Thursday, May 31, 2007

Muzeul Satului VIII

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Here is website recommendation that is very easy to make. This website hosts an immense amount of information and photos about Romania with a great list of links to other very good sites. Anyone interested in Romania should definitely bookmark this site.


Muzeul Satului VII

This was actually a very hard photo to take. Framing this right took me at least five tries. The problem I had was a rather ugly modern building just to the top right of the photo. I thought this was a really interesting house that was built into the ground, but didnt want it and the modern building in the same photo. This is the final composition.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Muzeul Satului VI

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Monday, May 28, 2007

My New Love

A little knowledge

A pretty interesting video about world economy. You can find it HERE. Careful, its about 3:30 hours long

Muzeul Satului V

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Muzeul Satului IV

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Muzeul Satului III

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Muzeul Satului II

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Muzeul Satului I

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Umbra A Lui Un Baiat

A photo of me, in a sense.

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La Sat

The entrance to "Muzeul National Al Satului". Which I think loosely translates to the National Museum of Small Towns (or something like that). =)

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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icarus VISIONS

Ok, this is lame self advertisement, but here is a link to a new site I'm working on. I've only been able to do a couple of hours of work, so there really isn't much to speak of. Just the front page and a song.

Comments are welcome =)


This is just outside Herastrau park.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Beautiful blue sky over Bucharest.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Boooyahhhh!!! New Place

Woohoooo, I've got a new place. Funny enough, I'll be living with a cool european couple. More details to come. Anyway, since life is getting back to normal, I'll be able to start posting again.

Weee!! =)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Foc Peste Bucuresti

I wanted to post a photo for some time. I really like and I have a funny story to go along with it.

On what I think must have been my 5-6th day in Bucharest, I had, as usual, been walking around Bucharest visiting museums, churches, land marks and trying out all the different foods this city has to offer. I should say that the food is actually quite good and is sold at a reasonable price. Its not a bargain, but still quite cheap compared to other places. Well towards the afternoon I had been walking back home but decided to stop and get something to eat. The restaurant I found was located on Unirii and served a mostly Italian menu. Having walked so much I was quite thirsty, so the first thing I did was order a beer. Just to be clear about this, I ordered an Ursus beer. Quite popular in Romania seeing how its made there.

Now I should mention the difference between the beer in Romania from that in America. This is important and goes right along into the rest of the story. So, American beer usually comes in small bottles, is very lite (low on alcohol) and does not have much in the way of taste. Really the worst thing that will happen from drinking too much American beer is you'll become quite familiar with toilet, but not much more. Well after a couple of beers, you certainly dont run the risk of getting tipsy and can practically drink to your hearts content without worry of becoming drunk. Now, Romanian beer is notably different. It is sold in a larger bottle (0.5L), its noticibly more alocholic and of course has more flavor. All in all, Ursus is a very good beer. So good in fact that I even brought some home with me. But anyhow, the whole point here is that beer is very different between the two countries. Make note of this all you American tourists. =)

So I sit down and order up a beer thinking I could drink plenty with no problem. Good, noooo problem so far. Being thirsty I drink it up and am actually feeling pretty good. As you know I had been walking all day, really hadn't eaten and was pretty tired. Any regular drinker will know that having an empty stomach makes a difference. Well the food shows up and of course I certainly cant eat without something to drink. "Another beer please!!" What can it hurt? Here is the problem with drinking. If your are just sitting down and not moving around much, its hard to gauge how much is "enough". So I finish eating and take care of the second beer. I pay the bill and .... I stand up!

Wooooaaaaa.... whhat the heck? Ohh great, not one week into my vacation and I'm drunk. Wait a minute! This is isnt bad, this is awesome. Man I love this city. Good food, great beer and no worries.

I love Bucharest!! =)

Well while walking home I pulled out my camera and took the photo above. Proof that you dont need talent, skill or good equillibrium to take a decent photo. You just need luck and about a liter of beer.


I should be back in a bit. In the mean time if you'd like to contact me for any reason, my email address is

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Obor - Catre Gara De Est

A young mother and her child. Near where I once lived.

This was my world, my life and my existence. I rarely, if ever, wondered past these streets to the near by neighborhoods. This is where my friends were, where we played and where laughed. This is where I scraped my knees, bruised my elbows and bumped my head. This is where I loved the summers, was surprised by fall, mesmerized by winter and infatuated with spring.

This was my home. =)

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La Centru Sub Cer Albastru

Yet another example how beautiful this park is.

I would like to say something deep and meaningful here. Something that may help represent this park better, help show how beautiful it really is beyond just the photo shown above. Problem is I'm not qualified, nor would I really want to have my words take away from its essence. I suppose all I can say is that this park is a place worth visiting, not because its a marvel to see, but because its simple and beautiful.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Photoshop - Contrast +15
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/8000s f/5 at 22.0mm iso1000

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Domnu şi Doamna

This photo shows an older couple walking through "Parcul Herăstrău". I managed some well balanced composition, but once again this is no technical achievement. The original version was quite washed over and actually seemed very desaturated. It would be just too easy to blame the weather, but I think in this case I could have taken a better photo had I known to use the camera better.

To help augment the composition I did some touchup with Photoshop. What may not be immediately obvious is that everything but the grass and bush are desaturated.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Photoshop - Desaturation, Brightness -10, Contrast +15
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/640s f/5.6 at 70.0mm iso320

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Monday, May 7, 2007

The Rifleman's Creed (slightly modified)

This is my version of "The Rifleman's Creed", which you can find HERE. Sorry, I know this isn't really about Romania. =D And yes, I recite this every morning as I get ready for war... I mean work. =P

The Cameraman's Creed

"This is my camera. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My camera is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My camera, without me, is useless. Without my camera, I am useless. I must shoot with my camera true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to photograph me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...

My camera and myself know that what counts in this war is not the number of photos we shoot, the noise of our SLR shutter, nor the resolution we produce. We know that it is the quality of photos that count. We will photograph...
My camera is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its ISO settings. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my camera clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before Photoshop, I swear this creed. My camera and myself are the defenders of beautiful landscapes. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my blog...

So be it, until victory is Our's and there is no enemy, but printouts!"

I love my camera =P


Sunday, May 6, 2007

La Parc Cu Bunicu

I love this picture for a very personal reason.

This was a chance photo taken without much time to prepare. Just inside the entrance to "Parcul Herăstrău" the paths split to the right and to the left. I decided to go left and this is what I saw. As I started walking in this direction the old man and his grandchild happened to walk in front of me. Not wanting to be obvious I pulled out my camera and from my side aimed it to get auto focus. I held the auto focus and just as they were about the walk past me I pulled up the camera and quickly took this photo. Not much for a technical achievement, but I love the composition and placement of the subjects.

Well I guess I wasnt too subtle, since the little girl saw me. =)

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Photoshop - Desaturation, Brightness -10, Contrast +15
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/6400s f/5 at 17.0mm iso1000

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La Herăstrău

In my opinion "Parcul Herăstrău", is probably the nicest park in Bucharest. Throughout my tireless wondering around the city I visited many parks. This to me seems to be the largest and most well maintained. At the entrance is a rather odd looking statue of a man, but as you move down towards the middle, the art style varies to a more classical look. As show on the right, the row of statues are almost Roman like.

This is a very beautiful park indeed.

The photo shown here is at near native resolution. I didnt compose it very well to begin with, so I had to do a considerable crop to get this final orientation.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Photoshop - Considerable Crop 1/2, Contrast +20, Saturation +15, Added Vignetting
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/5000s f/5 at 17.0mm iso1000

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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Vis-à-Vis De Herăstrău

An interesting building just across the street from "Parcul Herăstrău". I really like this photo.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Brightness -20, Contrast +15, Gradient Quick Mask (Top to Bottom) - Saturation +50 (Top Part), Lighting Effect: Spotlight, then more Brightness and Contrast work. I screwed up the ISO on this whole series of photos. =(
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/6400s f/5 at 22.0mm iso1000

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Friday, May 4, 2007

La O Cafea

Let us be clear about something before I start this post. The coffee cup pictured above is, what can only be described as some very potent form of bio-diesel. Its like a thermonuclear byproduct that you can drink in the morning or use it to power half the state of California.

I had told this story enough times since I've come back that I thought it was worth posting.

So it goes like this. It was just a bit after midday on about my fourth day in Bucharest. I had been walking around for about 3 hours up until that point and had been slowly getting more and more tired. Wanting to walk around the city more and not call it quits, I decided it was time for me to take a break. So I decided a coffee and a small snack were in order. I didn't want to fill up, seeing as I still wanted to do some more walking, but I did need to eat something. Of course, drinking coffee is usually certain to give you some energy, so this was just as good a time as any to get a cup.

After asking around a bit, I was recommended to a very stylish coffee shop very close to downtown Bucharest. I walked inside, went up the waitress and asked her for a coffee. I made sure to tell her that "I would like a regular coffee please." Having lived in the Starbucks capital of the world (Orange County, CA), I know all too well the 10,000 variations of coffee available. So I wanted to keep things simple. I sat down and not more than a few moments later the girl brings me my coffee. So there it was, a small white cup no larger than a tennis ball. This was a bit confusing for me and I'll explain why in a moment. So I look at the cup (confused of course), look at the waitress, then look back at the cup of coffee. My first thought was, maybe this is the coffee appetizer. You know, a sort of snack if you will. I thought maybe the real coffee is being prepared and this was just to warm me up for the coffee main course.

Nope, this was it.

So I paid my 6 Ron (pretty expensive actually) and started drinking. To say this coffee was bitter is not quite describing it. So of course at this point it hit me... Espresso!! Yup, that's their 'regular' coffee. There isn't much coffee to speak up, but good lord did this thing have a ton of caffeine in it. Americans are used to larger cups and milder coffee.


On a side note: "Romanian Coffee - Drink at your own risk silly American"

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Contrast +20, Saturation +15
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/13s f/5 at 33.0mm iso500

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Posts of Note - "Brasov"

Back in April Mig put up a short post about the city of Brasov on her blog Romania My Love. I visited the city no more than 3 weeks ago, but only stayed for two days. In truth, a city like this requires at least a week to truly experience. Not because its a very large city, but rather because of all the things that are worth seeing. Also, there are so many other interesting cities in the periphery worth visiting, that you may come to think that even a week is not time enough.

In her post she says,

"Brasov, the capital of the county with the same name, is one of the most beautiful towns in Romania. By chance, this is also one of Transylvania’s most famous tourist attractions, due to stunning “places of interest”, the vicinity to popular mountain resorts like Predeal, Busteni and Sinaia, its festivals and the nearness to the Rucar-Bran Pass, guarded by what the Western culture knows as the “Dracula Castle” - in reality a simple Gothic construction which happened to host Vlad Tepes inside its walls for one night."

That last part is really interesting and something I did not know. Having heard of "Dracula's Castle", I really thought this is where he had lived all his life. Nope, as Mig said, he just happened to have stopped by for one night. What is really interesting about this castle is the fact that it overlooks a mountain passage that runs parallel to a small river. Apparently this was a pretty important trade route, and the Bran castle served as the customs for the local Brasov county.

You can find the entire post here Romania My Love - Brasov


Introducing "Posts of Note"

Yup I know, the name is not very original. Listen its early in the morning and I have barely touched my first cup of coffee. So, inspiring creativity must wait till at least the third cup. =) In the mean time, let me tell you about this "Posts of Note" thing.

Somewhere in the process of trying to learn more about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) I, by some coincidence, ran across Migs blog eWritings - Online Public Relations a pretty good resource of info on all things SEO. The best part about her blog is you can ask her questions and get some pretty good suggestions in return, should you want to learn more about SEO. Well after some heavy detective work (mostly just looked around her blog) I found a link to this site Romania My Love another very good blog (also by Mig) about Romania. I wrote a whole bit about it here, so follow the link to learn more. Well after reading through some of her posts, I thought it would be a good idea to link to them from my blog. I figured, anyone interested in visiting my blog, would really like to visit hers as well.

Now it just so happens that Mig's blog is the first to be part of this "Posts of Note" bit. However as I find more and more cool blogs having to do with Romania, I will include them as well. So for anyone interested, please leave me a comment and a link to your site, and I'll be happy to include it. Ideally it would be themed around either Romania or even Photography.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Da La 2:15 Pîna La 3:30

Its 2:10 in the morning and you are comfortably sleeping, blissfully unaware of what is about to happen just outside your window.

Its 2:15 and you awake at what seems to be an odd noise. You are very groggy and as you move around, you notice that the noise is not going away. Slowly you come to your senses and immediately recognize the noise. We've all heard it before, its the "Uhhh, uhhh, uhhh" of a dilapidated motor thats barely hanging on to life being repeatedly resuscitated by an equally weak ignition switch.

Its 2:30 and as you try to fall asleep you realize the noise is really not gonna go away.

I would like to present to you the most persistent man in "Zona Vitan". He in a way is a great example of Romanian resolve. I can say with certainty that Romanians are persistent and not the type to quit easily. This is good for such things as, ummm.., lets see; Work, Sporting Competitions, Mathematical Problem Solving, Getting a Date From a Really Cute Romanian Girl and so on. What its not good for is trying to start a car in the dead of night, in between several large sound reverberating blocs. I love this guy for trying and admire his persistence.

Its 3:30 and I no longer love this guy. ITS NOT GOING TO START.... GIVE IT UP MAN!!!

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: None
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/2s f/5.6 at 59.0mm iso1600

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Intersecţie De Reclame

I'm almost certain this photo was taken just outside the mall located at "Unirii".

Walking through Bucharest is like meeting a really interesting person. The first day you spend time with them you invariably make your first impression. As the days go by, you begin to notice more and more things about them. What seems to happen is that as you get to know someone, they seem to almost change. This is true also for meeting someone you really like. At first you may have an infatuation from a distance, then as you get closer and closer they reveal themselves more and more. Sometimes for the better, other times for the worse.

What I began to notice in Bucharest is all the advertising spread across this city, and there is a lot of it and its everywhere. I remember watching a show on TV about Tokyo, Japan and thinking, "Wow, they put ads up on piratically everything." It seems that Bucharest is right on its way there. As I said, there are advertisements everywhere and unless you stand back and look at them, its actually easy to overlook them.

I had for the better part of this day been walking around downtown. In the morning I was fresh and enthusiastic about finding interesting and old architecture. Towards the end of the day, I was tired and was really just interested in getting home. But I think partly because I was so tired I started to notice different aspects of the city, such as all the ads. Anyway, once I got home I had a chance to talk to a The Dr. (see below), and I told him how surprised I was to notice all the posters and banners up on the buildings. He said that it gets worse than I first suspected. He told me there are people that are more than happy to accept a monthly stipend to have corporations use their house for ad space. I'm serious, and while I don't have a photo of it, I can confirm this.

Well, yet another thing I wasn't expecting.

A quick comment about the photo. The color tone was added somewhat unintentionally, but I think it ads a certain sad feel to the scene.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Photoshop - Brightness -35, Contrast +15, Color (Off Orange)
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/100s f/22 at 17.0mm iso640

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007


I took this picture while on my way back home from walking around downtown Bucharest. I believe its very close to the mall located at "Unirii".

I had been walking down this street for some way when I came up on this little gypsy boy. Of course he caught my attention since he had been sitting alone with this back against this building. I think he realized I was looking at him and decided to ask me for some money. He exact words were "10,000 de lei va rog", or about 1Ron, which comes out to about $0.40. Not a lot of money, but I hadn't realized it at the time. I, like most of Romania, was still struggling with the conversion between the old lei and the new. Anyway, as was walking by I told him I didn't have any and kept going.

For some reason I immediately thought that this kid is wayyy too young to be out begging for money. So as I passed by I pulled out my camera, took the lens cap off, then held it down to my side, quickly turned it around and took this picture. I didn't want to be obvious that I was photographing him, but still wanted the photo. But here is cool part, the composition of the photo came out really well considering it was a no look shot from the hip, backwards. I guess if you not lucky enough to be good, then at least its good to be lucky enough.

But the story continues. So I get home, have dinner and as I am sitting with my grandparents I tell them about this little kid. I told them I thought it was odd that a kid so young would be begging for money. They told me that his parents probably put him out there. Hmm... wasnt expecting that one.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: None
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/125s f/22 at 17.0mm iso640

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Doar Un Spital

Believe it or not this is a hospital. It really is kind of surprising that such a beautiful building is nothing more than a hospital. So while that seems unusual, the oddest thing about this hospital is that I wasn't allowed to go near it. The story goes like this. It was midday and I was walking through downtown Bucharest when I saw this building. My first thoughts is that it was either a museum or a government building. As I start to walk through the main entrance a guard stops and tells me I cant go further. I'm told that without proper identification, I really cant go much further. Now he was kind enough to let me step in to take this photo, but I was not about to be allowed further in. On my way home, I got to thinking. What sort of clearance should I need to go into a hospital? Its possible that this was more of a clinic rather than a public hospital.

Either way, its still a very pretty building.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: Photoshop - Desaturate, Brightness -20, Contrast +15
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/125s f/25 at 28.0mm iso640

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Lîngă Centru

A small and beautiful church located across the street from "Palatul Suţu" right in downtown Bucharest.

Photo Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photo Touchup: None
Exif: Canon EOS 30D, 1/125s f/25 at 28.0mm iso640

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