Visit to Montenegro

Montenegro is a beautiful country, full of colour, warmth and hospitality. Montenegro is one of the former Yugoslavian countries, situated on the shores of Adriatic sea. It could be described as: Mountains, sea, bright colours and warm people.

Myself and my mother travelled to Montenegro in July, one of the hottest months of summer. We chose a winding Bay of Kotor as our home for the next 10 days. I was excited like a little girl, literally glued to the window, when I saw the views of the bay while descending. We stepped out of the airplane into the heat of + 40 C and I knew this is going to be good!

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

The Bay of Kotor is about 28 km long, cutting through the Dinaric Alps and has a shoreline of 107 km. In other words, you can drive alone the seaside for hours and you will be awarded with the most picturesque views of the turquoise water and lush mountains. If you are visiting Montenegro, rent a car and go explore all these beautiful roads. That was exactly what we did: almost every day we travelled to a new town of Montenegro to learn its history, unravel its beauty and meet new people.

Kotor.

Old town of Kotor have seen action from Roman Empire, Republic of Venice, and both world wars. A walk through the old town of Kotor makes you travel in time. So much happened in this city walls. Well, the town itself and the bay actually are World Heritage sites and protected by UNESCO.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

JZH_9489Lovcen Mountains.

Lovcen Mountain views left me speechless. It was was the most special experience of the whole trip. Twisting mountain road brought us to the top of the world 🙂 We went there specifically during the sunset hours to experience it in its full beauty. The road is a bit scary at times, but so worth the ride. There is a zip-slide for adventurous ones on the way as well as a very nice restaurant on the way back to enjoy the sunset meal.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Perast.

Perast is another cosy town of Kotor Bay, famous for close proximity of two islets of Saint Goerge and Our Lady of the Rocks. We visited Perast on the 22 of July in order to witness  a beautiful celebration. A string of boats from Perast sailed in procession to the tiny island of Gospa od Škrpjela, or ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’, which sits in the waters of the Bay of Kotor.
The legend goes that, once upon a time, sailors from Perast found a picture of the Virgin Mary and the Christ-child here in 1452. There after, the townsfolk vowed that every time a ship returned safely from a voyage, a new rock would be dropped on the site. Over time, their efforts created this tiny island, and a beautiful church was erected in honour of Our Lady.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Turquoise water.

Adriatic sea has has an amazing colour – a mix of light blue and green. Kotor is a very deep bay, its deepest part is approximately 60 meters. The unique feature of the sea floor is that it gets deep very close to the shore. That is how big ships and cruise liners are able to travel into the bay. Despite its depth, the water is extremely clear, and very inviting. Yummy I would say.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Bosnia and Hercegovina

One day we decided to travel to a neighboring country of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Interesting change of scenery compared to Mediterranean views of Montenegro. Its raw rocky mountain beauty strikes you the moment you pass the border control. We traveled to Trebinje, southernmost town of Hercegovina, located on the shores of Trebisnjica river. Town presented itself as a mixture of old Ottoman, Soviet and Serbian feel.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Montenegro vibes

For a Russian, it was very special to experience the culture and people of Montenegro. Majority of people speak Serbian, which is very similar to the Russian language. We spoke Russian to locals and they replied in Serbian, two different languages, but we understood each other perfectly.  It really felt like home. Even the customs officer told me at the border “Russia is sestra (sister) and Montenegro is a bratko (brother)”.  People are very friendly and laid back. There is no rush at all, I mean at all.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

 Jenya Zhivaleva Photigraphy.

Your Foto Story.

Montenegro 2015.

Have you seen Montenegro like this?

Montenegro is a beautiful country, full of colour, warmth and hospitality. Montenegro is one of the former Yugoslavian countries, situated on the shores of Adriatic sea. It could be described as: Mountains, sea, bright colours and warm people.

Myself and my mother travelled to Montenegro in July, one of the hottest months of summer. We chose a winding Bay of Kotor as our home for the next 10 days. I was excited like a little girl, literally glued to the window, when I saw the views of the bay while descending. We stepped out of the airplane into the heat of + 40 C and I knew this is going to be good!

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

The Bay of Kotor is about 28 km long, cutting through the Dinaric Alps and has a shoreline of 107 km. In other words, you can drive alone the seaside for hours and you will be awarded with the most picturesque views of the turquoise water and lush mountains. If you are visiting Montenegro, rent a car and go explore all these beautiful roads. That was exactly what we did: almost every day we travelled to a new town of Montenegro to learn its history, unravel its beauty and meet new people.

Kotor.

Old town of Kotor have seen action from Roman Empire, Republic of Venice, and both world wars. A walk through the old town of Kotor makes you travel in time. So much happened in this city walls. Well, the town itself and the bay actually are World Heritage sites and protected by UNESCO.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

JZH_9489Lovcen Mountains.

Lovcen Mountain views left me speechless. It was was the most special experience of the whole trip. Twisting mountain road brought us to the top of the world 🙂 We went there specifically during the sunset hours to experience it in its full beauty. The road is a bit scary at times, but so worth the ride. There is a zip-slide for adventurous ones on the way as well as a very nice restaurant on the way back to enjoy the sunset meal.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Perast.

Perast is another cosy town of Kotor Bay, famous for close proximity of two islets of Saint Goerge and Our Lady of the Rocks. We visited Perast on the 22 of July in order to witness  a beautiful celebration. A string of boats from Perast sailed in procession to the tiny island of Gospa od Škrpjela, or ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’, which sits in the waters of the Bay of Kotor.
The legend goes that, once upon a time, sailors from Perast found a picture of the Virgin Mary and the Christ-child here in 1452. There after, the townsfolk vowed that every time a ship returned safely from a voyage, a new rock would be dropped on the site. Over time, their efforts created this tiny island, and a beautiful church was erected in honour of Our Lady.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Turquoise water.

Adriatic sea has has an amazing colour – a mix of light blue and green. Kotor is a very deep bay, its deepest part is approximately 60 meters. The unique feature of the sea floor is that it gets deep very close to the shore. That is how big ships and cruise liners are able to travel into the bay. Despite its depth, the water is extremely clear, and very inviting. Yummy I would say.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Bosnia and Hercegovina

One day we decided to travel to a neighboring country of Bosnia and Hercegovina. Interesting change of scenery compared to Mediterranean views of Montenegro. Its raw rocky mountain beauty strikes you the moment you pass the border control. We traveled to Trebinje, southernmost town of Hercegovina, located on the shores of Trebisnjica river. Town presented itself as a mixture of old Ottoman, Soviet and Serbian feel.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

Montenegro vibes

For a Russian, it was very special to experience the culture and people of Montenegro. Majority of people speak Serbian, which is very similar to the Russian language. We spoke Russian to locals and they replied in Serbian, two different languages, but we understood each other perfectly.  It really felt like home. Even the customs officer told me at the border “Russia is sestra (sister) and Montenegro is a bratko (brother)”.  People are very friendly and laid back. There is no rush at all, I mean at all.

Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story
Jenya Zhivaleva Photography. Your Foto Story

 Jenya Zhivaleva Photigraphy.

Your Foto Story.

Montenegro 2015.

Afrikaburn 2013

For the past 6 years, in the semi-desert of the Karoo in South Africa, thousands of people have gathered annually for a festival called Afrikaburn.

JZH_9553JZH_9631-2 When I looked at videos and photos of previous events I was inspired, but I could not understand why one would need to go so far? Why create a festival in the middle of nowhere? Only when I went there I understood why.

Each newcomer gets a “survival guide” quite literally. You have to bring everything with you. From water for drinking and washing to sand bags for securing tents and gazebos. Unless you’ve got a power drill, pegs just don’t go into the ground, seriously.

The festival lasts 6 days. But organizers and volunteers arrive weeks before the time and stay for weeks afterwards, to get everything ready, set up and dissemble.

When shopping for our fifth water tank I had my doubts about going. We packed as if we’re moving to mars because Tankwa Town has no water, no electricity, no cellphone signal, no shops and no circulation of money in general.

JZH_9025-2Тhe gravel road to Tankwa town is an adventure on its own. After a 6 hour drive from Mossel Bay we finally reached the turn off to the gravel road. Let the fun begin. Visibility is about 20 cm because hundreds of cars out in front pick up all the dry dust of the Karoo.

Without air-con it’s a mission. Even if you close all the car’s windows and ventilation, dust will be everywhere. On your skin, hair, even a thick layer in your ears. Not to mention the 35 degree heat.

That 135 km gravel road requires incredible faith in what you’re about to do.

I kept repeating the words of little Kai, 5 year old son of our friends Leroy and Rebecca who was on their second trip to Afrikaburn. Kai is a quiet boy, but one evening, while we were looking at photos from previous burns, he suddenly looked up at us and said: “At Afrikaburn you can do anything you want. It is freedom.”

On that dust road, while passing on messages over the walkie-talkies in our convoy about overtaking other cars, I repeated his words like a mantra.

At last we reached Tankwa Town. We arrived in middle of a strong wind spell. There was dust and sand everywhere. I never would’ve thought that the protective mask I bought at our local hardware would be so useful.

As soon as you enter Tankwa Town you are greeted by walking octopuses, avatars and naked people everywhere. There’s music playing all around. Everybody’shanging out, riding bikes and mutant cars, making jokes, fixing nest looking structures on their heads, and regularly wiping thick layers of dust from their faces.

JZH_9151-2 JZH_9135-2

People simply don’t care. It feels as if you’re in another world. Shock lasts until well after the second day. After adjusting to sleeping with deep bass sounds playing from every corner. I am talking about sound systems that shake your car! These became my bed-time songs 😉 After unpacking we finally had our little nest arranged in our bakkie.

In the morning, as we got out of our bed, there it was! A super-hero passing our camp! Neighbors on the right assembling a mutant car in the shape of a giant snail! On our left some people were meticulously constructing something on the head of one of our neighbors, whom they had just met.

In this situation, if you plan on wearing jeans and a t-shirt, you’re the one that’ll look like an idiot. The crazier your outfit, the better you’ll blend in.

I got inspired. Like a child I started rummaging in a suitcase full of odd stuff I had brought with. I was creating my outfit.

We got on our bikes and went to explore. Words can not describe what we saw. It’s unbelievable. The effort that people put into creating their costumes, theme camps and mutant vehicles.

20130504_115308  JZH_9162-2

20130504_143034

In accordance with Afrikaburn philosophy, there is no circulation of money in Tankwa Town. So if you see something on offer, food, drinks, a mail service, t-shirts printing, movie theater, dance shows, spas and hair salons, paints and canvases, costumes for hire, sweets, swings and funky car rides, it’s all for free.

Everyone brings to the community what they can. Just this practice creates a special atmosphere. People give each other all they can afford, people try to help one another, not because they will be rewarded, but because it’s so cool to give and in return you will get lots of free stuff from somewhere else anyway.

I know, I know, many skeptics will ask “Whats the point?” Everything is still the same as you left it once you return home. Believe me. I know. I have the same skeptic inside of me. But just trying it out for a week helps you to believe that this is possible.

If our system is different in reality, it’s only because we think that that’s the way it should be. We believe that it cannot be changed. 

Those 6 days is in the desert is not an escape from reality. It is the creation of a new reality. Together. Literally from scratch.

Even if you can only bring a drop of that inspiration back into your own ‘real’ life, it’s already changing your reality.

When was the last time you talked to your neighbors? When was the last time you helped a stranger? When was the last time you thought about how your actions influence other people? And what value do you add to this world?

I’m talking about a lifestyle. Respect for people and respect of yourself. Whatever you want to receive you need to give. Do you need inspiration? Give it. Do you want love? Give it. Do you want money? Give it. It really works. The Universe sees that you believe that you have it in abundance, so it will create that abundance for you. Our thoughts are that powerful.

JZH_9654

An important part of the festival are the burns of various giant figures, hence the name Afrikaburn. Every burn is a performance on its own. The various giant structures are specifically created so that they can be burned. 

How’s that for letting go of what you have?

Burns are also a great opportunity to warm up during the cold nights. The desert days can get warm. Up to 30 degrees plus. But nights sometimes drop to 5 degrees or lower. Lack of electricity and artificial lights allow you to see an incredible night sky. Despite all the colorful lights of the festival, the Karoo night sky is majestic.

Driving around during the day I saw many new performances and costumes and received various gifts! We even saw a naked desert surfer on an powered-up surf board with wheels. Hermann and myself attended the mass purple wedding and we got married again and complete strangers gave us lunch! That was the day I finally realized why all of this was happening.

Every day of our lives we are told how to live. From parents, schools, universities, friends, working environment, partners and then finally ourselves. We are so accustomed to what is considered ‘normal’ and all of us have a plan for life. If not, there’s something ‘wrong’ with us.

And then you come here and suddenly being ‘normal’ is no longer normal. It really is a challenge.

I’ve never fully withdrawn myself from the world of normalities, therefore I couldn’t fully feel what little Kai was talking about. Freedom.

I believe that is why people come back to Afrikaburn year after year.

Yes. Of course many people come to Afrikaburn just to forget. To let off steam just to return to their everyday reality and complain about their life. But others do come to Afrikaburn with conscious intention to create. When you meet these people you can immediately feel the difference.

Afrikaburn is just another one of thousands of possible ways to let go. It’s another powerful reminder that there is no right and no wrong and that opposing things always exist simultaneously. Each person has their own truth.

I cannot say what is ‘normal’ and what is not ‘normal’. That’s for everybody to decide on their own.JZH_9226-2-2

This kind of festival is a conscious exercise to exit our daily routine and comfort zone. It’s the stimulation of your creativity. You learn to let the free flow of your ideas live, not allowing your own doubts to kill them off one by one.

We have long forgotten what a free soul truly is. We immediately associate the word ‘freedom’ with anarchy.

But I’m talking about the freedom of choosing what you believe. I’m talking about the joyful creation of your own reality in the absence of fears and expectations.

To understand something like this in the comforts of home, with minimal effort and without any challenges, is nearly impossible.

Only after coming this far and accepting all the discomforts and inconveniences of living in the desert, I finally understood, for just a moment, how to enjoy that moment.

SURFING

Free surfing has no immediate purpose other than pure enjoyment. Photography is a means of making that enjoyment more concrete so that other people who cannot surf may appreciate the joy that you experience when you surf. This is why having good photos of yourself surfing is very important.

You owe it yourself and to the important people in your life to share your love of surfing with them. Personalized surfing photography can do that for you. Good surfing photography can explain something where a thousand words will never do.

My photography is about capturing feelings in a way words never can. When shooting Personalized Surfing Portfolios I spend the whole day with my clients. To avoid pressure you have a whole day to perform. “Relax and try not to think about the camera.” That is what they always say and it is true. We create an environment for you to surf at your best. Your surfing performance will benefit from our relaxed style.

We can organize shoots anywhere in the George / Mosselbay Area and Victoria Bay is usually the best option, but we can travel as far as Buffalo Bay or Vleesbay for Surfing Portfolio Shoots! When book a Surfing Portfolio Shoot we will make arrangements and together we choose the best day, and the right spot, for the ultimate surfing conditions!

The photo shoot can be divided into a few sessions, as you wish, but it is advisable to make the first session early, with a quick break for a photo talk, immediately followed by another session. During breaks in-between sessions we can go through and discuss the photos. Feedback can be given so that we both have a better understanding of how to maximize this photo opportunity. You may have a particular shot you would like again and I may have a particular move I would like to shoot again!

At the end  ALL photos will be provided to you in their original high-resolution format (on DVD) for good quality prints in the future. I will also edit a selection of your best shots! You may also wish to order customized or stylized prints!

Contact Us to make a booking for your Personalized Surfing Portfolio!

Price details:

Group sizes are limited to 4 people to ensure maximum quality shots!

1 person – R550

2 people – R300 per person

3 people – R250 per person

4 people – R220 per person

I hope to meet you soon.