After an autumn picture of yesterday - a reminder of what may expect at least some of us in the near future. This is one of the oldest photographs in my archive. It was made in 1986 and shows the Cathedral of the Rising of the Cross in the Yuriev (St.George's) Monastery in Vitoslavlitzi near Novgorod in the North-West of Russia.
Notwithstanding its name, Novgorod is the most ancient Slavic city recorded in Russia. Archeological data suggests that the Gorodische, the residence of the Knyaz (prince), dates from the middle of 9 C, whereas the town itself dates only from the end of the 9 C, hence the name Novgorod, "new city". By the mid-10 C Novgorod had become a fully developed medieval city. In 882 Oleg of Novgorod captured Kiev and founded the state of Kievan Rus, the oldest centralized state on Russian soil. In that state Novgorod was the second city in importance. No other Russian or Ukrainian city may compete with Novgorod in the variety and age of its medieval monuments, and in 1992, historic monuments of Novgorod and surroundings were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The foremost among these is the St.Sophia Cathedral, built in the 1040s. It is the first church ever to represent original features of Russian architecture (austere stone walls, five helmet-like cupolas). Novgorod kremlin (fortress) also contains the oldest palace in Russia (1433), the oldest Russian bell tower (mid-15 C), and the oldest Russian clock tower (1673). Yuriev Monastery is also probably the oldest in Russia and dates from 1030, but the cathedral we see is not so old and was built only in 1823. According to the fashion of that period, its cupola are dark blue with golden stars; however, I didn't have a colour film at my disposal...
Something about the photo itself. It was made with the ancient Praktiflex camera of my grandfather which is nowadays so rare that it wasn't even featured in the huge TE camera list. The Praktiflex is a 35mm SLR that was launched in Germany by KW in 1939. It was one of the very first 24x36 SLRs, its production would continue after the war until 1949, and its successor the Praktica initiated a very long and successful series. Another remarkable thing about the photo is that it was completely processed by myself back in 1986. This means that I took the picture using old Russian B&W film (Svema or Tasma, I think), then developed the film and printed the photographs at home. The name of the photo paper (also B&W, of course) was Unibrom, if I remember correctly. At that time, we still did not have that wonderous photo shops with automatic film processing, it came to Russia several years after that, so we did it ourselves...
Scanned from this old home-made B&W print.
Critiques | Translate
danyy (0) 2006-11-19 8:18
avec cette photo renait en moi l'envie de voir la neige et les paysages sour les grande blanche.
Une photo que le traitement en n/B rend encore plus hivernale.
J'aime cette ambiance.
Bien à toi.
PixelTerror (0) 2006-11-19 8:30
Wowowow 1986, nice oldie well scanned and also fitting to the sunday theme ;-)
I like the window perspective leading to the domes, the person to the left is not very big but adds a little balance.
Have a nice sunday,
arnaud (299) 2006-11-19 8:59
Beautiful B&W shot. I was thinking that the cupola was blue with golden stars (thinking of my visit to Novgorod monastery). Your note confirm it !
jrj (34843) 2006-11-19 9:01
Quite an old bw shot alexander. Fine details from the winter day at this very interesting place. And it seems yhat you handled the processing well at the time.
anducina (8407) 2006-11-19 9:35
Excellent compo and POV. Good light.
A310 (418) 2006-11-19 10:05
Lovely story , and the picture is amazing!
Budapestman (82620) 2006-11-19 10:45
Fascinating mood from Russia! Its an expressive composition and particular atmosphere. Details are impressive and fine. Peaceful and very nice shot!
Thank you, nice days
Xalkida (11744) 2006-11-19 16:18
Very nice shot. The convertion to B&W is succesful and reminds me an old postcard. Marvelous job.
Paolo (41222) 2006-11-20 4:33
Hi Alex, amaizng b/w view, perfect for a winter image, with meters of snow!
good quality and excellent POV along the wall and good light.
Muse (34942) 2006-11-20 6:11
Une photo prise il y a dix ans et à laquelle le BN convient très bien.
Un bon cadrage sur cette architecture typique.
capthaddock (28790) 2006-11-20 11:34
Wonderful atmosphere, even though I prefer colour, I understand the decision to use the BW format, its very artistic, the human figure helps give scale without distracting from the main subject, excellent image quality given the age, and very informative note.
jlynx (12647) 2006-11-21 9:13
Nice architecture of the Orthodox Church. Well that in this winter-scenery you show her in the technique B & W. This perfectly raises values of this picture. Little it is Orthodox church in Poland. Remainders are mostly partly of southeastern of my country. The nice picture well planned and well-made. I like such places and their photoes.
Best regards from Poznan,
barrufeto_77 (28886) 2006-11-22 1:06
This time I'd preffered a colour version (although I like this one).
The man, alone, walking on the left-hand side is a good point in the composition.
Silke (3027) 2006-11-22 12:40
I must say that I am curious to know whether this scene is still relevant today: has the area changed at all in those 20 years?
Superb POV, great details
tcht (7565) 2006-11-23 12:03
Lovely BW tones in this nostalgic pic. Nice repetition and perspective on the right and interesting to see one tiny man balancing it from the left. An atmospheric shot portraying in detail the Russian 'coldness'.
jinju (14265) 2006-11-23 18:48
Its details that often make a picture good. Here the detail is a few pixels but its huge, and that detail is the man. Him here the photo is no longer an architectural shot but a human drama of a man alone in this cold, unforgiving environment. The minastery here becomes secondary, a nice decoration of the scene, and the photo becomes someting I like much better.
keribar (43841) 2006-11-25 3:55
It may be an old picture, but it has an atmosphere which you can seldom reflect in the digitals: I like it even better than the new ones I wish you a very good week-end - Izzet
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2006-11-25 4:28
Great old picture taken with more old camera. Interesting monastery in winter time. Very good note.
bantonbuju (51815) 2006-11-26 11:41
superb take, i cant help it but i simply love these sacral buildings, particularly in eastern orthodox style (and more in moscow style rather than in kiev one, mostly for the shape of the roofs);
love that this one is in b/w, thus making for a plain focus on the shapes,
best wishes, j.
faubry (35447) 2006-12-15 9:38
hello Alexander, very beautiful picture like old image, i like your choice of B&W, great composition, i think it was Serguiev Possad!!
knerkowski (1476) 2007-12-19 7:42
Excellent picture and excellent choice for the B&W
I like this contrast and the framing
Thanks for sharing
heldertbk (29) 2008-08-14 21:51
Great take. Fantastic perspective. Thanks for the historical note, it's very instructive. The Praktiflex seems a very good old camera. These russian b&w films "Svema or Tasma" are still produced today? I have allready seem another pictures taken with Svema and a I liked the results.
- Copyright: Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) (15183)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 1986-02-00
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Praktiflex, Praktiflex 35 mm, Svema 130
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): World Heritage Sites Part VIII, Russian antiquities, My B&W photos [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-11-19 8:15