Vagabond and Sony have been inviting everyone, visitor and resident alike, to send their entries to the Shoot Bulgaria! (before it shoots you) photo competition since October 2007. Two years and two winners later, it's time to announce who gets the exclusive Sony camera for 2009. Each month the best of the entries submitted were published in the magazine. Those of you who have followed the third leg of our photo competition (January-October 2009) will possibly recall Nadezhda Ancheva's inspiring photos of sites around Plovdiv published in Vagabond 33, June 2009 (to see one of them click here). Nadezhda is in her fourth year of studies at the National and World Economy University in Sofia and spends her free time travelling and taking photos. The 22-year-old has been exposed to photography from an early age – her father is an amateur photographer, and she has recently been devoting more or more time to her hobby. The result has been good enough to win The mediaeval Asenova krepost, or Asen's Fortress, near Asenovgradher a prize – her first! – an exclusive Sony DSLR-A200W, courtesy of Vagabond and Sony.
The mediaeval Asenova krepost, or Asen's Fortress, near Asenovgrad
How did you take up photography?
I have been taking photographs since I was a child. For a year now I have been trying to make my pictures more professional. I love Bulgaria's natural beauty and history very much, and I like travelling and exploring its wonders. I always take my camera with me.
What inspires you?
I love shooting anything that has a message and that moves me. My intention always is to reflect nature's amazing beauty and diversity.
Three of the Rila Lakes: Bliznaka, or The Twin, Trilistnika, or The Trefoil, and Ribnoto ezero, or The Fish Lake
Your Bulgaria Top 3?
The Rila Lakes, and the season doesn't really matter. Autumn in the mountains, though, is exceptionally beautiful – summer is trying to steal a few more days from winter so you get fog, rain, sun, cold and heat and the occasional snow all mixed up.
Nesebar's Old City. The ancient remains and the well-preserved churches against the backdrop of the sea are a sight to remember.
The church in the village of Debarsko, near Bansko. Not just because of the mural in which Christ appears to be in a rocket, as the church features several more murals that are quite rare, and are beautifully restored. If you can, get the local church guide to tell you all about it.