Níðstang

Nithstang-132
The poisoned waters of the Black Lake await.

Își croiește drum prin ceața densă compusă din fum și aburi, zămislite din pământul deschis ca o rană urâtă pe corpul unui uriaș alb. Degetele frământă noroiul cleios și greu, ace mici de gheață pătrund în fiecare crăpătură a pielii. Porii ei se întind către frigul sălbatic care mușcă adânc din coastele fragile și firele firave și subțiri de puf auriu care îi îmbracă trupul. Brațele și gleznele îi sunt îmbrăcate în sângele negru din malul lacului, unghiile descărnate și pulsând roșu de sângele ei lăsând urme rubinii în zăpadă.
Tamaroh(1)-urile îi cad pe umeri, fine și lungi, fluturând frenetic în bătaia vântului, cu fiecare unduire trimițând un șirag de dungi roșii către apă, runele amplificate de puterea blestemului vibrând în părul ei verde și lung.
Se sprijină în toiagul bătrân, noduros și uscat, creat anume pentru acest scop. Sute de nopți l-a siluit cu vorbele otrăvite izvorâte din inima plină de ură și cancer pentru anume, ei. Spuma salivei i se inchega cu fiecare scuipat plin de năduf rece și greu și se dilua mai apoi cu fiecare lacrimă de durere sau de plăcere, în funcție de cât de bine își făcea treaba: sucurile vremelnice ale trupului ei care au înlocuit seva lemnului și l-au transformat într-un instrument al distrugerii.
Se oprește la un pas de apa deja bolnavă de o cerneală a fumului și nopții, broboane de sudoare și cristale de chiciură rece pe frunte și sprâncene. Craniul îi înveninează mintea, îi tulbură ochii și gândurile cu șoaptele lui barbarice și slute. Ura pe care o emană îi arde degetele mâinii iar pielea scrâșneste unde osul sapă încet cu fiecare pendulație. Își mușcă buzele roase de gerul vânăt și deschide ochii.
Craniul vibrează în mâinile ei, trepidând cu sunete înăbușite de bolta palatină și urmele de energie care închid acolo primul favhin(2) pe care a reușit să îl subjuge: bătrân și prea slăbit ca să poată lupta cu agilitatea ei, dar suficient de șiret și iscusit cât să o facă de două ori să își piardă cunoștiința în zăpada înghețată. Dar asta era de mult iar acum vocea neîntrupată a spiritului reprezenta doar o altă muzică a sferelor suferinței care îi dădeau târcoale. Orbitele o privesc gol iar coarnele îi rod în continuare liniiile palmelor.
Lasă craniul în mâzga mocirloasă care aproape că fierbe când incisivii se înfig adânc, cu un plescăit înecăcios și sec. Ridică toiagul și îl înfige cu toată puterea între două pietre de la capătul micului promontoriu pe care stă. Vântul fluieră încet peste zbârciturile din fibră, semn clar că locul este prielnic, că pământului îi este sete. Cu moantele albe precum aracadele, răsucește: întâi în dreapta, apoi în stânga, lacerând măruntaiele colțoase, legând cu tendrile invizibile lemnul de piatră, până ce ura sau timpul le va descătușa.
Cu o agilitate deosebită, se întoarce și ridică tigva brăzdată de semne negre pe care o izbește drept în vărful blestematului piedestal. Hăurile cavernoase ale spiritului acceptă această voință servilă și noul domeniu limitat dar infinit mai vast decât crăpăturile craniului.
Sfârșită, își smulge tamaroh-urile și le alătură coarnelor ascuțite, iar cu asta, sceptrul este complet.
Un strigăt mut ca o prăpastie fără fund unde esența ei deja coboară lipicios spre a fi irosită în nimic iar trupul îi cade rece și imobil precum existența ei.
În aerul șlefuit al dimineții următoare, lângă craniul înfipt într-un par pe malul unui lac negru și fără fund, zace doar o urmă în zăpada peste care își cântă simfonia durerii favhin-ul aspru și neînduplecat.
Blestemul dăinuie și azi.
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(1)Tamaroh = benzi lungi și negre, pe care se inscripționează, prin magie sau altfel, numele și abilitățile celui care construiește totemul. Se poartă, de obicei, prinse în părul împletit sau de pielea capului cu ajutorul unor inele special confecționate.
(2)Favhin = spirit de apă deosebit de violent și schimbător, extrem de malvolent și încărcat de ură.

5/365

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!

4/365 or why keeping your photos matters

MirunaSo, with the start of this 365 project, I decided  to work on more of the ideas I had going around but had no time/didn’t dare to start.
One lovely late summer morning, I took my friend Miruna out for a shoot. Some portrait practice for me, some leisure fun activity for her.
As we arrived on scene, the Botanical Garden from Craiova (the city I currently live in), we walked among all sorts of trees, bushes, shrubs and plants of all kind of sorts until we found a meadow among the thicket.
Tall, Cypress and a few Oak trees stretched out wide while the ground was covered in ivy.
Now, here’s the fun part: as we unloaded out gear, clothes and whatever else we were encumbered by, the Sun slowly crept into the sky and spilled its rays all over the meadow through the network of branches and foliage. Miruna had turned around to see it rise and as the rays contoured her hair, I grabbed my camera and asked if she liked the sunrise. She turned around, excited and smiling. And then, SNAP!. I had the shot.
Now, the day continued, we did lots of shots, some of which I considered to be so much better, yet when I arrived back home and downloaded the results onto my computer, I noticed things wre quite different from the results in the field.
The main idea? Always keep the photos you might want to delete on scene because they don’t seem quite as good as you’d expect. Because later on, you might find these gems among the stones and be glad you did so!

3/365 or why I hate taking selfportraits

3-of-365
Ah, self portraits…ever since ancient times, the human ego thingy hasn’t gone one step further from drawing one another one a cave wall and calling it art.
What’s my big issue with “selfies”? (other than being a never ending pool of self-feeding egomaniacal abyss).
A self portrait rarely reflects anything about the artist. Whereas a portrait, by definition, should reveal something (whether true or a role played behind a mask) about a certain someone.
Self portraits LIE! And they do so brazenly and in a cheeky manner. I have yet to see a self portrait where the vision reflects either true enunciation of one’s personality or a true form of artistic foul play or theatrics. We cannot lie enough to ourselves and we cannot lie good enough for others to be deceived.
While the risks involving a true exposure of oneself are, do doubt, to be taken into consideration (given the amount of information warfare going on), in my personal opinion, I believe a self portrait should be done as sincerely as possible or as artistically as possible.
I mean, you won’t send grandma a photo of you acting all mysterious for the sake of facebook’s likes, aye?
Nor will you post on such social networks a photo of you taking a bath, as a baby…or would you?
As the curtain between privacy and publicizing our every living moment gets blurred by the year, I feel…torn.
On one hand, I believe in the intimacy of certain moments and the necessity for those moments to be shared with special people and be kept and treasured deep inside one’s mind.
On the other hand, the utopian inside of me would aspire to a universal bonding, a “big family” (oh, the hippies are all gettin’ giddy). Yet we cannot do so if we keep presenting false imagery and shallow, see-through masks. It only gives people more trust issues (and fills psychiatrist’s pockets, mind you).
Now, the rant above begs the question: is this a true self portrait? Is it sincere? Is it a well-cast mask? I guess that is for you to decide.

Her Sad Story (1/365)

Her-Sad-StoryAnd with this, I shall start my 365 challenge.
This is an image I shot during the making of a short movie (whose title is still unrevealed due to the movie being still in pre-production)
Hanging around on the set sure is fun and you can definitely snap some interesting things, from emotions to simple amazing and funny stills.
What’s so special about it? Other than it was a completely lucky shot and filled with emotion? Being shot on a 40-year old lens, full manual with no meter data whatsoever.
So…here it goes. My first post on the 365 challenge. I don’t have anything set in stone, I jsut want to redefine my style and work more on my photography since I feel I kinda’ neglected it lately.
Are any of you doing the 365 Challenge? Let me know!  🙂

A mental illness awareness project

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Recently, one of my colleagues from Med School approached me and asked me if I wanted to help her with a charity project she was running: raising funds for a few orphans with certain disabilities. This center in our town is full of benevolent people but the funding (as with most of the things here) are very low and some of the proper medical equipment and staff but they do what they can for these poor souls.
As my friend was directing the mental illness department in the Med School’s society, I got the idea of illustrating this in a small staged photoshoot. What followed was an interesting experience, with all the models having no previous experience and improvising on the way. Enjoy!

The History of a “Click!”

I had a flash of light pass through the cells of my imagination: it was a day that called for a photograph; like a hungry wolf, it craved, crawled and howled for one. My fingers itched to feel the weight of the camera, the delicate balance of the perfectly aligned mirrors, lens and the breath of the aperture as it exhaled with each blink of the shutter curtains flicking and falling, stirring old dust and setting the calm lakes aflame with ripples. So I picked up my old partner in mischief and head into a vast hallway of unknown steps, marble corridors, hidden pathways, dusty trails, abandoned highways and thickets. Where my light (for it was mine, and nobody else’s) took me, it was impossible to tell since a viewfinder only offers a limited perception, one eye at a time. It was a scream of colors, shades, blackness and blinding light of the impending doom, wandering, weaving, brutally reflecting, smashing, bouncing, twisting and turning, diffracted or amplified as my eyes slowly flooded and the tears began to pour out: a silent storm of crevices, like a rain of bokeh and softness. And then…and THEN, like that rebellious particle that just couldn’t stay put and just HAD to move, bringing about the end of an endless era of stillness into the fulminating chaos of Creation, expanding tentacles of hot, ionized gases, consuming the perfect black of the astral sleep…just like that I…clicked! The camera began to heave as the pulleys shook their old laziness and began to lift (screeching in silent tongues of the Ancient Ones) the mirror, the curtains stirred dust (into the space where imagination, passion, hopes, dreams meet their catalyst, blending and morphing) and flashed open and with the trembling of the entire apparatus, the aperture opened with a microscopic twitch of the fatigued ballerina, the whole dark corridor trembling, shaking smothered in tension and suspense as the light began to flood every dark corner where the slightest touch of Evil might have ever hidden, crackling noise of the suicidal photons, rushing rapidly towards the very fibers of mind, depleting their collagen nature, tearing though tissue and bringing about the Lux Aeternam shining upon Bliss. The camera bled! It bleed for an endless eternity as I stared in wonder, my eyes blind and my mind fractured, my heart into pulsating struggle, my breath nowhere to be found but my feet unable to support and collapsing like old pillars of antique temples when the Ocean of Sensation gushes in, with the delicacy of a raging Tsunami. For you see, in my imprudence, in my impossibility to understand…but, then again, what human being could ever possibly understand? Do gods dream of this when it’s time for Uthenera?  Have I reached the primordial states of hot matter and disoriented particles clashing into a dance of Death that sprung Life?… …in my childish curiosity, I pointed the lens (with the finesse of the accomplished artist, as I wanted myself to think, to believe, cold, calculated, with the grace of a…cannon) towards the very incipient mixture of primordial wonders, where worlds still rise and fall, nebulae of thoughts and condensed wormholes of emotions, ready to make you lose yourself and everything else in, where stars appear at any given moment and Supernova flashes are a common occurrence: her eyes… In a fraction of the time it takes for the soul to realize its nature, my light, her light, all the lights that ever were or ever will be, both dark and vivid, hidden or obscene formed a spectrum indivisible by nothing than the heart-reason prism, and in no manner by a measly, simplistic instrument constructed of cold condensed surfaces that merely copied one upon another, transporting form but not substance, creating but crystals of chipped Cosmos encapsulating casts of human conscience… It is alive, it has grown roots and it’s growing inwards, inverted and uncomprisingly unstoppable inside of me!  So it was born, and so it lives on: by these glimpses of blinks in the photon’s eye, by those tiny moments when you are nothing yet everything, when moving so fast you feel like grabbing light and whip it like a whip, with thunder and lightning alongside your shoulders and splashes of electric cuts that bleed…Life And I cannot help but wonder…how many of my atoms, formerly belonging to one of the Great Poets:  Ovidius, Homer, Virgil, how many of them, residing now in me, in my right temple or in the valves that open my heart, how many of them will release the energies they contained in a time where Aeneas walked the earth, lifting me higher and higher, how many of them will irradiate like a million plutonium Suns…just so that I can start to understand…how? (Because how is much more important than why.)