Macedonia and Kosovo

During my adventures through Europe last (Australian) winter, I managed to make it to the rather peculiar destinations of Macedonia and Kosovo, and honestly I have no idea what to write about either…

They’re puzzling places, with small, young populations  (I have it on good authority that Prishtinë has the youngest population in Europe) that in a way create a fantastic vibrancy, but as with many of the former Yugoslav states there’s a palpable struggle to make the countries function independantly. Both are constantly seeking an identity, and both, in their own way, are finding it bloody hard; Skopje was in the midst of an obsession with nation-building monuments (although I’m not sure the populous shares the enthusiasm) and Kosovo is yet to concretely establish it’s very existance, given mostly to Serbia’s insistance that it remains their territory.

Then there’s the very, very strange issue of Macedonia’s name (‘Republic of Macedonia’ or ‘The Former Yogoslav Republic of Macedonia’) and Greece. Google it.

They’re complex and contradictory places that I haven’t even come close to unravelling, and for better or worse I feel are going to see immense change over the next decade.

They’re also remarkably beautiful, and home to some of the most fascinating people I’ve met while travelling.

And they make very good coffee.

Pre-war Serbian Orthodox Church, Prishtinë

Trail markets, Kosovo

No fascists! Central Skopje

Cathedral of Blessed Mother Teresa, Prishtinë

Matka Canyon, Macedonia

Smoke, Skopje

Old compound, outskirts of Prishtinë

The Macedonian mountains at sunset

Nation building, Skopje

Downtown, Prishtinë

Generational change, Skopje

The quiet streets of Sofia

I’m slowly working through the left over street photography from my trip to Europe last (Australian) winter…

This time it’s Sofia, the capitol of Bulgaria. I posted a few shots from a candlelit bar while I was over there (this sounds romantic – in reality it was just awesome), and then promptly forgot to post anything else. A pity, because, like most of the big Balkan cities, Sofia is a dreamscape for street photographers. Fascinating people, fascinating scenes – if this is your thing then plan a trip. Plus, it’s way, way cheaper than western Europe…

Enjoy!

EM5 + Nokton 25mm

Tram + town house

Small change

Old girl

Bins

Storm water

Urban jungle

Yellow

Metro ciggie

High fashion

Man with trolley

Man in a hat

All red

All blue

I want one of these when I grow up

Geometry

Commuters

Kotor, Montenegro – up above

The second installment from Montenegro’s Kotor – exploring the hillsides and waterways. Most of these were shot amongst the Fortifications of Kotor, found above the old town, and the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks, found on an isle in the middle of the Bay.

View part one here.

Shot with an EM5, m.ZD 12mm and m.ZD 45mm. Edited with Photoforge2 and an iPad Mini.

Kotor, Montenegro – within the shadows

The first of two collections from Kotor, a small town nestled on the Gulf of Kotor, on Montenegro’s Adriatic coastline. I only spent a few days during my 2013 European adventures, and sadly that made up the entirety of my time in Montenegro itself, but already I would put Kotor with Santiago de Compostela as one of my favourite European old-towns.

The setting is stunning, the people friendly, the macchiato the best I’ve had, and the narrow, unnamed and car-free lanes and alleyways simply perfect for street photography, especially during the early hours when bright morning sunshine rapidly disappears into the deepest of shadows.

Put it on your to-do list.

Please check out part two here.

Shot with an EM5, m.ZD 12mm and CV Nokton 25mm. Edited on the road with Photoforge2 and iPad Mini.

Sofia by candlelight

One of the many beautiful and oddball bars in downtown Sofia, Bulgaria; this one is in an old warehouse and lit entirely by candles.

As an aside for the gear-heads out there, I wonder if anyone really thought this kind of thing would be possibly back when the G1 was released back in ’09? Think about it – candlelight, 6400iso and a native, f0.95 lens wide-open. Sure there’s noise, but it doesn’t affect the way the images communicate their subject. Even the colour accuracy remains solid, something my 4/3 sensored E-3 struggled with at 1000iso…

MFT has arrived.

by candlelight #1, Sofia

by candlelight #2, Sofia

by candlelight #3, Sofia

by candlelight #5,  Sofia

by candlelight #4, Sofia

by candlelight #6, Sofia