Monday, May 13, 2013

Bucharest Street Photography

I treated myself to a workshop experience over the weekend.  For May 11 and 12 I joined 4 other folks in Davin Ellicson's (see his work here) company to walk some of the back streets and to see hidden treasures of Bucharest while getting tips on "street photography".  I didn't realize until we gathered and Davin started providing information that "street photography" is a separate genre of photography, catching people and events on the street in candid moments.  We learned some tips and we talked about one another's photos, but mostly we spent lots of time outside both days taking pictures.  It was warm and sunny both days - enough so that I got mildly burned - and we covered many kilometers.  I have never before taken so many pictures that I used up both camera batteries I have!  So here are some of my better efforts:

This street urchin was begging me for money.  The picture above is during the begging; below, she is posing after I gave her 1 leu.

I still like taking pictures of buildings, but I received encouragement to look for unusual perspectives or backgrounds.

Romania has very cheap Internet and yet it also has the second fastest download speeds in the world.  One way they keep it cheap is to simply string wires wherever...

I also found I liked the dappled light of certain spaces...

I learned to look for people against interesting backgrounds and to be more assertive about aiming my camera at people - preferably when they didn't see me.  I got a little better at "shooting from the hip" in order to not be so obvious about taking photos.  The next few are at the Gypsy Flower Market and then we walked on to King Carol Park.

And sometimes I couldn't help but point my camera straight up...

It was a good workshop:  I saw parts of Bucharest I'd not seen before, heard some new stories, met some interesting people, took oodles of pictures, and sharpened my eye a bit on what makes for a better photo in general and what makes for a good street photo.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring Visitors 2 - Part 2b (Hiking in the Piatra Craiului, Day 2)

Look at the dawn light on the mountain behind Cosmin's neighbor's house!  Wow!

 As I said, all kinds of terrain...

In addition to the breathtakingly beautiful scenery, I also enjoyed the fact that we were passing farms and seeing people going about some of their daily activities.

This lovely woman clearly wanted a little company and we stopped to chat for several minutes.  She seemed pleased to be asked to refill my water bottle.

 Time for lunch and a rest...
 And then down into Moeciu de Sus, where the taxi waited to take us back to Brasov and the train station.

As we drove back to Brasov, we passed Bran Castle on the way.  I was disappointed.  It was not as high or as remote as I had pictured it.

Martha's last day in town we spent at the Village Museum and reminiscing about our wonderful hike in the mountains.

Spring Visitors 2 - Part 2a (Hiking in the Piatra Craiului)

The highlight of Martha's visit was the 2-day hiking trip we did.  We traveled by train to Brasov on Sunday, where we walked around the city, rode the cable car up to the top of Tampa, walked around the summit, and enjoyed supper with my friends and colleagues.  Monday and Tuesday we hiked with Horia, standing in for Iulian Cozma with whom I had made arrangements, in the Piatra Craiului National Forest and surrounding villages. We covered approximately 11 km (7 miles) each of the 2 days over a wide variety of terrain.  The first half of Monday we spent going up - literally! - but the view when we stopped for our lunch break was well worth it!  I am using a few pictures from Martha in addition to some of mine.  She has a fancier camera than I do and was able to take some shots I could not get.  I also refer you to Iulian's website:  In June I will be hiking for 9 days with Iulian - he is well organized informed about the country, listens to his clients' desires, etc.  Horia was interesting and informative as well.  The only thing I haven't yet got an answer to is what elevation change we covered.  I would like to know...

Pictures from Sunday...

Monday we began by driving about 40 minutes from Brasov to the start of the trek.  We began by filling water bottles at a fresh spring and then walked into the park.

A well-deserved break at the summit.  Notice there is snow lingering up there!  The cheese on roll that Horia  had prepared for lunch was mighty delicious!
Unfortunately the cloud cover interferes with fully capturing what we saw from the summit, but you will get the idea...  There is snow covering those distant peaks. That is the Piatra Craiului range behind us.  The mountains viewed between the barns below are the Bucegi.  Both ranges are part of the Carpathians.
 We are headed down there...

End of the trail for Day 1.  We overnighted at Cosmin's house, a second home for him and his family and available for renting to folks who want to be in the mountains.  It is situated on land left him by his grandfather and he did most of the work on it himself, over a period of about 3 years.  Dinner was fabulous! We had vegetable soup prepared by his mother from produce grown in her garden (both this year and last), cheese that a neighbor had made, bread another neighbor had baked, and sausages that Cosmin had made when they killed the pig at Christmastime.  All local, all fresh, and very tasty!