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!

The lion and the lamb

fota

Fota Wildlife Park – the most amazing place in Ireland! It opened its gates in 1983, and since then it remains one of Ireland’s top ten visitor attractions, and a perfect place to spend a day for visitors of all ages.  Most of the animals who inhabit the park are allowed to roam throughout more than 50 acres of  grassland, with the exception of the cheetahs and other predators.  Almost “The Lion and the Lamb” settings 🙂

King Julien XIII and his people together with many other animals  are free ranging in the Park and mingle with the visitors.  I just couldn’t help taking their portraits ( hundreds).

fota

fota

fota

We were lucky to come across a whole Ring-tailed Lemur gang sitting in the tree. In the beginning I thought there were only two animals, but all of a sudden they started falling off the tree like ripe pears.

fota

fota

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fota

fota

Six or seven Lemurs jumped from the tree, one after another, and run away. We met two of them again. They were perching within a stretched arm distance, pretending to ignore us. I didn’t see the others,  but  I knew that they were hiding somewhere near.

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fota

fota

There is a pond surrounding the Monkey Island.  All the water fowl are free ranging, but the edge of the pond  is surprisingly clean.

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fota

fota

fota

Many animals In Fota Wildlife Park are allowed to roam free, while mixed with other species.  A tiny barrier stops the human visitors from trespassing. Rothschild Giraffe is another beautiful species living in the Park together with Zebras and female Ostriches.

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fota

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Foggy Irish countryside in background.

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The Monkey Island is a home for monkeys, of course.  In Fota Wildlife Park they have chosen the species that can be allowed  to roam in a free range environment, and are not aggressive to each other.

This is an Agile Gibbon – an old one, and a mother with a baby.

fota

fota

This is a Howler monkey female.

fota

Fota Wildlife Park is home to the Scarlet, Green winged and Blue & Gold Macaws. The birds roost high up in trees, and while the species have bred at Fota in the past, there haven’t been any young hatched in recent years.

fota

fota

Over 200 Cheetah cubs have been born in Fota since 1985.  Fota also has Ireland’s only Cheetah Run. The device keeps the Cheetahs active, while maintaining their wild instincts.  The food is suspended on a wire that travels 10 feet off the ground, at approximately 65km/h.  Hundreds of spectators gather to watch the Cheetahs feeding  at 3pm every day. Cheetahs and a few other species live in fenced enclosures.

fota

fota

fota

fota

The weather wasn’t good, it was raining. We thought we would have the island for ourselves. Well, we had to go around to find a parking spot. Always busy in Fota.

fota

I share my birthday with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  I am very proud of that – I loved his books before I found out when his birthday was. His most-read novella, The Little Prince, is translated into more than 250 languages, and selling two millions copies every year. I have a copy like this one.

little prince

There are two the most cited quotes in the novella:   On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux – “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”  And the other: Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé  – “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” I thought about both of them in Fota, watching young children reverently feed the waterfowl. For them, this trip was looked forward to with a great deal of excitement, discussions and research.  New names were learned,  new discoveries made, but the greatest of all the experiences they got here is that change in heart that can become a prelude to many other beautiful experiences.

Thank you for visiting Fota Island with me!

Photography tip of the day: When taking photographs of animals definitely change your focus to a “Single point”  and focus on the eye, otherwise your camera will automatically focus on the point closest to the lens –  which is animal’s nose.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great weekend!

Cork City Gaol: inside prison walls

gaol

I had many plans for the Halloween blog edition, but none of them worked out because of the rainy weather.  So I figured that it would be  better if I moved under a roof  for my photo shoots,  and a prison roof would do just fine.

gaol

Cork City Gaol housed prisoners for almost a century and was closed in 1924. This is an image of a cell. Like to try? You may get inside and close the door to experience what life might have been like for a prisoner in the Gaol. An Irish writer Frank O’Connor was one of those who served time in the Gaol for their part in the Irish Civil War, and he later wrote that the cots and blankets were crawling with lice.

gaol

There is a cell with some original graffiti left by  prisoners who served time here in the 1920’s.  I took a picture of that wall and when I came home and started processing it, something extraordinary happened: the ghosts of the prisoners and staff revealed themselves in my images…

gaol

This is Mary Sullivan. She looks like a bloodthirsty murderer, but in fact she is a seamstress and in 1865 she received a seven year sentence following her eighth conviction for the theft of cloth.  She is just after being deloused according to prison regulations, and ready to see the Governor John Barry Murphy.

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This is Thomas Raile. He was convicted of stealing some books. Serving his time in a solitary confinement, he got an opportunity to contemplate his wrongdoings and has turned to religion for guidance. Rev. Nelligan is counselling him, but it won’t help much: on release from prison Thomas won’t be able to get good references and his life will speedily go down the drain.

gaol

This young woman is Mary Ann Twohig, a 16 year old mother. She was heavily pregnant when she stole a cloth cap and some kitchen utensils with an intention to pawn them and get some money. Due to the pregnancy she was sentenced to only two months, without hard labor.

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This is Dr. Beamish.  A warder is walking him to the cell where he is going to attend a sick prisoner. Overworked and underpaid, Dr. Beamish  has spent many years carrying his medical bag from cell to cell and fighting all sorts of infections and injuries.

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Two off-duty warders are playing cards. In this room lives a warder and his whole family.

gaol

This is a model of the Gaol. The wings are currently in derelict condition and closed to public. You might be interested to know what is that small building at the back. Well, there were always prisoners and prisoners. The small building is the Debtor’s Gaol. Some well off people fail to pay their debts and are sent to prison, but not to the main Gaol. They settle with their own furniture and clothes in the Debtor’s Gaol, and even have their food delivered to them.

There is a lot more to see, but to be honest, the wax  figures give me the creeps…  And it doesn’t matter either they are of the prisoners of the Gaol, or any other person…

wax

wax

And here is an appropriate piece of music – Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues!


Happy  Halloween to all!

Cork City Gaol.

Photography tip of the day: Do a research before you buy a camera or any photography equipment, including the batteries you are going to use for your Speedlite. Everything.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great Halloween weekend!

WORKSPACE BLOG HOP

reveal

The Half Eaten Mind and his human Vijay invited me to participate in the Workspace Blog Hop. It means, I have to reveal something about myself and  the place I am blogging from. Thank you, Vijay!

I moved to Waterford city just a month ago, so my working space has not yet achieved a stable and respectable look. My books are still packed, and some of my stuff is sitting in my friends’ garage.  I haven’ t yet decided either I stay here another couple of years, or keep moving.

I have a one-bedroom apartment and work in the living room. This is the table I work at: I prefer my working place being ergonomic rather than comfy. Two windows – on my left and on my right- provide enough light during the day.

desk

A HP laptop, two external hard drives and a handful of USB memory cards  – it is all I use for writing, editing, storing and carrying around my files. Plus a printer and a scanner.

stuff

This is a fragment of a surface, random. All the surfaces in this room look similar 🙂 Except my table. The table is bare: I have pushed things off the table with my elbows enough to learn the lesson.

So, this is pretty much everything about my working space.

I don’t have any pets – it is enough to ask my friends to take care of my cacti plants when I am away. I have 17 cacti plants.

cacti

I would love to have a pet though. Any critter.

pet

My new contract forbids me to keep “any living creature” in this apartment. Yes, it is a quote.

I live in the medieval center of  Waterford city, next to the oldest buildings. One day I will make a separate blog about Waterford, but for now I just want to report that it was a great sunny morning here, and I walked through the city center for my “cardio with a camera” and took this picture.

waterford

And this one too: it is a shop across from where I live, and it is reflection of my car in the window.

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Sure I am moving around for my photography rather than stay at home.  Sometimes  I am lucky enough to get an assistant for the test-shoots.

assistant

Now you have an idea about my blogging  space and the world around it. I might also add  that this is mostly a pedestrian zone, clean and quiet. Most of the noise is coming from the Cathedral when they are ringing their bell:)

I have to pick up some of you to join the Workspace Blog Hop. It is not as you are forced to write all these things about yourself, but I give you this opportunity 🙂

http://indahs.com/  Indah

http://believeinadream.com/  Kellyann

http://whenwomeninspire.com/   Christy

http://aquileana.wordpress.com/  Amalia

http://studiocandelabra.com/  Linda Sue

http://oncemorewithforeboding.com/ Tony Single

*

A wonderful blogger The Crafty Lady in the Combat boots  nominated me for a One Lovely Blog Award.  I am always humbled to receive awards from people who are so good at what they are doing. Thank you so much, for your kindness!

There is about the nomination:

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow blogger who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award
  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  • Nominate 7 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

image11 (1)

Here are seven facts about me – they are truly the facts 🙂

1. My favorite people are my daughter and two grand daughters and my son in law;  2. I love many other people; 3. I read every night even if it is one page; 3. I love music and play the piano when I have a chance; 4.  I love my Micra; 5. I  love earthly colors; 6. I  love nature and creatures; 7. I despise fake individuals and stay away from them.

Now the nominations:) Thank you for your wonderful blogs!

1. http://postcardpieces.wordpress.com/

2. http://dorisbolliger.wordpress.com/category/blog-posts/

3. http://prolificdaydreamer.wordpress.com/

4. http://littlechomper.com/

5. http://cynthiasreyes.com/

Photography tip of the day:  When you store your files the names of your folders matter a lot. Start with a year followed by a month; then write a key word/words so that you know what is there in that particular folder. Don’t make huge folders;  divide them in parts:  2014-05-30 Moab – Devils Garden-Part I

inese_mj_photographyHave a great weekend!

Our times of triumph

family

When I was very young, I used to read a lot. Some episodes impressed me so much that I replayed them in a real life. As we all know, life and fiction are not the same, so I used to get in trouble on many occasions.

In that particular book, two teenagers, a boy and a girl, had climbed onto the roof, and lying on their back, watching the passing clouds dreamed about the future. The scene looked so appealing that I immediately jumped to action.

Next to my Grandma’s cowshed there was a small annex used for storing a week supply of hay bales; adjacent to it, under the same roof was a chicken coop. My plan was to climb a stonewall, then get up on the annex roof and from there climb on the cowshed roof, high enough to set up the scene as desired.

And I got there, laid out a blanket I brought with me, and sat staring into the sky. My future did not send me any hints. The roof was hard and rough, but I lied down hoping it might help, as per book. Still, my mind was blank. The clouds just passed by, I had spotted a few animal-like shapes, but it was clear that there was no excitement in it, my back hurt and I was getting bored and annoyed. I think it was the day when I learned something about a good literature and a fake literature. On my way down, the roof caved in and I fell in the hay – lucky me. My Grandma was so happy that I didn’t kill myself that she baked a plate of biscuits for me, and we decided to keep the story in secret, for our mutual good.

Later, in my bed, I was dreaming about the future. In my dreams I was a famous artist, and all the children books were illustrated by me. One scene followed another, all in beautiful, rich colors; people and animals did look like people and animals; there were sun spells, fresh breeze, pouring rain and flowing water, and it was all real. I made it live; I was that magician.

Very often we learn the life’s lessons in a hard way. Very often we get slapped in the face, and our efforts don’t impress anybody. But there are the times when we feel like all the spotlights are turned on us, and all the praises and admiration in the world are expressed for us, and these are our moments of triumph even if no one else knows that.

karosta

vladimir-morozov-studio

Pictures of my Grandparents and me. In the last image (1914) my Grandma is the one who is standing.  The baby is my Great Granddad’s daughter from his second marriage. I named my daughter after her.

family

family

family

Photography tip of the day: For Nikon users starting out 🙂

http://photographylife.com/which-nikon-prime-lens-to-buy-first

inese_mj_photographyHave a  great day!

 

I left my heart in Barcelona

Barcelona

A painter in this photograph is Pablo Picasso.  During his Blue period he divided his time between Paris and Barcelona. Picasso museum Museu Picasso in Barcelona is a must-see:  there is no other place with such a vast collection of his art, especially his early works.

Picasso didn’t like Gaudí. Strange, because his art was definitely influenced by Gaudí‘s organic geometry. I think that he was just jealous.

Almost everything in Barcelona is “Gaudí“, anyway.

gaudiCan you imagine any other place where an architect like Gaudí would get a job in the end of the 19th century? It is why I love Barcelona, for that spirit!

I visited  Barcelona shortly before The Prisoner of Heaven English  edition was published in 2012 –  a book  by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, another of my favorite Barcelonians. His books are magic and intelligent, and they are about Barcelona, of course :). If you somehow missed them, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series will win your heart (The Angel’s Game, The Shadow of the Wind, The Prisoner of Heaven).

Speaking of magic. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc was constructed in 1929. The light and music performances take place on Fridays and Saturdays every half an hour between 7:00 and 8:30pm ( October to April), and Thursday through Sunday every half an hour between 9:00 and 11:00pm (May to September).

fountain

fountain

Here is a video from YouTube for you to enjoy 🙂 Watch to the end – it is getting more and more dramatic . 🙂

Some images from Gothic Quarter.

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona

I walked this street to get to the Park Güell.

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Barcelona

Plaça de Catalunya.

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Barcelona

Vallcarca.

Barcelona

Don’t know what that means – either good or bad 🙂

Barcelona

Street performers across from Hard Rock Cafe.

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Last, but not the least, Palau de la Musica Catalana. No photography permitted inside.

Barcelona

Hope you plan a visit to Barcelona. 🙂  Thank you for your comments on my previous post!

Photography tip of the day:  Keep your equipment clean. Here is an advice how to clean your camera sensor. If you are afraid of doing it yourself, ask in the shop and they will know. Sensor and lenses have to be cleaned regularly.

http://youtu.be/pesZUj78S6s

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great weekend!

 

Patterns

2014-09-28 ur patterns 082res

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

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a great week!

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…

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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.

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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…

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…and took off leaving his shadow.

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Another sad song from a rock band Counting Crows.

Soon, so very soon  all the creatures will hide…

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… and even the spiders will freeze to death…

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

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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

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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.

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Good bye Carrick!

*

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

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…and some not really…

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…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.

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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.

http://nananoyz5forme.com/

http://abitofwiggleroom.wordpress.com/

http://aquileana.wordpress.com/

http://ronyaroshauthor.com/

http://therepublicofann.wordpress.com/

http://beefandsweettea.com/

http://sydspix.wordpress.com/

http://sweetafternoons.wordpress.com/

http://believeinadream.com/

http://cynthiasreyes.com/

http://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/

http://keeppicturing.wordpress.com/

http://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/

http://thetropicalfloweringzone.com/

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! 

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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:

http://nonsmokingladybug.wordpress.com/

http://olganm.wordpress.com/

http://indahs.com/

http://getoffmylawnplease.com/

http://bookofbokeh.wordpress.com/

http://darkecologies.com/

http://montserratsobral.wordpress.com/

http://justmobilephotos.com/photos/

http://thecrazycrone.com/

http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/

http://charlypriest.wordpress.com/

http://beingbettr.wordpress.com/

http://russelrayphotos2.com/

http://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

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!

September 2004-2014

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A Calendar of Sonnets: September

By Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden-rod is yellow; 
The corn is turning brown; 
The trees in apple orchards 
With fruit are bending down. 
The gentian’s bluest fringes 
Are curling in the sun; 
In dusty pods the milkweed 
Its hidden silk has spun. 
The sedges flaunt their harvest, 
In every meadow nook; 
And asters by the brook-side 
Make asters in the brook. 
From dewy lanes at morning 
the grapes’ sweet odors rise; 
At noon the roads all flutter 
With yellow butterflies. 
By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here, 
With summer’s best of weather, 
And autumn’s best of cheer. 
But none of all this beauty 
Which floods the earth and air 
Is unto me the secret 
Which makes September fair. 
‘T is a thing which I remember; 
To name it thrills me yet: 
One day of one September 
I never can forget.

I think that this colourful poem and my picture go together quite nicely.

In May I posted a Photography: May 2003-2014 set of images. I am doing it again,  “one day of one September”. Isn’t photography all about memories? 🙂

2004

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This is the house I grew up in. It is the back yard, these windows face the lake; the front yard used to merge with a large ancient forest.  The building is about 200 years old.  In 2004 we traveled around visiting all the places that are dear to us, and I took this photograph. In 2010 the new owner cut the forest down.

2005

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I love trees. This Monkey Puzzle ( Araucaria) alley is almost gone due to the old age.  Last year I visited the place again, and it doesn’t look like in this picture anymore.

2006

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St Canice’s Cathedral grounds, Kilkenny.  I call this image Dwellings: Past, Present, Future.

2007

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Galtee Mountains.  That green patch down there is a forest. We are half way to a beautiful mountain lake, icy cold and transparent like a crystal. I came there again two years ago, solo. Walked through the forest, took some pictures. I didn’t plan to walk to the lake, of course, but it was nice to know that it is there, just a couple of hours away.

2008

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This picture was taken in the park in Limerick.  I think it was my most uneventful, and overall miserable trip ever.  Never been to Limerick again.

2009

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There is a tiny road in Clonmel going up the mountain. People walk or drive it to climb to the Holy Cross and get a bird’s eye view. This old man is walking down  that road with his cows. He and his brother live ( lived?) right around the corner, so his flock doesn’t interrupt traffic too much. I stood in the street watching them and tears came up to my eyes. God bless old people.

2010 

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This isn’t a result of photo editing: all the colors are natural.  Antelope Island State Park, Great Salt Lake. Abundant wildlife, beautiful scenery, solitude and tranquillity.

2011

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A friend invited me to take a trip to Connemara. We had two fun days in spite of the weather.

2012

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These clouds are something to remember.

2013

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A big sister.

2014

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This picture is here because I am  saying good bye to the river.

Thank you for reading about my Septembers.  What about yours?  I would love to hear 🙂

Photography tip of the day: More DIY  🙂 Take pictures through plastic bag, stained glass, plastic bottles, magnifying glass,  etc. Cover your “filters” with colored vaseline.  You will get interesting effects depending on your lenses.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great week!

Forever Cats

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“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”
― Mark Twain

I cannot disagree with the wise man.  Cats cannot be made slaves. Look at this face if you had any doubts.

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Look at this royal gesture.

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A warrior fighting invisible evil…

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“A silent guardian, a watchful protector”…

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He used to live a life of emperor and didn’t know what was coming …

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… but he took it with dignity.

Another remarkable cat I had a pleasure to meet.

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Leo, the most patient and meek creature ever, a good-hearted friend of his humans and their young.

There are many kitties who are less fortunate, but you can see the aristocracy of blood showing through. This kitty was living in the streets and took the food offerings with grace and dignity.

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I met this kitty in Dingle Peninsula, driving around the Slea Head. He was sitting at the empty cottage and wouldn’t make any eye contact with the strangers ( otherwise he didn’t mind us, and was actually purring).

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This is another stray cat. The only difference is that he was living in Coliseum, Rome.

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There are many stray cats in Rome. Old people feed them. The world is a better place because of the caring old people.

This young fella is KC, a member of a family of  four cats all rescued by their human in different circumstances.

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These three kittens were taken to the vets and put down by a man whom I knew as a kind and caring son, father and husband. I knew he didn’t want the kittens and I asked him if I could take them and find them home, but he lied that he would do it himself… Three years ago we were reconnected at the deathbed of our friend. After we left the room he was trying to make an apology, mumbling something about a reconciliation. I told him he was fine. The following year I got a word that he had an accident at work, and he isn’t himself anymore since. God knows, I didn’t wish him anything like that.

I still keep the simple toys I had made for them.

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“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…” 

― Albert Schweitzer

 Cat’s in the Cradle” is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. It has nothing to do with cats. The song is about a man who never had time for his son.

The Cat’s cradle is a string game. You can read about it and many more old and forgotten games here.

Well, we had enough of sad things, let’s have a chuckle 🙂

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This image belongs to a Russian artist Svetlana Petrova. Click on the link to see  Zarathustra the cat improving some famous artworks with his presence. When Svetlana’s mother died she was deeply depressed, and creating these images was a part of the healing process.

This cutie is Jonne. He had a big happy family – another two cats and a dog. They are all gone. When Jonne joined the family he was sick and weak because of neglect, and he was beaten too. It was long ago,  he lives  with his significant human now and they are inseparable.

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Speaking of friendship.

“You know a real friend?
Someone you know will look after your cat after you are gone.” 
― William S. Burroughs, Last Words: The Final Journals

Thank you for reading! These pictures were taken over the years, and some of the cats must have crossed the Rainbow bridge since.

Could you share a few words about your Pet ( not necessarily a cat)?

Photography tip of the day: Taking pictures of your pets use natural light and come closer. The best time for a portrait ( close up) is when the pet has just woke up and is still sleepy. Show their personality in your pictures: You know all these faces and looks, capture them 🙂

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great weekend!