Images from historic churches and monasteries in Bucovina and Moldova

In August of 2*** (regular readers will know the year ­čśü), we took a tour of the historic churches and monasteries in the provinces of Moldova and Bucovina (within the territory of Romania).

A clarification is in order here. When people hear Moldova they automatically think about the Republic of Moldova, which used to be part of the Romanian province of Moldova but was taken by the Russians in 1940. That whole region has a fairly tumultuous history which you can read here. Just keep in mind these photographs were taken within the current-day borders of Romania and yes, there are two provinces called Bucovina and Moldova in Romania. I’ve lost track of how many times people have tried to correct me on this, all of them foreigners…

romania-historical-provinces

I could have published individual posts of each place but that would have been tedious for me (and for you too). I know it was tedious for me when we visited these places, one after another, day after day, dealing with heat, huge crowds and the hospitality industry (you know, the three Hs of travel; they add together to form a fourth H which is a four-letter word)… but we had made a plan and we stuck to it. Romanians in general tend to make trips to these places yearly for religious reasons. We visited these places because of their historical and architectural value, so while we were there we saw as many as we could in the time we had allotted ourselves.

In this gallery of photographs (there are 134 of them), you will see images from the following places:

  • The wooden church in ╚śurde╚Öti (Maramure╚Ö), a UNESCO monument and also the highest wooden church in the world
  • Moldovi╚Ťa Monastery
  • Sucevi╚Ťa Monastery
  • Chilia lui Daniil Sihastrul
  • Putna Monastery
  • “Drago╚Ö Vod─â” wooden church
  • Vorone╚Ť Monastery, famous for the blue used in its exterior murals, called Vorone╚Ť Blue
  • Humorul Monastery
  • Arbore Church
  • Dragomirna Monastery
  • Agapia Monastery
  • V─âratec Monastery
  • Neam╚Ť Monastery
  • Secu Monastery
  • Sih─âstria Monastery

Since I arranged the photos in chronological order, you’ll see them just as they’re listed above. You’ll probably want to know which was my favorite place. Dragomirna Monastery, definitely! Enjoy the gallery and thanks for being a subscriber!

I kept things simple in terms of photo gear for this trip, because there were four of us in the car and I knew I’d have to deal with the 3Hs of travel I mentioned above. I shot mainly with my Canon EOS 5D and the EF 24-105mm f/4L lens. My backup camera was the Canon PowerShot G10.

Canon EOS 5D (front)
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens
Canon PowerShot G10
Canon PowerShot G10

A walk through Sibiu’s historical center

These are a few photographs (only 13 this time ­čśü) taken during a walk through Sibiu’s historical center nine years ago (yes, 2009). If you’re wondering why I keep publishing photos from that year, it’s because I’m finally taking care of my editing backlog. Wait, Raoul, are you saying you’re nine years behind on editing your photos? Ahem… most of my photos, yes. When you take lots of photos, that’s what happens ­čĄĚÔÇŹÔÖé´ŞĆ.

Anyway, these photos were taken with my cellphone at the time, the now-venerable Nokia N95 which had a 5 megapixel camera. It was pretty good by the standards of its time and is woefully behind the times now, not necessarily in megapixels but in dynamic range and image quality. Still, it did okay in daylight.

Enjoy the photos!

And here is the grandfather of many of today’s cellphone cameras:

Nokia N95-1

Around the town in 2009

This is a gallery of photographs taken in and around Medias in the summer of 2009 (68 photos in total). As I look back on these photos, it’s interesting to see how the town has changed and stayed the same during this time. It’s definitely changed since 2006, when I took these other photos. Enjoy!

I used the following cameras and lenses to take these photographs: an Olympus C770 UZ, a Nokia N95 (my mobile phone at the time), a Canon EOS 5D, a Canon EOS Rebel XTi, a Canon PowerShot G10, a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Olympus Camedia C-770 UZ
Olympus Camedia C-770 UltraZoom
Nokia N95-1
Nokia N95
Canon EOS 5D (front)
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EOS Rebel XTi
Canon EOS Rebel XTi
Canon PowerShot G10 Front
Canon PowerShot G10
Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Lens

 

Blue hour and snowfall!

This past Sunday morning, I woke up to a beautiful snowfall and luckily for me, about 10 minutes before the blue hour (which actually lasts less than an hour). I tiptoed down the stairs so I wouldn’t wake up my wife and child, put some clothes and shoes on, and because it was snowing heavily, I took my Canon 7D (my only weather-sealed camera), along with the 10-22mm EF-S lens (which is also weather-sealed). I wanted an ultra-wide perspective to the photos and also the ability to shoot without a tripod at low shutter speeds. An ultra-wide lens lets you do that because of the “reciprocal rule”: as long as the shutter speed matches the focal length, you should get a good photo (provided you have steady hands). A 10-22mm lens would let me use shutter speeds as low as 1/10th of a second, which is just what I did on some of the photos. Enjoy the gallery!

For those of you who love looking at camera gear (I know I do), here is a photo of the camera and lens I used.

Canon EOS 7D
Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f:3.5-4.5 Lens
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f:3.5-4.5 Lens

How to choose a camera that’s right for you

In this video, I’m going to walk you through a process that will help you choose the right camera for your needs; it’s the same process I use myself as I choose new photo and video gear.┬áHere are the decision-making steps I talk about in the video:

  1. Love what you already have
  2. Learn to use your equipment properly
  3. Don’t stress out about resolution (megapixels)
  4. Don’t get on a tech merry-go-round
  5. You don’t need UHD (4k video) just yet
  6. Be wary of “filler resolution”
  7. Separate the “nice to have” from the “must have”
  8. Get separate photo and video gear in order to obtain the best quality images and video

I hope this helps you!

Released 17-02-2018

Thanks for watching!

Summertime in our garden

I was going through old(er) photos of mine taken in 2009, and I put together a lovely collection of summertime photos from our garden (even if I do say so myself). Look, I know it’s not summer now. It’s winter (sort of). Each season has its purpose and is beautiful in its own way. Should we get some snowfall or at least some frost, I’ll probably be out there taking photos that you’ll be able to see here. So I could have scheduled this post to publish sometime in May, or I could let you see these photos now, and let you dream of this next summer, which I hope is going to be a beautiful one for all of us. (Unless you’re in the Southern hemisphere, in which case you’ve already got your summer. Isn’t it weird how that works out?) Enjoy the photos, there are 82 of them!

These photos were taken with the following cameras: Canon EOS 5D, Olympus Camedia C-770 UZ and Canon EOS Rebel XTi. For the Canon cameras, I used the following lenses: EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, EF 50mm f/1.4, and the EF 24-105mm f/4L.

Canon EOS 5D (front)

Olympus Camedia C-770 UZ

Canon EOS Rebel XTi

Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 24-105mm f4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Lens

 

Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro USM Lens
Canon EF 100mm f2.8 Macro USM Lens

A 2017 Grayton Origin Automatic Smart Watch

This is a limited edition Grayton “Origin” Automatic watch made in 2017, which bought from Indiegogo.┬áThe “smart watch” part of it is the strap, which contains circuitry that tracks and logs your movements through the day (and your sleep if you wear it at night). You’ll see screen capture video of the iOS app below. The watch has a 24-jewel Japanese automatic movement and a great design. The smart strap works as promised but isn’t all that comfortable to wear (I explain why in the video), so I wear it with a normal leather strap.

Grayton Watches is a French based start-up brand founded in 2015 by Remi Chabrat, an expert with 25 years in the the watch industry, and as they say on their website, they’re “dedicated to creating affordable luxury and enduring style with automatic watches for men and women”. The name “Grayton” is (in my opinion) an inspired phonetic play on the words “great on”, as in “this watch looks great on you”. I’m curious to find out if my intuition is correct, so if someone from Grayton is reading this, please let me know.