Month: September 2014


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Living by the river I took pictures of birds and plants.  Living in town I walk the streets and find patterns.

While looking for the patterns my mind somehow shifted to the human behavioral patterns we come across every day, and I thought about constructive and destructive patterns in human interactions.  Not being a specialist in human ethology I was simply wondering  ” why the hell they keep doing that?”

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I love the definition of Culture as a range of learned behavior patterns. I am a “nurture” person all the way, and a believer in education.  Not because humans can be taught, but rather because they can learn. If they choose so. No one can change a person, as we well know, but every person can shape themselves, re-build, re-configure – call it the way you like. Every person can learn the patterns and beyond. They can break the patterns they have outgrown.

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A couple of days ago a lady I know said that we can change the others with our love.  I disagreed. There are loving parents who love all their children equally, but somehow one of them ends up in jail.  What is it? Following bad patterns?

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Love does change people, though. If you love unconditionally,  YOU are the one who changes.

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A few more shots  and I am walking home. Most of us follow this pattern 🙂

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And now a fantastic guitar solo for you.  Lines in the Sand! Another pattern, the last for today 🙂

Photography tip of the day:  How to make a pin hole camera Have a great week!

Marco Ferrari – a wizard from Arona

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In July I posted a blog   Noble Knights And Spirit Of The Ancestors where I mentioned an artist whom I adore for his colorful personality and versatile talents – Marco Ferrari from a charming town of Arona on lake Maggiore, Novara. Marco kindly agreed to answer a few questions and gave me permission to use his photographs in this blog post. I will link them to his Flickr  page so that you can find more images: you will love them! None of us is a great translator,  but I really hope it works 🙂

All of the images in this blog post courtesy of Marco Ferrari.

marco ferrariArona

Arona is a gem of a town nested at the edge of Lake Maggiore. There is always something going on: Music and sport festivals, tournaments, pageants and parades, theatrical performances and concerts. The slopes of the surrounding mountains are covered with dense forests, and magic is in the air.

marco ferrariLa Dea Epona

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 Al parco dei Lagoni di Mercurago, Piemonte

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What was it like to grow up in Arona?

Not only in Arona but also in Milan. Let’s say that I have  been imprinted to Arona, but from age 6 to 14 I lived in Milan, and that definitely has made my vision a little wider than if I had remained where I was born. When I came back I had to build relationships with my new friends, and although it had been a little dramatic at that time, but at the end it was a positive change.

I have very little memories of the first 6 years, while living in the big city I remember having complex interactions with friends at school. However, we would come to Arona to visit on weekends and holidays. At that time I also had a rather stern grandmother who forced me to take an odious “nap” in the afternoon, but since I’ve always been the one who needs to do something to keep his mind active, while the grandparents were sleeping I escaped falling from the balcony of the first floor through an iron arbor.  Long live freedom! 🙂

Is there anything that makes Arona special?

Arona is definitely a beautiful town overlooking the lake and the landscape-wise doesn’t have to envy any other places in the world. It is also a holiday resort, but surely it is still one of the many places on this planet, and the bond we have I can not explain, I just know that if I think of home I think of Arona. However I like to travel and during my travels I have found another place where I felt like I were right at home: in the area of Wiltshire in England. It might make you smile but it is so, and I cannot explain why.

And travel he does! Look at this rope bridge. Can you recognize it ? Marco has crossed it in 1996, and it was a much more dangerous place back then 🙂

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Northern Ireland

Marco has also traveled a lot in his own land.  The mountains surrounding Lake Maggiore  have a “fantasy” look for sure.

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 Lago di Campliccioli

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Lago di Antrona

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 Lago di Campliccioli. It is a place where Gandalf could have settled 🙂

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Celtica 2004

I know you as a Gandalf for a good couple of years. Have you always been a Gandalf? 🙂

It could be  …:-) or may be through many “lives” we are growing in experience and then there is a transformation.
Through your life you can live many “lives”, in accordance  as I said, with your changing experience and understanding. Brain structure is changing physically, so it is a proof that you can become a different person.  But apart from these scientific considerations, since my childhood I have always been fascinated with science fiction and fantasy, and wherever I attended fan clubs and associations I was known by some as Alien, by some as William Wallace and by the others as Gandalf.

marco ferrariNovaAria 2009 

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Braveheart movie costume

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Alien a Mercurago

Your Alien looks so real and creepy that seeing him gives me goosebumps. Is there any special story related to his creation?

Certainly when I consider something, I do not do it at random. A character must have something to say, or have to explain what is not said.

In the case of the Alien, who I always interpret as somewhat ‘comic, there is a representation of our fears, especially fears of the unknown. Building it and making it live in a funny way might trigger the spring of reasoning that not everything that is scary is necessarily evil, and that it is fine, and do not be afraid of being affected by it. And then from the biological point of view, it is not different from the wasp (which also has an exoskeleton) that captures a caterpillar and lays an egg inside that once hatched will have food to continue their species. As dramatic as it is, there is nothing more than Nature.

As far as I know, for the creation of the Alien  Marco was rewarded with a trip to the USA back in 1986.

Aircraft models and stage setups – do they have something in common?

 I would say that they both share my need to create. Once it was a pure need to give physical form to the dreams, now it has become a more pragmatic requirement which I do with great difficulty and considerable ups and downs…

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Lavoro in Wireframe per lo stand della Colombo Mobili, Salone del mobile

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Naboo fighter in posa all’Arcadia, Melzo

You have  worked around many talented people.

Who has inspired you the most?

One of my passions is theater, and I have  the opportunity to meet many interesting people who are  good at their jobs whether they work on the stage or behind it, and from many I have learned something. One of the motto that I have is in reference to the style of karate (Shito Ryu) that I attended, namely: Outside of me, everything is my teacher.

I have met some “stars”  thanks to Star Trek Italian club and other clubs: Star Wars, UFO etc.

When you  look at Marco’s portraits you can see the very soul of these talented actors and musicians.

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Fata dell’autunno

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Parma Fantasy 2011

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Belgioioso fantasy, la Corte Fatata di Vignarello

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Beyond the veil

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Q-Club il musical da strada

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Lindsey Stirling, NovaAria 2012

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Lindsey Stirling

Have you ever influenced anybody’s art?

Once I happened to influence the art of someone, even that unintentionally. It was a girl, Sofia, she just graduated Conservatory in harp. I asked her what she had already composed, and she was a bit surprised and replied that she had never composed anything because it is too difficult. I must have made a strange face when I replied that I thought that studying notes was like studying letters, and once you have learned you can begin to compose the words and then phrases, but she told me that it was not so. After a few months I went to a concert to listen to the band where she plays and at one point the singer introduced a new piece saying that it was a new composition of Sofia. I was pleasantly surprised. After the concert she took me aside and told me that after my questions she felt so bad that she began composing.

Can you recall a funny story related to your work with actors?

It is difficult to name one because normally the actors are very imaginative and fun people. I happened to make the setting for a performance of the opera Bard Fortress, and in that show was a tenor, Philip Pina Castiglioni, a professional with an amazing voice. He found out that I had some ringtones on my cell phone from the films like Star Wars , Star Trek, Indiana Jones, etc. and he said he would love to have them. I set up the ringtones for him because he has always been fond of science fiction. Probably not a very funny anecdote, but I was also impressed that after a couple of years he had been looking for me in Linkedin to add to his friends. There are also the others that stunned me with their humanity and the fun chatting together –  such as George Sewell, or Lorne Peterson, who is not an actor but certainly an important figure in the special effects area working for the Lucas film. Chatting with him was like being with a friend you have known forever. The one that won the Oscar for Indiana Jones certainly has not become haughty.

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Spettacolo lirico “Elisir d’amore”, Forte di Bard, Valle d’Aosta agosto 2008. Filippo Pina Castiglioni (Tenore)

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Lorne Peterson

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 George Sewell

You find faces and creatures in the rocks, knotted tree trunks and clouds. What do you think, is it a common pareidolia or a message from the unseen, or..?

Mostly it is a pareidolia, the mind tends to see what it wants and gives things a meaning even when it does not exist. In Italian language, however, by a strange combination, the word “mente (mind)” also has another meaning, from the verb to lie; “la mente mente” = “the mind is not telling the truth”,  a wordplay.

Here is an anecdote about these “faces”, about Bibracte, the hill in France  where all the Celtic tribes or clans gathered by Vercingetorix to organize the final and desperate move against the Roman army. There is a popular legend that says that everyone who had fought and died in that battle would be returned to Bibracte at least in spirit.  Now, there is sure a scientific reason, but I have never seen so many beech trees concentrated in so small an area with shapes so unusual and in many cases human-like. Are they not the 2000 years old plants, but the work of man? Message from the unseen, or ….? 🙂

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 Bella addormentata

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 Lago dei Cavalli dragon

What keeps you going when the times are tough?

Life is still hard, even if you’re lucky enough to live in an area of a relative affluence, where you do not die of hunger or thirst, and above all there is no war. From the moment you are born you have to decide whether to stay or leave the world, this is a common thought for all, could be the first instinct of survival, certainly. There are those who take refuge in their faith in God or in a “Man” perhaps because they need to believe in something,  or they need someone to tell them what to do, perhaps because they do not believe or do not know that they only exist because they exist. As for me I do not know, maybe I am here for a reason, however small or great it can be, even if I have not managed to figure it out. Perhaps I am here in spite of that possible supernatural entity that is in charge of doing evil, and that the more he tries to crush me in the mud the more I want to prove that  only I decide for myself, no matter what. Maybe it’s because I have to build the future and it will be even more interesting than I expect,  unable to see.

Konrad Lorenz said that the more intelligent is a person, the more he trusts irrational; as far as I’m concerned I’d like to be that intelligent person .

We are a drop that is able to vibrate the ocean of the Universe, an energy point intrinsically and inextricably linked to everything that exists, even if we can not, or don’t want to see it.

Marco Ferrari

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A drop in the Universe

Thank you, Marco! I wish you all the very best in your life!  

 Visit Marco Ferrari website  and his facebook page  


www.inesemjphotography.comThank you for reading! Have a great weekend!

Awards! Please visit these wonderful blogs!

mahon falls

Image of these rough slopes reflects my present state of mind quite precisely: vast and empty… I am still fighting virus infection and have no energy to do much reading, let alone writing. It is why my Tuesday’s blog is missing.  As a compensation, I am posting a video. Amazing Irish musician Fergal Scahill, the best fiddler I have ever heard, will play for you 11 minutes!

This video was filmed in  Cliffden, Co Galway, in the area known as Connemara. In the Main Street there is a bar – J Conneely’s .  I listened to Fergal’s music there  and can tell you – there is no fiddler like him. Love this video, great memories about the place and music.

Tomorrow I will post my weekend blog as usual 🙂

Last week I was spoiled with awards. A great blogger, Mythology expert Aquileana nominated me for two awards, and I really appreciate her kindness knowing how brilliant she is.  Please visit her blog! You will enjoy reading it!

The first one is Liebster Award.


My nominees for the Liebster Award are:

The other one is a  Black Wolf Blogger Award.    


My nominees for the Black Wolf Blogger Award are:


Please click on the links and you will find new friends! 

Here are the Award Rules, which are the same for all the awards:

1) The nominee shall display the respective logo on her/his blog.

2) The nominee shall nominate ten (10)  bloggers she/he admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great day!

A little bit of melancholy

Once in a while there are these days when you feel like the last leaf on the tree…. and the wind is shaking you around… and then you just stop fighting and let the wind blow you away… and you just land wherever it puts you…


This image was taken in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris. There are many good sad songs reflecting my present mood, and most  of them are French.

“Autumn Leaves” is a popular song that was originally written by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prevert. It has been performed in countless arrangements, but Yves Montand was the one who introduced the song in 1946 in the French film Gates Of The Night.

I am sad for no particular reason,  but if there is anybody who feels lonely, you can listen this song with me.

These images were taken in Hyde Park, London.



In the light of the recent events I want to share a sad song by a Scottish alternative rock band Del Amitri, in which the notorious British weather is mentioned…  😉  All of those who are sad because no one loves you, welcome to listen this song 🙂

I think it is all  because of the Summer slipping away.  The songbirds  fly South…  Even this crow didn’t want to stay with me…


…and took off leaving his shadow.


Another sad song from a rock band Counting Crows.

Soon, so very soon  all the creatures will hide…


… and even the spiders will freeze to death…


Ah, enough of that sad mood! Stop it:)


Tomorrow will be another day, I will do something useful and cross out another item in my long-as-a-life to-do list. To cheer myself up I will listen to the Gypsi Swing band from Waterford, and share their music with you all.

Photography tip of the day: Autumn is the time of clouds. If you are shooting black&white, use orange filter. Your sky will stand out.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great weekend!

River Suir, Ireland


I have moved. I still live near river Suir, but there are no herons, no meadows and no wildflowers here. City life…

Right before I left the town our Camera Club had an exciting outing: a boat trip from Carrick on Suir marina to Mooncoin and back, courtesy of Carrick on Suir River Rescue.  

This noble organization has never received any funds from the Government and has been assisting in rescue and search operations all over Ireland since 1960s. At the moment they have sixteen volunteers who are on 24/7 call. If someone can make a donation, please read this page. They also have a charity shop in Carrick on Suir where you can donate unwanted goods.

Here are a few images from that boat trip.

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On the way back it is getting darker.



Good bye Carrick!


When you work some people are happy with what you are doing…


…and some not really…


…and it is OK 🙂

Last week I was nominated for two rewards. Wow.  Many thanks go to the inspiring bloggers who are just too kind and supportive.

First one was a One Lovely blog nomination. I was nominated by a wonderful lady who inspires her readers to change their life.


The rules for winning this award are simple. Here they are:

1. Thank the person who has nominated you. Provide a link to his/her blog.

2. List the rules and display the award image.

3. Include 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know that they have been nominated. This is a way to introduce others to bloggers that you love.

5. Display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

So here are 7 facts about myself; they are pretty informative:

1. I have sense of humor.

2. I am a lousy swimmer.

3. I adore cats.

4. I have lived in Moscow 5 years and never visited Lenin Mausoleum.

5. I feel sorry for the elderly. I always did.

6. I love mathematical puzzles.

7. I feel perfectly comfortable going to the movies or theatre by myself if no one is available.

It was hard…

My favorite part. I nominate these 15 amazing bloggers.

Thank you again for the nomination!

Please check out these  blogs!

And here is the other nomination, A Very Inspiring blogger award. Thank you Nana Noyz! You are too kind! I always feel humbled because I know how many really inspiring blogs are around. Please check out this wonderful blog! 


Here are the rules:

Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
List the rules and display the award.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they’ve been nominated.
Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

I already shared seven facts about myself…   There are the bloggers I nominate:

Please click the links. You might find a new blogger friend.

Photography tip of the day: Look in your viewfinder and make a composition before you press the shutter button.  I know that it is a digital camera, but still you will spend less time deleting bad quality images.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great week!