Jul 28, 2014

7 UP[LOAD]. Week 30

Budapest 2014
Why I like it best? Because I worked a lot for it and it was no accident, I got exactly what I was looking for when planning this evening out for photos.

It was a gloomy day with a lot of showers. Towards the afternoon the sky was turning into an interesting mixture of clouds with some promising set up for sunset. After 4 months in Budapest I got to understand the light of the evening about 4 PM afternoon :) So I left work, run for the hotel, took my bike, mount my photo bag on it and ride for the Pest side of the city towards the Chain Bridge. I snapped  some interesting images taking advantage of the evening light coming in and out from the clouds and then I run (literally) towards the Parliament shore where people are ussually walking at leisure pace.

If found his piece of water gathered from the rain before and notice the sunset reflections. It was in a narrow place in which you had two options. Either you climb a step right before the water, either you go around it on a small path in between the water puddle and the Danube shore. I strategiccally sat myself on the grass occuping the small step so the only possible way was in between me, the water puddle and the sunset. 

I set up the camera with some self portraits, used my photo bag as I tripod, focused manually, left the camera next to my foot and then I rest as any other tourist watching the sunset. Some dozens of people passed before me, some of them annoyed as the road I left was a bit uncomfortable. I clicked and clicked my shutter like 30 times. When this young girl passed before me, I knew I had my picture.

They say Budapest has fabulous nightlife you know? I think I got a piece of it :)

Canon 5D Mark III, 24/1.4, F16, S125, ISO 800, under exposed 1 stop, post processed in Gooogle Snapseed 

Jul 26, 2014

Stay high not low. A drink on top of Vienna

Yesterday I traveled to Vienna back and forth from Budapest. I traveled 6 hours back and forth to attend the welcoming home party for a friend returning home from one year of study in USA. She held this very relaxed event in an amazing place, a small vineyard on the hills on the north part of Vienna. 

The place was amazing. Remote, but still in the city, obviously in one of the most affluent part of it, hills, nice houses, some vineyards, with small terraces serving wines and snacks. And the view from the top.

But what I liked most was the company and the people I met. While I was very glad to meet my former colleagues and meet their family, I found myself in the middle of Vienna finest people, relaxed, smiling, welcoming, cosmopolitan and very interesting to talk to.

I was the only non-Austrian at the table but they were most welcoming and open to hear about me, being a Romanian, working in Budapest, passing through adventure of working in Epamedia, same as Ulli and Beate.

Every one at the table was mesmerized by the view on top of the city in the warm summer afternoon light. A very funny and witty elder man joked with me about how nice is to be up there and see everything and everybody from top. Catching his idea I continued this parabola saying the everybody from down there looks up and wants to come here.

As we went through the day and evening approached we discussed inevitable about Romania's situation, our struggles and issues with lack of confidence in its future. About the fact that people like me are not feeling fit anymore in the sea of mud we navigate sometimes and the lack of perspectives for changing this in a better medium to raise the kids.

Later on, the light turned mild so I went with my camera and took some pictures of the charming surroundings and we had some more talk. At some point the elder man had to leave and as he was shaking my hand he pointed his finger towards the city below us and said to me while making a funny face: "Stay up here, don't go down there"

I wish, but how?

Jul 21, 2014

7 UP[LOAD]. Week 29

Bucharest 2014
Last week best image comes from Parcul Copilului, a place we see in average 10-20 times per year. Why I like it best? Firstly because it was made by Radu! Secondly because it picture what Camelia and me came to love and do that much over the years. Running after light and playing with it in postures without inhbition, enjoying life and each other as well as playing with our kids. And last but not least,  I just love that meter from the park minutes before 8:00 PM. I know what light will bring and how to play with it.

Canon 5D Mark III, 135/2, F2, S 400, underexposed 2 stops

Jul 18, 2014


Rest in Peace to all lost souls of MH 17. 

I think this world is sick and nobody is safe anymore. 


The Daily Magic Light. July 18

Mariposa Grove, California, 2011

Jul 17, 2014

The Daily Magic Light. July 17

Lower Yosemite Falls, California, 2013

Last year, Cami and I we had a marvelous photo trip in Califormia for 10 days, wandering from Los Angeles to Yosemite and shooting in some great places like Moro Bay, Moonstone Beach, or Julia Pffeifer Beach. The last 3 days we spend in Yosemite next to Dave Wyman, a great photo tour guide and a great person I have met one year before in my unforgettable trip to Yellowstone.

It was my second time in Yosemite after my trip with Runa in 2011, but Dave managed to show it to us differently. For example this magical rainbow forming on the lower part of Yosemite Falls but only if you reach there before 9:00 AM :) I was so excited about the light, that I did anything to get closer, climbing some slippery rocks, totally unprepared and without securing my cameras in the rush of finding the perfect angle. So, I slipped from a rock and my camera fell from my shoulder hitting a rock with my bloody expensive 24-70 / 2.8 L lens. To my luck, it was still functioning in manual so I was able to catch this image and fix it when back in Bucharest.

Canon 5D Mark III, 24-70/2.8, F11, S 200, ISO 200

Hating to Love (me on) Facebook

Tarsago Budapest office, 2014
The title was not my idea, I recently read an article in NY Times when traveling from Antalya to Budapest (how cool is that for a globalization example :)). Hating to Love Facebook was presenting the situation of Europeans which are constantly and publicly rioting against big American tech firms like Facebook and Google while being among the most active and loyal users with a usage share much higher than Americans.

It is very fashionable to write against Facebook these days and about how (negatively) affected and transformed our lives. Some of them are very right and I fully agree. However, as for many other things in life, there is the matter of free will. If I don't like it while am I still using it?

Hence the title of this post, it is not about hating or loving Facebook, it is about hating or loving the effect is has on me. While Facebook is a global wave which changed our media, social and individual behavior in a terrible way within a short period, it's up to any of us to understand how it affects us and adapt.

This is why I love me using Facebook:

1. Because it gives me access to a wide audience when I have something to say
2. Because I have retrieved old friends and colleges and I am keep doing it
3. Because I save money on phone communications
4. Because I can talk to people around the world easy
5. Because I can follow photographic work and news easy
6. Because I can't ignore it in my work and profession
7. Because I can get the news faster but not the whole news portal mess
8. Because I can rely on some people to feed me with interesting stuff
9. Because I understand or find out things about people otherwise impossible
10. Because it makes me look sometimes different than I feel :D

This is why I hate me using Facebook:

1. Because I spend too much time on it
2. Because my wife spends too much time on it
3. Because we show point 1 and 2 above to our kids constantly
4. Because I take the likes as appreciation for my photo work. Since I started posting my images in my blog, the number of "likes" decreased 10 times!  It makes me lazy and sufficient in exhibiting my photo work
5. Because I read less :(
6. Because it makes me superficial in reading
7. Because  it is the least secure and safe communication method
8. Because I accepted everybody on my wall
9. Because it provokes me to exhibit myself in an unnecessary degree
10. Because it kills my human communication skills. Try and meet a FB friend in person and speak the in the same FB-ish style with him.

How about you, do you love or hate yourself using it?

Click on Bullshit

I have included in all my posts this rating buttons. Obviously, I am very glad when someone takes the time and click on it. You might like it or dislike it it is important for me to know. Therefore, when someone it's clicking the bullshit button, I would really love to understand. I got 3 bullshit rating in the last days on this, this and this images. 

Dear bullshit button clicker, I am not unhappy or mad, I would just love to understand why. Can you you explain it to me in a comment? Anonymously if you want. Thank you

Jul 16, 2014

The Daily Magic Light. July 16

Porto, 2013
We took a 4 days holiday in Porto last fall a destination we long time dreamed to see in Portugal, our beloved country. Our first day turned to be a cloudy and then rainy one and we had to stay indoor. However, towards the end of the day the rain stopped and we went out to see the Atlantic ocean, we were just missing it. So we went out and stayed late, late than almost everybody, taking pictures of the rushed water onto the concrete pier. And then, just when we lost hope to see the light again, the whole sky turn red and God, once again, awarded us with a magic light. The wet pier reflected this light and all the atmosphere became surreal.

Canon 5D Mark III, 24/1.4, F8, S100, ISO 400

Jul 15, 2014

Happy Birthday, Fellow Photographer. Bogdan Comanescu

Rosia Montana, 2014
In the beginning of this year I went to Rosia Montana, joining one of Sorin's workshops in Marea Hoinareala. "The Great Wandering" is a photo tour business going everywhere in Romania exploring its unspoiled villages, traditions, inhabitants and nature wanders. I knew about Sorin work but I had the surprise to discover Bogdan.  He is both a great photographer and a wonderful companion with an unique ability to approach villagers, unknown people, open their hearts and souls and get them interested in being photographed. He is also a great organizer and providing valuable advice to all level of photography expertise. You might find out more about his work here and here. Happy Birthday Bogdan, my fellow photographer.

Image taken together with Bogdan above the hills of Rosia Montana after one hell of attempt to climb the hill on ice and snow.

Canon 5D Mark III, 24/1.4, F22, S200, ISO 800

The Daily Magic Light. July 15

Mihailesti, 2013

One year ago, we took a balloon flight for the first time in our life. Camelia has awarded this ride as a birthday present for my brother, his wife and for me. We took off just before sunset from 30 km from Bucharest and we flew for 20 min around 800-1000 m altitude, just to land pretty bumpy on a corn field after we avoided some high voltage lines. It was a magic experience, full of adrenaline and enchantment. I made a lot of pictures but this one is my dearest. As I was looking mainly in the direction were the air was pushing us, I turned my head into the sun just to see a glimpse of it's reflection in the river down below. I managed to set up my camera within two seconds and shot this before our balloon position to change.

Canon 5D Mark III, 24-70/2.8, F 22, S125, ISO 200, underexposed 2 stops for the star to come out, post processed in Camera Raw to darken the sky

7 UP[LOAD]. Week 28

IOR Park, 2014

The best of the past week comes from Bucharest, IOR Park in our mid day visit together with Radu and Mara.

Why I like it best? In a city rather cluttered and chaotic, I managed to find, in fact my kids did, this geometric regulated pattern, empty in a sunny day and captured the joy and the energy of my boy running along its lines.

Canon 5D Mark III, 135 / 2, F5.6, S 200, ISO 200

Jul 12, 2014

The Daily Magic Light. July 12. Short Evening Story

Mara's evening ride in our neighborhood

About how packing your luggage might get you a high IELTS score

Budapest, any given Friday morning

I am learning for my IELTS examination next week. Did I tell you, we are thinking of Australia? No, some other time maybe.

Anyway, subject is simple, in the Speaking band: "Talk a bout a daily routine". Time 5-6 minutes

Oh, really? OK, Let's take Thursdays evening.

"So, it is Thursday evening again and next day I am leaving home for the weekend to see my family. This is because I work in Budapest during the week, starting April 1st and in the weekends I go home, back to Bucharest. Sometimes, I work a week from Bucharest office also. I live in a hotel, life is easier and solution cheaper. I have also my own car with me in Budapest. So I have to pack my luggage as next day I check out from my room, go to the office, work half a day, take a taxi or my car, reach the airport and fly home. Stay for the weekend, have fun, Sunday evening pack again and fly back to Budapest Monday morning, going to the office straight from the work"

Simple, isn't it? But

"I have my suits, usually 2. And use about 6-7 shirts a week. Which needs to be transported and ironed. So, I use 3-4 suits plastic bags. And wire hangers. So making a decision every week about which suit to you take home, wearing it on the airplane, which one you leave here, which one goes to the cleaning. Same for the shirts. So, again, one plastic bag for the shirts leaving here. Here where? Right. Can I leave them in the car? Yeah, why not. Oh boy, I forgot, I have this event I need to attend when coming back so the car should be clean and empty waiting me at the airport. Or this is next week? OK, So one plastic bag for here, one for taking home. I have 3 shirts which looks decent, I will have to iron them anyway again, so it can stay here. Another plastic bag goes to the cleaning so I need to remember to take it out of the car when I arrive the garage and take it up into the office. Where should I put this one, all 3 are looking the same, God these shirts are heavy and the wire hangers hurt. OK, suits ready. What clothes do I have to take home? I have this backpack with roller, I don't want to carry too much. And I have to take back the mountain sport shoes, are futile now in the summer. And the bottle of wine. And the big bottle with sulfurous water Runa wants for her skin. What is this pack? Oh, God, I forgot, I have 8 boxes of powder child milk I carry for a friend every month. OK, let's leave back the mountain shoes here, some other time maybe. So what's staying here? I have the red suitcase it should be enough space. OK, throw everything else there. Tshirts, jeans, sport clothes, books, medicines, toiletries . Oh no, I can't put there my tooth shower, it is sensitive. So find a paper bag and leave toiletries out. Shoes, I have to many of those, slippers, pool slippers., remaining underwear and socks for next week. Good point how many do I have left? Open up, count, note, put it back. Computer, yeah, I have my own I keep with me in the hotel, to avoid carrying the office one. All other gear goes in the office bag. So, another computer to carry if I work from Bucharest next week. Power cables. Where should I put the computer's bulky power cable? Back pack. OK, what else? Oh no, the photo camera. Separate bag :( I am reaaaady! One last glance. Oh God, the pillows. Did I mentioned I bought 2 pillows from Ikea this week? 3 months fro my start  I decided I had enough struggle trying to sleep on the hotel's ones. How should I pack the pillows? Ah, the hotel has one spare pillow with a big plastic bag so I take that one :D. Now I am ready. I can go to sleep. But were is my pajama? Packed, of course. I open the suitcase take the pajama go to sleep. Next morning calling the bellboy. he's looking at me awkwardly. Justified I guess. I have: 3 suits plastic bag with approx 10 hangers, one reg big heavy suitcase, one absolutely packed heavy back pack on rolls. It is trolley though. One brown paper back with toiletries , One leather office back, heavy as hell carrying the computer, one photo bag with one heavy DSLR and two lenses. And one transparent plastic bag with 2 pillows. He carries everything down and I pull the car in front. Open the trunk. Only then the bellboy snaps ...."

Did I mention I have a bicycle permanently in my car?

I have written this in approx 30 min, you might have read it in 5. I don't know if this is a good enough response for a IELTS test, but we will see soon.

Am I complaining? Not really because in reality, after 3 months, my brain has developed its neural pathways, and I am not really thinking too much of it. I am just doing it

Jul 11, 2014

The Daily Magic Light. July 11

Ganeasa, Ilfov, Romania, 2014

This is Radu, my-soon-to-be 6 y.o. boy, riding a horse for the first time. Horse's name is Rafael, a great and child loving buddy. This a marvelous place close to Bucharest we went at Ada's recommendation. The light was God contribution to the day. The storm was approaching and the sun decided to glow in that storm, metallic, low temperature light.

Canon 5D Mark III, 24-70/2.8, F8, S 400, ISO 200

Jul 10, 2014

The Daily Magic Light. July 10

Obudai Island, Budapest, 2014

I promised I will show you more of my picture, wasn't I? This is the last light over Obudai Island, a magic place in Budapest. In a city rather busy with millions of tourists on the river banks, a 10-15 min car ride and a 15 min bike ride will take you to the deserted end of this island when the Danubes level forms different shore shape every time. And yes, did I mentioned the fabulous sunset light of Budapest?

Canon 5D Mark III, 35 mm/1.4, F11, S125, underexposed 2 stops, ISO 400, Polarized filter (a bit futile :)

Welcome back imperfect world

Lagunas de Ruidera, Albacete, Spain, 2014

I am not a music star but I deliberately acted like one in the concert at the re-start of this blog. You know, they start the concert straight on by playing 2-3 songs and only after they greet the audience "Good Evening .....!!! How are you tonight?"

So, Hello World, it's has been a while!

Some time ago I had one of those days when you work so hard and so tense that, at the end of it, you just want to forget about it and relax. However, despite the brief shopping session and the late pool dive, I noticed myself thinking about the same work objectives I am so keen to reach currently. Damn perfectionism, I said to myself.

And then, all of a sudden, I remembered I used to have a blog about being imperfect. I opened it, read some things written some years ago, look at the pictures and said to myself: "Hmm, why not, I still have some thoughts and stories in my bag"

So, my fellow readers, this will be about me, my thoughts, my feelings. I will show you much more of my pictures (as I got better meanwhile :) I will tell you about mine and my family travels, our passions or challenges.

And I will kindly ask you to give me your feedback and opinions should you care about the things I will throw in here.

Jul 9, 2014

Making waves

London, 2014

It is like when you put a finger  in a calm water. You make waves and they smoothly go away in circles, small then larger and larger, one after another, swinging softly all the things floating around.

Same with our actions or our feelings. Should we do or not do something. should we feel anger, passion, love or fear all the persons floating around us and connected by the water of life will be affected. Same when you don't feel or suppress the feelings ...

So let the love come out, let the fears disappear and let it wave it out from you.


Jul 8, 2014

The Photografic Mojo

Uttakleiv, Lofoten Islands, Norway, 2014

This morning we had an open breakfast and I had to make a presentation about myself in front of my colleagues. Obviously it was about my passion for photography. For a person so used to speak in front of other I was soooooo nervous. Than I remembered why!

Two years has passed since I wrote this but I am still in the same place, unable to find my photographic modjo. The photo archive though of now a bit over 4 TB

Jul 7, 2014

The neural pathways of your soul

Prague, 2014

Last month I participated in a creativity workshop with my colleagues in Prague. Part of this, we learned how the brain works, about synapses, neural impulses and other "boring" staff about our brain. And we made this experiment to illustrate how deep our thinking and behavioral habits can go, how deeply engraved on our brain become our thoughts. It looks as skid marks, rows and ditches left on a soft jelly by the hot water poured on top of it. It was magic. So easy to understand that once you formed yourself to think and act in a way, your brain automatically works in patterns. You create a path so deep, it is hard to climb over its edges. 

In order to change this, you have to gave up conscientiously to this regular way of thinking and embrace new ways, creative techniques in this case, just to force your brain to think differently. As an advertising person I had attended many workshops and trainings on the topic and yet, never had this powerful feeling I had when touching the ditches on the jelly with my finger. 

However, there I was, touching the "artificial brain", feeling convinced about the scientific truth of the experiment but I was thinking to something else. How about your soul, how about your jelly soul? How about the ditches, scars and rows on your soul, how deep are they engraved there? What kind of a solution should you try in order to avoid the water of your life to go on the same pathways? How do you heal your soul, how you change his patterns, his addictions or whatever painful things are engraved there?

Three weeks after that we did the same workshop and the same experiment in Budapest. This time the jelly was bullet proof resistant. Before someone make any bad taste ethnic joke, you need to know that it was a real hard jelly which did not get any scar despite the full bucket of hot tea we poured on it.

But it got me thinking again about the jelly soul. How do you get to have one so serene with no scars on it? Is this possible? Is this good?

In between the Prague and the Budapest jellies, I am definitely convinced that, as brain can find new neural pathways when deliberately trying to explore new alternatives, so can our soul, when conscious and enlightened, to recover and develop into new horizons.

7 UP[LOAD]. Week 27

Margaret Island, Budapest, 2014

Starting with this one, I will upload here the one image I will take during that week and like best. Once for every week

As I was carrying my empty but fairly heavy red suitcase through the park behind my hotel, to illustrate my blog re-birth post, I noticed this group of people enjoying their time together in a very open, stress-less way on the green yard. The trademark dying light of Budapest was enhancing the scene was a bonus. I quickly changed lenses behind a tree and I took this snapshot before they could see me and spoil their mood.

Why I like it best: I like the serenity, normality and peace it transmits.

Canon 5D Mark III, 135 mm, F4.5, S125, ISO 200

Jul 6, 2014

Life is a suitcase

Margaret Island, Hungary, 2014

Could be any given Monday. You have to pack. No, it is worst, you have to leave. How many shirts would you pack in a suitcase? How many socks?  You count the days? You do the math?

What if you have to pack your thoughts instead of shirts? How about your dreams? How many of them would take with you? Would you fill your suitcase with your current dreams? Or would you leave with your suitcase empty looking for new dreams to be found in the new horizons you are travelling to?

How about your life? What would you pack if you have to take your life elsewhere? What would take with you if you have to carry your whole life in a suitcase? Your gold watch, your wedding photo?

Would you pack it full or would you leave with it empty just to to fill it up again elsewhere?

Life is like a suitcase. The purpose of the suitcases is help to move part of you elsewhere. For good or temporary. The same with your life. You can fill it up or leave it empty. You can use it to leave or to return.

But aren't you happy when you travel without any luggage? Would this mean that you don't carry your life and, in fact, your life is YOU?