Red Square: The Best Photo Op If You Can Handle the Drama

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Red Square is part of the Quest Around the Globe Trip Report.


I travel today so I can have memories tomorrow. And nothing, beyond blog posts, is better for capturing these moments than the perfect picture. It is stressful to secure the perfect photo. It’s not always organic. It may lead to tears with your traveling companion who you demand take the photo over and over again. But when it works out, it justifies the public tantrum that I throw.

While I have been all over the world (see Country Count List), one place I’ve always wanted to go was Moscow. As an avid lover of Tetris, I always wanted to visit Red Square and take a photo at St. Basil’s Cathedral. Leaving the Park Hyatt Moscow, I began to feel anxious as I always do when the mission of the day is photography. What if it starts raining? What if the sight is closed? What if I forgot to charge my phone?

To calm myself, I took many photos along the way.

So far, everything was going smoothly. Then came the time to take photos with the cathedral. The trouble, I discovered, is that I was not the only one who wanted a photo with the same backdrop.

The game of posing, taking a photo, and finding out that it was mediocre went on and on. By the time there was a clear shot, the natural joy had turned into a manufactured pose. That required many retakes before I finally had suitable photos.

After leaving Red Square, I took more photos of the surrounding area in an effort to take my mind off of that stressful event.

To not drive myself crazy, I do not review photos beyond the moment they are taken. It will only lead to more drama and more tears for all parties involved. Instead, I hope for the best and wait till I’m back home to see if the pictures are National Geographic worthy. For insurance, I made the smart decision of returning to Red Square at night. There was no one there, leaving me the perfect chance for an impromptu photoshoot. Here are the highlights:

Looking at the photos now, I will declare mission accomplished. Even if there are minor changes that could be made, I don’t have the desire to use PhotoShop and fix them. Instead, I rationalize that the imperfections better reflect the mood of the moment.

Do you force your traveling partner to take photos of you? Have you lost traveling partners or lovers due to this?

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