Winter Aerial Photography over Romanian Monasteries

There’s a different world from the height of the sky looking down… There is mystery and there is freedom when you leave everything behind or below and see things from a totally new perspective. Aerial photography is not something new new in the world, but it’s fairly new to me. The rules of photography change a little when all the laws of physics change and you see the world from above the clouds. Everything you know becomes smaller, there are different shapes and patterns, there is a purity that we are not aware of. As winter slowly descended upon the lands I love so much, I got the idea to explore the peaceful orthodox monasteries of northern Oltenia region in Romania. While I have admired them from up close many time before, the advantage of aerial photography using a drone gave me the chance to show them in a different way.

Drones and drone photography is the closest of us regular photographers will ever come to aerial photography and flying while taking pictures. The inner child comes alive each time you take your small machine into the air and start exploring and searching for new visions of common places or things. The first destinations are of course closer to home and in a particularly cold winter day, I started this little project and began to experience flying in some of the most beautiful places that I can easily reach within a day. The orthodox monasteries of northern Oltenia (southwest Romania) might not be as famous or artistically praised as the ones in Bucovina region, but they are equally enchanting and inspiring. While having traveled there frequently, I imagined their magical beauty covered in the first snows…

Tismana Monastery

On a small promontory, perched between the valley of Tismana River and the last ridges of the mountains, surrounded by forests, this is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Romania. Built sometime in the 14th century, it originally had Byzantine architecture, some of it still visible among the series of later additions and renovations. With its strong walls the protected location, its resembles more of a stronghold and in the past it also served this purpose for the nearby villagers.

Lainici Monastery

The monastery of Lainici is located in the middle of the mountains, almost halfway through the gorgeous defile of the Jiu river that separates two mountain ranges of the Carpathians. An architectural and historical jewel, this monastery had a troubled past, being deserted and revived several times. Today, it is one of the most visited and famous in Romania, guarding the spiritual passage between two historical provinces.

Polovragi Monastery

This is one of the oldest and most interesting monasteries in Romania, with an exquisite Byzantine architectural style and other religious treasures. It is located in one of the most picturesque landscapes imaginable, before the entrance into the stunning Oltet Gorges. Majestic cliffs hover over this small monastery, while the lands around hold many natural wonders and are filled with myths and legends.

Images were shot with DJI Phantom 4 drone and edited with Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Photoshop!

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