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Photographer's Note

Came across this and a few other women selling traditional Georgian products on a recent visit to Georgia. We were on our way down from the mountains towards Tblisi when we saw them with their tables set up alongside the road.

We hadn't yet gotten any Georgian currency because of the circumstances of being there on business, so when we stopped we could look and admire but not buy. When our driver, a native Georgian who only spoke Georgian and Russian (most of the older Georgians speak Russian as their second language while the younger generations are learning English) learned about our money situation, without hesitation and against our opposition to his insistance, he bought some of the typical Georgian sweets for us to try - Georgian hospitality in its essence!

The women there seemed intrigued but unbothered by our presence and aside from a few motions of the hand to come and buy something, they did not interact with us. Georgia is still very much a country struggling to strike a balance between its difficult recent past, desire to modernise and attempt to hold on to tradition and history in what can be a harsh and unforgivable climate and territory.

Tourists are few and far between still, even on this route to a ski resort, though it is largely undiscovered as of yet. Their concern was making money to support what can only be a harsher lifestyle through a winter in the mountains than we are used to with our modern luxuries like proper heat and modern transportation. At least I can try to share their unique culture and traditions and gorgeous territory with the rest of the world through this modern luxury.

This is the woman that sold us the sweets (see the dark rolls of grape syrup next to sticks of walnuts covered in grape syrup on the table here). How I would have loved to be able to communicate with her through words and not just gestures and understand more about the life she leads. My brief two minutes of interaction with her are encapsulated by this image.

Tech notes: some cropping and contrast adjustments since the photo was taken in relative haste given what seemed somewhat unwanted circumstances on her part. I was assured by our Georgian comrade that she was okay with the photo, but didn't want to take too much time as it appeared she was keen to get back to her business.

Under other circumstances I would have liked to spend more time composing the photo. Perhaps it should be even a closer crop? Any tips on how this could have been better are definitely welcomed as I am especially keen to improve my people shots.

More photos of Georgia here

luisafonso, mpetrovic, danbachmann έχουν(ει) επιλέξει αυτή τη σημείωση ως χρήσιμη

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Additional Photos by Cora Malinak (ayobami) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 6 N: 208] (1353)
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