On a trip through rural Romania with Mitchell Kanashkevich

The One for the adventure. We have given our brand new LUMIX G80 camera to travel documentary photographer and Ambassador Mitchell Kanashkevich on his adventure to rural Romania. Now he is sharing his favorite images and stories with us. Moreover he will explain how to use the camera and various lenses and provide his top tips for getting the most out of the LUMIX G80.

The young photographer always travelled through the world looking for new adventures and possibilities to learn more about cultures and languages. His pictures represent almost forgotten worlds and extraordinary people. His last trip was to rural Romania and his images turned out amazing. Today he will give us a glance behind the scenes and tell us the stories behind his pictures.

Working under the sun of Romania

The 12mm lens allowed me to frame wide while being fairly close to the subjects. I could include what was important in the shot and still be close enough to create the feel that I’m right there with the workers. The articulating screen of the G80 is absolutely brilliant for shooting from challenging perspectives like this one. There’s no need to lay down, get on your back or into an awkward position.

The yellow beauty of an early sunset

To get this photo I set the camera with the 100-400mm lens virtually on the ground. There was yellow grass in front of the lens. I decided to include it into the frame. With such a long lens the grass was blurred and created a veil-like effect. The “veil” added warmth to the scene (because the grass was yellow) and made it look a little dreamy, magical. Because the grass was in between the camera and my main subjects – the girl and the horse – it would have been virtually impossible to auto-focus correctly with most cameras. I needed precision and this is where touch focus is extremely useful. To get my subjects sharp, I made my focus point very small and touched on the girl’s face, which was actually between a few stems of grass.

The play of colours in a red sunset

 

This image has a graphic quality to it because of the silhouetted figure of the man in the hat against the sky. Two factors helped me achieve this: the wide angle 12mm lens and the perspective I shot from.

The articulating screen was important. If I had to look through a viewfinder or a non-articulating screen, I’d need to lay down on the ground next to the fire. With the G80 I crouched, twisted the screen, placed the camera very close to the ground and could comfortably wait for the right moment to make my exposure.

A campfire above the clouds

This image has a graphic quality to it because of the silhouetted figure of the man in the hat against the sky. Two factors helped me achieve this: the wide angle 12mm lens and the perspective I shot from.

The articulating screen was important. If I had to look through a viewfinder or a non-articulating screen, I’d need to lay down on the ground next to the fire. With the G80 I crouched, twisted the screen, placed the camera very close to the ground and could comfortably wait for the right moment to make my exposure.

A woman working on the field

In this case I wanted to capture the woman tossing hay, with the hay at its apex. The burst mode in the G80 allows you to produce several images in a second. This gives you a much higher chance of capturing just the right moment, and in RAW format too.

The play of colors in a red sunset.

A Romanian family

Most people in Maramures are incredibly welcoming and enjoy having their photo taken. Parents or grandparents encouraging a child to pose for a photo is not unusual. That’s exactly what happened here. I wanted to capture this very moment of awareness of my presence and the interaction with the camera.

The articulating screen of the G80 meant that I could very quickly get on eye-level with the boy. I didn’t have to get down physically, which would have probably caused me to lose time and miss the shot.

A shepherd in green

Stefan, the man in the image, was shy when we met. He didn’t understand why I wanted to take his photo. He saw himself as a very regular “old man”. It helped that the G80 is not a large camera. Together with the 15mm lens it looks really inconspicuous. I didn’t overwhelm Stefan with equipment. The silent shutter helped with this too, since many people feel a little unnerved and self-conscious when they hear the clicking.

A portrait of a farmer

I met this Roma man on the road. His face seemed very portrait-worthy to me. The lack of the low-pass filter in the G80 makes the details – his wrinkles and moustache – particularly sharp here.

A happy woman with her grand-daughter

Scenes in low light are generally not easy for the autofocus, especially when there are a few subjects in close proximity to each other. Prior to this photo my translator made a joke and I got some warm, natural smiles. I had to react instantly, but I wanted to have the grandmother in focus and only a hint of her granddaughter, out of focus in the background. Touch-focus proved very useful here. I quickly touched on the grandmother’s face on the screen and was able to get the photo just in time.

A romanian blue-eyed young girl

Bokeh or blurred background is a powerful way to separate the subject from the rest of the scene and to create a sense of depth. It’s a great effect in portraits. The Panasonic/Leica 42.5mm lens opens up all the way to f/1.2. This means very shallow depth of field and great separation of subject from the background.

You can see that though the background is almost entirely blurred here, there is quite an incredible amount of sharpness and detail around the girl’s eyes, which is what I focused on.