Kizhi: the hide for Russian soul

Oshevnev peasant historical wooden house from Russian Zaonezhye (Onega lake north-west) in front of Kizhi Churchyard
Peasant Oshevnev′s historical wooden house from Russian Zaonezhye (Onega lake north-west) in front of Kizhi Churchyard. Fujifilm X100T, Fujinon 23mm f/2.0 Aspherical Super EBC,  f/8 ISO 400 1/60″.

Medium-sized but still noisy city of Petrozavodsk was left behind, and the rocket-loud diesel engine of “Meteor” motor boat was switched off after mooring to the pier. After a few steps on the land of Kizhi island I felt calm and quiet. Wooden buildings around adjust the tourists′ mind in a natural way. This feeling of peace and extraordinarity of the place comes even before you approach the island while the boat glides over the waters of Onega skerries. Open waters of Onega lake were left just after the lighthouse on Garnitsky isle, and then the boat goes through the skerries. “Meteor” moves around another one cape, and then another one village shows, then a leading beacon appears, followed by a nice yellow birch and dark spruce trees, and then again a village with a pier... Then finally Church of the Transfiguration shows off. The church looks like a spaceship at a launch pad, floating in the air. It turns out that the church is under renovation, and some timber layers are excised in a top-down way for a treatment while the top of the church is suspended on jacks. If not this, nothing suggests you that you are actually in the 21th century.

View of southern part of Kizhi museum island from waters of Onega lake, Karelia, Russian north-west
View of southern part of Kizhi museum island from waters of Onega lake, Karelia, Russian north-west.  f/8 ISO 320 1/200″.

Wooden historical Russian orthodox Church of the Transfiguration, Kizhi museum island
Wooden historical Russian orthodox Church of the Transfiguration, Kizhi museum island.  f/8 ISO 320 1/160″.

Nothing break the silence but the bells which ring from time to time in Chapel of Michael the Archangel at the southern cape of Kizhi island.
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Marble textures in Ruskeala

Photographers and other tourists are attracted by this half-flooded marble quarry in Ruskeala settlement. However, it′s not as easy to get here as to the north-western part of Ladoga skerries. In fact, Ruskeala is even more to the north than the city of Petrozavodsk.

Texture of marble rock wall above waters of a small lake in Ruskeala
Texture of marble rock wall above waters of a small lake in Ruskeala. Fujifilm X100T, Fujinon 23mm f/2.0 Aspherical Super EBC,  f/6.4 ISO 400 1/80″.

I would not say I feel very familiar with what Ruskeala quarries may offer for landscape photography. Anyway it′s quite hard to get known to the place in just one day. But for sure I am impressed with various marble textures, patterns and surface types. These things may be photographed from both the boat and land.

Texture of marble rock wall above waters of a small lake in Ruskeala
Texture of marble rock wall above waters of a small lake in Ruskeala.  f/5.6 ISO 400 1/80″.

Texture of marble rock wall Texture of marble rock wall
Texture of marble rock.  f/5.6 ISO 400 1/60″.
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Star Sky in Karelia

Aurora Borealis glow over Lehtisinsaari island in Ladoga lake
Aurora Borealis glow over Lehtisinsaari island in Ladoga lake. EF 17–40mm f/4L USM,  f/4 ISO 12800 30″.

Karelia never stops to excite! Even I was surprised. Northern lights above Lehtisinsaari isle, Milky Way rising between Priozersk and Kuznechnoye.
Russia, Republic of Karelia, Ladoga lake, first weekend this September.

Milky Way rising above Kilpolansaari island Central part of Milky Way galaxy
Milky Way rising above Kilpolansaari island. EF 17–40mm f/4L USM,  f/4 ISO 12800 30″.

Secluded landscapes

Secluded landscapes, White Sea | Укромные пейзажи, Белое Море — 49880
Secluded landscapes. White sea, Sredny isle, 2008. Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG HSM, tripod, focusing rails, cable release.  f/4 ISO 100 1/80″.

Forest floor and forest glades at islands in White Sea are the kingdom of lichens. If you sit down on your knee to approach them, you will see that Stereocaulon lichens actually look just like the well-known forest but in miniature. I kept this thing in mind for a few rainy days thinking how to photograph such a macroscape.

I came back later to this great place of multilayered lichen jungles and was immediately attacked by a cloud of mosquitos. I could not even think about any photography before getting back my repellent cartridge which I had lost a week before. Luckily, I have found it, with just two dents on it – the woodpecker′s curiosity. Only after that I was able to actually start sweeping out pine needles from the area and begin shooting.