment (high humidity and dust). Equipment manufactured by Canon has great design and ergonomics, it is reliable and extremely robust. I do not have to worry if I accidentally scratch a rock, because the heart of the camera is located inside a durable housing. Low noise at high iso is a great advantage compared to other manufacturers.
I was delighted by Canon's professionalism and CPN network possibilities. I recently took advantage of the possibility of free of charge lens and camera cleaning and testing of the shutter mechanism. The test showed that my equipment is still in perfect condition despite the conditions in which I use it, which only confirmed the quality of Canon products.
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