Tip of the day

Faceless

faceless

The 21st century has brought two opposite trends in image culture: a “selfie” and a trend to hide, alter or mask the face. The “selfie” has a reputation of being annoying, vain, and even addictive; the obscured face is either disturbing, or fascinating and entertaining for a viewer. Depends on the circumstances.

Literally faceless creatures (like Slender Man) can be found in Mythology of many nations around the world. A mujina is a creature with no face that can shape-shift into human form. Japanese immigrants brought this folklore to Hawaii. In 1959, a woman was reported to have seen a mujina comb her hair in the women’s restroom at a drive-in theater in Kahala, and when the witness came close enough, the mujina turned, revealing her featureless face.

That must have been scary.

There is also an assortment of the hooded and cloaked beings – Faeries, Grim reapers and others. None of them is after any good.

Whomever we meet we do want to see their face. Not because we have a phobia or something. We simply want to communicate, work, have fun and just be with someone we can relate to. And we all know that faces tell more than words.

What the obscured face means for it’s owner? Erased identity, insecurity, or inviolable privacy? All of above? What if it is not their choice?

faceless

The Doors, “I can’t see your face in my mind”.

Album  Strange Days
1967

 Here is an article about a plane crash survivor, Stephanie Nielson.  Here is her blog. If any of you are going through the hard times, read her story.

Barbra Streisand with Andrea Bocelli “I Still Can See Your Face”

Photography tip of the day: Scan your old photographs to preserve them. Visit the same places and the same people. Reenact your old images.

inesemjphotographyHave a great week!

Clockwork toys

clockwork

Happy New Year, everyone! (And I do hope it is happy, or, at least, reasonably happy, which is my personal goal for 2015).

Most of us know how important it is to work, to exercise, to drink water, to read, to thank, to radiate good vibes etc, etc. Every important thing adds to our overall well-being,  and it is good that there are quite a few of them. If, being an imperfect human, I fail in choosing the most important, the right, and the best today, I still can pick up something from the list of important things and do it before I go to bed. No one is a failure. No one is neither programmed to fail, nor to win. We will start it again tomorrow and try to do better next time.

It is so good to be alive and every day have a different tomorrow to look forward to.

I saw this guy in the street shortly before I left for the airport. Unfortunately I had no time to ask his name, and where he came from. He had a companion, a very plain looking young lady, which made me think about them as a couple of exotic birds – a colorful male and a modest female bird. I dropped a few coins in their collection box and took these pictures.

res morozov and misc 086

I was thinking about this couple all my way to the airport. I was trying to google them, but with no success. They will stay a mystery until next winter when I hope to meet them again.

Their clockwork band filled the street with some Irish music. The dolls didn’t look uniform and evenly worn, and I guessed that they didn’t perform all together on a regular basis – only on some special occasions. They were turning around, banging into each other and turning back again. When a crowd gathered to gaze at the unusual performers, the man picked up a fiddle and started to play along. I was sorry that I had to leave.

I don’t know if their intention was to cheer up the crowd. I personally felt a sad kind of fascination watching the clockwork dolls live their mechanical lives. Is there anything more helpless in the toy world than a mechanical doll?

People can end up living mechanical lives too.  Lives without remorse and joy, without compassion and prayer for help, without fight and success. Lives without a different tomorrow.

Year 2014 was supposed to be very dangerous because of the technical and electronic  failures and related accidents, which unfortunately came out to be true… Hope that 2015 gives as a break so that we can focus on our personal lists of important things to work on. This video is for you to put a big smile on your face 🙂

Happy New 2015!

Photography tip of the day: When you take pictures of your little ones and share them on social media sites, consider the content of the photograph.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful week!

Year is running out

eire

This year is running out, and there is still so much to do! Finishing projects and fixing things in a hurry doesn’t seem to be neither productive nor satisfying. Sometimes the front looks OK, but the back tells another story… like in this picture… Well, lets don’t press too hard on ourselves: it might take years to realize that some things look better unfinished. 

There is something I call perfection, though. It is a video clip that I share every Christmas. When I watch this video, I feel like everything falls into place; my questions and my doubts get a perfect answer; vanity dissolves; harmony returns. Music and Art are perfectly woven together, and I am sure you will enjoy watching and listening to it, all of you, regardless of your age, religion or familiarity with arts.

Mike Masse is a former attorney who began performing once a month at the Pie Pizzeria in Salt Lake City in 1993, and did it until recent years when he moved to Colorado with his family. Now he is a full-time musician, performing in different states. Check out his  web site  : there is his gig schedule, and you might find him near where you live.

Mike also performs live with the former members of the band Boston, Barry Goudreau and Sib Hashian. Here is a great piece, More Than  A Feeling (1976) for you to enjoy.

This is a fantastic acoustic cover of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” performed by Mike Masse & Jenny Oaks Baker.

So, it is what I am doing today instead of “finishing and fixing” 🙂 I am listening to the music I enjoy.

This is Dublin in December.

mono

This is an old farmstead in the mountains.

mono

I love Irish music. Its roots go back to the medieval times, and one of the best examples is Wexford Carol. You can listen to this traditional Irish Christmas song sang by The Palestrina Choir of St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin.

Listening to the beloved hymn, I think about the coming year 2015. I cannot believe I have lived so long, but I don’t mind to keep on living.

The year 2014 has been both successful and devastating. They say 2015 will give us a break.  We will see. There is a song  I really like: Muse, Time is running out,  from their best album Absolution.  It is difficult to say what the song is about: Matt Bellamy himself is not sure…

Matt Bellamy: “It’s just about feeling that the last moments of your life are running out and… it’s more about the emotion itself: being suffocated, feeling that your last chance is being taken away from you by something that’s outside of your own power, and you can apply that to society, a relationship, your religion or whatever”

I like the song, but it makes me feel uneasy when I think it might be about something that is coming – something that is outside our power and control; something that can affect us in a bad way. So, may be lets think that it is simply about a mad love with a woman of destiny 🙂

mono

leires

What  I really want to say  –  the truth of the matter is that the time is truly running out. Gradually.

Thank you for listening to this very different selection of music with me!

Tip of the day: This holidays, take some photographs that are out of your usual genre. Discover yourself 🙂

inesemjphotographyHave a great weekend!

“Don’t look with yearning at the road…”

castle

I took this photograph in 2007. Since then, I have passed the place numerous times but for some reason have never stopped for a picture again. People take beautiful images of this place from Spring to Autumn, but all I have is this one and a few more – all gloomy and joyless.

Photography is scarce in the end of November.

In Tchaikovsky Album The Seasons, the piece of music written in E major for November is very light and cheerful.  It has always surprised me, because November has never been my favorite, and nothing cheers me up when I think of November.  If you don’t mind, let’s listen first. I intentionally use this unprofessional performance: a young girl, Sophia, reminds me of myself.

Tchaikovsky,  Les Saisons, Novembre,Troïka .

Troika is a sled drawn by three horses,  a very symbolic image for Russia. They must have had plenty of snow in Russia in November back in the 19th century. So I also heard about Ireland.

Russian publisher Nikolay Bernard, the one who commissioned Tchaikovsky to write The Seasons,  suggested a subtitle for each month’s piece. Tchaikovsky accepted all of Bernard’s subtitles. You will be surprised to learn what this cheerful, jingle-bell-ish piece of music has for a subtitle:

Don’t look with yearning at the road,

And don’t rush after the troika.

Suppress and stifle the dreary dismay in your heart for good.

This is a poem by Nikolay Nekrasov depicting a sad destiny of Russian women in the 19th century. Looks like Tchaikovsky didn’t care…

But I love his music, and want to share another sweet piece – a waltz performed by Brigitte Engerer.

Tchaikovsky – Sentimental Waltz Op. 51, No. 6 – Brigitte Engerer

This is my Tutor Edite Kampe and I, many years ago, graduating after 7 years in the Music School.

kampe

I am eternally grateful for having her in my life.

This is my Mother.

mom

I want to share another piece of music, a polka that accompanied my every birthday party until I became 12 and put a full stop on this sort of dancing… There are simply brilliant interpretations of this piece – you can look out in Youtube – but I have chosen this one, for an obvious reason… Thank you Mom

Rachmaninov – La Polka Italienne – Anna Hetmanova & Anastasia Pozdniakova.

I am grateful for my family and my music tutors who helped me make Music a part of my life forever.

I found this lonely rose in Kilkenny park. Must be the last one.  On my way home I was listening to The Seasons and smiled recalling my Music School days. I wish everybody had similar experience in their life. I am so blessed.

rose

Give your children and grand children opportunity to study music. Don’t be frustrated if you fail to raise a Mozart. It is not about career. At least, they will know what concert they really want to attend, or what music is played  when a carousel goes around 🙂

carousel

Happy Thanksgiving! Give thanks for all you have! You can always have even more.  Look for the best gifts,  create,  grow. Don’t let the life pass  by like troika in that poem 🙂 Enjoy and use your  blessings.

Photography tip of the day: Show motion, use slower shutter speed.

inesemjphotographyHave a great weekend!

Red, orange, yellow..

autumn

A good sunny day is not something we enjoy often in the end of November.  I went down to People’s Park to take pictures of my favorites, the Beech trees, generously tossing their gold at the sparse sun rays.

autumn

I don’t know how my mind wanders, but I ended up thinking about “Hunger Games”.  Must be that golden fire, and upcoming movie release this week.

Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat (From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1).  “Red, orange, yellow” – a good song.

I like Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins did a great, spotless job, regardless of what some critics say. The language is rich and intelligent, the plot never gets boring. I am always curious about what the future may be like, and what others think of the future. I wonder, does it matter how we picture our future.  I guess it does.

autumn

People’s Park is not flooded yet, but Kilsheelan Bridge was closed due to the flood.  Here is my summer post, and this is how the place  looks these days: all the land is flooded up to the foot of the hill. I was there early in the morning to catch the rising sun. It was so bizarre to see all those huge trees standing in the high pink water.

flood

flood

This bridge is 200 years old, and can survive many more centuries.

I so hope tomorrow will be kinder.

The Secret Sisters  – Tomorrow Will Be Kinder (From the Hunger Games)

Barrow Railway Bridge, Co. Wexford, was built  by Architect Sir Benjamin Baker in 1906 and closed to passenger traffic in 2010.

It is the longest railway bridge in Ireland  –  2,131 feet long. There was an opening section to allow ship access up the river. At the western end the  railway enters a 217 yards long tunnel almost immediately.  Magnificent construction, especially for this rural area, it is not designed for walking over – a huge gaps between the ties will make your heart sink. We went there to do the test shoots. I did feel like I was in the District 13 somewhere:)

bridge

There is another relict in the area – a sunken boat.

river

All these abandoned constructions and machinery  look like a part of a dystopian world.  Things seldom happen suddenly.  We are creating our future step by step, item by item, decision by decision.

I so hope our grandchildren will be safe.

autumn

sunset

Taylor Swift – Safe and Sound ( Hunger games)

Do you ever think about the distant future?  Is there anything you still can change?

Photography tip of the day: For the editing software users. Make yourself collections of interesting backgrounds, sky and clouds, textures, and also a color-picker resources, like different human faces, etc.

inesemjphotographyHave a great day!