Luka Vunduk

A landscape shot of a waterfall flowing down a cliff surrounded by autumnal trees, photographed with a long exposure by Canon Ambassador Luka Vunduk.

"Being here during the fall is like being in a fairytale; it is so beautiful," says Luka Vunduk of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. "I hiked for an hour to get to this spot and set up my tripod. The contrasting colours at that time of year are amazing – the trees and the deep colours of the sky. If you come here early in the morning, when the sun comes over the horizon, you have this vapour, which gives the image more depth." Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS R with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM lens at 79mm, 1/8 sec, f/16 and ISO 100. © Luka Vunduk

From the snowy Canadian peaks to the scorching Sahara Desert, Luka Vunduk has travelled the globe capturing nature in all its glory.

The landscape photographer has won countless awards for his work and he continues to seek out the world's most beautiful places. He also runs photography workshops to inspire the next generation as well as heading up a design studio in Slovenia's capital, Ljubljana. "I'm really in love with nature," says Luka. "It's important for me to use all of my senses when photographing nature. When I look at my photos, I can almost smell the place. I remember everything. For every artist, it is important that photography is not just based on nature, but on the emotions it stirs within us."

Renowned for his unique style and impeccable composition, Luka's love of the natural world developed during childhood, when he would explore the mountains of his home country Slovenia with his family. "My parents, especially my grandfather, were really in love with the mountains and nature," he explains. "So, every weekend, I went with my grandfather to explore. As a child, I was often in nature."

The Canon Ambassador's passion for photography began at the same time, and he started experimenting with a film camera when he was nine years old. "We have a really nice park in Ljubljana, and I would go there and photograph the squirrels and birds, and other animals," he says. "It all started there. I'm a very creative person, so photography is always with me."

Canon Ambassador Luka Vunduk looks into the distance while holding a Canon camera in his hand.
Location: Slovenia

Specialist area: Landscapes

Favourite kit:Canon EOS R5
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
Photographed with a long exposure, the Soča river flows through an alpine woodland, a single mountain peak visible in the background. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Canon Ambassador Luka Vunduk.

Luka travels to where the emerald Soča River flows through the heart of Slovenia at least 10 times a year. "There are lots of small bridges over the river, and this image was taken from one of them at sunrise," he explains. "There are a lot of mountains, but I was looking to have just one peak in the composition as a main focal point. I found this location and I came back three or four times to get the right weather, the exact composition. It's an amazing spot." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and a Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens at 17mm, 1 sec, f/14 and ISO 100. © Luka Vunduk

Mud cracks on the ground lead to a plateau in the distance at the Capitol Reef National Park in Utah, USA, taken by Canon Ambassador Luka Vunduk.

For Luka, it is important to capture new compositions, and he enjoys shooting images with a strong foreground, as demonstrated here at the Capitol Reef National Park in Utah, USA. "There were people shooting the mountain with a longer lens, but if you want three-dimensionality in your photos, you need a really strong foreground, a middle ground and a background," he explains. "I was looking for good textures or patterns on the ground, and I really liked the mud cracks on the floor. I lay down on the ground for this because I really wanted to capture all the textures." Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS R with a Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens at 21mm, 1/60 sec, f/16 and ISO 100. © Luka Vunduk

After school, Luka set up his own design studio and started working with respected photographers in Slovenia to build up his portfolio. "There are no schools for photography in Slovenia, so if you want to study photography, you have to travel to another country," he explains. "I just started working in some studios and collaborating with photographers and later I went to the USA where I met my photography mentors.

"My wish, even as a child, was to go to the USA as an adventurer and visit the truly epic national parks. Because the landscape photography guru Ansel Adams created work there, the desire was even stronger. You often first think of the Grand Canyon, but there are so many more hidden and exceptional corners – Zion National Park, Capitol Reef, Mammoth Lakes. The parks are truly enormous, so you can find corners that no one has photographed yet and that is a truly special feeling."

Through a hole in some rocks, rocks can be seen under an orange sky in the Sahara Desert in Algeria, taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Canon Ambassador Luka Vunduk.

Luka captured this image deep in the Sahara Desert in Algeria. "This is the only part of the Sahara with red sand so it's really striking," he says. "Our camp was nearby and I found this hole while I was exploring. It looks really big, but I was shooting on my 11-24mm lens. I was waiting for two days because I wanted some clouds. My guide kept warning me to be careful because of the snakes and scorpions. I went out at sunrise with just my head torch, and it was a really special occasion. Whenever I look at this photo, I can still remember the smell of this place." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and a Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens at 24mm, 1 sec, f/16 and ISO 100. © Luka Vunduk

A boat with red sails photographed next to an iceberg under an orange sky in Greenland. Spray from two whales can be seen to the left of the boat. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 by Canon Ambassador Luka Vunduk.

Luka travelled to Greenland in 2023 to sail around the iconic landscape. "You need to be alert because parts of the iceberg could fall into the water at any time," he explains. "This image is a trick of perspective. It's so dangerous to be close to the icebergs so I shot this with a long lens. When you're shooting with a longer lens, everything is more compressed. You can also see the spray from two whales in this image, which was amazing." Taken on a Canon EOS R5 with a Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM lens at 500mm, 1/320 sec, f/7.1 and ISO 640. © Luka Vunduk

Luka went professional with his work in 2008 and he hasn't looked back. A key ingredient to being a successful landscape photographer, he says, is patience. It took him eight years of returning to the same spot in the Italian Dolomites to eventually capture his award-winning image of Alpe di Siusi (below). "You need to have a lot of patience when you're working with photography," he says. "You're always waiting for something – the right time, the right season, the right weather, the right light. It's also important as a landscape photographer to be outdoors as much as possible. But you don't have to be travelling the world. I believe you can find something beautiful in your own country, in your backyard."

As for his proudest achievement to date? Becoming a Canon Ambassador. "We are a very small country here in Slovenia, so to be recognised on this global scale is something I am truly proud of," he enthuses. "It's even more wonderful for me because when I'm in nature, I'm at home."

How important is post-processing to you?

"Post-processing is really important to me and I work with it a lot but I don't add or replace anything. I just work on some colours, contrast, and things like that. For that kind of processing, you also need a good camera. Because I'm shooting in RAW, it's important that I remember what the scene was like."

What has been your most memorable shoot to date?

"I was sailing in Greenland in 2023 and it was amazing and so beautiful. When you're on the boat, you can't use a tripod, and as landscape photographers, we always use tripods. I was really happy to have my Canon EOS R5 because the In-Body Image Stabilisation works really well. We were sailing around huge icebergs so we needed to be alert all the time and have a good captain and crew, because the boats were small. But it was just the best expedition."

How would you describe your photographic style?

"If there is really good weather, I don't like it. It's nice, but I want to have more colours. I'm looking for more drama. About 90% of my photos were taken before or after a storm because at that time, the weather is changing rapidly and there are some amazing colours. It's more vivid, it's more extreme, so that's what I'm looking for."

What's the most valuable lesson you've learnt during your career?

"Sometimes you will travel somewhere, perhaps to the other side of the planet, and have big plans for shooting great things. But you get there, and you don't have very good weather or conditions. It's really frustrating because you think, 'I have spent so much time, so much money on this, and I don't have the best photo.' As a landscape photographer, there are many circumstances which can be against you. Sometimes I was sad because I came home with photos which were not amazing, and that was hard for me. I started asking myself, 'Do I need to be a landscape photographer?' It's easier to work in a studio, you have all the available light. So, this was a big lesson for me."

One thing I know

Luka Vunduk

"If you're a photographer, you must be in love with photography. You cannot just be thinking, 'I'll be a photographer and make money.' You need to have a lot of patience. It's also very important to have your own style too. As a landscape photographer, you need to be outdoors as much as possible. You need to understand how light works and things like that. You can create completely different photos in the exact same place, depending on the light and the weather."


Luka Vunduk's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Luka Vunduk's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.


Canon EOS R5

This full-frame mirrorless camera offers photographers and filmmakers high resolution stills and 8K video. "This camera is built like a tank," says Luka. "As a landscape photographer, it is crucial for me that the camera withstands all weather conditions. At the same time, I need image quality that is suitable for the most demanding galleries. This is cutting-edge technology, packaged in a camera that can go anywhere with me."


Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM

This lens offers the complete range of ultra-wide-angle focal lengths in a single high-quality zoom, making it perfect for shooting landscapes. "This lens is my first choice," says Luka. "In my landscape photographs, I enjoy creating a sense of three-dimensionality. With this truly extreme wide-angle lens, I can capture the breadth of the foreground with all the details such as structures, patterns and textures created by nature."

Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM

Boasting fast aperture and image stabilisation plus a Nano USM motor for silent focusing, this is part of the trinity of essential lenses. "This lens is so versatile, extremely precise and fast; it is truly exceptional," says Luka. "If I had to take only one lens, for example, on an expedition, I would choose this one."

Canon RF 100mm F2.8L MACRO IS USM

This professional macro lens features class-leading 1.4x magnification and a variable Spherical Aberration Control to adjust bokeh. "As a landscape photographer, I adore capturing what is hidden to the naked eye," says Luka. "Many times, my eyes do not perceive details that this lens captures. Due to its exquisite definition, I also use it for portraits and animal photography."

Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM

Promising performance and image quality like no other, this lens boasts a 100-500mm focal length range plus a 5-stop Image Stablilizer and L-series build quality. "The image quality and sharpness are exceptional," says Luka. "In many situations, I must photograph at low shutter speeds. The stabilisation is outstanding. Even distant subjects are perfectly sharp. I love using this lens, especially in the mountains, where I can capture details that were not possible before."


Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

The Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R seamlessly enables photographers to attach their EF-S and EF lenses to EOS R System cameras. "I use this adapter with my Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens," says Luka. "This means I can work fast and I don't need to think if I have it in my bag. What's more, it's fast and pin sharp, and there's no problem with autofocusing in low light."

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