Ok, so I admit that this is not a normal post I might do. I mean, windows aren't typically something I am fascinated by, and don’t usually catch my eye when traveling.
However, the tiny town of Suzdal in Russia (about 3 hours from Moscow) is an exception to this rule.
I hired a private car to drive from Moscow to Suzdal, and as we got closer to the village I started seeing this colorful wooden architecture on the houses. It started to feel like I was going back in time…..this must have been the architecture that has existed for centuries.
Part of the famous tourist trail often called “The Golden Ring”, Suzdal dates back to at least the 9th century when farmers lived here tilling the land and trading with other parts of Russia. Suzdal was first mentioned in writing in 1024 when it functioned as the capital of several local principalities. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, wealthy merchants paid for 30 charming churches of all faiths and religions, which still adorn the town to this day. Today, Suzdal is more known for its churches than windows…..an incredible number of churches call Suzdal their home. And yet, it was the windows of Suzdal that captured my attention.
Indeed, visiting Suzdal is like seeing old world Soviet-era Russian countryside. Besides the tourists with digital cameras, one can often see cows and chickens walking down the main road. With its church spires that reach for the sky and make for amazing horizon photos, I highly recommend a stop in Suzdal if you find yourself in Russia and have the time.
Photo tip: Besides good lighting, I am always looking for color and texture when I am taking photos. Often, a scene will have a varying degree of quality with the three elements. Lighting you can control by visiting at the right time, but color and texture are inherent to the subject. These windows caught my eye because, first of all, they are so colorful. Each is painted in their own color scheme, and when walking down the road with colorful houses all around, it feels a bit like a fairy-tale The next thing that caught my eye is the worn and weathered wood….with paint peeling and chipping and strong vertical and horizontal lines. Captured in the right light, these three elements come together to make for an interesting photo. Now, I will likely pick three of these photos and make a triptych (three images in one mat) to help show the colorful differences in one frame. When taken separately they are really nice…but when put together with each other, they make for a really colorful and fun framed scene.
Jonathan Irish is a seasoned travel photographer who has traveled to over 65 countries and specializes in photographs of people, landscapes, abstracts, and, above all, cultures abroad. His work has appeared in various National Geographic publications, and he is represented by National Geographic's Image Collection www.NationalGeographicStock.com/jonathanirish. When he is not traveling the world in search of amazing photos, he gathers inspiration from the other great photographers at National Geographic, where he is the Program Director for National Geographic Adventures Jonathan lives in Washington, D.C.
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See Jonathan's other photo posts, including…
- The Taj Mahal in Black and White
- The Magnificent Moscow Metro
- A typical street scene in Varanasi, India
- The Amazing Icehotel
- The Magic of Torres del Paine
- The Hunter-Gatherer Hadzabe Tribe of Tanzania
- Machu Picchu – Citadel in the Sky
- Iceland Waterfall in Black and White
- Northern Lights in Iceland
- Matterhorn Reflected