Today I go back more than a year ago to my days of living in Italy and just starting with my photography passion. I was In Rome on a short holiday with my family and we were exploring the ancient streets and hidden gems of the eternal city, one of my favorite places in the world. The picture on top was taken around sunset in the area between the Circo Massimo and the Colosseo, the area of true ancient Rome. The tall cypresses and the large pine trees living happily among the old ruins only add to the striking beauty and the history of the place itself. As cliche as it sounds, for me Rome does mean eternity more than any other place in the world, and I tried to highlight this by the dramatic shades of the evening clouds in the photo (I cheated slightly as I artificially increased the color contrast on Photoshop, but maybe I overdid it here?).
The photo below is also a very good memory for me. It’s picturing the “modern” architecture of medieval Rome with the walking bridge (built in 1479) from the city centre to the Trastevere area, one of the most lively neighborhoods with the best pizza and “suppli” options.
I was recently at another wedding, this time the groom was a good friend of mine that I know since kindergarten. So I again took the opportunity to make some photos while enjoying the celebration. You already saw the typical customs for the Bulgarian weddings in my previous post (https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/a-wedding-in-sofia/), but probably I can still surprise you with some novel things like the tradition of “stealing the bride” that was missing from the previous set of photos. So here are the photos with short explanations as usual.
The autumn came suddenly in Sofia in the beginning of October and we had several cold and rainy days, which gave me the opportunity to finally realize an old photo idea of mine. So together with a few friends we decided to go puddle-spotting (or the nicer sounding lokva-spotting in a mix of Bulgarian and English) in hope of finding a nice water puddle made from the rain in Sofia city centre close to some other cool building. After some time walking around the centre and not finding anything we were almost out of hope, but hallelujah – we finally found two very photogenic puddles right near the Nevski cathedral (which you can properly see inside and out in some of my older posts: https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/a-winter-day-in-sofia/ and https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/summer-evenings-in-sofia/). It must have been quite funny for the tourists around watching me kneeling in front of the puddles and almost immersing my camera in water while trying out different angles, but I think it was worth the knee-pain as I took quite a few cool shots exactly while the sun was setting and the cathedral turned pale pink with the shadow of the cross printed on it. And once again I cannot decide which photo is the best from several shots we tried, so I add two more photos with short comments underneath. And again your comments and votes are welcome as I really can’t tell which one I prefer most.
It was high time for some photos with pretty girls, as lately I was more concentrated on conceptual photos or some special occasions as you see in my previous posts. So it was fortunate that shortly after the photomarathon I was approached by Radi, with whom we already had a few photoshoots before (https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/radi-cherry/ and https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/radi-2/) – she has a fashion site that also sells clothes and wanted to make some photos advertising them. So it was also a great opportunity for me to try out some fashion photos with Radi and her sister Dorina.
Radi had found a beautiful autumn place for the task – a schoolyard in central Sofia, with the school building (more or less) recently renovated and making a nice background for the photos, so I tried to keep the background also fairly sharp instead of my usual style of focusing sharply on the subject and blurring the rest by the shallow depth of field I normally use. I like experimenting and I think we made some nice photos for the purpose, but everyone has their own opinion so I’ll let everyone decide for themselves by showing you a selection of the photos we made.
There are of course many more photos and many more clothes that we tried that day, but I think this selection provides a good representative example. In the end I also gave an interview for Radi’s website about my photography passion. The Bulgarian speakers can have a look at http://topmoda.bg/kiril-hristov-fizikut-fotograf/, where they can also browse through the available clothes for sale if interested.
This is the third out of three posts about my participation in the Sofia photomarathon (scroll down to see them in chronological order). The last theme in the contest was also pretty conceptual: “Escape”. So it can be pretty much anything – a city escape to the nearby mountain, or people running away, some friends were suggesting escaping somewhere up high on a tall building..I liked instead the “escape from reality” idea making use of one of the places we went to for the previous topic in search of “silence”. I thought someone reading books in this isolated place at the library would be the true “escape” photo, but it required submitting a different type of photo for the second topic and we were happy enough with the stopped clock for this purpose.
So we headed back to the library with this idea and then wanted to try some street photos afterwards, just to try the “running away” idea and see what chance brings. And here’s what happened:
But at the end of the day we went for the reader escaping reality photo, which was probably my best shot for the day if I compare the three photos in the different topics. But surely others would think differently, so I again remind you that you can rate all the photos at http://photosynthesis.bg/maraton-glasuvane.html by entering your email and clicking on a photo rating it from 2 to 6 (2 is bad, 6 is excellent).
This is the second post of the photomarathon series (you better check part I below first), where we’re moving on to the second topic: “Silence”. An important detail I should mention already here is that the time of the day allocated for this topic was between 1am and 3pm (the reason I say it here will come later). And everyone I asked was thinking first in the direction of finding some big empty space, like a theater hall, a school, a cinema. I guess people naturally associate emptiness with silence, but at the end of the day that’s not the type of picture we chose, even if we tried plenty of them. The other ideas my friends thought of are photos in a graveyard, or a public library. Meanwhile I realized I have an easy access to huge empty lecture halls at the Faculty of Physics at the Sofia University where I teach, so we decided to head that way, and then on the way back pass by a public library and see if suitable photos can be made there. As the Physics faculty building is further away from the centre of the city there wouldn’t be more time for any extra ideas and places anyway, as we already had less than two hours.
So that was the plan, and here’s the photos I took and why I chose the one you see on top:
And so in reality my favorite photo from the series is probably the empty desk in the library, yet in the end I decided to officially submit the old stopped clock. The reason you’ll see in my next post, as it turned out a similar library photo would fit perfectly not only the topic of “Silence” but also the third topic in the photomarathon. I remind you that my three photos from the marathon are now also part of an online competition that everybody can vote in if interested – http://photosynthesis.bg/maraton-glasuvane.html – just enter your email address, confirm it and then by clicking on a photo you can rate it from 2 to 6 (2 is bad, 6 is excellent).
This is the first in a series of three posts, each of which describes two hours of my participation in the Sofia photomarathon (http://www.photomarathon.bg/en). The rules were simple – you have 6 hours and three topics that get announced in a space of two hours. So you’d hear the topic, think and shoot as many photos as you like, come back for the next topic…and in the end of the 6 hours you can only submit three photos, one for each topic. So you not only had to come up with an interesting concept for a photo, but had to choose exactly one photo, which is not so easy. Fortunately for me I had an amazing teammate and a vast group of friends giving me ideas, so I was really happy with the outcome and most importantly it was great fun! I will tell you about each topic and our creative process in a separate post to keep it simple.
And so the first topic is… “One more time”. And the clock is ticking! I think the most discussed idea with this topic was going to a bar and having someone order a cocktail “one more time”, but eventually we went for something better, I think. In any case, our three main ideas that we went on to pursue were: finding kids on swings pushing each other; finding an ice-cream place with kids ordering some at the time; going to a bar for a drink (that we’ll take a picture of). And on the way there came other possibilities as often happens, so here’s my selection of best photos on the topic:
So stay tuned for the next two topics, which I will be posting in the next two days, and let me know if you think I didn’t choose the best photo in this round and you prefer another one. My three photos from the marathon are now also part of an online competition that everybody can vote in if interested – http://photosynthesis.bg/maraton-glasuvane.html – just enter your email address, confirm it and then by clicking on a photo you can rate it from 2 to 6 (2 is bad, 6 is excellent).