8/365 A Forest

...at the midpoint through the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest...
…at the midpoint through the journey of life, I found myself in a dark forest…

There is something about forests that reminds me of human nature: growing, magical, deep, twisted, diverse, intricate, savage, sometimes dark, sometimes benevolent and welcoming, calm or full of whispers…and the list could go on forever. You get the point.
I often like to take small trips into such natural mazes, mostly for the serene feeling and the bit of disconnection from the daily rush of city life. I feel…safe and at home among the old trees.
Anyway, I will let you rest here while I try to manage the film projects I am working on. Don’t worry, the 365 project continues! 🙂

6/365 or why back to the basics is good, sometimes

6-of-365Well, of course old things we did are the reasons why we are who we are, yet, just because we outran or passed a certain step in our evolution (as human beings, as artists, you name it) doesn’t mean we can’t return to all those happenings that beat the path for our current selves.
Much as everyone out there, I started photography with landscape and macro. Nothing too serious, really. Just a cell phone camera and a lot of eagerness and will to learn. I was only fifteen years old and looking back, I still can’t believe 8 years have passed ever since I decided the clicking of shutters at stuff made me able to express myself.
For you see, I have always been frustrated at my inability to draw or paint for the life of me so photography was the next best thing I could do to let out the ideas that blipped and blopped around my head.
So here it is, my 365 project bringing me around to outgrowing little plants, critters and bugs. This one is not much, but the sheer determination of that little plant, to grow higher and higher and towards the sun inspired me to do the same.
Not to mention that the photo happened in the very first location where I decided I should be a photographer. 😀
The main idea? Reinventing yourself is sometimes good if not necessary. And sometimes, in order to do that, you have to retrace your steps to the very roots and start on another branch 🙂


5/365The fifth day of the 365 project started rather similar with the other one (more details, here), only this time we set off for guitar practice (Miruna is a very proficient guitar player and acts as my teacher 🙂 ).
After all the strumming and finger-numbing scales, we decided to take a break and maybe shoot a few portraits. I had only my camera and my 50mm lens and this is what we came up with.
It was rather silly, she was just playing around while she thought I was setting up my camera, so when I called for attention, she just gave me this look. I knew I had the shot, right away.
A summary? Make sure to always track what’s going around you, that photo you are looking for might not be the best thing out there and sometimes, hazard can really produce some neat results!

Rivers of Molten Gold (2/365)

Rivers-of-Molten-GoldThe Sun sometimes must feel like Midas, gilding and then liquefying everything it touches.
I guess it’s somehow safe to say the family was simply enjoying the late afternoon on the lake. Maybe it’s my nostalgia or something, I don’t know.
But Autumn is a-coming in, right? Somehow autumn makes me all giddy and shooting happy. So, hopefully, more awesome images to come in the next few months.
What would you consider to be a Golden Moment? (The theme I had to execute for today).

Of Stone, Wind and Reflections

…liniste. In intunecimea padurii vechi, scortoase si rasucite, cu pasi tomantici, vioi, se plimba un cuplu. S-au intalnit cand cararea lui, plina de cenusi si mangal s-a alipit cararii ei, plina de florile poetice ce isi scutura polenul in lacuri ale vanitatii, de ciulini cu zambete tepoase si degete agatatoare, de vita aninata maiastru dar otravitoare si de cioburi de culoarea anemonelor. Nu se poate spune cine a calcat primul dar iata-i pasind impreuna, cu binecuvantarea Batranului Stejar si imbujorarea macilor care le rad hipnotic, ascunzandu-si fata in soarele bland, rusinoase si timide.
Culorile cerului de septembrie tarziu se ascundeau timid printre razele de soare calde dar moi si lenese, incat frunzele cazatoare se impodobeau cu ele pana sa atinga pamantul care isi schimba haina cu un cojoc veritabil, tesut cu migala parca din sperantele ei. Se plimbau mana in mana, cu picioarele goale, pline de praful amintirilor pe calcaie si purtand inca mladierea copilelor verii – firele de iarba verde. Rochita ei lunga si alba joaca un dans stravechi cu Vantul care a invatat ceva trucuri de la fratele lui mai mare, Sburatorul; o valureste si apoi mangaie genunchii copilarosi, desmiarda spatele incalzit de soare si saruta galant mainile Domnitei precum o face cand se strecoara printre strajerii stravechi, saltand mai sus si tot mai sus, printre hlamidele norilor, ca sa sarute mana Reginei.
El, cu lumenul lemnului batand de seve galopante ca un suvoi de lava , cu iedera pe brate si radacini noi crescand din nadirul interior, misterios si candid, calcand alaturi, sub pasii ei si ochii plini de irizatiile undelor ce se arunca in bratele malului.
Norii deveneau rasfatati si, din cauza Soarelui somnoros, se imbufnau si se transformau in vata de zahar multicolora pentru a-l imbia sa mai stea si sa se joace cu ei, norii-niciodata liberi sa faca ce vor. Caci norii sunt mesagerii vantului si vor merge mereu unde merge si el. Oamenii si copacii au radacini: desi vantul ii indoaie, sfasie, rupe, apleaca, doboara, usuca, radacinile ii fac puternici si capabili sa simta mangaieri, adieri, avant  si de aceea sunt mai norocosi decat norii sau nisipul care, si mai ghinionist, nu e purtat numai de vant ci si de apa – mutat, rascolit, dizolvat…transformat.
…In ochii ei de culoarea nisipului mangaiat de mare isi pierduse el o scoica violacee, cu incrustatii intr-o limba a sirenelor ce povesteau despre iubire si afundare in taramuri albastre ale unei lumini efemere si pretioase ale carei ecouri se spargeau in valuri si in interiorul scoicii mov. Si valurile lacului aminteau de valurile marii, caci ajunsesera la ruinele vechi de marmura alba, sacre precum niste oseminte albite de vreme, misterioase si romantice, decazute si abstracte prin colturile sfaramate si scrisurile ilizibile tocite ani si vreme. Platoul rotund se intindea catre interiorul lacului, sustinut de piloni grosi, acoperiti cu muschi, alge si alta flora lacustra, aproape la fel de netezi ca suprafata nemiscata a oglinziii sub clarul de luna albastra. Cei doisprezece piloni se intind simetric la marginea platoului si sustin balustradele sculptate cu forme rotunde, intortocheate si organice: vita-de-vie, iedera si plante arborescente ale caror incurcare uimeste si atrage. Dintre cei doisprezece piloni, unul, cel din centru are capatul sfaramat de o forta incredibila avand in vedere grosimea, iar suprafata sparturii e neteda precum varful unui minutar al unui imens ceas solar. Centrul platoului se desfasoara sub picioarele lor, sonor si dur, un mozaic de forme si culori aranjate si dispuse in forma unei scene idilice ale unor personaje universale de mult uitate. Simt racoarea apei ce curge susurand din varful pilonilor, pe suprafata lor si mai apoi in cercul sculptat din centru iar de acolo serpuind de o parte si de alta a scarilor pe care tocmai le-au lasat in urma. Aici s-au asezat si sprijinit de balustrada veche de cand ploaia cadea dupa alte legi…
[…to be continued…]

Rock concerts and the Journey

So on Saturday, June 25th, I attended the Lake of Tears concert in Bucharest held on the Roman Arenas, along with Amine and some 3000 other people. Getting to Bucharest from my town requires a 4 hour train trip during which, most of the time, you become bored as hell. Having an exam hang above your head the following day isn’t the most tranquil thought either. It seems I have a thing with trains and shooting out from them because every time I hope on one, I keep clicking that shutter button like crazy and find numerous subjects with every new kilometer unfolding. This time, the landscape section took over as some morning , wet clouds floated close to earth and predicted a new storm coming, while the crops of various grain stretched across Romania’s biggest Plain.  
And with all that beautiful imagery, when we reached Bucharest, it was all about to rain as we started heading towards the concert location.
Now, even though I am not a teenager anymore, I still get excited every time one of my favorite bands has a concert. I jump, sing and scream and, at the end of it, I feel like every muscle in my body cries in pain, my throat is useless while notes from every song, the crowd singing and clapping and the general atmosphere of joy and overflowing energy will remain in my memory as one of the most amazing experiences ever (which is normal, for an audiophile like me).

The one thing I regret, though is that they didn’t allow us to bring cameras to the concert and I was limited to cell phone shots which can’t be held accountable as true photographic evidence due to poor quality, but they’re perfect for that personal album in which you store all these memories and sometimes you open to refresh the feeling.

“Torii” and the Sacrum-Profane Equilibrium


A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred (according to Wikipedia).
After a long night partying at a friend’s house, somewhere in a remote Romanian village, faraway from the agitation and frenetic pulse of the city, after singing by the fire and watching the stars while lying on my back in the fresh grass full of dew, after everybody else had fallen asleep, I stood there awake, wrapped in a blanket and looking into the remains of the fire as they wood slowly gave away its last shine and the coal tried to shine on but the creeping sunrise was slowly extinguishing.
And then, one of my friends asked (half dozed by booze, I’ll admit) : “What state of matter does fire represent?”
The correct chemistry answer was: “A mixture of hot gases, vapors and, if the heat is enough, ionized gases a.k.a plasma”
He replied,in a somewhat unconvinced way: “Is that what fire means to you?”

Obviously, the scientific answer was not the one he was looking for. And then it struck me.
It was about everything else. The outing, the fire, fun and good company, the Sun rising beyond the eastern hills… to us, it was a return to innocence, something sacred in a bond to our ancestral origins and traditions, to the greater meaning in the wind’s whispers and the magic in the Nightingale’s songs.
I emerged from my protective cover, picked up my camera and, barefoot and half asleep, like through an autumn reverie, I started climbing towards the highest eastern hill for the upcoming sunrise. Grass felt so soft, air started to warm up and the sky filled with pastel colors that glimmered through the thin clouds.
The road lead under these gigantic power poles that carried the energy from a Hydroelectric power plant some 100 kilometers away. The buzzing of the lines, as the  10,000 volts passed through theme brought an even more ethereal feeling as if an energetic barrier had been set between the green waves and the human civilization residing beyond it.

So, I passed and started shooting as the Sun was slowly climbing the horizon. I can’t tell for how I have been there but when I turned towards the poles I saw four of my friends taking a walk (probably in a desire to catch the sunrise).

They stopped under the massive structure as I did, staring in wonder and that is when the photograph happened.

I chose this title as a reminder of what should be kept truly sacred in our hearts: the purity, the simplicity and innocence of all things in the world. No religious fanaticism, no rituals, no obligations.