Sunday, October 21, 2012

  In the tiny world of invertebrates there is a group called spiders. There are many people who just hate these critters. There is even a special term for people who are afraid of spiders, arachnophobia. In some cases I understand that people are a bit afraid of these invertebrates. Maybe someone made a cruel practical joke for them when they were young, that might leave some kind of a mental trauma. Some spiders do have a nasty venom, so that might be a good reason to avoid these eight legged critters. Though most of the spiders are not venomous to human, so in most cases this fear is not realistic even if real for some. In our hate for all things eight legged we sadly might miss one thing about these interesting beings, that is how beautiful some of them really are, colorful and with interesting patterns. This is why I thought I would like to share a few images of arachnids...
   Cross Orb-weaver is quite a beautiful spider with a relatively easy to identify pattern on the abdomen. But don't just look at the cross pattern but take a look at the nice stripes on the legs too.

  A Cucumber Spider. Nice bright green color decorated with a few dark spots on the both sides of the abdomen, what a beauty.

How about this one? Nice symmetric modern art pattern.

 Look at these stripes, not bad, huh? No wonder it's called Was Spider.

To be honest I've never seen as beautiful spider as this one. Nice symmetric chocolate brown patterns on a caramel colored cephalothorax (the head), the abdomen decorated with dark spots on a brown base and of course the eight legs which all have nice brown stripes, just gorgeous.

The last one, a tongue showing spider :-p

Do you still think that spiders are gross?   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

  Like it or not, the fall is here, at least for a while. For me it means that all the funny critters I so much like, will take a timeout and for the most part will pause for the winter. That leaves me with the birds, landscapes etc. and I just guess I have to take advantage of the possibilities there is, without moaning or crying for what there isn't. Of course one big advantage with the fall are the colors. As the nights will get cooler the foliage will lost its green and instead the bright yellows and reds will take place. That's a good chance for nice brightly colored landscapes or detail shots of leaves and other colorful stuff.
  Yesterday, even if I knew I should do something more important, I decided to take a walk in one of my favorite places about 12 km from Botevgrad. In my imagination I was thinking of finding a Nose-horned Viper, but unfortunately there were none, at least I didn't stumble across one. So instead I mainly did some landscape photography.
   The first shot was taken in a bit chilly morning weather, maybe +3 or 4, when there still was some of that always so nice mist around. Just love the soft morning sun, unfortunately I'm not really a morning person.

    Still much of that green left in the foliage. Though that will change in a week or so. The rocks are were I'm heading.

  Almost there... just had to stop and try to make an image with the sun in there. It's just so green almost like in June or July, but it's October 19th.

      Some berries. Looks like black Hawthorn to me, but don't really know.
    One more berry, a blue one, just don't remember what's the name. Though one thing I know, you can make delicious wine of this berry, at least that's what some say.

           With a little bit longer shutter speed the water continues to flow even in still photography.

    One more image of the same stream, this time I though turned the camera 180 degrees to the   opposite side. Nice light, right?
                                         The only animal I managed to photograph, a Robin.

  On the way back home I decided to continue a small project in Litakovo, which have been going on for about one year now. When I was there at the place, I realized it still was a bit early so I have to go there once more later this fall (not enough yellow yet). Anyway, this is one image I managed to capture.
   I guess there is one, two or maybe even three weeks left of the fall foliage period. Let's try to enjoy of the bright fall colors, it's anyway just a once in a year event.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  Done! Just for half an hour a go came from the "grand" opening of the exhibition. Happy... actually very happy that it's over. In a way it was nice but I just hate to be the center of the attention... blah!
It was nice, peaceful and quiet, until...

...the first guets came. No problem, they are still looking at the images...

...until it's almost 17:30 and they start eyeballing at me. 

Bravo, friends gave me a flower , I can hide behind it :)

They took the flower away :(

You can always rely on friends.

                                      The museum, in case you move around. The second floor.

The staff of the museum did a great job so a big thanks to them. The image courtesy Anu (Wife) Fagerlund for the fourth and fifth image (She's the copyright owner). Others Georg Fagerlund.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

  Just two days to the opening of my exhibition. I'm not really a person who wants publicity for him self, no, I'm rather in the forest with mosquito's than somewhere where there is lots of people. Yes, I want publicity to my images, but that doesn't mean I want it for my own person. The big minus with the whole exhibition thing is that I get some of that "don't want publicity" too. There's the opening ceremony on Tuesday, that means social relations with people. If I'm lucky there will be some people I know too, friends of mine, but as it's an open event there will be probably many  faces I've never even seen, people I don't know. But what can you do? Nothing I guess. Just don't get me wrong, if you read this text and move around Botevgrad on Tuesday feel free to visit the opening and say hi, the thing is just that I'm not very comfortable with social situations and mingling in big parties among people, not really my thing. but that's just me.

 One other thing which has to do with the exhibition is the advertising around the whole thing. Seems that when I showed my portfolio and asked if it was possible to organize an exhibition, the whole thing started some kind of a small "snowball" effect. Not a big one, just a tiny small one, but something anyway. First they called me from the local television... interview! Great, just what I wanted. Then they had an ad with a short something about me and my better half in the local newspaper (web site). But the best was today. Opened one other local website... again a newspaper... and again little something about the exhibition and... me... and my wife... and a stolen image from my homepages. Good work local journalists! At least they could have stated who's the author of the image or put a link to my site, but nope. Maybe they don't know about the copyright law. Will I do something about it? Njah, just don't know too much about their ethics, so it might end up in more trouble. In the text there were already some funny things I know I've never said, so who knows if they would throw some other stuff in there later if I get difficult, and the faster all this and the whole exhibition thing is over the better. The dust will fall down and the life goes on.

  Tomorrow morning I'll take all the 38 images to the museum and at 17:30 on Tuesday 16th of October they should be ready for eyeballing.

  Just to have an image, I'll include this link here it's to the "stolen" image. Not in the paper, but my own site. At least you get some idea what I look like. Oh, and feel free to look the other stuff too, probably more interesting than my ugly face.   

Saturday, October 13, 2012

  Often people are divided in dog or cat persons. Even if I like all kinds of animals, from insects, spiders and snakes to all the different kind of furry friends... if I should choose if I'm a dog or a cat person, I most likely would choose the latter group. Right now in our household there's three cats plus two, not to mention the two who are always outside waiting for food and the few others who every now and then visit us to get some lunch or dinner. That's all together something like +10 cats. Though I like cats and highly am a cat person... just sometimes I feel that there is just a few cats too much. But what can you do? It's not the animals fault that people don't take care of their pets. At the kitten or puppy state all animals are cute, right? Then you have to face the truth, the animal gets bigger, it eats more, it requires time and of course money... and maybe it ain't so cute any more as it grew up. "Oh, poor me, why did I take this animal?" No one wants to be a bad person and kill an animal, so the issue is solved by releasing the cat or dog in to the "wild"(read: street). Nice people!!!!
  Somehow I just feel that all the cats released by these "nice" people, find their way to our place. So what do you do as an cat person? First you feel bad, then you give a little food, then you start to pet it and after a few days it's become your best friend and it have found a new home. Congrats! So please, take GOOD care of your pet!!! Don't think that it's just a toy you can have for a small time and then throw it. I your kid wants a pet, but he's/she's  not responsible and you don't want an animal, DO NOT yield. Teach them first some responsibility and then MAYBE. Just remember that in the long run most likely it's you  who will take care of the animal and pay the bills. So be responsible and think twice before you take a pet. Why do I write about this? Because I DO NOT WANT TO SEE ONE MORE CAT BEGGING FOOD OUTSIDE MY DOOR (Sorry about yelling, hope you understand my frustration)!
  And then a few photos of our abandoned friends who've found a new place to dwell.

Nallu is an "old timer". We really don't know how old she is, but she's OLD. When we moved here she was already hanging around and somehow she have become a part of the family.
This is her last litter. After this litter we thought its time for her to be retired and she was castrated. Sorry to say that all the kittens died one after an other or disappeared.

Tatu (a tomcat) hanged around for a while, but disappeared probably because of  some territorial fights between male cats.
Nappula just arrived one day and stayed. Probably been someones property before, but was most likely released because she was with kittens. Not to mention that she was a bit traumatized when she arrived, no idea what she's gone through.

Sissi (upper) an Sussu (lower). Two kittens hanging around. Not really our's, but what can you do.

Just happy that in our neighborhood it seems that most people take care of their pets and that there are even people who give food to stray cats and dogs. Keep up the good work.


Monday, October 8, 2012

In case you are moving in the Botevgrad area, from 16th of October about four weeks on, you can check out my exhibition which will be on display at the historical museum in the center of the town. Been planning for this exhibition for two years now (a little dream of mine), but as it too often happens when you are there it really gets very busy. Few of the images were ready but I still have some images I have to choose and print out. On Friday I got the opening date and after one week at about this same time I hope all the images are hung up on the walls in the gallery space at the second floor in the museum. Just really didn't think it would happen this fast! When I asked from the director of the museum if there were any chances to get my work displayed and showed her my portfolio, little did I know that from that Sunday two weeks on... and voila. Of course there still are a few nights and days left and quite a work to be done, but I hope that on Tuesday 16th, every thing is ready for the show.

The theme of the exhibition: "Природата на Ботевград през погледа на един чужденец"
Translated it would be something like: "The nature around Botevgrad with the eyes of an foreigner" 
That would be a room full of insects, snakes, birds, landscapes etc.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Here's a few more images from the Botevgrad brass festival (or whatever it's called in English). And by the way I made a mistake in the last blog post, of course it's October and not September as I by mistake wrote. So on October 2nd, which was the second day of the event I joined the crowd again. No matter that I was a bit ill, what ever flu virus or something, grabbed my gear and took a one hour walk in to the center of the town.
Some of the cheer leader girls waiting that the show will go on. 

Still waiting. A wide angle shot with the Botevgrad museum in the background. 
Enough of light, but a bit of too much of contrast due to the a bit harsh evening light and the shadows of the buildings around. But you can always use it to your advantage.

Still waiting...

When everything is standing still, you can take your time and watch peoples facial expressions. Some expressions are more serious like in this one....

...and then there are those who are just cracking. Don't know what the girl saw in the crowd, but after that she really had hard times not to break out and laugh out loud. Poor she :))

 You can make an image of a musician this way, quite normal framing...

...Or try something else.

                                                            And then the show will go on...

A few more musicians...

 ...and a two cheerleader portraits. 

                                          Don't forget to make a few images of the audience...
Nor the relaxed musicians after the show.

And just one more image. You can always try to make some a bit more artzy images too. Here I chose a slow shutter speed and panned the camera, just to give the picture some extra. 

That's it. We'll see if there is something similar organized again next year. Heard today that the third day was the best, I just didn't have the chances to go there so I'll leave it here and try my luck on something else.   

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Here's it, my first blog post... it took a while but I managed. Why did it take so long to write for the first time (I've had this blog address for quite a while already)? Mostly because I didn't have anything to write about. I have subjects to write about,  nature for example, that's a great and nice subject... and never ending, but I wanted something else. So here's my first post on this blog, a few images of the Botevgrad  brass band festival, or what ever it may be in English.
  Botevgrad brass band  festival is organized once a year. This year from 1st to 3rd of September, so it actually ended yesterday. The whole party is allabout music, brass music. I like music and it's very cool when you hear these bands play Shakiras "Hips don't lie" or some other pop song in this big band type solution, but that's not why I went there in the first place. No. My goal was to make a few images, to try something else than nature or wildlife photography. This type of gatherings is a good chance to try something else (at least for me, who's used to be alone in the forest). So here's a few of the images I want to share...

   The first one obviously have to be a guy playing a brass horn. I just love how the park is reflecting from the shiny brass instrument.  

On Monday when the whole thing started there was quite a while we had to wait. Yes, the band played but we were waiting for one more band from an other town.

While waiting you can shoot portraits as well. Don't forget to try different types of crops.

More musicians. Those instruments are just so...

 Just hat to take this one. A candid shot. it's always good look what's happening around you.

 A cheerleader participating in dance. Not actually looking at me (she's smiling)...

...but at some friends of her.

And a last one for this evening, a portrait.

So there's a lots of chances to make images in this kind of events. They are good places to train and hone your skills in portraiture, street photography etc. Just keep your eyes open and let the cameras sing.
This was the first evening. The next day I went again and tomorrow or day after I'll post some more images.