Lens-Artists PC: Supernatural light

Leya surprised me again with her choice of theme. Such a natural woman and yet she calls for artificial light.

The prettiest thing that Leya says in her post is that candlelight does not count as artificial light.

I had a look through my archives and realised that when the night comes, my camera goes to sleep. Usually.

Then I remembered the concerts, the cinema, that one Christmas night walk in Trastevere, the camera flash, the all-important traffic lights, as well as the two pretty light fixtures we have in Piran and the little sun cells in the garden. Now, are they artificial seeing that they gather sunlight during the day?

(Today you need to click on a photo to see the caption.)

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Leya: Artificial Light

This day in my blogging history

Through Crystal’s eyes

All today’s photos were taken by Crystal during her and Pedro’s discovery of my two countries, Italy and Slovenia, in the first week in September.

It is with gratitude and big thanks that I’m posting these glimpses from our one week together which proved that things happen if you make them happen, first by idea and then by execution. Easy.

I just love it how Crystal saw bestia (which she thought meant “best friend”, while in reality means “beast”), alone or with me, my father and me, and us all together in the last three photos.

She continues her incredibly detailed and warm account of our travels on her blog in her yesterday’s post “Slovenian beach day” about our one full day in Piran. It is something special to meet own parents on another blog and see what a beautiful home they have.

In a way, she is writing this journal for me too, in order to remember things how they are right now, because the pandemic, the divisions, the climate and all the rest aside, it’s still beautiful and we got to share it.

All Photos: Crystal Trulove

This day in my blogging history

PPAC: Tarquinia

These photos are from one year ago when Flavia, my visiting uncle – who is on his way over right now again – and I went to Tarquinia and it was my first time.

It’s true that Italian towns are similar and yet each one surprises me in a fully new way. This is a collection of art on public display in Tarquinia 40 minutes from me and yet I visited it for the first time last September. Tuscany stops 10 km south of me, so this is already Lazio.

Meanwhile, in her detailed account of our recent adventures, Crystal crossed into Slovenia on her blog yesterday and it made me feel all warm inside. We did well.

And now my uncle is coming over to enjoy our warm sea and sand a bit more, and we might even go around a little to visit a new town that is dying to meet me.

Since I don’t have any information on the artists or architects, I simply invite you on a stroll with me around Tarquinia and we look and blink and click and no words are necessary.

For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Cee at Cee’s Photo Challenges

This day in my blogging history

Found for Friendly Friday 2

Four days ago I posted part 1, here is the second part of objects that could or could not be art, depending on who you ask.

For a variety of reasons I like taking photos of discarded objects by the road here in Italy, which some would call trash, and have been doing it all my eight years living in Tuscany. There is one spot where they are most likely to be found.

Only recently I realised why they are gone by the next day: There is a free number you can call for a free towaway of your furniture or appliance that you wish to get rid of. And here I thought that certain people snatched them as soon as they appeared, like it happens with Gypsies in Slovenia.

But today’s gallery has other kinds of objects too. Some are indeed, or borderline, or enhanced art, a rug is undecided, and the hanging key shows you a safe place to park, or so I interpreted it and didn’t get the ticket. If you are ever in Porto Ercole – now you know.

Oh, and if you are curious where Flavia is off to for a year – she just posted from there.

For Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by The Sandy Chronicles: Found objects

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 16/9/21: Piran

I might have showed most of today’s doors in previous years, but not the lighthouse as I was up there for the first time, and not the Ferrari. This is Piran on the Slovenian coast, the first place Crystal asked to see.

These are all from one day, Saturday, September 4. After arriving from Tuscany by way of Padua the night before, we had all day to stroll around Piran, swim with mother, climb things, eat lunch in the Bosnian restaurant Sarajevo 1984, mostly ignore a bunch of Ferraris that came in revving, and finally eat lovely dinner that father prepared (and mom bought lettuce).

Even though – I must admit – doors were not the first thing on my mind that week, of course they are everywhere and seeing some was like meeting old friends, so when I clicked I did it in greeting and recognition.

I did (at least) three things for the first time: climb the (small) lighthouse, the (big) walls, and visit the Mediadom, a (mostly) digital museum. The biggest thing to climb – the St. George church tower – remains for the next time. Maybe.

No maybes about this: Piran is pretty and Crystal and Pedro loved it, no matter how on entering it the night before Crystal exclaimed: “It’s full of tourists!”

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

This day in my blogging history

Lens-Artists PC: Wide world

Going wide? Two weeks ago I wouldn’t even know what you mean.

Before (since 2015): The Nikon Coolpix L830 point-and-shoot has a 34x Nikkor optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 22.5-765mm.

Now (for the last two weeks): Nikon D5000 has a AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm VR Lens.

So you see, Patti, it seems that I have just acquired your favourite lens. I’d say magically but Crystal is real. The story of my camera is here and I still find it hard to grasp.

Be as it may, I have had my new old camera for exactly two weeks. I simply started using it daily without any tests or lessons.

For this challenge I have selected only images with 18 mm focal length (I had to google this expression and barely knew where to look for this number), the widest I can go.

They were taken in Italy and Slovenia from September 1 to 11 as visited with my guests. I was surprised to see the variety of subjects that I thought this length was good for, but it’s all good for learning. You can follow Crystal’s description of our adventures on her blog, starting with this post.

And now – off I go in search of a lens that would include some zoom as well. I thought I found an interesting one in Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR for the price of 318 Eur but it appears that this one is NOT compatible with D5000. It also appears that no other AF-P lens is good for me but that I need an AF-S lens.

Either that or a Tamron (or Sigma and the like) so I ask you if you would consider getting one in my case, for example a new Tamron 18-200mm F/3,5-6,3 for 210 Eur.

Especially because I know me – I would NOT happily change lenses on my photo hikes and would much prefer to have all in one.

For now, this is what I can do.

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Patti at P. A. Moed: Going Wide

This day in my blogging history

Getaways with Flavia

She has this category on her blog and it’s the best it could be: Getaway with Manja. We had twelve such since December 2019 when we first met for real in Rome. Then first pandemic got in the way and now she is moving far away for a year.

I often say that blogging brings you the best people and it’s true. It comes across, the personality, interests, intellect, humour, goodness and much more.

I am extremely grateful to Flavia for all our together times since she is my only Italian friend that lives anywhere near and because we always have such an extremely good time together. We always find exactly what we need to enrich our lives and things to laugh about until we cry.

And now all this will come to a halt since she is moving far away. Go to Flavia’s blog (here is her post about our recent getaway) and see for yourself if she has told yet where she is off to for a year.

In the meantime, here are all our 12 times together with two photos of each, but one was a sleepover and so it deserves twice as many. Flavia doesn’t like to see herself in photos or I’d be posting her much more. She is just wonderful. Her smile could save the world.

All these and many more photo memories will always bring a smile to my lips. Thank you for your company, Flavia, and hurrah for your new adventure!

And when you return it will be again as I wrote once: “We win in every case, every time. We just need to go.”

This day in my blogging history

Found for Friendly Friday 1

Unlike some I know, I only take found objects with me in the form of visual memory. Here are several such memories from this May onwards.

Clearly more than half of my photography is capturing found objects since I had 40 images gathered immediately. Therefore there will be another post for this Friendly Friday challenge next week since Sandy asks for our objet trouvé.

In my case it may not be an object as such, but also an element of nature, a combination of words, or as in the case of the featured photo above nothing at all but a play of light – anything extraordinary that tickles my camera the right way. Let’s have a look.

For Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by The Sandy Chronicles: Found objects

This day in my blogging history

CMMC: My summer dark greens

This is my first entry for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge and she would like to see our dark greens, possibly my favourite eye balsam.

All my today’s photos were taken this year from June up to now. This has been an exceptionally busy time for me, especially after months and months of low activity. My feet did remarkably well and it was so good to be in the company of my people and new friends.

First I went to Slovenia for a month and spent some lovely time with my family. Then uncle brought me back home to Tuscany in mid-August and we had some fun over here.

Then on the last day of August my two friends from Oregon flew over and we were hopping around my two countries for a week. They are about to fly back to the USA right about now after our lovely last dinner last night. Last for now.

Crystal and Pedro, thank you for your guts and hearts and the rest of you that made the decision to come over. I’m sure – and my last seven photos prove it – that it was worth it.

But first some other dark green glimpses from my summer, including an old-timer from the 1000 Miglia race, some real and fake garden scenes from the Slovenian coast, and the Drava river from Maribor – the city of my father.

Included are also several art exhibits from the Porto Ercole botanical garden where I took uncle with mixed results. The most astonishing photo is from there too: of a still standing palm tree shot through by way of RAF. A lady in our group was quite upset. I think she thought it had happened the previous month. “It was under Mussolini,” her husband whispered to her. “Ohhh, right, Second World War,” she remembered.

So whatever we do, let’s just never forget what one must not do to get one’s pretty cities bombed, alright?

For Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge: September color – dark greens

This day in my blogging history

PPAC: Stožice street art 3

Here is the last part of the mysterious series of photos that I didn’t take. As you will see, the photographer felt increasingly uneasy and got the hell out of there, no matter that there were two more levels to explore.

As I explained in part 1 of this series, it is all a result of mom showing me an interview with visiting street art photographer Martha Cooper who mentioned this 3-level unfinished mall in Ljubljana 15 minutes from my parents as the pinnacle of her Slovenian street art experience.

The next thing I knew I had a card full of images from there. Funny how this happens.

The series finishes today with a bunch of monsters, some ninjas, an (unseen) man running in the distance, and then we get the hell out of there – instead of to the next level because the passage only becomes clear in the last photo.

For Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) hosted by Cee at Cee’s Photo Challenges

This day in my blogging history

The story of a camera

This is the most palpable example of how blogging ripples. Not only you get the best people into your life, sometimes they bear astonishing gifts.

All photos in this post are by Liz Pettit at Fetching the World.

The new old camera, the wonderful past week, and the three quotes in this post are by Crystal Trulove at Conscious Engagement. Thank you, both, from the heart!

Manja you are the one who brought us together. I didn’t really know you or your blog and you kept commenting and being funny and interesting and optimistic. I finally couldn’t resist and went to go see what you were all about. Thank you for kidnapping me. 😉

Crystal Trulove

She told me her history as she handed over the camera to me last week. (“Of course it’s a girl,” says Crystal.) This camera has seen places. And then she had to do a coast-to-coast, twice, before she reached me.

First you have to be extremely lucky to know Crystal and casually mention in a comment that you needed to study the market for a new camera that was supposed to be your big 50 present from your parents. “My idea is to ask if you want my old camera. It’s not sparkly anymore, and it’s traveled the world and has been battered due to my rough treatment,” Crystal emailed me, and that was that. I knew that pretty much anything would be better than my point-and-shoot, but I was amazed to find she was a Nikon D5000.

This was just as Liz, another blogger who I’d already met in Italy and spent two lovely days together, was getting ready to come on a twice postponed visit to Italy and spend a week or two with us. It would be perfect if Liz brought the camera over. It’s just that Crystal lives in Oregon and Liz in Pennsylvania, with the entire USA in between. So on top of gifting me the camera Crystal sent her to Liz as well.

And then the Venice Carnival got cancelled and that meant it was serious. The pandemic spread and Liz had to postpone her visit once again. She took the camera for a ride and took the photos that you can see in this post, and then we all waited.

And my favourite is often here with you: Piran. I will go there one day. I will.

Crystal Trulove

When Crystal informed me a few months ago that she purchased the airline tickets and was coming over with her boyfriend Pedro, I was still in the pandemic funk, not going anywhere, not seeing anybody, slowly going feral. Not that I doubted that it would work, I had no vision of the future, and that had been bothering me for a while.

In the meantime nothing major happened that would jeopardise Crystal and Pedro’s arrival and so the camera went coast-to-coast again. This time Liz took care of the charge and even provided the missing lens cover.

That is, nothing except their first flight was cancelled but after a long phone call with the never-fly-United they found another solution, so that they touched down in Rome on the last day of August only five hours later than initially scheduled.

So I got my friends and a week full of movement and fun and chats and views and yummy meals in my two countries, and I got my new old camera too.

Now it’s on me to use her wisely and show her around and not drop her too often and gift her to somebody should I ever get another. And be grateful to the grave to two amazing women.

I love that we can use our blogs as tools to help shape us into who we want to be.

Crystal Trulove

This day in my blogging history

Thursday Doors 9/9/21: Padua

Here is the door winner of the busy week with our visitors in two countries: (what I thought was) Duomo di Padova from my first time in this city last Friday after passing it for eight years.

For some reason I never saw any Padua church or door before, not even in a photo, and so when we turned the corner after walking along a church wondering if this was the Cathedral or just another church, I saw its door and said “Svašta!”.

While a German might say “Na sowas!” and a Frenchman “oh là là”, this is what a Bosnian would say, or a bit courser: “Svašta žena rodi.” (A woman gives birth to all sorts.)

I have learned to expect all sorts from Italian churches and yet each one takes me by surprise. Here is (what I thought was) the Padua Cathedral from various vantage points as we passed it and continued to the pretty park in the centre (which I will show another time) while amore had an online meeting in the car.

And only now, upon googling for some door info, I see two things:

1. The city houses another magnificent church, the Basilica of San Antonio, which is what I assumed the cathedral was when we kept seeing it on the signs which we followed. How can you miss something as huge? Oh darn. Now we need to go back. (But a quick glance at those other doors shows that these doors would still win.)

2. Hmmmmm. I had it all wrong. This is not the Cathedral after all. The Duomo is a less striking church in another location. This is Basilica of Santa Justina next to the abbey from the 10th Century (Abbazia di Santa Giustina). That must be her on the door. This will happen if a city has so many imposing churches.

And finally, one more thing: Do you see any difference about today’s photos? They were taken with my new old camera, Nikon D5000. Talking about an imposing, no, unprecedented gift. A million thanks, Crystal!

For Thursday Doors challenge hosted by Dan at No Facilities

This day in my blogging history

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