In September 2017, the DPS team set out with 22 other photographers of all levels to one of the most remote, untouched and unique areas of Europe, Romania. Landing in Bucharest as the sun was setting, we quickly grab our luggage and board a bus to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Through the coach window we see jagged cliffs and the outline of slopping wooden tiled houses as we are whisked to our destination. Up and up we travel, corkscrewing our way through small mountain villages until we reach the Transylvanian plateau, which is our base for the next four nights, the old Saxon stronghold town of Brasov.
Settling in for the night our advice is very simple, “have your memory cards empty and your batteries full, as we will hit the ground running in the morning”.
We wake to a stunning sunrise where the weather is still fantastic in September in Romania, 25 degrees and that is the coolest day! Our day starts with a short tour Brasov. The city is located at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains steeped in history and old world charm with fascinating scenery. The tour takes in the old town hall square, St. Nicholas Church ( the oldest Romanian Orthodox church in the country) and the first Romanian school of Schei, which dates back to 1495, and the Gothic Black Church. We firstly stop at Biserica Sfântul Nicolae a stunning orthadox church and in a secluded area in the back of the grounds we have our first outdoor lesson.
For 30 minutes we make sure that everyone is up to speed by covering some basic settings and composition skills.
Once in Brasov old town square, we break up into smaller groups and the DPS team spend some time with each group and give advice, feedback and direction.
Don’t Miss Out!
Transylvania Holiday October 11th- 15th 2017
*** Only 3 Places Remaining ***
Come travel with us to Romania the largest of the Balkan nations. It is a land of stunning mountain scenery, unspoiled countryside and historic towns, making it a fantastic holiday destination for anyone looking to develop their documentary, street and landscape photography skills. Based in the charming, historic town of Brasov for four nights, you will have the opportunity to photograph the remarkable landscapes of the Transylvania region as you travel high into the Carpathian Mountains, taking in impressive vistas and lake views. You will also visit the picturesque medieval town of Viscri, famous for its traditional houses and Saxon fortified church, and Sighisoara, with its impeccably preserved hilltop citadel. Of course, no stay in Transylvania would be complete without a visit to the imposing fortress of Dracula’s Castle.
We spend the first half of the day working some basic skills before breaking for lunch and then regrouping before we head up into the beautiful Tampa Mountains where we have amazing panoramic views or the entire city of Brasov.
We spend the next few hours exploring the infamous Castle Bran, ( castle is mentioned in Bram Strokers Dracula ) taking tight stair wells and losing ourselves in rooms from another time, a time that seems to step right out of a fairy tale. Romania is dotted with these Germanic style Gothic revival castles.
The group then regroups 30 minutes before sunset to photograph Castle Bran under the velvet blue veil of night.
After a long day we arrive back in Brasov, some of the group rest up and some head into Brasov to experience the local night life.
Day three takes us on another adventure but before we travel out along one of the most spectacular mountain roads in the world, the Transfagarasan Road and into the impressive Fagaras Mountains (commonly known as The Transylvanian Alps), we make a short stop at the Fagaras Fortress and the beautifully impressive gold domed Orthodox cathedral to capture some of it’s beauty. When back on the road, we navigate up twisting winding roads of sheer drops and stunning heights, expertly handled by our driver. We stop along the way to take in some of the most stunning vistas. Before reaching our destination and our highest point, Lake Balea, a glacier lake which is situated within the Fagaras Mountains at 2042metres above the sea level, our group breaks for lunch. After we are fed and watered we head out to our chosen location to get some of the best shots that Balea Lake has to offer. Here we give detailed tuition on filters, tripods, remote, settings, exposure and composition. The group then have some free time to seek out their own shots and compositions. Before returning back to Brasov as the sun is setting, stop once again to photograph the impressive winding roads of the Transfagarasan. The remainder of the evening was spent at leisure, a most welcome break after a busy day.
Day four takes us north to Sighisoara, a beautifully preserved medieval town set in rolling countryside and a UNESCO World Heritage site steeped in legend, and the birth place of Vlad the Impaler (the warlord that Bram Strokers character Dracula is based on). We start with a short walking tour through the cobbled streets viewing many highlights including the Church on the Hill and the impressive Clock Tower, which dates back to the 13th century. Each day a different wooden figure emerges from the belfry on the stroke of midnight and a drummer strikes every hour. This location is a little different in terms of tuition, here we introduce some ideas around setting themes and conventions, as well reading and communicating an image. The guys are both delighted and challenged as this gives them a way of seeing things with a different twist. After a review during our exploration of the town, everybody excels and produces a fantastic array of images.
We reboard the bus and travel onwards to the traditional Saxon village of Viscri. Viscri is an amazing site that seems to almost have stepped out of time, with handcrafts and traditional agriculture that has not changed in generations. It is home to a stunning fortified church. We split up and wander this unique and fascinating town, that is full of friendly faces and detailed crafts, before re-boarding the bus back to Brasov.
It is our last evening in Romania so many of us experience the night life and have a well earned local dinner. We depart early the next morning with out take away breakfast in hand, and just as we think our adventure is over, we make one more stop. We head for Peles Castle on route to the airport and find it lit up in the amazing misty sunrise.