Chapel of the Holy Transfiguration and the Milky Way

Inspired by an article about the 27 chapels that protect Momchilovtsi village I decided to do a series of photo stories about them or at least most of them. I think there is something mystical and unique about so many chapels gathered in such a small area around one village. The other reason is that the area of ​​Momchilovtsi where all of the chapels are built is one of the least light poluted ares in Bulgaria, creating very good conditions for astrophotography. For a long time I wanted to do some good photos of the stars and the Milky way galaxy, and when you have an foreground object such as the Chapel of the Holy Transfiguration, this is a prerequisite for a truly wonderful photos.

The Chapel of Holy Transfiguration perhaps is the farthest from Momchilovtsi village. Located on a hilltop in the Haidushki polyani area. The chapel can be reached by 4×4 or with a car with high clearance, if you love extreme sensations of course. It’s a dirt road made by the passing 4×4 cars of the hunters, but it’s still quite steep and dangerous. I would not recommend using it after heavy rain and snow. My car is quite high, yet in dry conditions I barely managed to get to the top.

The Chapel of Holy Transfiguration can be reached by foot on the dirt road or by the multiple paths around the hill. The road is steep, but the walk to the chapel is not very long. Unfortunately I had a lot of gear, which I could no carry, so I decided to get there with my car.

The Chapel of Holy Transfiguration

Chapel itself is a stone building, relatively large compared to other chapels around Momchilovci village. Around the chapel there are a large cross, bell tower and two pillars with the Bulgarian flag.

The chapel is unlocked at all times and everyone has access to it. Inside there are chairs that can be used freely by tourists. When I arrived to the top there were few people who listened to music and enjoyed the view. After the sunset, they put back the chairs in the chapel which really impressed me and I hope all visitors here will do the same.

My main idea for this trip was to capture the Milky Way better than my previous attempts. This time I was more prepared by pre exploring the area, checking the weather and the direction where the Milky Way will show up.

Yet again ran into difficulties – after numerous researches and calculations the galactic center of the Milky Way again rose from an unexpected direction for me. After my numerous attempts to capture a quality Milky Way photos I realized how much work and effort the astrophotography requires. Few people can imagine how much time, patience and freezing in the cold nights of the mountains is required to make a decent shot of the starry sky.

For me the understanding of astrophotography changed completely. After seeing how much effort is required to do couple good shots of the Milky Way, I can not imagine how much is required for shooting deep space objects like planets and galaxies. I can say with certainty that quality pictures of distant space objects are real work of the photographic art and the human patience.

Параклис Свето Преображение Господне и млечният път
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