Monday, 14 September 2009

shadows on canvas

"It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer.You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary."
David Bailey [english photographer. 1938 - present]

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

the most sought after solitude

"I owe my solitude to other people. "
Alan Watts [british philosopher and writer. 1915 - 1973]

sol-i-tude. spelled pronunciation sol-i-tood, -tyood
• the state of being or living alone; seclusion.
• remoteness from habitations, as of a place; absence of human activity.
• a lonely, unfrequented place.

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sōlitūdō, from sōlus, alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots.

1. retirement, privacy. solitude, isolation refer to a state of being or living alone. solitude emphasizes the quality of being or feeling lonely and deserted, while isolation may mean merely a detachment and separation from others. loneliness. 3. desert, wilderness.

please note that this is image is selected from the Solo Photo Book Month. you can find, watch and comment my SoFoBoMo project at

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

long gone summer days

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

Elliott Erwitt [advertising and journalistic photographer. born in 1928 in paris]

please note that this is image is selected from the Solo Photo Book Month. you can find, watch and comment my SoFoBoMo project at

Monday, 31 August 2009

run away cottage

"All good things are wild and free."

Henry David Thoreau [american essayist, poet and philosopher. 1817 - 1862]

please note that this is image is selected from the Solo Photo Book Month. you can find, watch and comment my SoFoBoMo project at

Friday, 28 August 2009

monochromatic heaven

"One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty"
Paul Outerbridge [american photographer, an early pioneer and teacher of color photography]

please note that
this is image is selected from the Solo Photo Book Month. you can find, watch and comment my SoFoBoMo project at

Monday, 17 August 2009

things that define us

this is the second image that I selected from the Solo Photo Book Month, that is still available for everyone to see and comment at

still, this time, I've chosen another processing, because my soul is duo toned this morning. beside that, my thought for this moment sounds like this..

“We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us”
Virginia Satir [american psychologist. 1916-1988]

Friday, 14 August 2009

raw physiognomy

as I said the last time, I intend to post some of my favorites photos from the Solo Photo Book Month, that is still available for everyone to see and comment at
this is the first one of the selected photos..

"A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth."
Richard Avedon [american photographer. 1923 - 2004]

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

after sun

oh, dear friends, I'm back and I have a pretty good excuse for my absence. besides the well deserved holiday I have finished the Solo Photo Book Month (click here to see the book) and I have uploaded it to the SoFoBoMo site, where you can read the whole story and even download it. In the next period of time, I will post some of the pictures I've used also here. The book it's called After Sun, as you can see also from it's cover above.
I hope you will enjoy it too. Thanks for taking your time and reading my book and if you have any comments or criticism or thought regarding my book, please don’t hesitate to write to me.

Monday, 22 June 2009

music bath in plaine street

Nikon D80 | 1/50 seconds | f 5.3 | ISO 200 | 58 mm

"An artist, in giving a concert, should not demand an entrance fee but should ask the public to pay, just before leaving as much as they like. From the sum he would be able to judge what the world thinks of him - and we would have fewer mediocre concerts."
Kit Coleman [born Catherine Ferguson. Canada's Pioneer Woman Journalist. 1864 - 1915]

Saturday, 20 June 2009

the storytellers

Nikon D80 | 1/40 seconds | f 16 | ISO 200 | 44 mm [left]
Nikon D80 | 1/500 seconds | f 9 | ISO 200 | 60 mm [right]

These puppets are made by a local designer named Ana Ponta. You can find more about her work and even buy one by accessing her web page. All her models are made manually.
It is said that the most difficult thing to do is make a puppet walk and talk, but still all the time I stood there and watch Ana Ponta selling her dolls I was under the impression that he is selling also stories.

“Storytellers, by the very act of telling, communicate a radical learning that changes lives and the world: telling stories is a universally accessible means through which people make meaning” Chris Cavanaugh [an American voice actress who has a distinctive speaking style and has provided the voice for a large range of cartoon characters]

Sunday, 14 June 2009

selling desires

Nikon D80 | 1/200 seconds | f 5.3 | ISO 200 | 60 mm

What I found at Street Delivery? People that want to escape. From what or where? Nothing or anything or everything… anywhere. Or maybe just from the concrete walls. It’s one of my favorites shots and it made me remember a text a friend of mine wrote. Maybe you won’t find the connections in the first place, but… sleep on it.

Here it goes…

“Why should we lay on the grass?
I forgot. I’m forgetting. I’m fighting not to forget… the smell of grass. No, I meant the smells of grass, for there are different kinds. The smell of thirsty grass, thirsty and blunted by the cruel sun and by the rockers spiked boots. A pungent, ancient like the furniture in grandma’s house, smell.

The smell of fresh rained on grass or, even more intense, of dew. Delight, slumber, flight, swimming, a woman’s body or anything else that a relaxed mind can draw up. Powerful like a “Paco Rabane” on a seeking male body. Protective, like a wreath of chestnut tree in plain summer or like grandma’s rough hand caressing the child’s skin. Tasty like a peach… Bashful like a schoolgirl… Sweet just like the breast of your first love and bitter like a fight with your mother.

The smell of wet grass opens the gates of imagination, of freedom… Freedom has such a strong resonance… Imagination has no boundaries. Sensations, tastes, colors, memories, wrap around a tiny, stray, soul, with once precise direction, and though, without no goal.
Did I answer the question? Why should we lay on the grass? Aren’t you convinced yet? Go to the first park and make a first step. Doesn’t work? Then run for Sighisoara or London. It’s worth-while!”

p.s. thank you Bogdan for your lovely personal thought that you found proper to share with your friend.

Friday, 12 June 2009

binding waxed pages

Nikon D80 | 1/30 seconds | f 16 | ISO 200 | 62 mm

Today was the first day – out of three – of StreetDelivery Bucharest, a local street event that “closes the streets for the cars and opens them for the people”. Although the activities were programmed to begin at noon today, when I arrived there the image was quite disappointing. But.. I didn’t loose my hope.

Anyway, from the few things ready was the booth where will take place a workshop about bookbinding. There I took the picture above. Not an extraordinary scene one may say. I agree… not for momentousness I decided to post it, but for the roots of that word… “oracle”. So follow me if you please…

Oracles are the old “memory books” that we used to make in school. I remember that I had my first one when I was in eight grade (this is like a year away from high school in accordance with the romanian education system). It had a deep blue cover and the pages were burned on the sides, wax was dropped here and there and lipstick fake kisses were in the corners.

“What’s your name” or “if I’m not too indiscreet, when did you appear on this planet?” – were two of the not so inspired and shy first questions of the oracle. “What’s your favorite dish?”, “what’s your favorite movie?” or “what do you want to become in life?” and many more, followed them. But the best part of this foolish game was when a boy or girl that you liked accepted to write in your book. It was such an innocent emotional moment. Do you remember? Have you had such a book?

As years gone by, the oracles are less popular. Now we have messenger ids, we are frivol users of facebook, hi5 or some other mass online community and we have blogs, an erudite form of this memory books.

I wonder what will write the passing byes of StreetDelivery 2009 if asked so…

p.s. ii multumesc lui alin care m'a invatat cum sta treaba cu filtrele astea :P

Monday, 8 June 2009

daily childhood mysteries

Nikon D80 | 1/400 seconds | f 3.5 | ISO 100 | 50 mm

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
Albert Einstein [German born American Physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity. Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. 1879-1955]

Thursday, 4 June 2009

made it through the night

Nikon D80 | 1/50 seconds | f 4 | ISO 640 | 50 mm

...going through a grey period, have you noticed?

“What is a face, really? Its own photo? Its make-up? Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter? That which is in front? Inside? Behind? And the rest? Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way? Deformations simply do not exist”
Pablo Picasso [25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973. spanish painter and sculptor. one of the most recognized figures in 20th-century art, he is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work]

Sunday, 31 May 2009

imaginary game of hide and seek

Nikon D80 | 1/1000 seconds | f 5.3 | ISO 100 | 58 mm

...hiding my thoughts behind an umbrella, in plain summer, it's what i do best.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

damaged DNA

Nikon D80 | 1/80 seconds | f 4 | ISO 100 | 26 mm

"A man's memory may almost become the art of continually varying and misrepresenting his past, according to his interest in the present."
George Santayana [1863 – 1952. philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist]

Monday, 25 May 2009

reed's riot

Nikon D80 | 1/10 seconds | f 3.5 | ISO 100 | 50 mm

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."
Pablo Picasso [25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973. spanish painter and sculptor. one of the most recognized figures in 20th-century art, he is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work]

Sunday, 24 May 2009

almost barefoot

Laced moccasins are a common element of the Romanian traditional wardrobe, which is only natural if we think that we are a nation with profound rural reminiscence. Even nowadays one can find laced moccasin in remotes parts of the country used in every day labor. The moccasins are made manually, from pig, cattle or donkey leather. You can buy a pair with less than 10 euros. Wear it or just expose it as a local keepsake.

p.s. at first, i intended to make a post with the woman in the image. i wanted to tell you all about the short but intens interaction i had with her. i changed my mind, realizing that it will be too poor in comparison with the reality.

“When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track.”
Arthur Fellig - American Photographer

Friday, 22 May 2009

ethnographical networking

Nikon D80 | 1/40 seconds | f 3.5 | ISO 100 | 50 mm

I began yesterday a series of pictures taken last Saturday at the Romanian Village Museum (Muzeul Satului). I’ve spent some great couple of hours there and I decided to post, separately, some of my favorites shots, with a short comment regarding some cultural Romanian habits.

But first, I thought it would be nice to gather for you a short description of the Village Museum. So enjoy reading and maybe, someday, visiting this fantastic place.

The Village Museum was a very nice idea of some Romanian sociologists, started in 1925 by Professor Dimitrie Gusti. The idea was to create a museum demonstrating the sociological structure of the Romanian village. During the time, more and more objects have been moved from their original place to Bucharest. You will have to remember that the ample works for hydro-amelioration in the northern part of Bucharest (the capital of Romania) began only in 1932, when Herastrau Park was being born. 4,5 hectares were allocated to the project. Gradually, the area was filled by houses and the Village Museum was inaugurated on May 10th 1936 together with the Herastrau Park.

The exhibition has a total of 322 constructions (47 dwellings, household dependencies, 3 wooden churches, 3 windmills, technical installations that use the force of the water etc.)
The best thing is that they are organized in Romania's ethnographical regions: Transylvania, Moldova, Dobrogea, etc. It really takes you on a tour of the country's rich tradition of folk architecture and art. Plus, it's a nice relaxing walk that makes you forget you are actually in a city, and the nice view of the lake in the neighboring Herastrau Park adds to the "summer holidays" feeling!

Entrance to the park is free, while entrance to the Village Museum costs 6 Lei (1.20 GBP) per adult and 3 Lei (0.60 GBP) per child/student.

For more information you can go here. You can find also more pictures, with larger perspectives, and reviews from real travelers.

I used the following sources of information:

Thursday, 21 May 2009

how to grow old with grace

Nikon D80 | 1/400 seconds | f 3.5 | ISO 100 | 50 mm

seven reason why I like best old structures over new people:

*they don't invent stories to seem more interesting
*they know how to keep a secret
*they are proud about their age
*they know how to suffer in silence
*they know how to make you feel like home
*they have personality
*they aren't ashamed to see you naked all the time

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

brides parade

Nikon D80 | 1/640 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 100 | 135 mm

sunday. 17th may 2009. Bucharest. 11.00 a.m. and almost 30 degrees Celsius. first edition of Bride Parade. what's the catch? any women that has more than eighteen years old, married or with plans, or anyone that has a bride dress and wet dreams to become a wife, can participate to the march on one of the most famous bulevards - Calea Victoriei (that means something like the way of the victory. huh, what can i say.. a predestinated name). and from grace I will not make any coment about their dresses, afterall, tastes are subjective.

at first glance it seems to be more photographers than brides. to complete the mockery, lots and lots of police men and casual audience. not really my type of event, but still i've given it a shot. the outcome: 900 shots. it remained 360 after a harsh sorting. did I mentioned that I had zero expectation? and there I was with 360 shot quite nice.. how can one not make a post in this circumstances? So, I selected 40, processed 14, picked 7 and.. then crashed under the "to post or not to post"dilemma.

finally I decided to put this one. seem more elegant and in line with this place. the woman in the picture is Loredana Groza, a well known romanian singer. she lead the parade and she was a real lady.

if you are curiouse about her, you can have a taste here. you will hear her sing a famous traditional romanian song.

p.s who knows.. maybe I'll do a sequel about this event..

Friday, 15 May 2009

choosing the right mug for a good friend

Nikon D80 | 1/200 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 320 | 80 mm

today i "stumbled", at someone's recommendation, into a text called "life's little instructions". the author wasn't mentioned, but i enjoy it, although, i must confess, i do just about 40% of the things. i decided to sent it further to others, after adding to the list one of my own: "choosing the right mug for a good friend"

so there it goes..

"life's little instructions"

* sing in the shower
* treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated
* watch a sunrise at least once a year
* leave the toilet seat in the down position
* never refuse homemade brownies
* strive for excellence, not perfection
* plant a tree on your birthday
* learn three clean jokes
* return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full
* compliment three people every day
* never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them
* leave everything a little better than you found it
* keep it simple
* think big thoughts but relish small pleasures
* become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know
* floss your teeth
* ask for a raise when you feel you’ve earned it
* be forgiving of yourself and others* say “thank you” a lot
* say please a lot
* avoid negative people
* buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards
* wear polished shoes
* remember other people’s birthday
* commit yourself to constant improvement
* carry jumper cables in your trunk
* have a firm handshake
* send lots of Valentine cards. Sign them “someone who thinks you’re terrific”
* look people in the eye
* be the first to say “hello”
* return all the things you barrow
* make new friends and cherish the old ones
* keep secrets
* sing in a choir
* plant flowers every spring
* always accept an outstretched hand
* stop blaming others
* take responsibility for every area of your life
* wave at kids on the buses
* be there when people need you
* don’t expect life to be fair
* never underestimate the power of love
* drink champagne for no reason at all
* don’t be afraid to say, “I made a mistake”
* don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”
* compliment even small improvements
* keep your promises no matter what
* marry only for love
* rekindle old friendships
* count your blessings
* call your mother

Monday, 11 May 2009

the lemon tango

Nikon D80 | 1/4 seconds | f 3.8 | ISO 100 | 20 mm

"The female nude – magical, erotic, aesthetic – has been modeled and painted since prehistory. Appearing rarely and awkwardly in the earliest art, she attained fulfillment and glory in ancient Greece. In their idealized treatment of the nude, The Greeks established a standard that only the asceticism of the Middle Ages ignored. The artists of the Renaissance and their successors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries revived the nude, and by the 1930’s she was again a conventional form. It was inevitable that she should become a favorite subject of photography."
Peter Lacey [Introduction. History of the Nude in Photography by Peter Lacey and Anthony La Rotonda]

Sunday, 10 May 2009

beyond appearances

Nikon D80 | 1/250 seconds | f o | ISO 100 | 0 mm [Lensbaby]

"Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be."
Duane Michals
[american photographer. 1932 - present]

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

giving birth to rocks

Nikon D80 | 1/200 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 100 | 48 mm

“A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery [french writer and aviator. 1900 - 1944]

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

time gap

Nikon D80 | 1/125 seconds | f 4.8 | ISO 100 | 44 mm

it could have been just the same the mid-1960's, but it was last autumn in Lucca, Italy. they were a quiet frame on the usual uproar on the two meters puzzled streets. of course, if we would have been indeed in those years, they wouldn't smoke filtered cigarettes, their shoes would have been plain sneakers, not c*nverse, and the houses behind them would have been younger and cheaper.. but still, don't be fooled by the apperences, think at the progress and knowledge nowadays and there you'll feel the difference..

"Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known." Ronald Reagan [the 40th President of the United States. 1911 – 2004]

strange how Ronald Reagan's words sound like my grandfather's..

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

crossing the burning fields

Nikon D50 | 1/250 seconds | f 8 | ISO 1ooo | 55 mm

Thinking about relationships I realized that we people like to have all for granted: someone's trust, someone's time, someone's thoughts.. but often we don't have the patience to discover the other person, to raise the "veil of weeds" and discover someone's real personality. So we have shallow friends and shallow experiences with people. I am not an exception. In my defense I say just that I lack patience. Also add some bad experiences with people.
I find easier to trust strangers.
These said, at somebody's suggestion I played a little game named "100 things about me", after all we are the sum of habits, memories, frailties, wishes and so on and so forth..
So there it goes..

1. My middle name is Dori.
2. My mom named me also Romina after the Italian singer Romina Power.
3. I had a blessed childhood.
4. My favorite game back then was hide and seek.
5. I wish I could time travel.
6. I used to play handball in elementary.
7. I was growing up my nick name was Dexter.
8. I prefer carbon pencils over pens.
9. I like black pens over blue pens.
10. Palatino Linotype is my favorite font.
11. I have a bachelor degree in journalism and a master degree in management.
12. My father wished I was an accountable. I hate math.
13. I relax myself cooking.
14. Every recipe I tried work out delicious.
15. I don’t know how to use the washing machine.
16. I own a stamp collection.
17. When I was young my parents made me take violin and piano lessons.
18. I don’t know how to play violin or piano anymore.
19. I can read musical notes.
20. Salman Rushdie is one of my favorite writers.
21. The last concert I went to was Koop Life in Bucharest.
22. I love to people watch.
23. I don’t have a best friend.
24. I have just a few friends.
25. I don’t trust people in general.
26. I have strong believes.
27. One of my grandfathers made jail time for his religious believes.
28. I don’t like to chat on the internet.
29. I am an extrovert.
30. I have 5 coffee mugs at work. I don’t drink coffee.
31. I don’t smoke either.
32. I used to be an workaholic. Not anymore.
33. I have premature grey hair.
34. I would have voted for Barack Obama as president if I was an American citizen.
35. I absolutely love to travel. I have visited five countries until now.
36. My favorites cities are: Sighisoara (Romania), Venice (Italy), Lucca(Italy) and Bucharest (Romania). Yes, you read it right: Bucharest.
37. My favorite website is – the guide of clever traveler as I like it to call it.
38. I like cats.
39. I really really like cats.
40. I don’t have cats.
41. Someday I will own a Mini Cooper.
42. I am allergic to coconuts.
43. I am not a big fan of “reality” television.
44. What I like most about television are the news and the politic talk-shows.
45. I like people that know about the major themes of the day in the world.
46. I am environmental oriented.
47. I never had earring holes.
48. I don’t look good in mauve.
49. Lots of my clothes are grey.
50. I don’t really like blue jeans.
51. Most of my wardrobe is bought from Mini Prix outlet.
52. I use to sell the clothes I don’t wear anymore.
53. I have 47 purses at current time. I had 64 a while ago.
54. I didn’t count yet how many pairs of shoes I own.
55. The other day I came home with one shoe, the left one, number 5 (37 in European numbering), and the other one, the right one, number 7 (39 in European numbering).
56. I am photophobic.
57. My sunglasses model is just like those in “Breakfast at Tiffany's”.
58. I like candle’s light.
59. I don’t trust credit cards.
60. I don’t currently own a credit card.
61. I love Christian’s Dior J’Adore fragrance. And Addict2 fragrance. And Gucci by Gucci. And Calvin’s Kleine Euphoforia Blossom. Oh, and Hypnose from Lancome.
62. I like to express my self thru writing and photography.
63. I own a Nikon D80. I secretly dream about Nikon D700.
64. My last camera gear acquisition was a Lensbaby Composer.
65. I spent an important part of my childhood in the darkroom.
66. My mother used to be a professional photographer.
67. I believe in emotional intelligence. I think most people lack it.
68. I once worked like a babysitter.
69. I don’t really feel the urge of being a mother yet.
70. I feel in my element in the water.
71. I like skinny dipping.
72. I don’t know how to scuba dive.
73. I like wild beaches.
74. I am movie addicted. I dare you to name one I didn’t already see.
75. Sex and the City is one of my favorite serial. It should be used like educational material in high school.
76. I don’t buy glossy magazines. Ever.
77. I am a moody person.
78. I have a scalpel scar on my left shoulder.
79. I like hand made things.
80. I like the subway.
81. I don’t give money to beggars.
82. I eat too much salt.
83. I like tomato juice.
84. When I was little I used to eat fresh snow.
85. My dog bit me when I was six years old. I bit him back.
86. I like sunflower’s flowers.
87. I have a driving license since 2001.
88. My first job was voice editor at one of the three main national televisions.
89. My first salary was something like 200 euros.
90. I like to play backgammon.
91. I am at day with my bills.
92. I laugh out loud.
93. I have a mobile modem.
94. I have the same mobile number since the beginning.
95. I like flying.
96. I was a Girl Scout.
97. I can’t whistle.
98. I dream a lot.
99. Nevertheless I can be arrogant, stubborn, pragmatic and self-indulgent, but also kind, intelligent, funny, practical, creative, loving, conscientious and realistic.
100. I almost quit on the way, but I made to 100. Must confess it was harder then I expected.

Monday, 20 April 2009

window of peace

Nikon D80 | 1/40 seconds | f 4.5 | ISO 160 | 38 mm

…paraphrasing charles’s simic statement about poetry I might add that photography can be also “an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them”

p.s. happy 10.000 views anniversary! thank you all for visiting my place..

Saturday, 7 March 2009

a worthy opponent

Olympus SP500UZ | 1/100 seconds | f 3.3 | ISO 100 | 15.8 mm

“Most gods throw dice, but fate plays chess, and you don't find out til too late that he's been playing with two queens all along.”
Terry Pratchett [English Writer, b.1948]

... I don't actually believe in fate. I believe in God. But I like the irony.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

reflections on a white bench

Nikon D80 | 1/400 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 160 | 135 mm

Sunday, 1 March 2009

paradise on fire

Olympus SP500UZ | 1/125 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 80 | 6.3 mm
listening Ella Fitzgerald - Summertime and remembering Tunisia and the summer of 2006. i'm just craving for a glimpse of sun.

"Summertime and the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
Oh your daddy's rich and your ma is good lookin'
So hush little baby, don't you cry
One of these mornings
You're goin' to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take the sky
But till that morning
There's a nothin' can harm you
With daddy and mammy standin' by"
[Ella Fitzgerald. Summertime Lyrics]

Thursday, 26 February 2009

behind door number nine

Nikon D80 | 1/80 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 160 | 90 mm [left side]
Nikon D80 | 1/80 seconds | f 3.5 | ISO 1250 | 18 mm [right side]

I remember as if it was yesterday. But it’s almost a year now. We were on the way to Sighisoara, beloved place of my next to come dreams. The lady at with we were suppose to stay canceled the reservation at the last moment, but with some help we managed to find another place to stay. At first, it sounded strange on the phone: “yes we have just one room and actually you we’ll be our first guests to sleep in it”.

After five hours driving on a not so welcoming weather we arrived at the fortress gates. We were told that it’s possible to enter on the narrow paved streets with our cars. And after just another five minutes, there we were, in front of door number nine.
Just one meter from it a little store inviting you to buy souvenirs. We met our host inside. She was a souvenir to take her self with a delicate smile and all so dressed in an original medieval outfit. The things became even stranger when she gave us the keys: two long rusted and heavy iron keys.

We stood now in front of the door number nine like we were in front of the rabbit’s magic whole. As we will have to find out later, the house was a historical monument and it had only three rooms, all redecorated recently. It was a family treasure and a family small business.

The door opened with an ancient voice in the background. We weren’t sure anymore of anything. The knotty wall seamed more like those of a cave. At the right a little garden carved in stone. It looked so intimate with that only for two bench and those half-melted candles.

We fallowed the winding stairs up to the first floor. There she was. Another era recreated in the smallest details. I should not unveil any of them. It’s not a place to be told about it, but a place to discover in person.

Shortly after this charming encounter I will have to return. I will have to have a prelude and an afterglow on the ledge of the bathrooms window. I will have to eat one of the best pies I have ever tasted and take in account that I’m not a very good friend with the sweets. I will have to climb the almost 200 stairs nearby the house until it will take my breath away. I will have to get married in the beautiful church up the hill seven months later. That special is this place for me.

“Every wall is a door.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson [american poet, lecturer and essayist. 1803-1882]

Monday, 23 February 2009

between shadows

Nikon D80 | 1/320 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 160 | 90 mm

"Life is like a good black and white photograph, there's black, there's white, and lots of shades in between."
Karl Heiner [Photographer]

Friday, 20 February 2009

under the magic wand of time

Nikon D80 | 1/1000 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 160 | 135 mm [left side]
Nikon D80 | 1/320 seconds | f 5.0 | ISO 160 | 50 mm [right side]

“It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.”
Paul Strand quotes [American Photographer, 1890-1976]

Friday, 13 February 2009

memories from his boyhood

Nikon D80 | 1/400 seconds | f 4.8 | ISO 160 | 48 mm [Orton Effect]

first i wanted to write some text for this post, as usual. but analyzing all the thoughts that came into my mind i realized that a better way to express myself is to give you a fragment from a famous Romanian book called Childhood Memories, written by Ion Creangă, storyteller and memoirist. The book was translated into English a while ago under the title "Memories of My Boyhood". In this book the author gives an extraordinary tribute to his childhood, by reviving those days page by page. Actually, now that i think about it, things aren't that much changed in a certain way. Romania is, in proportion of 60%, still a rural country and many children are born and raise there until they have to go to college, if they go. Creangă's memories are in a way brighter than the reality today, when the children play less and work more, starting at the early age of six or seven.
I realize the fragment is quite long, but i have no doubt that you will enjoy it. it's a real delight. oh, and by the way, one more detail to increase your interest, almost every child had ore has to learn it by heart in secondary school, as a requirement for maternal language classes.
so.. there he goes:

"I don't pretend to know what other people are like, but for myself, I seem to feel my heart throb with joy even to this day when I remember my birthplace, my home at Humulesti, the post supporting the flue of the stove, round which mother used to tie a piece of string with tassels at the end of it, with which the cats played till they dropped exhausted, the flat ledge of the stove that I used to cling to when I was pulling myself up and learning to walk, the place on top of the stove where I used to hide when we children played at hide-and-seek, as well as other games and delights full of childlike fun and charm. Lord, what good times those were, for parents and brothers and sisters were hale and hearty, there was everything needful in the house, the sons and daughters of our neighbors were for ever romping with us, and everything was exactly as I liked best, without a shadow of ill-humor as if the whole world were mine! I myself was as happy as the day was long, whimsical and playful like the gusting wind.
Mother, who was well-known for her spells and cantrips, would say to me sometimes with a smile as the sun peeped from behind the clouds after prolonged rain: "Go outside, you fair-haired child, and laugh at the sun, maybe the weather will change." And the weather did change at my smile.
The sun no doubt knew what I was capable of, for I was my mother's son, and she in truth could work wonders: she would chase away the black clouds overhanging our village and drive the hail away into other places by sticking the axe into the ground, outside the door; she would so curdle water by means of a couple of beef bones that the people crossed themselves in amazement; she would hit the ground, the wall or any wooden thing that I bumped my head against saying: "Take that!" and forthwith the pain was gone.
When the red embers moaned in the stove, which is supposed to foretell wind and bad weather, or when the embers hissed, a sign that someone is talking about you, mother would scold the hearth and beat it with a poker to make the enemy shut up. More than that, if I didn't look as well as she thought I ought to, she would immediately lick her finger and make a muddy mixture with dust from the heel of her shoe, or, if she was in much of a hurry for that, she would take soot from the stove and say: "As heel or stove are free of the evil eye so let my baby be free of it!" and she would make a mark on my forehead lest her precious pet come to harm. These and many more things did she do.
That's what mother was like when I was a child, full of strange and wonderful practices, as far as I remember; and well do I remember, for she rocked me in her arms as I sucked at that sweet breast of hers and nestled in her bosom, babbling and fondly looking up into her eyes! I have taken my blood of her blood and my flesh of her flesh; I've learnt speech from her and wisdom from God at the time when a man has to distinguish between good and evil."
- Memories of My Boyhood (Childhood Memories), by Ion Creangă
Translated by Ana Cartianu and R.C. Johnston at Minerva Publishing House, Bucharest, 1978


Wednesday, 11 February 2009

seven minutes away

Nikon D80 | 60 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 100 | 135 mm [flash fired]

these are some of the cigarettes smoked by my colleagues today.

it is said that smoking just one cigarette shortens ones life by seven minutes. a simple calculation shows that smoking a pack of cigarettes shortens ones life by 140 minutes per day. this means that the year of a smoker has less than eleven months.

"Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism."
Carl Gustav Jung [Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of analytical psychology. 1875 – 1961]

.. or photography?!

Monday, 9 February 2009

bridge to never never land

Nikon D80 | 20 seconds | f 9.0 | ISO 100 | 35 mm

what I like about traveling, in random order:

* missing the loved one
* walking safe in the streets in the middle of the night
* taking at least one good shot (photography shot, not tequila)
* people smiling at me without hidden purposes
* talking with complete strangers and finding connections
* adopting a pet, most likely a cat
* free internet hot spots right next of an archeological excavations
* clean bathrobe and slippers in the hotel room
* having an excuse to watch cnn until four a.m., in the morning
* buying chocolate and parfume at airport duty-free
* reading on the plane
* having an excuse for shopping in general
* having an excuse to eat junk food (I know I know, eating junk food has never an excuse)
* good interstate highways
* arriving at the beach. any beach
* because it changes you

... and the list remains open for your reasons

"What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do - especially in other people's minds. When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road'.
William Least Heat-Moon [also know as William Trogdon, born in august 1939. American travel writer of English, Irish and Osage Nation ancestry]

Thursday, 5 February 2009

doris loves klaus

Nikon D80 | 1/800 seconds | f 5.0 | ISO 100 | 58 mm

It’s strange how some can control their mood from one moment to another, how can they aloof from their problems or thoughts relating work, isolating everything, protecting themselves, their private life, their loved ones, or just their free time at any cost. Those that can achieve this, day by day, will definitely live more than me. And this is a fact.
For example, I was just yesterday in Köln (Germany), with affairs concerning my work, but I took my camera with me, not to regret after that I missed God knows what, based on previous experience when I was too lazy to take it.
It wasn’t a good business trip. It was not even a well fructified photographic opportunity. And this mainly because I had a bad mood. I made in all twenty five pictures, from which just four or five are any good at all. This is one of them made as I was crossing the Rhine on Hohenzollern bridge. It was the first time when I had the chance to see what is called „love padlocks”, a custom, originating from Hungary, in which lovers affix a padlock to a fence or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. I must confess I have never seen so many padlocks models, one more unusual than another.
Still, as you can clearly see in this picture, the love padlocks from Hohenzollern bridge are by far outnumbered by those clamed to a fence in a narrow street in Pécs (Hungary), street that links the mosque in the main square of the city and the cathedral. Here is the place where it seems that this custom first started, back in 1980s.
This habit spread quickly so today you can find love padlocks on Szinva Terrace bridge in Miskolc (Hungary), in Riga (Latvia), Tokio (Japan), on Ponte Vecchio in Florence (Italy), but also in the United States of America, in Guam, or far away in Montevideo, Uruguay.

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge”.
Plato [ancient greek philosopher and one of the world’s most influential philosopher. 428 BC – 348 BC]

*source used

Friday, 30 January 2009

pursuing passion

Nikon D80 | 1/25 seconds | f 4.8 | ISO 100 | 48 mm [left side]
Nikon D80 | 1/30 seconds | f 4.0 | ISO 100 | 26 mm [right side]

Just a week ago, a new friend of mine, Steph, told me that I must have a lot of photographic “benefits” from the fact that I’m a journalist. I laughted immediately as I read his email and replied at once: actually nothing that I do at work doesn’t implicate me taking photos. Still, my mind remained set on his words, and, unconsciously, I searched for opportunities. Said and done. In this January edition of the magazine I work for, standing proud and smiling are… my photos. I didn’t realized until I saw the printed version of the magazine, even if I selected them and decided what and where should be put. I must confess that it was a nice feeling to know that over 25.000 people will see my photos, although I sign every month at least two or three articles. Don’t know why, but it is not even close the same feeling.

The article is a cover story about a branded convenience store, named Oliviers and Co., who’s 85th boutique opened recently, thru a franchiser, in Bucharest. I gave you just one shot of these series: an imaginary ball made from little, tiny, bottles filled with extra virgin olive oil made in Provence, France, concept that is actually a trade mark for the store’s layout in the whole world. The article was written by my colleague, Andreea Ion. We made a pretty good team in this formula too.
It is not quite in my photographic target this kind of shots and I’m sure there are skilled and techniques needed for posing objects, but I really like the outcome.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”
Thomas Edison[American inventor and businessman.1847 – 1931]

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

wanted: people with personality

Nikon D80 | 1/30 seconds | f 5.3 | ISO 160 | 66 mm

I will never understand why there are people that don't understand diversity, that don't love ethnicity, or who don't understand their age or their limits. I guess I don't understand peoples that think in frames all the time, and, even more, I don't understand people that don't understand that the only one who can judge me is God.

"For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

p.s. the people that don't understand me are not welcomed here.

Friday, 16 January 2009

about perception and manipulation

Nikon D80 | 1/60 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 125 | 112 mm

I recall quite well a moment back when I was at university, at one of many courses about journalistic deontology and writing techniques. It was the first seminary with Liviu Popescu, the professor that in just a few week will have to became our friend, mine and my colleagues.
At first, when he entered the class, it was one of that situation when nobody know about the other or what to aspect. Of course the ball was in his court. Looking back now, I have no doubt that he staged very well that moment. He brought a computer an played for us a series of images requiring that each one of us to write what he or she sees in that picture.
Sounds simple, no? And so we started to write.. “an old lady that was banished from her house”, “a skater who is preparing for the Olympics”, “a lovely puppy begging to be pat”, “a just married couple, very in loved, walking in the botanical garden”, “the storm who is on the verge to break out” and so on and so forth. And he started to name students randomly in order to get some answers. After a couple of minutes, he said loud and clear to each one of us: no, no and again no. You should have seen “an old lady”, “a skater”, “a dog”, “a man and a woman”, “landscape”... regardless the practical journalistic application of that short experiment, we all remember, as human beings, to “never assume”…

And, in conclusion, but with no evident connection what so ever with the above made statements, one of my favorites quotes…
“For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication”
Friedrich Nietzsche quotes [German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture, 1844-1900]

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

light and future in their hands

Nikon D80 | 1/400 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 320 | 105 mm

Childhood - The 21st Century

How advanced they are, these children of the future,
Like small adults, within their tiny frames,
They grow up in a fast 'speed driven' culture,
Where 'learning pressures' change their kind of games,
Where is their childhood, in all this hurly burly,
Where is their pure untainted view of things,
Why do they have to grow so old, so early,
And lose the joy that only childhood brings.

Our childhood was filled with thoughts of joy and gladness,
We lived our lives, oblivious to the world
And all the hardships, wars, the grief and sadness,
We stood, waiting for our lives to be unfurled.
We had time to grow, and gain an understanding,
Of each new phase, each change along the way,
As we grew slowly, our senses all expanding,
So with clarity, we slowly changed our play.

We had a framework on which to build and flourish,
Slow and steady, this was no rushed affair,
Taking each step, then step by step to nourish,
Our childhood, so finally adulthood we would share.
What will become, of these 'New Century' learners,
I doubt if they, a dreamy childhood see,
Will they then tell to all those bright discerners
Of their own, how they remembered their childhood to be.

a poetry by Ernestine Northover*


Friday, 9 January 2009

cheatchatting thru life

Nikon D80 | 1/15 seconds | f 5.6 | ISO 160 | 200 mm
I will always remember my first nikon week. it was also the first time when I was in the magic land of Sighisoara.. as you can see I was far for ready to use the camera, but I really like how it turned out this picture. I made me realized, again, the blessed period of childhood, without any wories..

"The child laughs: my wisdom and love is the game. The young man sings: my game and wisdom is the love. The old man says nothing: my love and game is the wisdom".
Lucian Blaga [a Romanian poet, playwright and philosopher. 1895 - 1961]
Lucian Blaga is the same who said “God, I have only one prayer: never let me be satisfied with myself!”

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

alfred's birds

Nikon D80 | 1/800 seconds | f 7.1 | ISO 800 | 75 mm

this is a pleading for the need for good movies.

"I don`t understand why we have to experiment with film. I think everything should be done on paper. A musician has to do it, a composer. He puts a lot of dots down and beautiful music comes out. And I think that students should be taught to visualize. That`s the one thing missing in all this. The one thing that the student has got to do is to learn that there is a rectangle up there - a white rectangle in a theater - and it has to be filled.
Alfred Hitchcock [British film director and producer. 1899-1980]

Movie lines from Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds" [1963]

Melanie Daniels: Just what is it you're looking for, sir?
Mitch Brenner: Lovebirds.
Melanie Daniels: Lovebirds, sir?
Mitch Brenner: Yes. I understand there are different varieties. Is that true?
Melanie Daniels: Oh yes, there are.
Mitch Brenner: Well, uh, these are for my sister, for her birthday, see, and uh, as she's only gonna be eleven, I, I wouldn't want a pair of birds that were... too demonstrative.
Melanie Daniels: I understand completely.
Mitch Brenner: At the same time, I wouldn't want them to be too aloof, either.
Melanie Daniels: No, of course not.
Mitch Brenner: Do you happen to have a pair of birds that are... just friendly?