ROMANIA Workshop Tag

Romania is like a strong old perfume that when you put it on won’t let go while opening your senses to its colorful history, rich culture, friendly faces and all the folks willing to step in and extend a hand. Its impressive landscape is vast and as diverse as its population. When my plane landed here from Italia  a powerful cold rain greeted me and didn’t let go for two days. Then the sky finally show its true colors and the sun was a friend to have. As we drove away from Bucharest and deep into the country a strong swift river, which was brown as all rivers look after the rain goes away, kept us company through part of our journey. At the other side of the bed of the river the flat land was covered by a blanket of yellow Daffodils flowers which slowly climbed up to where the lush vegetation with its pine and willow trees stood quite high and rising up as the hills grew taller. By then the river was long gone but the presence of water in the form of streams or lakes was always close by. We cut and drove through the high mountains and their snowed covered heads and part of the twisting road was dark and surreal for it felt as if we were driving inside a tunnel.

Then from the top, every now and then, we could peak high into the blue sky and below into large green valley. As we descended it got brighter as the sun kept shining through the framed branches. Down below we couldn’t escape the pastoral sight of flocks of grazing sheep dotting the green land every few kilometers. Their shepherds, with their long tanned narrow faces and sad lonely eyes, would stand with his faithful guard dog next to his flock or towards the center while leaning on a long narrow strong piece of wood. The valley lead us into villages and through smaller towns and then more villages. Each place was a new adventure and its cheerful children would always finds us and come running wanting to pose for my Leicas. Those children, specially away from the large cities, didn’t have much but they were full of joy, health and their eyes were vibrant and engaging.

Older folks, and just as friendly as the children, would come to greet us and to share their time and whatever they could with us too. At one point while photographing an 89 years old woman tears almost filled my eyes. Her radiance and warm went through my body as I said goodby with a hug. And as we embraced her age showed well for her arms felt like fragile branches from an ancient apple tree.

One morning we drove on a long empty road and in the middle of nowhere a family was having a picnic. I stopped for a few minutes to take some photos as they were cooking a typical simple tasteful Romanian BBQ. In Romania the great aroma of it’s cooking will play with your nose as it reach out to you over a kilometer away. After a few minutes I decided to retreat towards my car and give back their own special moment and serenity but the Romanian family would not let me go until I had lunch with them. Before I sat down on the ground a large plate of food had been served for me… I am still counting my blessings and smiling for this was pure magical kindness and sharing of the highest level. And all of this was quite ubiquitous all across the land.

The essence of Romania will stay with me like a strong old perfume.

Tour Cost $5,500.00


The Old Beauty of Romania | Oct. 23rd – 30th, 2016

Day 1:  Oct 23 Arrive to Coanda International Airport in Bucharest then head to our hotel. At 16,00 group will meet at the lobby with master photographer Manuello Paganelli and go over the itinerary and tour. From there a short walk capturing the late afternoon light of the bustling metropolis followed by a welcome dinner at a favorite local restaurant. This beautiful capital is one of Europe less traveled due to its oppressive regime under Nicolae Ceausescu. Today is the vibrant commercial power of Romania, making it a necessary destination for anyone traveling to the country. Globalization has not yet run its course through here so it offers photo students a chance to capture and experience a blend of old and new Europe while getting deeper into the local culture.

Day 2: Oct 24th Early rise then after breakfast we will go to the main train station to capture the coming and going of the citizens. Then head to the old town for lunch and capture the beauty of the crow framed with the old historical architecture

Day 3: Oct 25th  After breakfast a trip across the mountains and into Transylvania to the town of Sibiu. We will stay at the Roman’s Emperor Hotel which was built at the end of the 18th century where Prince Charles and composers Franz Liszt and Johann Strauss also stayed.  Participants will explore the Great and Lesser Squares which are the landmark of Old Town. We also visit the open air fresh farmers market and some local nearby towns.

Late afternoon we will drive to Cluj-Napoca the second largest city in Romania

Day 4: Oct 26th Cluj-Napoca is a hotchpotch medieval, Renaissance, with touches of baroque and modern buildings making it a wonderful city to explore and photograph.

Day 5: Oct 27th Tour Maramures which is known as one of the most isolated corners in the European Union with its well preserved tradition and its landscape is a colorful fairytale canvass. Here time stop long ago and one of the common ways of transportation is the use of horse-drawn carts.  One of its most famous places is the “Merry Cemetery” where each wooden cross has a funny epitaph about the departed’s life.

Day 6: Oct 28th After lunch a trip to Sighisoara

Day 7: Oct 29th After breakfast a trip to Brasov to visit this Saxon town with its Gothic-style buildings and explore the Gothic Bran Castle famously known as Dracula Castle. The drive back to Bucheresti for an end of the tour final meal.

Day 8: Oct 3 Bucharest, after breakfast, and depending of flights departures,  participants will be on their own discovering new things and capturing images.

To hold your space, we require a non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 USD

Terms & Conditions

Fees Included:

  • Workshop fees
  • All Lodging is included.  A single room is subject to availability for an additional supplement fee.
  • All breakfast and two group dinners with one alcoholic drink per participants
  • All transportation in the host country related to the itinerary.
  • Local guide/translator or assistant photographer.

Fees Not Included:

  • Flights to the workshops host country.
  • All paper work/doc/visa compliance with the nation we are traveling too (Cuba trips all docs are included)
  • Any airport taxes due
  • Extra luggage weight
  • Meals outside of breakfast or the two group meals.
  • Travel/cancellation insurance
  • Any medical health care insurance.
  • Any tips for an assistant photographer, translators drivers, bellboy, mini bar or any food items or drinks consumed from your hotel/house room.
  • Any optional event that requires entry fees such as: night club, musical event, sports venue, night clubs or any additional cost not included in the itinerary.

What to bring

At least two sets of DSLR camera bodies with five or more memory cards of 2GB-4GB or larger. Also one wide-angle lens, a 50mm or 85mm lens, a telephoto, a light tripod to shoot during low lights or at night time and any other photographic tools that you may need during the workshop. Also bring extra batteries, a charger and your laptop to download your images for review & positive criticism. All participants must be able to download and backup you work since each day will be very intense and the instructors won’t have the time for that. I also encourage you to bring a backup system to save your day’s work or in the event that your memory cards fills up. It could be done in your laptop, DVD, a small external HD or flash drives. I can give you tips as to the best external HD to get.

There won’t be any spare computers to be used, so please bring your laptops with you and PLEASE be very familiar with all your personal equipment.

Romania Workshop Tag 2016

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