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A Photographer’s Journey Through Snowy Kakheti

A Photographer’s Journey Through Snowy Kakheti

Kakheti, the easternmost region of Georgia, is known for its wine, hospitality, and picturesque landscapes. But what happens when this sunny land is covered with snow? A photographer decided to find out and capture the beauty of Kakheti in its winter attire.

A Family Tragedy and a Snowy Forecast

The photographer, who wished to remain anonymous, had sent his wife to Kakheti to visit her relatives, and planned to join her soon. But fate had other plans: his wife’s beloved aunt, who was 84 years old, suddenly fell ill and passed away. The photographer rushed to Lagodekhi, where the funeral and the wake were held. He expressed his condolences to his wife and her family, and participated in the traditional rituals of mourning.

At the same time, he learned that snowy weather was expected in the region. He decided to take advantage of this rare opportunity and shoot Kakheti in a different look. He said: “Cloudy skies and not very inspired light notwithstanding, I worked with what I had, which is a useful thing for a photographer to try in virtually any situation, as long as any kind of camera is at hand.”

A Photographer’s Journey Through Snowy Kakheti

The Magic of Snow

The photographer explained that snow can transform the landscape, hiding some details and highlighting others with its pure whiteness. He chose to process his images in black and white, as the colors were mostly muted anyway. He said: “What kind of contrast should you expect in cloudiness? Pretty low, with no sunlight to cast strong shadows or burn out highlights. But details will emerge in this soft light, and you can take advantage of them.”

He also said that snow is ideal for portraits, as it creates a natural backdrop and a flattering light. He took some photos of an elderly lady-friend they visited, using only the window-light. He said: “I find old age has its own loveliness: take that, Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines! Beauty is in my eyes, not your opinions.”

The Hidden Treasures of Kakheti

The photographer said that he was amazed by the variety of subjects he found in Kakheti, even under the snow. He said: “Some medium-size amphorae in the yard, partly covered with snow, took on an entirely different appearance; I seldom see them like this. The same for my wife’s ancestral vineyards, in their winter sleep, now under light blankets of white. The vines are gorgeously twisted in their lines, their thin trunks nonetheless years old. Look, seek for things to shoot, and you’ll find them.”

He admitted that he missed the mountains, which were mostly hidden behind the clouds. He said: “It didn’t matter. There was plenty to see right around me. I had some new winter boots, and my feet stayed both warm and dry in them, which is essential when trudging through mud and slush. It was just above freezing, so the snow wasn’t staying on everything for long, and I did all the shooting I could in the morning, when it was colder.”

He said that he hoped to visit Svaneti, the mountainous region of Georgia, next month for Lamproba, the main mid-winter festival. He said: “So this light snow was, for me, most welcome in these lower, warmer lowlands.”

The photographer shared some of his photos with us, which you can see below. He said that he was happy with the results, and that he enjoyed his journey through snowy Kakheti. He said: “I think that every place has its own charm, in every season. You just have to look for it, and capture it with your camera.”

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