Reconnecting With My Roots, A Trip To Serbia - Ravanica

By Goran Prvulovic

If you’ve been wondering why there haven’t been any updates to my blog, it’s because I had gone on a trip to Serbia with my son for the past 17 days. Although I was born in Serbia and spent most of my youth there, I ended up leaving in my twenties and haven’t been back in almost 20 years.

Although traveling back has always been on my mind, I never seemed to have enough time to get around to it. What spurred this trip was my sons growing interested in learning about his background as well as all of his extended family that’s living over there. It’s one thing to have to drag your child on a trip with you, but it’s entirely another when he’s just as interested in experience everything that the trip has to offer.

Besides from reconnecting with all of my childhood friends and relatives, I had plenty of opportunities to take all sorts of different pictures of both the countryside and of the urban city itself. As such, I’m planning for the next few blog posts to be more of a reflection of my Serbia trip, as well as showing off some of the more interesting historical and cultural sites of the country.

Perhaps one of the most renowned aspects of Serbia’s historical/cultural scene is its monasteries. I’m not particularly religious myself, but as both an engineer, photographer and lover of history, I always appreciate the ancient Orthodox churches that dot the landscape of my home country.

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One of the most famous is a monastery known as Ravanica. Built in the 14th century between 1375 and 1377, it’s one of the oldest churches in the region and a must-see for anyone passing by. I took a few pictures of the site myself.                                                                                   

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Here is a side shot of the famous monastery, alongside a slightly touched up version of the original picture as well made to look like an old-school black and white picture.

Under the advice of one of my photography mentors, I have been experimenting with taking all of my pictures through a black and white lens. I’ve learned that by taking pictures only through black and white, it eliminates a distracting element in my shooting sessions, allowing me to focus more on the composition and other aspects of a photo. For those of you that are interested in taking your photography to the next level, it’s a habit that I strongly recommend you pick up for yourself as well.

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Here’s a wide-angle picture of the surrounding landscape, as the monastery was nestled in a small, hidden little valley covered by a green forest. It’s nothing like the forests of Canada, which especially along the Rocky Mountain range tend to be very coniferous, alpine, and almost dark. They are much greener as well for much longer into the year, not surprising considering the climate of southern Europe.

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Although I was regrettably not permitted to take pictures within the ancient monastery itself, I had to settle for as many outside shots as I could take. These four golden crosses on top of the building were quite interesting on their own.

I took a few close-ups of the building as well, which gives off a drastically different feeling compared to the more distant pictures. Down below, we’re able to get a closer look at all the detail of a seven-hundred-year-old building, along with all the ancient history that’s carried within these ancient walls. Despite not having any sky and just a little bit of foliage to the left, the picture still is pretty interesting to my eye’s.

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I have many more pictures still to come of various locations throughout the country, which I will feature in the next few blog posts that I publish. If there’s anything that I learned from the process of photographing these historical landmarks, it’s the willingness to capture the smaller details of the site, as those are the ones that hold the small, little details that make these locations so interesting.

Until next time,

Goran Prvulovic