Transylvanian Tales: Abandoned

Abandoned (lomo effect)

Unfortunately you see quite a few of these up there, in those old Szekler villages.



When I get the chance and find a good subject around the house, I like to experiment with still life. This is what I did with this tulip, the single tulip that grew in our front garden and which my daughter then tore… for me (had to love her for that). I wanted to emphasise the beautiful, deep red colour of its petals, so I put the flower in a little glass container (left over from an infusion sticks set), next to a window with white net curtain on (good for diffusing the light), and experimented with positioning, angles. I deliberately overexposed shots, also to bring out the red…, but used spot metering to expose correctly for the tulip’s head.  Hope you like the results. Which one do you consider best? Comments are welcome.

RED I (edited colour)


RED II (edited colour)


RED III (edited colour)


Transylvanian Tales: House with a Porchway

Transylvania (lomo effect)

Typical Szekler House in Énlaka/Tipikus székely ház Énlakán

Note the blue colour and the traditional (commonly brown wood) porchway.

Pancetta, Farro and Beans Soup

I’ve recently cooked (and then photographed) Gizzi Erskine’s pancetta, farro and beans soup recipe. Yum! It’s the kind of soup I like. Very filling & lots of goodness in it. Some country bread/sour dough and pickled vegetables on the side, parmesan cheese on the top, and you’ve got yourself a Delicious meal.

For the photo shoot, I set up a sort of a rustic scene, with some props I’ve found around the house, and others I’ve been gathering slowly but surely in the past few weeks (textile napkins in various colours, a wooden board, some glass jars with character, etc.). Hope you like the result(s).

SOUP 6 (edited colour)

Cup a’ soup anyone?!

Transylvanian Tales: Main

I’m debuting now a series of photos (one per week mostly) on which I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. These photos will not be accompanied by much text, hopefully you’ll find that they speak for themselves. Transylvanian Tales will be a new category/submenu I’ll be posting in and -will, as the title suggests, contain images portraying my beloved Transylvania/Szeklerland in particular. At a recent visit home, I’ve had a luck to accompany my father up in the mountains to some solitary, almost forgotten villages, where, it may seem to a well-travelled eye, time stood by, where life flows slowly in its undisturbed, natural way, without any wordly disturbances, where basics are still much appreciated, and simpleness is sufficient to lead a calm, precious life. A lot of these villages are quite deserted also, its inhabitants being mostly elderly people, but surprisingly, there are some which show the handiwork of  fresh, young life too, nurturing a hope for the future…. Quite a lot of the houses, gardens, agricultural buildings, and infields, appear to be desolate, delapidated, but even so they show so much character, have so much soul, that one cannot but feel proud of what there’d been once and hope that there will be….

To convey all of what I’ve written about above, I used Lomo Effect (Photoshop Elements 11) with the following images, some of them with, some of them without vignette. I found this way of editing most appropriate for the ‘time stood by’ feeling. As if out of a movie…. Hope you’ll like the results.

The Flag (lomo effect)

The Szekler Flag/A székely zászló

The Snail… and The Whorl

Last week, I entered this shot of a snail into a competition on Composition (in Photography). This final image you can see here has been cropped following the rule of thirds, placing the snail on one of the intersecting points on a visible/imaginary grid. I was really quite happy with this shot of mine and had high hopes of being one of the five winners of tickets to the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London (26th April – 12th May 2013). Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful… But you can check out the winning images here, as well as other images entered in the competition.

Snail (edited colour, rule of third, watermarked)

How do you like this image? And how about this next one of a rose (also cropped in so that the viewer’s attention is focused on the amazing whorl) ?

The Whorl, From Close (selective colour, crop, watermarked)

New Recipe, New Food Shot

I quite like seafood, so when I saw a recipe for spaghetti and mussels and beans (which I also quite like), I decided to make it. I have never bought or cooked live mussels, but this time was to be my first. I was a bit nervous about having to clean them, wasn’t sure if I knew how to do it properly, but eventually I quite enjoyed the process of scrubbing and de-bearding. And the meal that resulted was… very tasty. Recommend it!

Spaghetti with Mussels (edited)

Spaghetti with Mussels and White Beans

Find the recipe here.