I finally got a chance to shoot what I wanted, the way I wanted in a small Transylvanian village called Holbav. That’s where the photo of me in the oxen cart was taken (last post).
Though Holbav is only about 20km away from Brasov (the region’s largest city) it is a world away in terms of everything else. Not much would have changed here over the last 100 years or so. Incredibly, there is still no electricity, no running water and none of the other comforts taken for granted in the “modern” Europe. In other words in many ways the village is representative of what a lot of Romania must have been like a long while ago. This is exactly what I wanted to photograph.
My time in Holbav, though very short, was intense. There are times when I want to limit what I know about a place. I think not knowing helps me to be open to only the positive aspects and to concentrate purely on my photography. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case here.
It’s a long story not worth getting into on the blog, but the bottom line is, I found out too much. That the place is not perfect, that life there is hard and the hardships sometimes have a negative impact on people, naturally. Though my experience was 99% great, being aware of the brute, savage and cruel qualities that occasionally come out of the local population was not something I wanted.
In any case, here are some images from this fascinating village.
Dominicu collecting hay, which had been drying for a couple of weeks prior.
Ioan and his oxen. Apparently they are pretty old. Ioan used voice commands and beat the crap out of them to get the desired results. It was often a pitiful scene, which is better communicated through video, which I also made, but cannot share until I reach a fast internet connection.
Next stop – Maramures – supposedly it’s a photographer’s paradise in many ways. We’ll see. :)