My first day in Russia was not easy. I caught a cold in the night bus from Talinn to St-Petersburg and I was not feeling so well. I was supposed to meet a good friend of mine at the bus station and our organization was not particularly good. I had learned two days before that he finally decided to go in St-Pet while I was there and our only meeting agreement was “the bus station in two days, in the morning”.
Turned out the station was rather big but after a while we found each other, managed to trade some old dry food between us, surrounded by hobos, brilliant moment. We finally got to the city center where it was cold and raining and not that much fun walking around. I hate McDonalds anywhere in the world but it can sometimes be useful for wi-fi reasons when you are looking for Internet so there we were, going to McDo, hoping for a hot coffee and a connection but we soon found out that coffees are crazy expensive in Russia McDos; 5 bucks for a single coffee…meeeh. About that, a little trick is to find an empty cup of coffee somewhere and put it on your table, looking as if you truly are a customer that has finished his drink, works every time.
My dear friend William had managed to find the sketchiest possible host on CouchSurfing, living at the furthest possible metro station and a substantial bus ride henceforth. Our meeting point with the said sketchy host was at 4:00 PM at that very far and very Russian metro station. While we were waiting outside without much enthusiasm, I started to look around in this very non-touristic area while this charming lady was smoking in her non-discreet outfit. I grabbed a couple of pictures from where I was standing and this one shows the best fumes of smoke.
After waiting for a while (5 minutes), my friend and I happily agreed that the guy would not show up and we hurried to the metro back to the city center without giving him any chance to catch us. Funny thing is we found out we were one hour early because we forgot the time zone difference from St-Petersburg. Anyway, we were glad to find a reason to get a hostel!
You liked the story? You like the picture? Good news is that you can buy it as a print online! Not only does it provide you with amazing art to display in your house but it is also the best way to help me continue and improve my work, cheers!
Important things to remember if you do not want to read the whole story even though you should
- Get lost in a city
- Try Couchsurfing but be open to change of plans
- If it seems like a sketchy idea, do it!
- Find photo opportunity anywhere, anytime!
- Nothing much here, normal daylight settings, framing according to rule of third, open space in front of her to create movement
- When taking pictures of smoke, take a few bursts or wait until you have an interesting and more complete pattern of smoke