Welcome Back Steve!

Hello from Moscow, Russia… It has been a hectic several months (you noticed no posts for awhile?) while getting moved in and a new job…well, same job, just a new location 🙂

This is an amazing city… a little cold right now so I am waiting to see how long the winter here actually lasts..  People say until late April and even into May but we’ll see.. The photo below of the Kremlin wall and cathedrals was taken in August of 2015..shortly after arriving in Moscow…  More recent photos to come as we start to explore this ginormous city..

Kremlin Walls

I will be getting back into the swing of things now… posting photos and information about the city.. I, also, may be starting a new website based blog page…still working that part out.. 🙂

Next up – Saint Petersburg!

As always  – Happy Travels!

Photography as Art

Global Eye

 

Memorial Park, Kiev Ukraine

The Memorial Park of the Great Patriotic War

Memorial WWII (7)

Over the next couple of months, I will be re-visiting some of the familiar sites in Kiev, Ukraine..  My time here is almost done.

I have one more major trip planned and then my effort gets diverted into getting the paperwork in place, signed and approved for the next assignment… Hopefully Moscow in July..

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Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                          My Fine Art America

Memorial Park – Chisinau

 

The Victory Memorial and Eternal Flame Park is about a 20 minute walk from downtown…and well worth it..

WWII Memorial-Chisinau (2)

 

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It’s a beautiful and spacious park built in memory of those fallen during WWII..

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The center monument represents 5 rifles and encloses an :Eternal Flame” guarded by an honor guard..

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Relief sculptures ring the grounds

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Adjacent is the  Memorial Cemetery..

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A truly “must see” in any trip to Chisinau…

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                                    My Fine Art America

Noteworthy in Chisinau, Moldova

While not a thriving tourist destination yet, there are a few places that are “must see” if you visit this city in Moldova..

The number one, and by far the most well kept, site is the Metropolitan Cathedral “Nativity of the Lord”..

Cathedra and Bell Tower

 

which is located, oddly enough, in the center of Cathedral Park… The original bell tower was demolished in the ’60’s but rebuilt in 1998..

Cathedra and Bell Tower Cathedral of Nativity-Bell Tower

 

Nativity Cathedral-Trough Park Cathedral of Nativity

 

At the main entrance to the the park sits the Arc de Triumf…

Arc De Triumf

 

The Presidential Palace, towering over the center of the city, is a short walk away…

Presidential Palace

 

The main train station is considered by many to be one of the prettier buildings in town.. The guards told us we couldn’t take picture inside..not sure why but, you know how security guards can be..

Train Station (2) Train Station

 

Like I said before, not a bad place for a weekend get-a-way…

Parks and monuments in Moldova coming soon…

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                                 My Fine Art Prints

 

Selection of Doors – Chisinau

For some reason, I was expecting a greater variety of doors from Chisinau, Moldova…

Tree Shadows and Blue Short Drain

 

Maybe it’s because all the Soviet era buildings were inflicted with a huge case of “sameness” … flat one color metal…

The doors from some of the older buildings were interesting, if somewhat weather-beaten.

Not Used Paper Windows

Double Doors

 

and there were a lot of signs that people were rebuilding..upgrading..repairing…

One New One Old Framed in Red Blocked

 

Nice city for a weekend get-a-way …. a long way to go to be a tourist magnet..  I couldn’t even find a shot glass ( my staple souvenir from trips)

More on the city later this week…

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Photography as Art                           My Fine Art America

Favorite Photo – Munich, Germany

This one was a little tougher.. especially since I am not really drawn to shoot the “iconic landmarks”.  I still shoot them to prove I was there but that’s not where my artistic flare has presented itself..

Underground 1

 

There is something very clean about this photo to me.. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t need to clone out any trash. The graffiti leading to the mural at the end is colorful and vibrant..  You don’t see a lot of underground tunnels anywhere that are this artful and clean..  Most of the ones I have been through in Europe are about a step up from being a toilet..  a very small step.  And you better be watching that step.. 😛

A pleasant surprise

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                       My Fine Art America

Kutaisi – Favorite Photo (Revisited and Why)

Since I started snapping pictures, a LOT of time has passed. I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 years.. Of course, my first camera was not near the quality of the one I use today but I look back and remember that Kodak Instamatic fondly..

What starting me thinking was when I started, and am currently slogging through, deleting 40 -50 thousand photos I have taken over the past 8 to 10 years.  As recently as 6 years ago, most of my photos would qualify as simple snapshots. Before that I don’t even count.

No form.. no composition .. no artistry.  Heck..why would they have?  Just because I had graduated to better cameras didn’t mean my skill level had improved. I just happily clicked away at anything and everything…

I could easily take 300 photos and not have any that I actually liked… not well focused.. center frame composition (I didn’t even know what the rule of 3rds was at the time), exposure off.. what the heck is white balance?

I would look online and see photographs that made mine look like they were still being shot with that instamatic with the 4 shot flash cube.. What the heck was wrong?

The answer is simple.. Knowledge. I needed to learn how to get my camera out of “snapshot mode” – commonly referred to as “auto mode” …. I needed to learn the basic rules of composition… I needed to learn how to properly expose a scene… Oh, and by the way, I learned what white balance is.. 🙂

So I started reading…online articles and magazines and e-books and actual books.. and then I practiced what I read… I still take hundreds of photos but now, I am actually trying to find THE shot..

Like this one

Revisited Dead End Alley

 

This is one of my absolute favorites from a trip to Kutaisi, Georgia…taken at night on a long exposure… I do post processing now but as minimal as possible..  This one was almost perfect as shot..  white balance was off, as is usually the case with high pressure sodium lamps and there were some small lights in the center of the dark end which had to be cloned out..

This photo was printed on aluminum (32 X 40 inches) and is hanging on the wall in my office at work.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting my favorite photographs from each trip I have taken (or will take) … maybe I will post a few of those “early” photos.. so you can see what I mean.

Maybe not though… lol

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                         My Fine Art America

 

 

Black and White in Tbilisi, Georgia

The depth of texture and form in the buildings in Tbilisi, Georgia make shooting in black and white a real pleasure….

Arch Tbilisi

 

and there are so many subjects and types to choose from…

Tunnel

 

But isn’t that always the case?

With Steps

I hope it always is..

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art         My Fine Art America           FaceBook

 

Just North of Tbilisi

About 20 km north of Tbilisi, hidden in a valley, is the town of Mtskheta …. 

Mtskheta

 

The small town was once the seat of government for Georgia and, now, most of its monuments and cathedrals are part of the UNESCO world heritage sites.

The most famous (and hardest to get to) is the Dschwari (or Jvari) Monastery. It is located on a rocky mountain top overlooking the city below. The name is translated as Monastery of the Cross.

Dschwari Monastery (1) Dschwari Monastery (4) Dschwari Monastery Mountain Dschwari Monastery Wide

In the historical center of town there is another well-known cathedral…

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

This cathedral is known as the burial place for Christ’s mantle, and is the main Georgian church and one of the most venerated places of worship in the country.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1) Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (2) Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (3) Svetitskhoveli Cathedral Entrance

 

The Samtawro Church is best known as the burial place of the famous Georgian monk –Gabriel. 

Samtawro Church (1) _DSC0706

 

This interesting and old city (one of the oldest continuously populated cities in the world) is easily reached from Tbilisi by public transportation..  Buses run frequently and are very inexpensive..usually from 4 to 7 leira  each way.  Or you can hire a driver for the day. It will cost from 100-125 leira for the whole day, but is well worth because it makes it easy to get to the mountain top and the Dschwari Monastery..

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                        Fine Art America