Smells like Moscow Summer

I don’t know why I like this picture so much. There is no single element that stands out to me. Or maybe there is one: to me it smells like Moscow summer. And it is not a bad thing at all. According to the famous photographer Bruce Gilden: “If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it’s a street photograph“. Even though I would not consider the one above as a “street photograph”, to me it evokes memories of a wonderful evening walk in the centre of Moscow and  I can spot a few elements that can “transport me back” and that I find highly evocative.

First of all the sky is that colour… that blue with a hint of magenta that only turns on late summer evenings. The decorations giving a sense of festiveness. And then the fashionable summer chairs, one of them with a warm blanked on the backrest because it is, after all, Moscow. The even more fashionable picture on the left and “Cavalli” banner on the right (now replaced by an even more exclusive Loro Piana) and, to top it all, the cobblestone and the Bird Tower at the far end to evoke Moscow’s medieval heritage.

Photo tip! This is nothing mind-blowing, but if you are not doing it, it means that you have to hear it! If, actually, when you see a place you’d like to photograph, but it is too crowded and you want to photograph it without people, there are two ways to go about it.

  1. The hard way. You can find a position where you won’t be stampeded by the crowd, set up your tripod, focus and turn off the autofocus, screw on an ND filter on your lens and stop it down, attach a remote and patiently take a few long exposure to make sure no one stands long enough in a single spot to appear in the final image.
  2. The easy way. Enjoy your stroll and the rest of your morning and/or afternoon and then go back at night, when there are almost always much fewer people around and the light is much likely to be better (blue hour right after sunset, for instance).

Would you like to take part or organise a photo walk around Moscow to be sure to get in the best place at the best time to capture the images you want to capture? Do get in touch and we’ll make it happen!


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