From Russia With Love

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Real quick post as we’re packing up and shipping out of Russia basically as soon as I shut this laptop down.

Pretty incredible trip here to Russia and I would like to return. Just a incredible place steeped in history and authority. The indelible images burned in my brain are the fortitude but staunch beauty of the Kremlin in Moscow. The quiet strength of the Kremlin in Kazan. How dour and unsmiling everyone looks in all three of the cities we traveled to. How the women seem, especially in Moscow, to favor short skirts and boots up to their knees. And how all the men look like gents you don’t want to cross in a dark alley.

But for all the grayness, there’s some real beauty here. The architecture and the old monuments. The terrain, even, especially in Autumn. Thanks to our Saratovian driver, Ramis, we had the chance to get out in the countryside and explore an old church dating back to 1825, and the surrounding small village of Mikhaylovka. Contrary to what I just wrote about Russian men, Ramis was a pleasant gent with close-cropped hair, quick with a smile and cigarette smoke-rinsed laugh, and a body much closer to a Russian bear wrestler than the judo participant he said he had been in his youth. He was a pleasure to be around and I happy to include him in my 100 Strangers project. Though after getting a big hug from the man at the airport, I’m not sure I can consider him a stranger anymore.

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The image of the day, though, was the one below. On the way back from exploring the church, we stopped briefly at what looked like a park or camp ground. Not sure why Ramis pulled over, but was glad we did. We happened upon a small wedding taking place in the glory of the golden-leaved birch trees. Really incredible, actually. The photographer with us immediately kind of inserted herself into the scene to get some shots of the bride. I took a different track, literally. Didn’t want that shot. Wanted something from a bit different angle. This is what I got and I like it.

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Now, it’s time to wrap up this leg of the trip. The next week should be just incredible as well. We fly from Moscow to Istanbul and have a bit of a layover. Then, the final destination is a place I never thought I’d get to in my life..

Stay tuned!

© Mark V. Krajnak 2009 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 or PSE6 and Nik Software.

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