From Russia With Love... Part 2
Last month we left Monte in the middle of Red Square making more great images. We'll pick up there and travel with him on his journey...
I had dinner that night and
just about every night at one of Moscow's most exciting restaurants
in the heart of the theater district. Before arriving in Moscow I had
researched Moscow online and had met Dolf. He told me that he owned a
fine restaurant, Cafe des Artistes, and suggested that I come to his restaurant
upon my arrival in Russia. He also invited me for an evening at the Bolshoi
Ballet. The evening that he took me to the Bolshoi was an evening that
I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.
When we entered Red Square,
itself, it was almost deserted. The weather was still cold and gloomy.
It just wasn't very picturesque. Even though, I still wanted a
record shot to show where I had been. I opened my 28-135mm Canon lens
to its widest focal length and waited for a few people to walk into
the foreground of my composition to add a little depth perception to
From one of the many vendors
who approached us there I purchased a photographic book of Moscow and
a souvenir Russian hat for my companion Roustam. It looked so good on
him I just had to photograph him wearing it. After all, he is one of Moscow's
top professional models.
After a brief nap Nadir took me on a tour of Moscow that I also will never forget. It was sunny and warm at last. Our first stop was at the University of Moscow, one of the most prestigious and gorgeous places of study in all of Russia.
A short distance from the university
was a plaza on which hundreds of people were gathered on this gorgeous
Saturday afternoon. Countless wedding parties were there to celebrate
and be photographed, using the university and a panoramic view of Moscow
for backgrounds. I learned that May is a bad luck month for marriages,
so April is always full of couples tying the knot. There were musicians,
fireworks, souvenir hucksters, and entertainers galore all gathered there.
It was a photographic paradise for me and everyone else.
But for my final thrill of
my really last full day in Moscow, Nadir took me to the Kremlin! On the
way there, however, I asked him to stop a few times so that I could photograph
some of the unbelievable churches. For a more dramatic effect I did alter
the contrast a little for this picture and straightened some of the verticals
in Photoshop's Free Transform.
In the Kremlin I entered into
a world of fact and fantasy that will be indelibly inscribed in my memory
of magical places. I saw sights there that are among the most fascinating
glimpses of world history that I think I will ever see in my lifetime.
Within one of the courtyards I photographed the King's cannon, never used but forever to be admired by students and other visitors from around the world. Here's a close-up of some of the detail inscribed on one side of the cannon.
While walking through the Kremlin a few little girls noticed that I spoke English. They all had been taking English lessons in school and were most anxious to try out their knowledge. I was amazed at how well they spoke. When I understood them and answered them back they went out of their minds with pleasure. We asked a few of them to pose for some group pictures. They understood everything that we were saying. I'm only hoping that I can learn some Russian before I return.
Nadir took a picture of me, so that I could show my friends that I was truly there! The afternoon in the Kremlin was truly another highlight of my life. I took many more photographs there, but had to limit what I'm showing here, because of space limitations.
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