That time

… when I can’t stop enjoying the colours of the season. In the rainy, cold days or warm, sunny ones. I use my camera, my phone, a lot of filters and I just play around with the images. It feels like painting my own autumn.





New thoughts and less back pain

I’ve started to practice yoga with the simple aim to get rid of my back pain which has troubled me for some time due to (what else!) the hours spent in front of the computer.

After two months now of practice the best part is the fear I have before each session that maybe I’ll not make it through the lesson as my body would collapse or so.  And almost each time I manage to surprise myself be it forcing a limit of my body or, even more enjoyable, discovering that the limit was only in my head.

I also got the habit to take everything anew and treat each lesson like is the first. I love the idea taught in class that each day is different and you are different each day. I guess this way you have even more chances to discover something new about yourself than if you are contaminating today with yesterday’s thoughts. Reality check at its best.

Oh yes, and the back pain is barely there.

Spring is here!

It’s Spring and I really hope it stays that way! Insanely happy yesterday to take photos of every blossomed tree in Stadtpark (I guess humans are functioning on solar batteries, otherwise I can’t explain the energy boost):

Surprisingly, when I processed the photos I saw in some of them several a white-red threads hanging on the three branches. For the new readers of this blog – this is a Martisor, a Romanian, but also Bulgarian and apparently as well Greek, Albanian & Italian spring custom.

So yes, let me shout one more time loud and clear: Spring is here! 🙂

The entire set can be seen here and more flower photos here.

Changing your everyday lenses

8599981363_3ae1a98b07_bLast week I made a short trip to Salzburg and, because I wanted to travel light, I took with me only the 50mm lens. Somehow by the time I got there, I completely forgot what gear I had and when ready to  take a few landscape photos… of course surprise! It didn’t work as expected (usually I take landscape photos with the 18-55mm). I got a bit frustrated, but this mistake made me realised a few things in and outside of the photography framework:

1. Notice your habits and break them once in a while.

It seems I’ve created some habits that I wasn’t even aware I had – same motifs that I constantly repeat in my photos: long streets, panoramas, markets, buildings. Having formed such habits, it means that you have created a structured way of tackling a new place from the photographic perspective. And, of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing. When you are out of ideas, you can always just activate this pattern. The down side, though, is if you are constantly working this way, you might leave out some unexplored places.

How to get out of your routine? Pick a theme or focus on a certain element during your photo-exploration. It can be people, colours or maybe something more abstract such movements, light/shadow, dimensions etc.

But don’t chose your theme before starting your photo-exploration. Let the place pick the theme for you. Just observe the environment, enjoy it first and then take your camera out of the bag. Otherwise, you might miss the fresh vibe of the place.

2. Use your tools for what they are built.

Or the opposite don’t try to transform them in something they are not. With this I don’t mean don’t use your tools creatively, but rather know them first and use them at their full potential.

It wasn’t easy to break my habits and somehow I was falling back and had the tendency to shoot buildings or bridges and even to start thinking at strategies to get somehow a panorama pic. All this when it would have been easier to take close-ups or maybe portraits as this lens can do best.

And I couldn’t help notice a third point:

3. Real change doesn’t happen if you only change the tools you are working with. It happens if you also change the way you use them.

These observations work in the context of the everyday life as well. Just replace the word lens with point of view or personal filter and here you go. In translation this means: observe your thinking stereotypes and loose them once in a while. Your patterns of thinking might not work outside the walls of your home. Challenge them when you meet new people, visit new places or even when catch-up with old friends. Changes can happen: better understanding, deeper bonding, greater exchanges.

This reminds me also of Einstein’s quote: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Photos to follow.

Between two stops

Friday afternoon, on the way home. Tired. Therefore happy when the tram arrived quickly.

I got in and while trying to keep myself next to the door to be ready to get off at the next stop, I smiled to a woman that looked familiar to me. “Hello”, I said and a moment later I realized that I actually don’t know her and felt a bit embarrassed of the situation.

She started talking to me. A bit fast and, for a while, I couldn’t follow her. Slowly the words became clearer: she was saying that was nice of me to say hello. And that’s ok.

I smiled.

She admired my matching hat and scarf. The only thing came to my mind instead of saying a simple “Thank you” was that the gloves are actually not matching.

I smiled again to the thought.

“No, I didn’t knit them”, I answered further.
“You should try, its easy”, she told me.
“Yes, maybe I will”.
“Schönes Tag noch”, she said while me getting off the tram I was smiling still.

Rules are great. Non-rules are even better.

A couple of weeks back, I went to watch a documentary and beside the interestingness of it, I absolutely loved the settings of the feedback/discussion session.

Four drivers were stated:
Whoever comes are the right people.
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
Whenever it starts is the right time.
When it’s over it’s over.

We wrote down the first 4-5 topics raised by the audience and then we split in groups. You could join any of the groups if the topic interested you and change it later if the debate didn’t interest you anymore.

I was a bit skeptical to the idea of setting these (sort of) non-rules. I always had the impression that too much freedom creates confusion. But, it surely worked! People engaged in discussions, had ideas, expressed opinions, wrote down conclusions or open questions or continued the talks outside the screening room.

What it was added right from the start was meaning. If a topic is meaningful for someone he/she will be engaged, will add value to it. Also, if something becomes meaningless one can move away from it or even comeback if necessary. The four drivers became permissions who lead one to get the full out of a given situation.
Rules are usually made to set limitations. Non-rules to leave yourself to set the limitations you need.

I think it was one of the best way to apply “let it be”.