Silence

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This is one of my favourite photos. It fully expresses what I am looking for: silence, peace, hope, faith, colours, calmness, attentiveness, beauty, simplicity, beauty, nature.

Unspoken dreams

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Almost one year ago I have written a similar blog post (you may read it here).

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Jo Woolf posted a few weeks ago an amazing post about Culloden: field of sorrow. I encourage you to read her post. Not only that she has lots of interesting historical facts, but she also has amazing photos. Click here.

In 2014 I visited Northern Romania. I have seen many beautiful cities, stunning sceneries and lots of beauties but there were two moments when I was left without words.

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First one was during a walk through a forest. We were in a fir and spruce forest, somewhere at round 1200 meters altitude. Our friend and guide started to show us military trenches and started to talk about First World War. Suddenly I became sad and I realized I was standing in a place where many men of my age died… Why? What for? I won’t talk about that, it’s not my business, I am totally against wars and I believe each war is a huge mistake.

Young men, full of life, with great dreams, with great desires. All of them remained unspoken, buried under fir and spruce trees, far away. No one remember these men, no one cry for them anymore. Their relatives are dead, their friends are old. Another world, another options, there is no place for unspoken dreams.

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The second moment took place in the yard of an Orthodox Monastery. After the Sunday service I was enjoying the sun. The light was amazing gentle, birds were singing and I had a short walk. Not far from church I discovered three crosses. It isn’t something unusual to notice tombs next to churches, but these three tombs had some very simple wooden crosses and on each cross was an iron helmet.

 

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The monks wanted to honor the memory of all soldiers who have died in that area, so they made three tombs, planted some simple but beautiful flowers and from time to time they held some special services for all who died.

 

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Unspoken dreams,
buried under the fir and spruce trees,
nothing is what it seems.

 

 

 

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Thank you for stopping by.

 

After more than half a year

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A dried flower surrounded by snow dunes. You might think this is the image of a forgotten dream.

 

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But there is a soft light even on the cold snow.

 

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And there is enough time for an embracing even in the toughest moments.

The focus of my point and shoot camera stopped working properly last year. I was so disappointed by results… Fortunately, I have a large database of photos, so I can choose something and post it from time to time.

After you start taking photos all the time, your eye gets better and better in seeing things, details, moments, feelings. You see it, you frame it and you press the shutter. Many times you feel it just some moments before it even happens.

It was hard to carry a camera which wasn’t able to take good photos. I had to learn something. Nothing happens without a reason.

Lots of chances came…lots of good moments, incredible light, amazing people, amazing sceneries and many other beautiful things. Instead of taking photos, I started to observe them and told myself that now I must learn again just to be there and enjoy the moment. It was hard.

I didn’t tell many people about why I wasn’t taking photos anymore. Some people were so accustomed to call me in order to take photos and did not understand my new attitude. Silence helped a lot.

Yesterday my brother gave me his camera. Him and his family know how passionate I am about taking photos. It’s the same model as my camera but it is not too used.
Today I felt again full of desire to capture some moments, by one hand, but I am afraid of using camera for uninteresting and unimportant things, on the other hand. I keep telling me I must think more than twice before pressing the shutter.

I cannot express enough my joy.

How blessed I am.

Old barns

In 2014 I had the opportunity to work somewhere in a remote place, surrounded by mountains, hills, sheep, dogs, flowers and trees. It was amazing. I have taken hundreds of photos of old barns, but I cannot decide what and when to post. All are very close to my soul.

Today I share with you three of them.

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Two old barns surrounded by an amazing scenery.

 

Beautiful foliage. Lovely colours. Tranquility was everywhere.

 

One of first snowfalls. This white makes such a huge difference.

Melancholy

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Days come and go but I must admit some of them are sad. And this is not because I am sad but those around me are too sad, too mad, way too busy with nothingness.

I cannot give any advice. In fact, giving an advice is such a hard thing… Not only you need experience, you also need power to say things out loud. And, so often people don’t need your honest opinion, they want you to validate their options. What can you do more? Just remain silent…

The photo above shows you the garden’s  fence of one of our neighbours. For me, this moment is the perfect expression of melancholy.

I think it’s not a technically good photo but it allows me to fully express my mood. The photo below is similar.

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Portraits

This post is a bit different than usually.

A while ago someone told me this: ” Your photos talks about the sadness inside you.”
“What do you mean?”, I asked. ” There is no human presence in your photos, only animals, plants, insects, landscapes but there is not a single presence of a human being. When you are happy you take photos of humans not of animals. ”

In the first instance I didn’t know what to say.

If you follow this blog for a while and saw many of my photos, I don’t know what do you think about me. Maybe you think the same? Do you think a person is sad just because his blog if full of photographs of animals and landscapes? It would be more than interesting to read your opinions.

In response to that person, I say this: I enjoy taking photos of birds because they never try to be something else than they really are. I look for sincerity/honesty/openness/transparency/nobility in my photos, and birds have these huge qualities. This applies to other animals, too.

I don’t take too often photos of humans because I am too shy to ask permission. And if I ever asked permission, people tried to look otherwise than they really are.

I like to take portraits, but I don’t share them often with others.

Today I will share with you four portraits. Four persons. Four souls.

Tell me your thoughts about these portraits.

 

Cornelapostol (1)
Argeș County,  2015

I was inside a car waiting for someone when I noticed this old Lady returning from farmers’ market. That look she has! I see here a winner because I think she defeated every hard moment of her life. It was for the first time I saw her and I will never see her again. But I keep her image inside my heart. There are looks which you never forget.

Cornelapostol (4)
Dâmbovița County, 2015

I was inside a bus when I took this photo. The bus was stopped to to pick up riders. This old Lady was sitting on a chair in front of her yard. I grabbed my camera I took several shots. I like every wrinkle of her because each one talks about real life and real persons, and not about photoshopped old Ladies, with a way-too-perfect skin as we often see in commercials.
She is old, and maybe sick but there is something inside her which makes her shine. Maybe is her kindness.

Maybe she is waiting for someone who is late. Or maybe she is curious about people walking on the street. Or maybe she remembers old friends who passed away.  We don’t know.

Cornelapostol (2)
Pitești, Argeș County, 2015

I was inside a train waiting for departure when I spotted this old Lady sitting on a bench waiting for her train.
Old, tired and maybe sick.

But how expressive is her face!

Oh, wrinkles! How much beauty you give to us.

Cornelapostol (3)
Dâmbovița County, 2015

Here is another portrait, this time a very pensive old Lady.
She was Standing outside a market and talking with someone. She was talking slow and from time to time and she had several stops. Then her right hand covered the mouth as she was trying not to say something easily, without great attention.
I took this photos from bus.

***

I took all these portraits hiding myself behind windows.
Am I coward? Am I a thief of portraits? Am I stupid enough? Don’t know yet. Maybe a mix of all before.
I will never see them again, but I keep their memories inside my heart.
But do I really treasure?

I treasure kindness, I treasure beauty, I treasure all those beautiful feelings I felt when I saw each Lady. I treasure new feelings mixed with the memories of my own grandmothers.

If you have wrinkles, or you are afraid of, I have some news for you: there are people who like you as you are, no matter how old you are. I enjoyed the time taking photos of them, and I treasure their memories even if they are strangers for me. I think there  are many chances to be liked by other just the way you are.

What do you treasure when you encounter the face of another person?

Small things and little worlds

Beautiful head of a butterfly
Beautiful head of a butterfly

We are surrounded by so many beautiful things and we don’t even know it. Or, worse, we say there is enough time for all.

Maybe there is enough time, but what if there is no more enough time for me (or you)?
What if this is the last day when I am able to see?

You don’t want to think about such things but yet…there are chances, unfortunately.

I keep asking myself what I will do if one day I will be a blind man?
How others will know what I was enjoying? How I will be able to show them the world as I saw it and yet not seeing it anymore?

My answer is: through the photographs I have taken.

There are some creepy portraits.
Bun even these terrifying insects have their own tender moments. In the photo above, this insect was cleaning(?) its antennae using gentle his feet.
But even these terrifying insects have their own tender moments. In the photo above, this insect was cleaning(?) its antennae using gentle his left  foot.
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I found this butterfly standing on this flower. The light was poor and it was windy. 

 

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How incredible are its antennae!

I try to document many things like my belongings, our garden, our street, our neighbours, my dogs, our neighbour’s plants, the fields around our village, the forests, clouds, trees, bugs, and many other things. I take photos of my family, of my friends and of strangers.

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Little insect, almost unnoticeable floating on water.
Little insect, almost unnoticeable floating on water.

You might say these things will always be there, or at least for a long time starting now. But the real live has proven to me that …you never know when you see something for the last time.

And I will give you two examples:
First one: about two years ago I was off for a while. When I returned home, I took my bicycle and had a ride. I was shocked to notice that somewhere, about 3 kilometers away our house, a large area of forest has been cut down.
By chance, just a few weeks before I had taken a few shots of some trees, branches and leaves from that place. I was sure they will still be there for a couple of years and I will keep returning year after year. I was so wrong…

Second one: my grandmother was blind for way too many years before she died…Then I didn’t understand her and neither her special needs. Maybe one day …I will…

Enjoy this journey called life. Take photos of your wife, husband, children, grandparents, friends, neighbours, even of yourself, of your belongings, of your street, of your town, of everything you enjoy and of many things which you think will be there at least for many years. You never know when they will disappear…

Have you noticed how beautiful are the wings of honey bees?
Have you noticed how beautiful are the wings of honey bees?
Their last pair of legs are special.
Their last pair of legs are special. They have a sort of baskets.
Honey bees collect pollen and carry it to the hives. Can you imagine the work behind your jar of honey from your kitchen?
Honey bees collect pollen and carry it to the hives. Can you imagine the work behind your jar of honey from your kitchen?
A flower for my grandparents…
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For all these photos (except the one of butterfly standing on flower), I used this lens

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

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European bee-eaters are very colourful, incredible beautiful birds.

At the beginning of May they return from Africa, where they winter. They eat insects (especially bees, wasps, butterflies and dragonflies).

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Bee-eaters are 28 cm long, under 70 gr weight and have a wingspan of about 40 cm.

Bee eater merops apiaster (4)They live in large colonies. After they return from Africa, they dig tunnels in clay banks and make their nests inside. At the beginning of August, their chicks learn how to fly and how to catch insects.

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After yellowhammers, bee-eaters are my favourites birds.
Since I was a kid I know their calls even if, at that time, I had no idea how they were looking like.

I think this is a juvenile bird because I noticed that adult birds have two elongated central tail feathers.

Hazel grouse

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October 5, 2014, Suceava County

 

As usually, I meet my best photographic subjects  when I less expect them .

Last year I visited for the first time some woods of Northern Romania. During one of these trips, I was in a car when I noticed right in front of us some birds. I didn’t recognized them so I asked the driver to slow down or even to turn off the car, but she said if she would do that, the birds will fly. So, I tried to take them some photos even if the car was vibrating.

This bird is called: Hazel Grouse.

It is a small bird from grouse family and has under 40 cm length.

Inhabit especially in forest of coniferous.

Its diet consists of buds, fruits, berries, seeds, ants, beetles, caterpillars and other insects.

Female lays up to 12 eggs. Incubation takes  21-25 days .

Unfortunately, hazel grouse may be hunted in season, 15th September – 15th December.

I know these photos aren’t so great but for me they are very important because I am absolutely sure I won’t see  this bird soon.

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Our heros, my heroes

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It was a nice autumnal morning. After a short driving through forests we reached the peak of a mountain where a Monastery was built a few decades ago. I entered the yard and stayed for a couple of hours inside the Church and attended Divine Liturgy. After that I went out and had a walk through the yard. Suddenly I noticed three crosses and I became curious. I walked that part and I was amazed by the sight: on each cross was an iron helmet.
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You know well all those great Memorials, and so do I, and that’s why I was amazed to see only three small graves with some wooden crosses. First, I didn’t know what to think: is it a sort of piety or is it an offense? After a while I understood: it is a pure and simple way to show respect to our heroes. After all, there, at 1200 meters altitude, it was the best choice to keep it nice and simple.
It seems these graves are in honour of all soldiers who died in First World War and Second War World trying to protect our country.

I went closer to those helmets, I even touched this one below with a sort of piety, with respect. Even if I saw many Memorials and visited museums with artefacts of wars, this encounter was the most powerful to me.

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I wonder how hard must be the life of those soldiers who wore these helmets, how many thoughts they had, how many dreams… Wishes, whispers, prayers, fears, tears, sighs, hope… all are gone now.

Too often I don’t realize how important is the sacrifice of our ancestors.
And this is a shame for me.
I admit, I have many faults.
😦