Saturday, June 29, 2013

Good Morning From The Town of the Lilacs

Johnny awakes really early - around 5 am - and on most days I am too sleepy to do anything but play quietly with him and stare at the river and the cliffs until the rest of the family gets up, but this week I overcame my tiredness and went running a few times, and I took a morning photowalk to the Hisaria Fortress.  Unfortunately, that particular day was overcast, and I didn't capture the brilliance of the sunrise.  This was compensated by an interesting light of a filtered quality that gave my photos a very unique feel.  There wasn't anyone on the cobbled streets of Varosha yet, just the local stray dogs (which I gave breakfast), and an cats behind every corner (which were too wild to approach, even with food).

As I climbed the white steps to the Fortress, the sun finally broke through the blanket of clouds, and bathed the Roman ruins in golden rays.  It was quiet and lovely, and once again I thanked Providence that I had the luck to grow up here, and the luxury to return as often as I do.

One thing my Western World friends might find odd in these images is the obituaries posted on various gates across the neighborhood.  This tradition of deep respect for the dead is very Balkan, and although I personally find it a bit unsettling, I wanted to share it.  The woman in the picture happens to be my Grandmother's sister, who I remember fondly from my childhood.

These is  also the promised view from above.  My 300 mm lens came quite handy in this expedition.  I will return to this spot again at sunset, to capture the landscape in a more dramatic fashion.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Sweetest Things: Family, Animals, and Things That Grow

These days are passing by in a wonderful haze of light, morning walks, afternoon naps, long evening talks and general clean good family fun.  I am feeding all of the neighborhood stray dogs, eating generous portions of my mom's cooking, and I am trying not to think about John's departure for the States this Thursday.  Three weeks flew by so fast!  I am glad that he's returning to Shelby, but I will miss him too much for words.

Here are a few shots from today and yesterday.  The portraits of John and I are taken by my 11 year-old niece Ally!

Oh, and by the way, isn't it INSANE how much Johnny has grown?!  Gosh.  He's sprouting in height overnight, and he's behaving like a big boy now.  He loves Bulgaria.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Classic Lovech Views

Here are some images I took around town in the past few days.  It's really hot here in Lovech, so I try to only go on photowalks early in the morning, or at sunset, and this is working out wonderfully - the light is spectacular and everything seems glowing.


P.S. Coming up next: The People of Lovech Project, and Views From Above!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Polly Wants a Cracker

My cousin Polly is a wonderful young woman with many talents, modeling for photos being a newly found one.  She was reluctant to do it at first, but with a little flattery and a little pestering, she was gracious enough to pose on my 5th floor balcony on a particularly gray summer day.  Thanks, Polly!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

~Chili Davis

My niece Ally turned 11 years old last week.  I hadn't yet arrived in Lovech on the date, but we made up for it by celebrating twice - we reused Johnny's 1st birthday banner, funny hats, and even the candles, and we ate a big huge cake, and we had a ton of fun.

Happy birthday, Punkin!  I love you INFINITRILLION!

In Lovech, In Heaven

It is no secret that the town of Lovech is my most favorite place on Earth.  I feel fully myself here, free, happy.  It is hard to explain, but I am sure that you know what I mean - everyone has his personal spot, where they like to escape from time to time, and to attain inner peace.  Lovech is where I spent every summer vacation as a kid, where I used to fall in love as a teenager, where I came to get married in my 20's, and now I am back with my son, and I must say he is enjoying his stay as much as I am.  

The quality of light here is absolutely amazing, and there are so many things to photograph - dragonflies and butterflies, swallows and storks, the trees and the cliffs and the river, the historical landmarks and the local people...and I haven't even started exploring yet!  It's a long way from California, and I used the first couple of days to simply sleep and eat and breathe.  At any rate, this batch of images is just me warming up :)

Oh, also, I am testing my new Mamiya.  Guys, this is the most exquisite piece of camera equipment I've worked with so far!  It's amazing, everything is great, and I am in heaven.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer as well!