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