Discover the natural beauty of Romania for the photography workshop of a lifetime in one of the most interesting countries in the world. Medieval towns and villages dot the countryside of Transylvania. This region of the world has seen many turbulent times, however the people here proudly and openly welcome you to share their history and culture, which seems to have been saved for years. In some parts, horse and carriage are still the main means of transport. The beauty of the hills and mountains are breathtaking. Visit the remote villages of Viscri and Biertan and the medieval towns of Sighisoara and Sibiu, passing through Maramures and Bucovina and stopping at the famous castles of Bran and Sinaia that will be remembered forever.
You are destined to have lasting impressions of Romania’s rich history, striking landscapes, colorful cities and fascinating people. Deanne Fitzmaurice will share her knowledge of photography and support your creativity with her ideas and tips to create narrative and dynamic travel photographs.
Photograph and meet gypsies in their own community in Transylvania and discover their particular culture and traditional skills
Photograph and discover the magic and myths of Transylvania in the more remote villages such as Biertan, Viscri and Barsana
Photograph the Castle of Bran, known as “Dracula’s Castle,” built about 800 years ago when Transylvania was controlled by Hungarian kings
Take portraits of locals dressed in traditional costumes and be immersed in Romanian folklore and tradition
Photograph a candlelight mass during the Easter Celebration in Bucovina
Camera settings for beginners
Portrait lighting techniques using one flash
How to tell a story with your images
How to pose and photograph locals
April 14 - Depart USA
April 15 - Arrive Bucharest, Romania (OTP)
Arrival at Coanda International Airport in Bucharest (OTP). Meet and greet by your professional English speaking tour guide right after you exit Customs. Transfer to your downtown Bucharest hotel. In the evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner and Folklore Show. (D)
April 16 - Bucharest-Maramures
After breakfast, photograph the impressive Palace of Parliament built in the last decade of the communist regime in Romania, the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Discover a blend of medieval, communist and French influenced architecture. In the evening, fly to Baia Mare airport in the Maramures region, in the northern part of the country. Overnight accommodation in Baia Mare. (B)
April 17 - Maramures
The Maramures region is home to many villages where century-old traditions are still part of daily life. The inhabitants of this area have preserved, to an amazing extent, the rural culture and crafts of their Dacian ancestors. Maramures villages are distinguished by their unique wooden churches with tall spires and shingled roofs. Wood has long been - and continues to be - the medium of expression for the region’s artisans. Photograph one of the most beautiful wooden churches, in Budesti and the unique Merry Cemetery in Sapanta with its colorfully decorated wooden crosses. Enjoy a traditional home-cooked lunch at a family run guesthouse. Photograph local people, wood craftsmen, women using natural whirlpool washing machines to wash their carpets and farmers working the land. Overnight accommodation in Baia Mare. (B)
April 18 - Bucovina-Orthodox Easter Eve
Today is Orthodox Easter Eve day. You will have the opportunity to observe how Romanian Orthodox celebrate this very important religious holiday. We will travel from Maramures to the Bucovina region which is the best place to be for Easter due to its well-kept traditions. Learn about the craft of painting Easter eggs. Early Christians started staining eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed during crucifixion. In this region eggs are not only painted in red, they are wonderfully decorated with traditional symbols from the region, some of the eggs being considered true master pieces. The Easter mass starts at 9 pm and goes on until 5 am when food is blessed by the priest and Christians who fasted before Easter can then enjoy all the food they have prepared. Attend the Easter mass and photograph people dressed in traditional clothes and focus on low-light photography and portraits. Overnight accommodation in the Bucovina region. (B)
April 19 - Bucovina
You will spend Easter by visiting two of the most beautiful painted monasteries in Moldovita and Sucevita (UNESCO World Heritage sites.) Enjoy a traditional Easter lunch with lamb and go for afternoon mass, another great time to take pictures of people dressed in traditional clothes. (B,L)
April 20 - Transylvania Region-Sighisoara
This morning, travel to Transylvania region passing through a beautiful mountainous region. In the afternoon you will arrive in Sighisoara, a medieval citadel and UNESCO World heritage site, ideal for blue hour photography as it is nicely lit. The town has many gorgeous old buildings, charming squares and narrow cobbled streets. Sighisoara is world renowned for its architecture that dates from the 14th century. Transylvania is one of the historic regions of Romania, in the central part of the country. Its name comes from Latin, translating as the “land beyond the forest” reminding of the Latin origins of this region and country. Throughout centuries the region has been the battlefield for many wars, being at the intersection of many great empires. That is why many fortifications and castles have been built and the region is famous because of them. (B,L)
April 21 - Biertan and Viscri
Rise early in the morning to shoot sunrise in a spectacular location: the majestic fortified church in Biertan located on a hilltop in a valley. Breakfast will be served at an organic farm afterwards. The rest of the day will be spent in the well preserved traditional village of Viscri where you will meet the women spinning wool, a local brick maker and blacksmith. Learn about their work, life and take portraits. Both Biertan and Viscri are UNESCO World Heritage sites. (B,D)
April 22 - Brasov-Bran castle
Photograph sunrise, this time at a sheepfold where you will see the shepherds milking the sheep and preparing for the workday ahead. You will have some time to wander around the village and countryside, take pictures of the traditional houses, people working in the fields or women sitting in front of their houses knitting. Arrive in Brasov, a wonderful medieval town at the foot of the mountains. You will have some time by yourselves to explore the town to take pictures. Later in the day, we will arrive at Bran castle and take pictures of it from the outside. (B,D)
April 23 - Magura and Sirnea
In the morning, you will have time to visit the Bran castle which will surprise you with its neat interior decorations, a far cry from its world fame as Dracula’s castle. The mountainous region around the castle has truly spectacular views of the Buchegi mountains and Piatra Craiului National Park. Photograph the remote villages of Magura and Sirnea, high up in the mountains which offers stunning landscape photography. (B,D)
April 24 - Peles Castle in Sinaia /USA
On the last day of the tour, you will pass by Romania’s most stunning castle, Peles Castle in Sinaia, richly decorated on the inside and set in a picturesque natural setting in the mountains. We will have one more group lunch before getting to Bucharest late in the afternoon. Important: it is advisable to book your return flights to depart after 4pm.
Itinerary is subject to change.
Accommodations based on double occupancy.
A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.
Mirjam Evers is a New York City based travel photographer who specializes in travel images, portraiture, landscape photography and adventure images. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Evers has photographed in more than 90 countries, including many of the most exotic places in the world. Evers' photographs are indicative of her unique capacity to personally connect with diverse cultures and communities. Her eye for location lighting is highly stylized and works to illustrate and heighten the unique characteristics of each international locale. She is able to transcend cultural and language barriers with an intangible spirit that is conveyed in every image. Evers is one of the founders of Photo Quest.
Selected Publications: AFAR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Departures, Golf Magazine, AARP, Outdoor Photographer, Outside Magazine, PDN, American Photo, Popular Photography, Digital Photo, MSN Travel and Town & Country Magazine.
Bordered by Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary and Moldova, Romania also has a stretch of coastline along the Black Sea. Much of Romania's terrain is mountainous with the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvanian Alps occupying parts of the central and northern regions. Home to a large number of glacial and karstic lakes, rivers and lagoons, Romania's splendid scenery will take many by surprise. Considerable amounts of arable land, orchards, vineyards, rural pastures and farmland are significant features of Romania's countryside.
Bucharest was first mentioned in official documents in 1459 during the rule of Vlad III or Vlad the Impaler, a character who inspired Bram Stoker to write the novel Dracula which is now a global phenomenon, being one of the first things associated with Romania. In Bucharest you will see what is left of Vlad’s princely court and you will hear more about him while in Transylvania.
Romanian (limba romana) is the official language of Romania. The name Romania, and its derivatives, come from the Latin word 'Romanus,' a legacy of Roman rulers who took control of ancient Dacia in 106 A.D. Romanian retains a number of features of old Latin, such as noun cases, which other Romance languages dispensed with a long time ago.
87% Romanian Orthodox, with Greek and Roman Catholic, Reformed/Lutheran, Unitarian, Muslim and Jewish minorities.
The best times to visit in terms of climate are the end of April to the beginning of July as temperatures are mild and pleasant. Summers can be hot especially in Southern Romania, including Bucharest, but along the Black Sea Coast, sea breezes offer moderate temperatures.
Bring light and lightweight comfortable clothes for the days and something medium weight to layer with in the cooler evenings. As always, bring a thin, waterproof shell - chances are you will not need it, but you never know. Wear good walking shoes.
Romanian cuisine is an eclectic mix of different cultural influences with elements from Turkey, Germany, Hungary all easily discernible.
Traditionally, Romanian food tends to be stodgy and meat-based, revolving around dishes such as ciolan afumat (smoked pork knuckle with beans), mamaliga (cornmeal polenta) and carnaţi de pleşcoi (mutton sausages).
Breakfasts almost always include eggs, either soft-boiled, hard-boiled, fried or scrambled, and omelettes filled with either cheese, ham or mushrooms are also frequently served.
Romania uses the Romanian Leu. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the main tourist centers with a surcharge.
US citizens do not need a visa to enter Romania and may stay up to 90 days. A passport valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond intended stay is is required.
The voltage is generally 220 V, and outlets will fit the two-pin plug known as the Europlug.
Telephone Country code is +40
Computer / Digital Accessories
Laptop with charger and Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom or Photomechanic (not mandatory)
Portable hard drives like Lacie hard drives
All cables for drives, computer, card readers, storage devices, etc.
Power converters/adapters for all international quests
Cover for camera (for shooting in the rain); Fotosharp makes simple, inexpensive covers
Lightweight tripod (carbon fiber)
Cable release (for night shots)
Small headlamp and flashlight
Camera and extra body SLR
Memory cards (bring plenty)
Sensor cleaning supplies
Flash with plenty of batteries
Wireless transmitter for flash
4-70mm for portraits
70-200mm lens for portraits.
Lens hoods for all lenses
Lint-free cloth to clean lenses and blower ball for dust
Lensbaby if you have one (or else you can try ours)
$5800 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $1650.
PQA will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.
Limited to 10 participants.
International airfare to/from Bucharest, Romania
Medical and trip insurance (highly recommended)
9 nights accommodations (based on double occupancy)
One domestic flight from Bucharest to Baia Mare
All entrance fees
Meals as indicated on the itinerary
Qualified, English speaking guides/drivers
A/C vehicles for land transportation
Group airport transfers on arrival and departure dates
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.