Monthly archives: December, 2009

Creepy Michael of the Snow

Beyond being totally creepy (oh, those empty eyes!) as a statue and beyond the need for some kids to get a life, I kind of admire the dedication of building this unusual snowman, the snowcarnation of Michael “the king of pop”. Maybe I should take a detour to take another photo a few days later, it wad warm and rainy, he should look disfigured and even creepier.

michael of the snow

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Pan Flute for Christmas

Playing the Pan flute is pretty much a highlight of the local folklore (you know, titans like Zamfir) so when you encounter a Christmas concert in the park, even if the singer is pretty much a kid, what she’s playing is not bad at all (there is also a video with her solo play of O, brad frumos/O Tannenbaum).

o brad frumos

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22 December 2009

Yesterday, 22 December 2009 it was the 20 years anniversary of what we like to call the “revolution”, the fall of the communist dictatorship in Romania, which was violent: over 1000 people died, some fighting for freedom, some on duty, some by accident and some due to stupidity.

The celebration was lame and uneventful, proving once again we are ready to easily trade the freedom for a bit or promised “tranquillity”: a solemn session on the parliament where nobody was interested (they have those every year), some documentaries and talk shows on TV and that was about all.

Passing trough the city center, I noticed something that fired my interest: in the passage below Piața Universității (the square where many people died – tanks, guns – it much worse than Tienanmen) they had a photo gallery, open for all the people walking: photos from the last days of the dictatorship, from the revolution days and from the aftermath.

On one hand, I was jealous as a photographer, those are times when you can capture the reality and even a snapshot can become “gold” from an artistic point of view. On the other hand, people died and you don’t want people to die only to have subjects for your photos.

photo gallery

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Santa’s helpers

You surely know Santa, that big, fat, old bearded guy, who is useless by himself, he can’t do stuff without his helpers. So I present you, close and personal, the Santa’s helpers:

santa's helper santa's helper

Well, were you nice boys or will get this wear some coal again?

Note: I pretty much messed-up this photoshot, it was so clod, my fingers almost frozen so I didn’t concentrated well enough for the best exposure… too bad, the girls deserved better.

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A walk in the park – the winter edition

With this snow all over us and no handy access to some beautiful landscape out of the city, I decided for a week-end walk in the park, trying to capture the moment:

snow

The park where I used to shot candids all summer long, even my favorite bridge, everything was empty and desolated
bridge

Very few chicks around, and not of that kind:
ducks

Still, some people were having fun:
sledge

I also visited the cathedral which impressed me in the autumn colors, but obviously it was changed:
cathedral

In the place where squirrels used to play (they probably hibernate by now) there was a different fauna, somebody got a pony:
pony

And transportation was assured by their full-grown versions:
ride

Of course there was animation, with reindeers and elves (unfortunately, not my favourite type of elf):
elf

…and I stand corrected, there were some chicks:
girl

When the night come, the colorful lights were fired:
lights

Even the fake reindeers:
reindeer

And a mighty Christmas tree:
christmas tree

Well, is cold enough, a close-up with the tree and I can go home:
christmas tree

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Real winter, real Christmas

The Christmas lights are lame this year, but is cold and the snow abundant, so a combination of the two is interesting:

snow and lights snow and lights

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City under snow

A couple of days ago Bucharest was assaulted by the first real snow of this winter and it was beautiful, like in fairy tales, with large and thick snowflakes and a bit of wind to animate them. Frustrating to be trapped in the city, at work and not free of a field for beautiful, expressive shooting of the season. Now is freezing cold…

snow

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Skate or skate

Back in the hot and sunny winter days I used to walk around the parks and take photos of people skating (roller skating, that’s is). Now in cold winter days, what I am supposed to to? Right! Walk around the parks and take photos of people skating (ice skating, of course). And this is not hard to to, since there are quite a few skating places in the city.

skating skating skating

Nice enough, right? But now the question is, what you like better, summer or winter?

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Christmas Lights: something

I complained a few days ago about our incompetent city mayor and the late firing-up of the city lights for Christmas, the city center is a major disappointment: for the first time they are using exactly the same lights as the last year, only fewer (some were probably broken).

christmas lights christmas lights christmas lights

Something new and positive wad the Cismigiu Park, in addition to the skating area they have a big tree, a fair and lights:
christmas lights christmas lights christmas lights

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Christmas Fair in the Kiseleff Park

Suddenly, it seems the Kiseleff Parc became fashionable this year (I guess is close to the city mayor’s house or something like that) so a big Christmas Fair is held here for the first time. And it was a first time for me, when I went into shooting mode with my new pocket video camera (is my first, so forget the amateurish style, it was a learning experience).

Of course I also used the DSLR, taking a fer snapshots:

christmas christmas christmas christmas

Not that is a Romanian Christmas: plenty of food (pork), plenty of drinks (wine and țuică), lot of people.

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People against communism

Failing to shoot the Christmas city lights, I had the opportunity to stumble upon another interesting thing: people in the street, protesting about the possible communist restoration in the upcoming presidential elections, against the censorship and manipulation in mass-media and fighting for freedom and future. Unfortunately I wasn’t prepared at all, had with me only the camera with normal (not fast) lenses, on-camera (not external) flash, no tripod, nothing. But bad photos are better than no photos…

no communism no communism no communism

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Christmas Lights: FAIL

Knowing the old tradition of having the Christmas lights to be started in the city for the December 1st, I planned a shooting expedition in that evening, with the tripod, cable release and everything, but after freezing in the morning at the military parade, I didn’t feel like it, and postponed for a later day. Next day I felt bad about losing an opportunity, so after work did a short walk in the city with only the camera, no additional gear: surprise! the lights were still off, thanks to our incompetent city mayor, so my original decision wasn’t that bad.

At least the failure was not epic: I found a boulevard with some lights (not the city center, just a more civilised district with probably a better mayor) and, and this will be cubject of another post, people in the street protesting about the possible communist restoration in the upcoming presidential elections.

christmas lights

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National day, December 1st military parade

What a bummer! After a couple of sunny weeks the morning of the national day, with its traditional military parade, was cloudy and misty. Bad for photography, bad for the photographer, so the photos are not much better than last year, in yet another cold, cloudy and misty winter morning. Click to enlarge.

military parade

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