Category: editorial

Cat, meet the bag, say goodbye to each other

I don’t understand people signing (or willing to sign) release forms but wanting to keep the photos out of some websites – obviously I talk about nude models and sites where they think the photos can be viewed by people they know or may know later (employers?)

And obviously this was rhetoric, I fully know why: they don’t understand some basic things about the internet and the ways it works. They don’t understand that after the cat is out of the bag there is no way in hell to put it back. And they are young (yes, models are usually young, with little life experience) and not ready to assume the consequences of their actions.

The hard truth is simple: once something is out on a website, no matter which website and no matter which protections techniques it employs (passwords, JavaScript routines, Flash players, referral checks) it will spread beyond your control: blogs, TGP, microblogging, social networks and so on. And you can’t delete it either, something will remain somewhere: a cache, a proxy, a mirror, many hard drives.

And the solution is equally simple: for models. if you don’t want someone (your dad, boyfriend, employer, false friend woman) to learn about it, just don’t do it. If you want the fun, support the consequences, if you were mislead by a photographer into doing it and not understand the implications… it breaks my heart but you will have to live with the consequences of your naivety.

For photographers: take care, use model release forms always and make sure they are signed before the shooting (always before the shooting). Either work with professional models able to understand the consequences or show the forms ASAP and explain their meaning. This way everything will be kept professional and everyone will be happy.

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ARTmania in my eye. A 2010 recap

High hopes, big letdown. very few photos, that’s summing-up ARTmania 2010 viewed from my eye. Epic FAIL.


Update: image updated, some faces were anonymized upon request (they are smeared, the subject face unrecognizable) and nothing of value was lost.

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My patience has a limit and I promise people do not want to see me beyond that limit… for the time being I can only say my limit is pushed very aggressively by F64, where I have my main lens at repair for over one and a half moth, receiving so far only excuses and delays. I pretty much think my limit is going to be next week.

Stupid dialogue

The following dialogue is in Romanian and I am not translating it by hand, is a stupid dialogue about people buying powerful cameras:

[Guy1] mi-am luat un canon 450d (kit) la 1500ron . e ok pretul? 🙂 “ca si nou smm! zice ala de pe okazii”
[Guy1] si ma intalnesc mai tarziu sa il pick up, e ceva anume la care ar trebui sa ma uit? sa nu fie vreo defectiune/uzura pe care eu sa nu o observ? ca nu prea stiu
[Guy2] Guy1: da
[Guy2] desi la 1500 s-ar putea sa mai aiba un glitch pe ici pe colo
[StupidGuy] ala e un aparat foto?
[StupidGuy] am sesizat ca asta e noul thing la barbati
[StupidGuy] aparatele foto
[StupidGuy] patetic 🙂
[nicubunu] cu lentile cit mai MARI
[StupidGuy] da
[nicubunu] a mea e numai de 300 mm 😀
[StupidGuy] toti stau si o freaca la rece pe forumuri si site-uri cu obiective
[StupidGuy] si se intreaba dupa aceea de ce nu vrea nimeni sa s efuta cu ei
[Guy5] nicubunu: da link la strip-ul ala al tau cu obiectivele 🙂
[Guy3] am si eu cunoscuti retarzi care au bagat in aparate foto si obiective 4-5k EUR. pula mea, daca nu produci cu sculele alea tre’ sa fii putin cretin
[Guy3] deja placere si detaliu iti poate oferi orice scula de 800-1000EUR
[Guy4] Guy3: aceeasi parere poate sa o aiba ei despre bagatul de bani in masini sau comfutere
[nicubunu] so eu sint “aproape cretin” 😀
[StupidGuy] nicubunu: nu draga
[StupidGuy] esti idiot sadea
[StupidGuy] eu nici macar nu am aparat foto 🙂
[Guy3] Guy4: la masini e clar. la computere idem. cistigul e imediat.
[StupidGuy] ce castig bre?
[Guy3] Guy4: dar la poze… faci ditamai poza care dupa 2 zile ramine uitata pe un hdd
[StupidGuy] tu castigi ceva cu masina?
[StupidGuy] faci taximetrie?
[Guy3] nu, dar profit zilnic de ea in mod util si placut
[StupidGuy] pai la fel si ei cu aparatele foto
[Guy3] pai faci poza si o zvirli
[Guy3] care e finalitatea?
[nicubunu] care e finalitatea sa te joci Starcrat 2?
[Guy3] ma rog, sint foarte multe aspecte si la masini care sint inutile si imbecile.
[StupidGuy] ideea e ca peste tot unde ma duc vad numai distrusi de astia lower middle class cu dslr-uri sau cum naiba se cheama
[StupidGuy] si nspe obiective langa ei
[StupidGuy] si se agita, sa uita
[Guy4] eu fac poze cu telefonul mobil
[Guy3] pai lentila e totul
[Guy4] cele mai misto amintiri
[StupidGuy] si tot de kkt ies pozele
[StupidGuy] point and shoot si gata
[Guy5] imo >90% din fotografie e sa stii CE sa pozezi
[StupidGuy] aia e tot ce ai nevoie
[StupidGuy] daca nu esti artist
[Guy4] Guy5: exact
[StupidGuy] in fine
[nicubunu] uh… nu, cind nu stii ce sa pozezi iese si mai rau daca faci cu o sapuniera
[StupidGuy] am remarcat doar ca asta e new thing
[StupidGuy] eram la IT-ul unei banci acum cateva saptamani
[nicubunu] pentru ca s-au ieftinit SLR-urile
[StupidGuy] o chestie de aia de noapte
[StupidGuy] si ma uitam pe monitoare ce au lasat deschis
[Guy5] nicubunu: pai pozele de kkt sunt de kkt la orice rezolutie si calitate
[StupidGuy] pe vremuri era porn si tech stuff
[StupidGuy] acum erau cu aparate foto
[StupidGuy] rusinos
[Guy5] StupidGuy: acu sunt photoshopuri si aparate foto
[StupidGuy] da
[Guy5] metrosexualizarea bate globalizarea
[StupidGuy] nicubunu: bai omule, sapuniera cum ii zici tu incape in buzunar
[nicubunu] o poza de kkt arata un pic mai putin de kkt daca e facuta cu o camera buna
[StupidGuy] nu umbli ca cersetorul cu rucsac dupa tine
[StupidGuy] asta e priceless
[StupidGuy] poza te pisi pe ea
[StupidGuy] oricare ar fi
[nicubunu] fa tu poze cu sapuniera
[StupidGuy] pai nu am nici de aia

As a conclusion, I am a cretin, idiot, beggar and such. I stopped the conversation then the next obvious line had to be “sorry my friend, but you are an idiot”.

Note: all the names are anonymized as the discussion happened on a public IRC channel.

Here I come!

My friend convinced me, I am going to ARTMania, the ticket just arrived:


Hoping August will prove a month more interesting than July (I have a few things planned already) and I didn’t lost my hope yet about getting my lens back. Wait and see.

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The other day I went with a friend to Carturesti, supposedly the best book store in Bucharest, to check some stuff, I ended with a nice vintage photography book, since I am fascinated by the topic and plan trying some, and she with several titles.

The funny (IMO) part started when after seeing some cards and magnet toys she thought some old art may be interesting, so we started to find Kama Sutra, as such a big book store must have it. So we looked everywhere and were not able to find it, nether something related. She was embarassed to ask for help and we headed for the exit when a clerk asked if we need anything so we said we search for a book. The clerk, a woman, asked us to wait for a bit until she’s done with another customer, so we returned to the aisles, waiting while looking at more books. Then my friend got even more embarassed, as there was no way out and she had to talk with the clerk.

A few minutes later we went to the clerk and my friend asked “where do you keep books like Kama Sutra, yoga and other things like that?” (see, a question as indirect as possible!) and we were pointed to a small part of an aisle, well hidden in the Psychology section, almost impossible to spot, because “very few customers look for such books” (this is a quote from memory). The books selection was weak, but we managed to find what we wanted: a copy of the original version, with ancient drawings, real traditional art. While we were searching the aisle I couldn’t stop expressing my disappointment for the book store not having a space publicly dedicated to sexual education, as I expect to happen in a civilised country.

In our way out when passing by the clerk my friend thanked for the help but couldn’t stop pointing her about how useful would be for the section to be labelled, just like all the others sections in the store so people can search what they need. We bot in response the same explanation about how those are hidden because very people are looking for them but this time I noticed the expression on the clerk’s face: she had something like half a smile and half a grimace and was acting like she was at the same time ready to laugh at our questions and being embarassed by the topic, all while still trying to be polite. And she was young and probably literate.

So much for the modern Romania!

PS: in a related story, a couple of days before this incident, another friend of mine told me how she had some images from Kama Sutra, lost them and want again. As she was unable to, I pointed her to TPB, with plenty of resources, both traditional and modern.

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Dead man’s switch activated

No worry, I am not deat yet, just testing my Dead man’s switch which I just created.

note: the post above was posted by one early implementation of the software, for more development details about it you can read on my other blog.

Me = tractor driver

This weekend I was on the field, shooting: Saturday at the “4tuning All Stars” drift show and Sunday at Menfest, “men only” fair, two excessively sunny summer days so now I have “tractor driver tan” (don’t try to understand the expression if you aren’t Romanian).

At this moment I am too tired, too sunburned and too depressed by happenings in my personal life so I don’t have the energy for proper blog posts, consider this as a teaser for the photos which should arrive in the following days (quite a few pretty girls included :p)

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The Model Life

Andreea, the star from my recent I <3 fedora pictorial has written (in Romanian, use Google Translate if you need another language) a kind of tutorial + testimony about how is to be a model, what you should do and don’t… you know, the key to success. Go read it, is a sincere and insightful lecture, you will enjoy it – I did.

She is touching topic like how and why she started modelling, how to choose and work with the photographer, model releases, poses, equimpment and ethics. Got your attention already?

The punishment

I was at the Cernica forest for a photo session and while our model, Irina, was changing clothes and updating makeup, the rest of us got a bit of spare time and started playing with the props. This gave me the opportunity to tell a story about sinners, punishment and redemption I wanted to say (the guys weren’t really aware what are they shooting for).

First I used Alina as standing-in for the “Goth girl” and for a very direct approach I played the “sinner”:


Still, I feel more comfortable behind the camera, so keeping Alina as standing-in for the “Goth girl”, Adrian moved as standing-in for the “sinner”, I like better the visual experience this way.

Finally, the sinner is put out of his misery in this cold and impersonal crop:

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Warm blue and cold silver

No comments…


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Vintage FAIL

Hmmm… it looks like I need a new FAIL category in this blog… yesterday evening I had a meeting with some friends from the RLUG community and as all those meetings are best organised around some beers, we went to a pub called Bordello in the Old city of Bucharest (and this is the topic of my post here).

Long story short, the pub is called like that because in the XIX century in its place was a bordello, as the entire neighborhood used to be a light district (destroyed in a fire, rebuilt and such). And to keep the theme, the walls are decorated with vintage erotic photography, which awakened my interest as a photographer: now I think it would be an interesting photography exercise to take in this day some photos that will look like those. And this is going to be yet another source of frustration for me, thus the “FAIL” category, since is not going to be easy to implement.

Basically, those photos are not hard, what you need is logistics:

  • first you need a plumpy model… not fat, just with a bit more meat on her bones, to fit the beauty standards of the era. And good luck finding a plumpy model with enough confidence to pose;
  • then you need some old fashioned clothing, like the sheath your grandma used to wear… this is not as hard as it looks, use the “less is more” approach and you can get the job done with any piece of cloth;
  • accessories: feathers, beads, fans, etc.;
  • background is harder: an old looking chair, maybe a drawer, a bed with baldaquin;
  • for the lighting setup I would have to do a bit of study, but it should not be hard, the photographers of the era didn’t have expensive equipment;
  • the photos should be very soft, slightly unfocused, but not with shallow depth of field. So maybe take them softer directly from the camera or just go sharp and blur it a bit in post-processing, a trivial task;
  • again, in post-processing turn the colors in sepia tones, another easy task.

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I think creating and printing a set of photographer business cards is supposed to make me take this photography thing more seriously, even if the cards are as little serious as possible (aren’t the card supposed to represent yourself correctly? I hope they do).

business card nicu

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The extra mile

I am known to fall into extremes at times, like a week ago when a photoshot came less than perfect (read: “messed up”) due to the lack of a power outlet where I could plug the lights. Frustrated enough, I took care of the problem by buying some power cords: a raw cable, 30 meters long and a 10 meters roll, for a total of 40 meters… that should be enough, I thought.
Now I wonder if the decision was the best: instead of the 30m cable, a 20m one could have been long enough, but considerably easier to carry around (is heavy!)… but the bigger the better, I have more autonomy this way. As for the weight… that’s between me and my back :p

power cords

Anyway, it was not a problem… the large majority of the problems you encounter can be solved by throwing money at them and as long as you afford that, they are not really problems. Problems are those you can’t afford the price or the ones which can’t be solved with money, there are some of those too…

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10by10by10: Support LGM2010!

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is the annual working conference for free software graphics application users and developers. The fifth edition takes place 27-30 May 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Teams from GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, Scribus, Hugin, Open Font Library and many other graphics projects gather to improve their software and discuss new ideas for interoperability and shared standards.

LGM2010 has launched a fundraising campaign called 10by10by10 to raise $10,000 USD from grants, $10K from corporations and $10K from the community. The funds raised from granting organizations, public, and corporate partners will allow participants who have no other means of sponsoring their travel to Brussels to attend the event.

Please contribute to the community campaign at:

All donations are tax deductible for US taxpayers. For larger donations from corporations and individuals, you can contact us directly at lgm AT gnome DOT org

Note: I have proposed a talk there titled Desiging with Free tools in an Open Community: experiences from the Fedora Design Team