Nous espérions le soleil mais nous sommes partis sous les nuages. Heureusement le vent nous a laissés tranquilles et nous étions à l'aise dans nos équipement pour le grand froid. Nous sommes sept femmes de toutes nationalités avec notre prof de photo, Mihai Moiceanu. Ce grand ours, originaire de Brasov, est un photographe renommé de Roumanie. Il connaît le pays comme sa poche et nous emmène saisir cette Roumanie lointaine et pourtant si proche que nous aurions du mal à approcher sans lui. Il parle aux habitants des villages que nous traversons. Avec lui ils se sentent en sécurité et laissent tous ces gros objectifs pointer vers eux sans objection. Nous enfonçons nos bottes dans l'épaisseur moelleuse d'une neige toute fraîche, escaladons les collines et traquons les visages abîmes par la vie dont les rides racontent l'histoire muette. Là un chien, des moutons ou un cheval tirant une charrette rustique. Ici une végétation presque invisible. Des portails verts rehaussés de rouille. Un regard derrière une fenêtre. Et le soleil qui se couche, illuminant la montagne de sa douce lumière dorée, celle-là même que nous avions attendue depuis une demie-heure.

When I entered the PB world I lived and worked in Romania already for nearly 3 years and I would call this country The Milestone in my photographic life. Not only that I started there with digital photography but I was also lucky to meet Mihai Moiceanu, one of the best photographers of Romania who taught me a lot during his workshops, especially about landscape shooting. From him I learnt that sunrise shooting requires to be sur place long before it happens and that the best motifs don't come to you but you have to go there. So we did and walked a lot in the Transylvanian mountain. Thanks Mihai, I owe you a lot.

What a pleasant surprise: Romania, such an enchanting country! Daily, I felt like I had been transported back in time. I am so pleased that I made the decision to see Romania. I just knew that traveling with two experts like Gavriel Jecan & Mihai Moiceanu would be the right decision to make---to insure I received the very best experience of Romania (Gavriel Jecan & Mihai Moiceanu’s Photo tour Oct 22-Oct 31 2011. 
Our adventure was incredibly eye-opening. Traveling small group style (there were eight of us in a 10 passenger van) we ventured thru the countryside of Romania- the heart and soul of this lovely land where peasant cultures remain strong and medieval ways prevail, as they do nowhere else in Europe. Guided by the expertise of Romanian- born photographer Gavriel Jecan and his photographer/country guide expert counterpart- Mihai Moiceanu , our group accessed parts of Romanian culture not usually experienced in a group tour. I felt as though I photographed “life” in Romania and “real” landscapes, not just the noted sights. At times I felt like I was in Switzerland - Carpathian Alps are lofty, beautiful and spellbinding, not to mention the small remote villages we encountered along our route. (Discover Romania Photographic tour Oct 2011)

Photogenic people, wonderfully hospitable communities. Yes, indeed! Our hotels and pensions were centrally located, often in the historic section of towns, which made photographing easy and accessible. Additionally, the idea of overnighting in guest-house pensions was brilliant! We were greeted and hosted by lovely families, served freshly cooked meals from their gardens, bread from the ovens or yogurt/dairy products from their animals. Not only were the accommodations clean, comfortable and cozy- a visitor felt like an intimate part of the overall host family situation by sharing these home cooked meals in the family’s dining room while discussing (with our hosts) –aspects of life in Romania etc. All this made the experience a wonderful change from hotels. The pensions were often situated close to villages and offered both picturesque and peaceful surroundings. 
Our day-to-day photographing was highly varied, providing participants with a wide range of situations and subjects to capture. Romanians were warm, and open to being photographed by our group. Having two Romanian tour leaders/photographers also made the access to photographic situations all the more easy to capture.
Throughout the tour we encountered cultural experiences that were lively, unique and educational. During our Romanian visit we met local craftspeople weaving/spinning and dressed in traditional costumes; we lunched with a Shepard/his family at their mountainside wood cottage high in the Carpathian alps; we photographed the strenuous work of the “charcoal people” , visited the “painted” monasteries deemed masterpieces of Byzantine art ( these churches are one-of-a-kind architectural sites in Europe!) We even shared a trout dinner with a local family-where by our host was extremely proud of his back-yard distillery and encouraged us to try his Palinka or Visinata! (Traditional fruit brandy made in regions of the Carpathian Basin, usually about 40-70 % strong alcohol.) This was only the beginning of our adventure, we further interacted with Gypsy blacksmiths, photographed herds of stallions and were educated about the Bear and wolf sanctuary. (Note: Romania is home to Europe’s largest population of brown bears. In Romania, many bears are sadly still kept to entertain tourists. The bears often receive a poor diet and not enough water; they are kept in cramped cages and in poor conditions with little protection from the bitter cold of the Romanian winter. In 2006 the bear sanctuary near Brasov was established, providing a purpose-built home for rescued bears.)
I found the opportunity to photograph in Romania full of experiences that seemed truly unique; thoroughly memorable. Even better was the expert guidance provided by Mihai Moiceanu.

"… why should you go to Romania? The straight answer is because it is one of the most beautiful countries of Southeast Europe." (The Blue Guide) Yes Romania: “Mi-ai intrat in suflet” = You entered my soul!

Tara Lemnului a fost un tur pe care il recomand pasionatilor de arta fotografica de la incepatori la avansati: abunda subiectele vietii traditionale autentice, se castiga experienta in gasirea subiectelor, procesarea fotografiei, manuirea aparatului foto. Notiunile invatate au acoperit o arie larga de la fundamentele artei fotografice pana la subtilitatile de limbaj ale imaginii.

A vrea sa inveti este esential pentru a-ti imbunatati propriile cunostinte si tehnica in domeniul fotografic. Pana la a ajunge la nivel de arta, fotografia are nevoie de multa munca, mai ales practica, in teren, iar timpul petrecut in Scoala de vara din Retezat poate fi o ocazie de a ajunge pe culmi cat mai inalte.

This is the place to go to the heart of Maramures and this is the phototour to be taken - "The country of wood"

Prin Valea Cernei am mai trecut de cateva ori, dar niciodata nu am petrecut mai multe zile acolo, desi de fiecare data mi-am propus sa revin si ca turist. Asa ca atunci cand am aflat despre acest tur foto nu am ezitat sa ma inscriu. Credeam ca stiu la ce sa ma astept, dar pana la urma s-a dovedit a fi mai mult decat o oaza de racoare in arsita verii. Nu ca n-ar fi fost cald, dar informatiile primite, indicatiile si explicatiile, alternarea diverselor forme de relief sau unicitatea unora dintre subiecte au contrastat deosebit de mult cu parjolul lasat in urma in Bucuresti, atat din punct de vedere termic, cat si in ceea ce priveste calitatea vietii sau perceperea trecerii timpului. Ca de fiecare data, prilejurile de a-mi imbogati bagajul de cunostine nu au fost putine, Mihai Moiceanu avand calitatea extraordinar de greu de dobandit de a extrage, prezenta si evidentia acele "idei principale" care caracterizeaza cel mai bine destinatia phototour-urilor sale. Astfel, pana la urma nu este vorba doar de fotografiat, ci mai ales de cunoscut.

Tara Lemnului" a fost un tur pe care il recomand pasionatilor de arta fotografica de la incepatori la avansati: abunda subiectele vietii traditionale autentice, se castiga experienta in gasirea subiectelor, procesarea fotografiei, manuirea aparatului foto. Notiunile invatate au acoperit o arie larga de la fundamentele artei fotografice pana la subtilitatile de limbaj ale imaginii.

This trip was far above my expectations. The Mocanita day, when the train was in our hands, was amazing. But the most nice thing for me, as a foreigner without any skills in the Romanian language, was to hang on to Mihai both in the market on Saturday and in the church on Sunday. Mihai with his skills in communicating with people opened many possibilities to shoot people we met. I will definitely participate in more phototours.

Thank you so much for an enjoyable trip. We loved getting to know Romania through your eyes. If you ever come to Florida, be sure to look us up!

Thank you for a wonderful two weeks! I learned a lot about composition and making photos and I enjoyed all the food and your sense of humor. It was a great tour!

Mihai Moiceanu is one of the best, if not the best landscape photographer working in Romania today. I have not had a chance to attend any of his workshops, but from the photos that I have the pleasure to see week after week, I can tell that anyone serious about their photography will enjoy a rare privilege to spend some time with him. Look, and listen, to see how he feels and responds to the light and the beautiful nature that is Romania.

Dear Mihai, Thanks for the beautiful places, photography learning, the amazing soups, homemade foods. I enjoyed everything here. Thanks again

Thank you for all you did to make our Romanian vacation so memorable! We appreciate all your hard work, sharing the history and culture of your country and helping us with our photos..

O excursie foto la inaltime alaturi de Mihai.
Daca as avea doar un cuvant de ales pentru a spune despre Mihai acesta ar fi har. Mihai are har, e ceva de dascal in el, acel ceva care transmite cu bladete si bunatate.

De ce PhotoTOUR?

In primul rand, in turele noastre exista respect fata de natura, si in acelasi timp veti invata despre natura fotografiind-o. Veti descoperi oameni si traditii autentice, fiecare tura fiind personalizata si organizata cu parteneri locali. Activitatile noastre sunt destinate fotografilor care iubesc si le pasa de natura, salbaticie, oameni si traditii. Sunt ture construite avand in centrul atentiei fotografia, fotograful si modul de lucru al acestuia. In turele noastre pot veni si insotitori dornici de experiente inedite. Suntem o echipa, avem experienta bogata, fiind in activitate din anul 2005.