Mar 242014
 

Brasov is a beautiful little city. Upon arriving I spotted a Hollywood styled “Brasov” sign up on the hill and decided I wanted to go up there. So I did, and I took today’s picture. After getting back down I spoke to a local who said you should never go up there because the hillside is crawling with bears… oops.

brasov as viewed from the sign on the hill white tower town hall cathedral

 

Mar 222014
 

First things first, there’s no evidence of Bram Stoker’s inspiration (Vlad the Impaler) ever setting foot at Bran Castle. That small point aside, it is a beautiful castle shrouded by mist that’s definitely worth a visit.

bran castle, supposed home  of dracula, central courtyard from above in Romania

Jan 122014
 

While hiking in the mountains in Romania, I walked into a field of leafy plants with a path down the middle. I got about half way across when I realized I was surrounded by thousands of these massive, alien-looking things. Thankfully, they weren’t very active.

Ugly ciccada bug on green leaf in Romania

Jan 032014
 

This is another one of my older photos taken with my Canon Rebel, I played around with the levels a bit before posting it here.

I remember there was a man sat to the left of me, just out of frame painting this scene and I kind of copied his composition exactly. I think it’s an interesting view of the tower with some of the typical buildings in the foreground. It’s a colourful place.

The clock tower was first built in the 14th century and had various additions over the years. The roof had to be rebuilt at one point after the town’s gunpowder supplied exploded. The small four corner turrets denote the act that the citadel had judicial autonomy and the right to decide on capital punishments.

Originally, the tower housed the town’s council but now it holds a museum. As you climb it you get to learn about the history of Sighisoara.

Sighisoara clock tower with traditional buildings in the foregound before streaky blue sky

Oct 282013
 

This is an old photo, taken with my old rebel, in Sighisoara, Romania very early in the morning just before sunrise. Sighisoara is a beautiful little medieval town in Transylvania. It’s known as the birthplace of the real life Dracula, Vlad the Impaler.

Sighsoara Romania cobbled street and streetlight before sunrise

Jul 112012
 

I admire photographers who notice the little things. I’ve got an obsession with capturing sweeping vistas and the vastness of the world I encounter. It makes me miss a lot of the small details. It’s nice to spot something small and carefully figure out how to capture it. Tonight’s photo was taken in a stream in Romania. I lay down in the stream and got very wet for this shot. The focus is a little soft, but I like it none the less. It’s a good reminder to remember the little things when I’m out with my camera. One day I may even invest in a macro lens.

Wild yellow mushrooms with raindrops in a stream in Romania.

May 232012
 

Why Romania?

When I told people I was going to Romania the most common reaction was, “Why, Romania?”

Telling them it was just for a vacation wasn’t typically enough to satisfy the question. So, I’d have to launch into the following story.

As soon as I finished my final exams at university I took off to travel across Europe along with my Belgian housemate Greg. We inter-railed from Amsterdam to Athens over a six week period. It was great. Study time gave me a great opportunity to plan everything out. The route was plotted and off we went. Everything went to plan. Except, that is, for our 2 night stop over in Sighisoara, Romania (the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula).

We were in Budapest, along with my friend from Bermuda, John, and had an important decision to make about our 6am departure. It was midnight in the hostel bar, 5 hours until we’d have to be waking up to get on a 10 hour train ride. We decided that just didn’t make any sense. The hostel bar was open all night and it was really lively. It was full of a big group of Australians a couple Belgians and a few others. We’d be much better off staying up all night and then spending the long train journey asleep. This logic was probably based on the fact we were already a few beers in.

You can probably guess where this is going. After we had successfully defused a heated argument between the Australians and Belgians,  John wussed out and went to bed with three hours to go. Then, with an hour left, Greg and I decided it was time to go pack – that was another piece of careful planning. The next memory I have is being woken up by these words from Greg, “Uhhhhh, Johnny, I think we missed the train.”

“Why, what time is it?” I replied.

“10:00″

“So what you’re saying is, we definitely missed the train.”

As a result of this blunder, we didn’t go to Romania. We went to Serbia. As a result, I wanted to see what Romania was about, so I made a much more successful attempt to visit a couple of summers ago.

Now I’ve been there, if anyone asks me why I’m going to Romania in the future, I’ll just answer, “Because it’s awesome.”

Today’s Photo: 7 Ladder Gorge Waterfall, Transylvania, Romania

Today’s photo is one of the reasons that Romania is awesome. The country is beautiful. This is taken in Seven Ladder Gorge. When I was there it was officially closed as the metal ladders and walkways through the gorge had been damaged by the winter floods. Our guide told us this and proceeded right along. The walkways were definitely damaged, some had fallen down. I liked it, it made for more of an adventure. There were a lot of picture opportunities along the way. This is one of my favorites.

Again, this is an old photo I had saved as a JPEG but always felt was a bit flat. I’ve given it a sort of faux HDR treatment using Topaz Adjust, which really is an amazing Photoshop plugin.

7 Ladder Gorge Waterfall cascades down narrow cliffs in Transylvania Romania

 

May 102012
 

The original plan, when starting this site, was to not include any pre-HDR photos. I’ve changed my mind. My trip to Romania inspired me to invest more in my camera equipment and I like a lot of the pictures I took there. Today’s photo was taken on the way down a mountain headed toward 7 Ladder Gorge with my old Canon Rebel. Topaz Adjust has allowed me to recover some of the details in the shadows and a few extra tweaks (including applying Unsharp Mask, which I never used to use) have allowed me to improve this photo a bit form the original. Going forward, I’ll release a few more of my older pictures every once in a while.

Rushing water with green forest background on the way to 7 Ladder Gorge in Transylvania, Romania.