Europe, Pt2

For the second time round I ventured off to Eastern Europe. Starting in Budapest, Hungary.

A late night flight from Brisbane. Arriving at the airport much too early. Again. I seemed to have made a habit of getting where I need to be much too early. 

First stop, Abu Dhabi, first time. My expectations were pretty high. Arriving in what appeared to be a livestock distribution centre. When in fact it was the old part. Oh. Temperatures were soaring, transit between plane and terminal via bus. Speed the movie? Almost.

Arriving into Rome. I thought it was only appropriate to have a pork sanger, washed down with Nutella gelati. Excelled choice when accompanied by classical music via grande piano played by... members of the public. In true Italian style. 

After negotiating the timetable and finalising which gate I was boarding my next flight on.  Onto Budapest. Almost there.

Arriving in Budapest and gathering my belongings, loading my travel SIM, I decided on a taxi after realising that Uber hadn’t reached this part of the world.  

My ride lasting about 30minutes, reminiscent of former computer game days “Crazy Taxi”.  I arrived in one piece at the backpackers. Despite not knowing what the actual time was (my mate jetlag) I trudged off into the city with enough camera paraphernalia to cover a foreign coup.

 

Blessed with long European Summer Days, the setting sun, a roll of Cinestill 800T.  Producing some wondrous blue hues. Tungsten white balanced film - in daylight. #nofilter

Blessed with long European Summer Days, the setting sun, a roll of Cinestill 800T.  Producing some wondrous blue hues. Tungsten white balanced film - in daylight. #nofilter

After a few photos, I decided sleep was probably a good idea. 

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The next day, rising early off into the city again. More photos, less tourists. Budapest seemed to be a good place for this. Meandering through the streets early in search of the not-so touristy snaps. 

 

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More Cinestill 800t, reminiscent of a scene from a bygone era.

Mixtures if street / architecture photographs. 

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Down by the river Danube, classic architecture. Even the street lights. 

 

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Early morning taxi rides. 

Meeting later on that day with some fellow travellers we wandered around in heat. Me with bag in tow. Not my most brilliant of ideas, but seemed like the 'easiest option'. A day later we we on the road again, south into Romania. First stop Timișoara, then onto the capital Bucureşti.

Timișoara, historical timeline. A Bentley and a Soviet Era Unit Complex.

Timișoara, historical timeline. A Bentley and a Soviet Era Unit Complex.

Palace of the Parliament

Palace of the Parliament

Monolithic, understatement of the century. We later did a tour of this monstrous building. It went on and on and on. So ceiling. Much capacious. Stated as being the heaviest building in the world. No one officially publicly knows how many floors/ sub floors are contained within it's confines.

Stunning interior details. 2x photos, stitched to achieve the balance between the different light settings in the scene.

Stunning interior details. 2x photos, stitched to achieve the balance between the different light settings in the scene.

The Parliament Palace tour was only a fraction of the total building. Covering many vast spaces, reminding of scenes from Lord of the Rings. Not completely expecting an ill-tempered horde of trolls to arise from some dark corner and start attacking us all. Only to be slightly disappointed that this was not the case.

Often I'd wait for the masses to move on, for a photographic moment capturing the interior. Occasionally using a few photos, stitching them together sometimes successfully others not so.

Magnificent glass arrangements such as these were common. 

Magnificent glass arrangements such as these were common. 

Roming through Bucharest I found it fascinating comparing other parts of Europe, the mixed history, cultural influences. Fashion, architecture, way of life. Every day street life.

Afternoon light. Kind of an Eastern European Paris. Almost. With hints of the past, popping up in various places. Influences of architecture over the 20th century. 

The courtyard of Stavropoleos Church. Built in Brâncovenesc style, also known as Wallachian Renaissance and Romanian Renaissance, is an art and architectural style that evolved during the administration of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in the late 17th and early 18th centuries

The courtyard of Stavropoleos Church. Built in Brâncovenesc style, also known as Wallachian Renaissance and Romanian Renaissance, is an art and architectural style that evolved during the administration of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in the late 17th and early 18th centuries

Warm sunny days, wandering around. The best experiences I could have ever wanted. Being in a foreign country with cameras in hand, capturing the essence of each place (sometimes missing some due to technicalities). 

Cafe street off the main thorough-fare.

Cafe street off the main thorough-fare.

From Bucharest, Peleș and Bran (Vlad the Impaler) Castles en route to Brașov.

Now for even older history, Eastern European castles. I was curious being a bit of an architect and history nerd to see what style each castle was set in.

Bran Castle, "Vlad the Impaler" being my favourite. Not as glamorous from the outside, a more traditional stone castle with fewer embellishments on it's exterior.

Bran Castle, "Vlad the Impaler" being my favourite. Not as glamorous from the outside, a more traditional stone castle with fewer embellishments on it's exterior.

Surrounded by glorious forests.

Surrounded by glorious forests.

Interior Detailing

Interior Detailing

Next stop, Brașov. Arriving and after a bit of a wander around town, in a few small groups we wandered off at different times up to the top of the mountain overlooking the valley. And the effort required totally worth it.

The trudge up the mountain was not without incident. Opting to (only once) divert from the path for the purpose of a slight shortcut only to fall my knees causing slight injury. Bearing the scars to this day.

The setting sun over the town and beyond.

The setting sun over the town and beyond.

Town Square (Old Town). Postcard moments.

Town Square (Old Town). Postcard moments.

Main street through the old town. Modern times mixed with older times. Quite surreal. A Medieval town in modern times.

Main street through the old town. Modern times mixed with older times. Quite surreal. A Medieval town in modern times.

From here we continued north to Cluj Napoca. Without mucking about I immediately set out in search of places to photograph. First heading to a pre-planned location offering some great panoramic views of the city. Using HERE WeGo Maps on my smartphone, affording me the luxury of pre-planning a lot of locations. Alongside Google Earth and Maps. 

The late afternoon sun mixed with a bit of cloud.

The late afternoon sun mixed with a bit of cloud.

Continuing on into town, admiring the street scenes.

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Now onto Slovakia, slowly making our way north to Poland. Košice, was next up for one night only. Food and beer seemed like a logical choice this stage after some walking indulging in history. 

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Religious monuments

Religious monuments

Coca Cola

Coca Cola

From here we continued north to Krakow, via Kakopane. With enough time for a beer and some meat. Chatting with new friends. A bustling ski town. Even in summer.

Driving through the countryside, admiring the difference in life experienced by the many places in Eastern Europe. First stop, a castle on a hill. Partly restored.

Spiš Castle from afar.

Spiš Castle from afar.

Forest. Trees are good for the soul.

Forest. Trees are good for the soul.

1953. Well sort of. 2017.

1953. Well sort of. 2017.

Supermarket Run in a run-about around a round-about in round sort of way or fashion.

Supermarket Run in a run-about around a round-about in round sort of way or fashion.

Welcome to Soviet Era Kraków, Poland.

Welcome to Soviet Era Kraków, Poland.

Spending a couple of days here, time in former Soviet era districts, time with new friends. One such Soviet Era place, Nowa Huta. Former Soviet Steel works.

Multi-exposure, each exposure at different timings. 

Multi-exposure, each exposure at different timings. 

Late night arrival in town, Uber ride in search of some history. Not a complete failure. The following day yielded better / different results. 

Late night arrival in town, Uber ride in search of some history. Not a complete failure. The following day yielded better / different results. 

The setting sun on a silhouetted scene.

The setting sun on a silhouetted scene.

Kodak, a good sign. Tour Bus ride into town. It was a good welcome to Poland.

Kodak, a good sign. Tour Bus ride into town. It was a good welcome to Poland.

Mixed media. Street Hoodlum + Juliet.

Mixed media. Street Hoodlum + Juliet.

After a couple days of perfect warm weather in Poland, we headed east to Czechia (Czech Republic). Greeted by Český Krumlov. A sort of smaller version of Praha. Staying in a modest abode with a view (sort of) of the Vltava winding it's self through the old town. A little busy during the day but quiets down at night (later on).

After being dropped off at the top of town, a backpack is definitely recommended. With many stairs to get down into the old town. 

A view from the old castle on the hill. Not only a great view to enjoy but also reasonably (as in extremely cheap) priced beer. By half the litre. I'd recommend anything at least 50 Koruna.

A view from the old castle on the hill. Not only a great view to enjoy but also reasonably (as in extremely cheap) priced beer. By half the litre. I'd recommend anything at least 50 Koruna.

A few more morning photos, then off to Prague for the final leg.

A few more morning photos, then off to Prague for the final leg.

New friends. Mike, Mike and Hannah.

New friends. Mike, Mike and Hannah.

Oh Prague, we meet again. A bit of sun and a hint of rain. Met with final hooroos and a few drinks at a multi-level club. For the second round of visiting Prague, I had to see more of this glorious city. Spending time setting up shots, to shooting freely.

Street shooting in Prague. Multiple exposure at different times. ND+ Filter.

Street shooting in Prague. Multiple exposure at different times. ND+ Filter.

Bokeh, Telephoto lens. After doing a loop around town.

Bokeh, Telephoto lens. After doing a loop around town.

After 2 weeks of visiting 5ish new countries and many different cities and towns, with the added bonus of meeting some new friends. Another great experience. Photo moments captured on film. Thanks to TopDeck, our fearless Leader Jemma and crazy coach driver Cristi, it was an absolute blast. 

Prague to finish off. 2am Uber drive to the airport, again being much too early. The early worm always catches the bird. Or is that plane?

2am snapshots. Cinestill 800t.

2am snapshots. Cinestill 800t.

Additional notes ~ sourced from Wikipedia.

Technique & Approach #22 ~ Europe Special

Just got back from two weeks traveling through Eastern Europe. It was certainly the full of new experiences and meeting new friends. 

This time round photographically, 13 rolls of a mixed bag. Colour (daylight) / cinema (tungsten) and black & white.

Hopefully not too much exposure to x-ray security... 

Hopefully not too much exposure to x-ray security... 

A mixture of street, architectural and some landscapes. Blending techniques such as multiple exposure, light, everyday life. 

Places that often don't rank high on most bucket lists. Such as Nowa Huta in Krakow, Poland. Societal/ historical significance, circa post WW2. The steel works signage nestled amongst the two former administration buildings. With the use of 2x filters - ND for long exposure, R25 for red fiter / contrast. Pictured below - through the finder perspective. A couple of different viewpoints taken as multiple frames for panorama (edit in post). Kodak Tri-x 400. 

TTF - R25 (red filter, creating an interesting effect). Variable ND wide open for framing and focus setting. 

TTF - R25 (red filter, creating an interesting effect). Variable ND wide open for framing and focus setting. 

Soviet dreaming. 

The contraption. Cable release + tripod = essential

The contraption. Cable release + tripod = essential

Cinelux (cine - cinematic) (lux - light), incorporating elements of the surrounding environment and use of available light, for a stylised, relevantly placed photograph. A style I've been working on for a little while now. Inspired by motion pictures. And my analytical nature. Aspiring to create photos unique in approach, diverting away from the typical tourist snaps. 

Sometimes forgetting to reset the ASA mechanism. Push 3+ for 400. From 50, 100 (1), 200 (2) and 400 (3). Woops. Or develop under-exposed and see what happens.

 

400 @ -3 (50) 

400 @ -3 (50) 

Starting in Budapest, then through Romania, Slovakia, Poland, finishing in beautiful Praha, Czechia. A definite fav. 

It's a bit of numbers game all of this, but I hope results are worth it. Spending sometimes a bit more time to create something quite unique and perhaps unusual. Sometimes the odd snap shot can produce a nice result. I guess I obsess a little over the technique, certainly more so after switching to film over 4 years ago.

Praha, Airport.

Praha, Airport.

New friends, new experiences. People, the ones you meet, the others you greet. Rich in experience, full of life. Times spent together in foreign places, sharing. I am grateful for meeting some new people, thanks for the 2 weeks together. Here's hoping to seeing at least some of you again in the not-so distant future.

Film off to the lab soon.