„In Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Lucy (called Lucia) is venerated on December 13 in a ceremony where the eldest girl in a family, portraying Lucia, walks, with a crown of candles, ahead of a procession of other women holding a candle each. The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take her life. The women sing a Lucia song while entering the room, to the melody of the traditional Neapolitan song Santa Lucia, still well-known through the recording by Enrico Caruso but, whereas the Italian lyrics describe the beautiful view from the harbour area Santa Lucia in Naples, the various Scandinavian lyrics are fashioned for the occasion, describing the light with which Lucia overcomes the darkness. Each Scandinavian country has their own lyrics in their native tongues although commonly it is the melody of Neapolitan which is used. After finishing this song, the procession usually continue by singing Christmas carols or more songs about Lucia.“ – Wikipedia
Ribnovo is a large village (by Bulgarian standards) on the end of a road in the western Rhodope mountains, some 30 kilometers from Gotse Delchev. This village is renouned for its preserved traditions and colorful dress codes. In this gallery there also are some shots of gypsy kids in another village near Gotse Delchev.
These are a few shots taken at a bee eater colony location in Northern Bulgaria. These birds are renowned for their bright colors and are often photographed by bird photographers and enthusiasts.
Photographing birds is not an easy task, to say the least. Patience is the thing of greatest importance here and I’ve found to lack that. Using a Canon 100-400 F4-5.6L, coupled with a 1.4 TC converter and a 1.6x crop factor DSLR available, gave me an effective length of 400×1.4×1.6 = 896mm ! Well, damn those tiny birds, that turned not to be enough in most of the situations. Next time I’m shooting condors ! 🙂 The bee eaters nested in two parallel sandy cliffs, probably formed by a flash flood or a past creek. The nests are burrowed in the soft banks, far from predators, though we saw a snake managed to get in, I assume lured by the eggs. The idea is to set up a tent on the rim of one of the banks and leave it there for a day or two for the birds to get used to. After that use it for a hiding shelter, hopefully getting a bird perched on a branch close enough for a good shot.
Just 3 portraits I find interesting in several ways. Taken in interesting light (under a prolific willow tree at dawn) with this interesting lens and showing interesting facial expressions of a friend of mine.
Rolling hills, abandoned villages and lush greenery. The eastern Rhodope mountains are ripe with trekking opportunities, especialy in the spring, after the short gray days of winter.
Several shots taken of the event. Some men participate to get an excuse for being drunk, others to get an excuse for dressing like women, third and fourth for god-knows-what. Its fun to look for things you cannot notice immediately. See for yourself!
Stuck between India and Tibet this kingdom is probably best known for the highest point on earth – mount Everest 8848m. Part af the initial drive to go there was to have a glimpse of the „top of the world“. As it turned out there is much, much more to see there than that. If curious have a look at the gallery or read the somewhat different accounts of the trip by Константин Иванов and Виделина Димитрова.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands at 3220 sq. miles and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located at approximately 35° N 24° E. Crete is a popular tourist destination; its attractions include the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the classical site of Gortys, the Venetian castle in Rethymno, and the Samaria Gorge, as well as many other natural sites, monuments, and beaches. Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization (ca. 2600–1400 BCE), the oldest civilization in Europe.
Japan is a country worth visiting because it is so strikingly diffrent in some respects from good old Europe. Here are some shots from Tokyo and a weekend in Kyoto, the famous old capital of Japan from 794 to 1868.