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!

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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!

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Tbilisi – A Door Lover’s Paradise

We recently returned from Tbilisi, Georgia and I have to say…What a wonderful place to visit. and shoot… especially for door lover’s like me..In Relief

Water and Electric

 

Worn Blue Church Door Barred

 

Tbilisi is located along the banks of the Mtkvari river and filled with winding, narrow streets and hidden stairways..and a treasure trove of doors to shoot…

18 Makawbili Tbilisi 4 Outside Broom

 

 

 

Doors are among my favorite subjects… and they don’t mind posing…

Aged 5 Niagvarska

 

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                   Fine Art America

Motsameta Monastery – Kutaisi, Georgia

Sitting on the side of a mountain a few kilometers from Kutaisi, is the Motsameta Monastery.  It was built by King Bagrati in the 11th century on the site of an old

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church that had been destroyed by Arabs in the 8th century. Two brothers, Konstantine and David, the lords of the region,were murdered for refusing to convert to Islam..Their bodies were then thrown into the valley below.

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Their recovered remains are interred here.. and are considered sacred..The name Motsameta means “martyr”..

DSC_0122 DSC_0136It’s a pretty place to visit..but be aware that most of the church is off-limits to foreigners, so other than the grounds and a few exteriors, there isn’t much to see..  It makes for a good side trip from the Gelati Monastery .. and the views from the parapets are awesome..

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HAPPY TRAVELS!!

 

 

Gelati Monastery – Kutaisi, Georgia

I had the opportunity to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site last fall.. It is located just a short ride from Kutaisi, Georgia.

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The site has been neglected for ages and, when I visited in November of last year, reconstruction was underway …

 

 

DSC_0011 DSC_0039 DSC_0069 DSC_0078

 

It is located about 10 km from the city. The easiest way to reach this wonderful example of ancient Georgian architecture is to negotiate a taxi.. There are buses, but they are infrequent and run on no set timetable..

When you visit Kutaisi, be sure to include this on your “must see” places to visit..

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Happy Travels!!

Shot for the Day – Batumi Rental Bikes

Bicycles.. what a wonderful way to explore a city..  especially when they have these pretty green baskets.  The rental bikes in Batumi, Georgia all have these bright green  baskets which make carrying your stuff from place to place alot easier..

Batumi Bike Rental

 

Bikes are available from vendors along the beach and from the automated system BatumiVelo.. You can buy an automated card for the machines from the Tourist info centers.. The card is rechargeable with a minimum of 20 lari..

The bike paths are painted red and cover most of the city..but one of the prettiest is the 8km stretch along the beach to the Batumi Port..

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                                          HAPPY TRAVELS!!