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To Russia with love

Marija Lees with one of her photographs.

Marija Lees with one of her photographs.

Exeter-based photographer, Marija Lees LRPS, shared her adventures to Yaroslavl, Russia with members of the Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club recently when she told of a photographic project she was involved with two years ago between Exeter and its twin city.

Yaroslavl, which lies 160 miles north east of Moscow is part of the Golden Ring and has gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status for its 17th century churches and historic buildings.

Marija’s counterpart, landscape photographer Alexy Lobanov, visited Exeter in the summer, whilst Marija deliberately chose to go to Yaroslavl in the winter when the temperatures spiral down to -30 degrees. She reasoned that the harsh climate is integral to the culture of the place and wanted to experience this for herself.

Aside from keeping herself warm, she also had to take great care with her camera as the batteries can easily freeze in these unforgiving conditions.

Her efforts to capture the people and the place certainly paid off with some breath-taking images of the beautiful onion-shaped church domes at Rostov Veliky and the sartorial elegance of the local people, even in such extreme weather.

More surprisingly were the pretty painted wooden houses with intricate carvings around the windows and hearing about Tutayev, a town that spans the River Volga, but famously has no bridge.

Marija finished the evening with an eclectic mix of photographs from her travels and street photography – showing her keen interest in people and their stories.

New members are always welcome to join the Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club, which meets on a Wednesday evening at Holcombe Village Hall. See our calendar.

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