Venice Carnival 2019.....is here


The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival, held in Venice. The Carnival starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday.

The Venice Carnival is now world famous - it always takes place during the ten days leading up to Shrove Tuesday. Carnival, being a pre-Lent festival, means 'farewell to meat' and is celebrated throughout Italy.

 VENICE, ITALY - MARCH 05:  A general view of guests at Palazzo Pisani Moretta during the annual Ballo del Doge on March 5, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The Ballo del Doge, created by fashion and costume designer Antonia Sautter, is considered the most elegant and exclusive masquerade ball during the Venice Carnival.


It was first held in Venice in the 11th century and consisted of over two months of revelry, until it fell into decline during the 18th century. It was revived in 1979 with great success and nowadays it is a great excuse to don a mask and costume, parade around the city, enjoy the live music in the main squares of the city, the events organised by the tourist board and is a wonderful open-air festival where everyone can join in. Fantastic costumes are displayed in St Mark's Square and Venice is the perfect back-drop for amazing photographs.


L1000644 copy.jpg

Carnival in the 18th century began with a series of balls in St Mark's Square, as can be seen on the fresco on the walls of the famous café Quadri's. Fortunes were squandered every night of Carnival in the Ridotto Gambling casino, whatever the social status all the people wore costumes and masks, many connected to the Commedie del'Arte, Harlequin, Columbine, the Plague Doctor and of course the courtesans.

The 2019 edition will run from Sat, Feb 16, 2019 – Tue, Mar 5, 2019

Photo Walk during Venice Carnival 2019

Carnival in Venice


This year the Venice Carnival will be from the 16th February to the 5th March 2019

The Venice Carnival is the most internationally known festival celebrated in Venice, Italy, as well as being one of the oldest.

This congregation of masked people, called Venice Carnival, began in the 15th century, but the tradition can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th Century! During those years one of the first laws made by the Serenissima was that masks cannot be used around the city at night.

Later, Venice Carnival attracted foreigners - including princes - from all over Europe, who came to enjoy the wild festivities while spending fortunes.

DSC_3323 copy.jpg


During the ten days of Carnival leading up to Mardi Gras, Venice is a hive of activity and entertainment, from improvised street entertainment to performances put on by the organizers. A central idea is chosen each year that is taken from various cultural or show-biz themes. Saint Mark’s Square remains the heart of Carnival, with its huge stage, although other events take place throughout the city, helping to avoid an excessive build-up of people in pedestrianized Venice.

During this period I will offer with my team a Carnival Workshop where during the first  2 hours we will take pictures of the Masks and Costumes in St Mark’s Square and then we will head after a coffee break for the Venice Tour. 4h Tour Price is €500 Max 3 people or 2 adults + 2 Teens  – Extra persons MAX 2  € 70 per person.

 

Book here and choose 4h  then specify Carnival in Notes

Photographing Wild Bears in Slovenia

I have been photographing the brown bears of Slovenia for over three years and now I would love to share it with you. Believe me it is an amazing experience….even without a camera!

DSCF0511-1513499115230.jpg

The trip will include bear hide visits, a visit to Rakov Škocjan, Krizna Jama cave and Grad Snežnik or Predjama Castle. Visit to the bears hide takes place after lunch to maximize the chances of photographing these amazing mammals. We will be taken by 4x4 to the hide locations and return to base camp as darkness begins to fall. This allows for some of the most amazing "golden hour" lighting, due to our position high in the mountains.

Our host, Miha, has been working with these amazing animals for many years and his guesthouse has friendly welcoming atmosphere not to mention great local food. Miha knows not only the terrain but also the wildlife and will ensure that guests are placed in the most productive hides at any given period.

The guesthouse is located in a picturesque village at the foot of the mountains through which runs a crystal clear river.

To check my Photo Tour click here

DSCF6363-1520247048587.jpg






European Bison in Hungary

The European bison, the largest land mammal on our continent, was severely hunted until it finally became extinct in the wild in 1927. By then, only 54 individuals remained, all in captivity.

Since then many things have been done to bring back the European bison to its ancestral lands by establishing new wild bison populations in several of our rewilding areas, and creating new breeding stations.

The bison is not only endangered and in strong need of more space to roam, it is also what is called a “keystone” species in Europe’s ecosystems. Its grazing and browsing behaviour opens up bush land into open mosaic landscapes and its trampling and manure creates space for hundreds of other species. The bison is simply a biodiversity enforcer that we really need out there.

Choose the return and expansion of the European bison to where they once belonged, like in Hungary,  Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia.

_DSF9704 copy-1548511934114.jpg
_DSF9742 copy-1548511934903.jpg

I Love Winter!

it is a simple matter of fact that I love winter…it is never too cold. You can always wear another layer of clothes

In Hungary winter is really magic, in the countryside you can smell the wood burning fire, nature is waiting for spring. It is like being on a suspended time frame.

Winter in Orseg, Hungary

Winter in Orseg, Hungary

If you like my picture you can freely download it from Unsplash

These are 8 reasons I love winter:

  • When the first snowfall hits and you’re left gaping at the sky in wonder, captivated by the Earth’s ability to turn water into these icy sprinkles.

  • The blast of cold air that washes over you when you open your front door, filling your lungs, and you, with a renewed appreciation for that “fresh air” your mother was always telling you about.

  • The moment you step in from the cold and feel your skin tingle with appreciation.

  •  The desperation you feel when you’re sprawled out on your porch in nothing but a sweaty loincloth during a summer heat wave, wishing that winter would come early and relieve you of this slow and painful death.

  • The happiness you experience from the temporary mass extinction of bees, that allows you to frolic across fields and hang out in your backyard without fear (but with a couple of extra layers).

  •  The freedom to wear ugly-yet-comfortable sweaters without shame is enacted every time the temperature drops below 40 degrees. Let those singing reindeer shirts see the light of day, for once.

  •  The irrational feeling of success you experience when you cup two handfuls of snow together and feel them crunch into place, creating the perfect snowball.

Photography News, Reportage, Feature

While talking with some of the Awakening photographers early this morning about the differences on a photography feature, reportage or news, it came to my mind that a couple of years ago I wrote this little peace.

 Violence overshadows a pacific No Expo march attended by 30,000 people  in Milan  as police and protesters clash


1.Timing.

The major difference between a news story and a feature story is that a news story is time-sensitive. Media outlets want to publish news stories as quickly as possible after an event occurs. Feature stories, however, are not as time-dependent and contain no urgent content. You can shoot one anytime after an event occurs.

2. Style.
The  styles of a news story and a feature are different. In a news story, the emphasis is on content rather than form. News stories go straight to the point, using simple and strong  images to deliver the facts quickly. They usually average between 10-15 images.

Feature stories are often wider and have a story telling structure  and they have a creative flavour. Feature stories can be more than 20  images.

3. Beginning and ending.
A news story and a feature story have different types of beginnings and endings. News stories tell what the news is upfront and then give the most important details in the first few images . The beginning – or lead – of a feature story, on the other hand, doesn’t give the news straightaway. Instead, it hooks readers and keeps them looking at images until the last one.

A news story can end anywhere after you’ve described the most important facts, whereas a feature story ends with readers feeling satisfied that they gained some value and knowledge from viewing your images and the story.


Photography Awards

Photography Awards

Rito della Nivola - Holy Nail

These are the Photography Awards I like / trust and sometimes take part

Healthy lifestyle

After having been unwell for nearly two months, I decided to reduce the intake of medicines and try improve my health with natural products. These are the most important one I have introduced in my diet and the one are giving md betyter results

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey

This drink is great for cleansing the gut, lowering blood pressure and more ener
Honey and apple cider vinegar each have many healing properties and when combined the benefits are even greater. They are rich in potassium which regulates heartbeat and muscle contraction and thus normalises blood pressure. Both ingredients improve digestion, support friendly gut flora, improve energy and stamina and have a gentle cleansing effect.

Fresh apple juice close up shot


This healing drink is super easy to make and it takes little time to prepare when you have the ingredients handy.

Ingredients:

1 – 1.5 tablespoons of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar- Braggs brand is very good (start with 1 teaspoon and increase the dose)

1 – 2 teaspoons of raw honey (start with 1 teaspoon and increase if desired)

A few drops of lemon juice to taste

Dissolve the raw honey in a half a mug of warm water, cover and leave overnight for the enzymes present in raw honey to activate. In the morning add apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to the mug with honey and fill it with hot water. Mix well and have first thing in the morning around 20 minutes before breakfast.

You may need to get used to the taste at first but your taste buds will adjust pretty quickly.

Lowers blood pressure by promoting vasodilation

Improves overall gut health and supports good bacteria

Provides live enzymes that markedly improve digestion

Promotes gentle systemic detoxification daily

Stimulates circulation – effective for cold hands and feet

Boosts energy and decreases fatigue

Slows down ageing by speeding up toxin removal and improving skin health


Golden Milk

‘Turmeric milk’ aka ‘golden milk’ is known for a number of health benefits and so is ‘cinnamon milk’. These 2 ingredients go well with milk adding on to the flavor and health benefits. Turmeric cinnamon milk is prepared by using both these well-known and immunity boosting ingredients and is tasty too. Turmeric cinnamon milk is easy to prepare and here is its recipe along with health benefits:

  • May Help Reduce Inflammation and Joint Pain.

  • May Improve Memory and Brain Function.

  • Curcumin in Turmeric May Improve Mood.

  • May Protect Against Heart Disease.

  • May Lower Blood Sugar Levels.

  • May Reduce Blood pressure

1 cup that I drink at night

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened milk

  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (I do not use it all the time)

  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ginger ( I tend to use it fresh)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric ( I tend to use it fresh)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Dash of nutmeg (Sometime)

  • Dash of black pepper

Energy Drink

The problem with vegetables, is no one wants to eat them! It’s unrealistic to believe that everyone eats enough vegetables. There’s a reason why our parents had to shove them down our throats…

Instead of force-feeding ourselves vegetables, there’s a simple way to eat them, and that’s making homemade vegetable juice.  Vegetable juice gives you all the powerful nutrients of vegetables without the gut-wrenching responsibility of eating plates and plates of broccoli.

The best way to get vegetable juice is to buy a juicer and juice at home.

There are many juicer models available. Really, it doesn’t matter which model you have as long as you get one. Go to your nearest home store and buy whichever one fits your budget.


4 Beets

2 Lemons

3 Celery Sticks

1 Tomato

A Handful of Pomegranate Seeds


I have introduced in my diet

Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

Dry Apricots

Peanuts

Run

At present I run approximately 5k three times a week and I manage to achieve this target using one of the many apps you can find online!



WOW Hungary

Few reasons to visit Hungary!

LOCATIONS:

Galyatető Turistacentrum és Bivak / Tourist Centre and Bivouac at Galyatető

Hortobágyi Halastó Major / Hortobágy Great Fishponds

Csopak, Balaton-part / Shore of Lake Balaton at Csopak

Tihanyi Bencés Apátság / Tihany Benedictine Abbey

Hortobágyi Nemzeti Park / Hortobágy National Park

Lillafüred, Hámori Vízesés / Szinva waterfall in Lillafüred

Hercegkút, Gombos-hegyi Pincesor / Gombos-hegyi Cellars, Hercegkút

Fertőrákos, Fertő tó part / Fertőrákos and the shore of Lake Neusiedl

Balatonföldvár, Balaton part / Shore of Lake Balaton at Balatonföldvár

Sopron Storno Ház / Storno House in Sopron

Fertőd Eszterházi Kastély / Esterháza Palace in Fertőd

Hortobágy Kilenclyukú híd / Nine-holed Bridge at Hortobágy

Lillafüredi Kisvasút állomás / Narrow-gauge train station, Lillafüred

Poroszló, Tisza tavi vízi sétány / Lake Tisza Educational Trail in Poroszló

Balaton-felvidéki tanúhegyek / Buttes of the Balaton Uplands

Hortobágy, Halastavi Kisvasút / Narrow-gauge train at Hortobágy Fishponds

Hollókő / Hollókő

Pécsely Vászoly között félúton / halfway between Pécsey and Vászoly

Lillafüred, Hámori tó / Lake Hámori, Lillafüred

Sopron, belváros / City centre of Sopron

Fonyód, Emberpár szobor / Statue in Fonyód

Poroszló, Tisza tó / Lake Tisza at Poroszló

Kisoroszi szigetcsúcs / Island-tip at Kisoroszi

Mátraszentimre Bagolyirtás / Bagolyirtás at Mátraszentimre

Fertőrákosi Kőfejtő / Quarry of Fertőrákos

Salföldi Major – Balatonfelvidéki Nemzeti Park / Salföld Manor - Balaton Uplands National Park

Debrecen, Békás-tó / Lake Békás, Debrecen

Egri Főszékesegyház / Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Apostle

Szt. István Bazilika / St. Stephen's Basilica

Magyar Bencés Kongregáció Pannonhalmi Főapátság / Pannonhalma Archabbey

Mádi Zsinagóga / Synagogue in Mád

Sárospataki Református Kollégium Tudományos Gyűjteményei Nagykönyvtár / Scientific Collections Of The Reformed College of Sárospatak

Tákos Református Templom / Reformed Church of Tákos

Sarród, Fertő Hanság Nemzeti Park / Fertő-Hanság National Park at Sarród

Nagyhegyes, Tuba Tanya / Tuba Tanya at Nagyhegyes

Debrecen, Ikon Étterem / Ikon Restaurant in Debrecen

Fertőrákos, Ráspi Étterem / Ráspi Restaurant, Fertőrákos

Encs, Anyukám Mondta Étterem / Restaurant Anyukám Mondta, Encs

Lillafüredi Pisztrángtelep és Erdei Halsütöde / Lillafüred Trout Farm and Restaurant

Dobó István Egri Vármúzeum és Vár / Eger Castle and István Dobó Castle Museum

Visegrádi Vár / Visegrád Castle

Boldogkő Vára / Boldogkő Castle

Egri Dobó tér / Dobó Square, Eger

Sopron, Csoszogi Úr Schuszter Műhelye / Mr. Csoszogi's Shoemaker Workshop in Sopron

Sárvár belváros / City centre, Sárvár

Sopron Tűztorony / Fire Tower in Sopron

Balatonfüred, Annagora Aquapark / Annagora Aquapark in Balatonfüred

Sárvár Spirit Hotel / Hotel Spirit, Sárvár

Tarcal, Andrássy Rezidencia / Andrássy Rezidencia in Tarcal

Tapolcai-tavasbarlang / Lake Cave Tapolca

Abádszalók, Tisza-tó / Lake Tisza at Abádszalók

Kis-Balaton, Kányavári-híd / Kányavári Bridge, Lake Balaton Minor

Balatonfüred, Wakeboard Centrum / Wakeboard Centre in Balatonfüred

Badacsony, Laposa Borbirtok / Laposa Winery, Badacsony

Mád, Holdvölgy Borászat és Pincerendszer / Holdvölgy Winery and Cellars

Tarcal, Szt. Teréz Kápolna / St. Teresa Chapel in Tarcal

Fertőrákos és Balf közötti szőlőárusok / Grape vendors between Fertőrákos and Balf

Eger, Gál Tibor Fúzió Pincészet és Borbár / Gál Tibor Winery, Eger

Noszvaj, Lombházak / Treehouses in Noszvaj

Tiszadob, Andrássy Kastély / Andrássy Palace in Tiszadob

Hévízi Tófürdő / Lake Hévíz

Noszvaj, Nomád Hotel és Glamping / Nomad Hotel and Glamping in Noszvaj

Keszthely, Festetics-kastély / Festetics Palace in Keszthely

Balatonfűzfő, Balatoni Bob Szabadidőpark / Balaton Bob Leisure Park, Balatonfűzfő

Gyöngyös, High Tech Sportok Bázisa / High Tech Sports' Centre, Gyöngyös

Budapest, Sziget Fesztivál / Sziget Festival, Budapest

Zamárdi, Balaton Sound / Balaton Sound Festival, Zamárdi

Sopron, Volt Fesztivál / Volt Festival, Sopron

Balatonboglár, Gömbkilátó / Sphere Lookout, Balatonboglár

Balatonfüred, Black Swan Koktélbár / Black Swan Cocktail Bar, Balatonfüred

Dunakanyar / Danube Bend

Why I left Venice for the Countryside!

Sometimes you explore a new place and are surprised to feel so at home. A feeling deep down in your gut that you belong there. And everything just seems to flow together. This is what happened between me and the rural countryside in Hungary, I have not chosen the place but is Orseg that  has finally  chosen me!

IMG_20180817_191036.jpg

 

Although I lived in Venice and Milan not to mention many years in London and Edinburgh, I spent most of my life living in a home with small/medium/big gardens. I have great memories with friends and family… 

Now I live half time in Ljubljana the pretty capital of Slovenia and in Őrségi Nemzeti Park in Hungary

Like me, you may be someone who spent most of your life in the big city and wondered what it would be like to live in the country. Here are my top 3 reasons why I left Venice and found myself at home in the rural countryside.

#1 Too many people, cars and buildings

Living in Venice was giving me a touch of claustrophobia. Walking stuck in a herd of a hundred people on the sidewalk is a nightmare to me.

Some big cities are much more sprawling, but certain things you can’t escape. I lived in London and you’ll drive for an hour and all housing subdivisions look the same, every neighbourhood has the same Big Chain stores, and the streets get jam-packed during rush hour.

Is that how we’re meant to spend our time? I really don’t think so.

Let me tell you, today I live in the country. When I need to drive into town, I pass acres of farms, foxes, deer, sunflowers fields exploding up from the horizon. 

 created by dji camera

 

#2 There’s too much smog in the city

It’s not normal or healthy to be surrounded by smog. This sounds obvious but millions of people choose to do so.

Breathing in dirty, dusty sand is bad enough. But heavy smog from industrial pollution is deadly serious to your health. Respiratory problems, skin conditions, cancer, and other damaging effects are to be expected when you live in a cloud of toxic pollution. Plus, if you are going to spend money to live somewhere – shouldn’t it be pleasing to the eyes?

I found Venice extremely polluted and I could not stay without using my inhalers at least twice a day

And this isn’t a static condition. It’s something that gets worse every single day. 

#3 Where are people going to wish they lived in 5-10 years?

After having lived in Venice for a few years, I greatly appreciate the quiet country life. When people come to visit, you can see the stress melting off them. 

I am more creative, I can think more freely and see the world and what is around me in a better more relaxed way, I am not upset all the time, I love it!

I tend to meet more real people with real problems, Social media is less important but stopping and having a coffee or a Palinka is very much appreciated. You may cue in a small grocery store for 20 min because of chats but quality of life is more relaxed, there is a different perception of time. I appreciate more what I have got and what I really need, I am much more closer to a minimalistic way of life... and I am experimenting again the  100 thing you posses or rule 333. There is no luxury, dress code, fashion, etc you are considered for what you really are and what you do and not for how you "appear".

For these reasons and more, I feel that areas like this will be among the most hotly contested within the next decade. Things are getting weird quick in the big cities. People are getting fed up and they want out.  

Claim a spot while you can!

 

Why I freely share some images on @Unsplash

“Beauty has always been free. It came in the box with sunlight and eyeballs. It was granted to us upon birth as we first laid eyes upon our beautiful mothers and then mother earth. For those of us with extreme empathy and a wide-eyed approach to seeing the world, finding the beautiful all around us and capturing it is a deep and glorious honor. Yes, you can have that image at the top for free — perhaps not because it has no value, but because I simply want you to see what I can see. "

    
The above sentence by Swiss photographer  Samuel Zeller reassumes  in few short sentences the main reason why I do love making some of my images free on @Unsplash.

I have a very limited number of free images probably less than 30 but is something that I feel very passionate about it I love to give something back, share what i see for free plus there are few other practical reasons:

 

1) I am constantly inspired by the contents and images of @unsplash.  Here the spotlight being on the pictures, they have the space they need. Between a fraction of a mobile screen, and a full screen, it’s obvious which is going to better display and enhance the content.

If  you have ever visited Unsplash, you’ll agree  with me that the feeds are filled with amazing pictures. Pictures that you can take inspiration and learn from. 

I am also learning a lot on what people and companies are looking for. Here is not  a matter of clicking to give a Like but is what they download and use. So it is good to perfect my craft and develop my skills as far as possible.

2) I started to receive small monetary donations from users showing their appreciation for letting them use my work. They didn’t have to do that.  At the same way I do not need to give my photos away for free. But we both did. I also started to receive bookings and made partnerships that I would have not found in normal and traditional way or with my  regular contacts, agents and channels. Due to some of the images I have on Unsplash, I got commercial jobs, to take pictures with my drone, work for hotels, touristic resorts, not to mention I got bookings for workshops and photo walks. In other words, I made much more money giving free these images than if I would have ever sold them, and that is for sure!

3) The culture of the new is the major problem with photography online on social media as curator and photographer Andy Adams explain « It’s always about the new which inevitably means the not new drops off our radars way sooner that it should »

Social network like Twitter, Facebook  and Instagram are for sure a problem for photographers due to this particular reason. They are good for commercial brands because they can afford to hire social media managers and post regularly.

The images I share for free  on Unsplash don’t lose value, there is no difference at all between a year old shot and a week old shot. Their value are not based on time. When I do not post new images on Unsplash, even for  a month or more I still get a lot of downloads, likes and views.....EVERY day. So I get promoted and is  a free advertising.  Try not posting on Instagram for a month… ;-)

 

How to See the 2018 Shooting starts or Perseid Meteor Shower

Anticipation is quite high for this year’s shooting stars, which peaks over a moonless weekend with projected rates of 90 to 120 meteors an hour.

photo-1523474635051-1026672b4805.jpg

 

Sky-watchers around the world are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Perseid meteor shower, which will be at its best from August 12 to 13. Often one of the most impressive spectacles of its kind, the Perseid shower should be especially vivid this year because the sky will be moonless and dark during the peak.

The Perseids are actually visible from July 17 to August 24, although you’ll see only a few meteors an hour throughout most of that time period. The sky show spikes on the peak dates, with an expected average of 90 shooting stars an hour.

If you have clear skies, this deep darkness should deliver a great performance on the evening of August 12, with rates of up to 120 shootings stars an hour visible from countryside locales. Observers in eastern North America, Europe, and the Middle East should get the best seats for this meteor bonanza since the exact peak is expected to occur at 9 p.m. ET (01:00 UT).

While you can start hunting for Perseids as soon as it gets dark, the best viewing may be after local midnight and into the predawn hours of the 13th, when the skies will be at their darkest and your part of the globe will face the incoming meteor cloud. (See pictures of the Perseid meteor shower.)

Meteors will be visible even under bright suburban skies, but you can expect to see only a quarter to half as many shooting stars. No matter where you are, allow about half an hour for your eyes to adjust to the darkness before you start sky-watching in earnest.

hungary-1516261169345.jpg


The Perseids grace our skies when Earth ploughs through a cloud of fragments left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle, which last flew near the sun back in 1992. As the comet zooms in from the outer reaches of the solar system, its ices vaporize, and it releases debris ranging in size from sand grains to boulders. The particles get spread along the comet’s orbital path in such a way that Earth crosses the debris field around mid-August every year.


When that happens, the comet pieces slam into our atmosphere at speeds of around a hundred thousand miles an hour, causing the meteors to burn up and produce the brilliant streaks across the sky that we affectionately call shooting stars. (Here’s how scientists think we can create artificial meteor showers.)

Meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, the mythical hero, which will rise after local midnight in the northeastern sky.

Despite their Greek namesake, the earliest known record of the Perseids appears in ancient Chinese texts, which mention awe-inspiring views of over a hundred meteors an hour as far back as A.D. 36.

Reported sightings continued throughout the centuries in many other cultures. In medieval Europe, devout Catholics referred to the phenomenon as the “tears of St. Lawrence,” since the yearly display coincided with the anniversary of the death of Lawrence the martyr. But astronomers didn’t recognize the link between the sky show and comets until the late 1800s.


Souvenir Snapshot1.  

What do you need.....

•    DSLR body
•    All of your batteries (and spares batteries; if you have an extended grip that holds AAs, bring it)
•    Fast wide-angle prime or zoom lens (f2.8 or faster) with UV or skylight filter attached
•    Heavy duty tripod
•    Cable release or intervalometer (see below)
•    A really comfortable outdoor reclining chair
•    A good flashlight
•    Lens-cleaning supplies

Why do I suggest a wide-angle lens and not a telephoto lens? Probability. The more sky you cover, the greater the likelihood of capturing a shooting star.  You can cover twice as much sky with a 24 or 28mm lens than you can with a 50mm lens and the difference gets more dramatic the longer the lens gets. You may get lucky and pick just the right spot with a telephoto lens, but your odds of getting your perfect shot increase tremendously as you cover a greater area of sky.

The intervalometer is one item on the equipment list that you might not be familiar with. Think of it as a cable release on steroids. With a cable release, you’re shooting one frame at a time. With the intervalometer, you can program the length of the exposure, and the delay between shots. And you can program the number of frames you want to shoot. If you look on Ebay you can get a nice intervalometer for $30 or less.

1.  Open and level the tripod.
2.    Mount your camera and estimate where the best position and angle is for shooting.
3.    An app for your smartphone called “Starglobe” is invaluable at finding the location of constellations in the night sky.
4.    Set the shutter speed on “B” or Bulb.
5.    Set your lenses focus control switch to “MANUAL” this will keep it from searching for infinity in the dark.
6.    Set the aperture to wide open.
7.    Attach your cable release or Intervalometer.
8.    Set the focus to INFINITY by manually aligning the infinity mark on the lens with the focal length point on the barrel you are using.
9.    Set the ISO to either 800 or 1600 to start (experiment from there).
10.    If your camera has mirror lock-up, use it (this will reduce vibration caused by the mirror).
11.    Verify your exposure settings (I shoot at 30 seconds to avoid star movement and spiraling).
12.    Press the start or release button.
13.    Check your first frame for focus by zooming in on the LCD display screen and adjust if necessary.

The Captive Stork (A Rab Gólya)

Since living in the Hungarian countryside I grew very passionate of storks.

Storks do return to their carefully built nests year after year, They bring life to any village!

 BRODSKI VAROS, CROATIA - JUNE 20:  Malena keeps an eye on her  stork chicks on June 20, 2016 in Brodski Varos, Croatia. Stjepan Voki� has been taking care of Malena for 22 years, after an Italian hunter broke her wing and she hasn't flown since. Storks Malena and Klepetan have remained a couple for over 20 years, each spring Klepetan migrates 13,000 kilometers alone to be with Malena.  (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

 

I recently discovered a great ballad by Hungarian author János Arany titled A Rab Gólya "The Captive Stork,” written in 1847.

By the way  he was a Hungarian journalist, writer, poet, and translator. He is often said to be the "Shakespeare of ballads" – he wrote more than 102 ballads been translated into over 50 languages, as well as the Toldi trilogy, to mention his most famous works. 

The poem or ballad describes a lonely captive stork standing in the middle of a small plot who would love to be free and  fly, all the way to the seas, but can’t because its wings have been chopped.

Árva gólya áll magában
Egy teleknek a lábjában,
Felrepűlne, messze szállna,
Messze messze,
Tengerekre,
Csakhogy el van metszve szárnya.

Tűnődik, féllábon állván,
El-elúnja egyik lábán,
Váltogatja, cserélgeti,
Abban áll a
Múlatsága,
Ha beléun, újrakezdi.

The stork at one point tucks its head under its wing because it is too painful to look at other “free storks flying to a better homeland.” But the stork waits. Perhaps one day “it will fly into the sky where the blue of freedom reigns.” and "Waiting, waiting, always waiting", the end, however, the “lonely stork" realizes that even if its wings grow out, wicked people will cut them once again.

The original Hungarian can be found online. I was unable to find a proper English version I only found this one

There is a great song from Arany ballad and is  by Margaret Island the Budapest band and the great voice of singer Lábas Viki create a magic atmosphere 

Clearly, the stork has a special meaning for Hungarians.

Klepetan Returns Home as Croatia’s Famous Love Story Continues

 

Klepetan and Malena’s story has touched many hearts around the world 

The remarkable love story of two long-legged birds from eastern Croatia, which has gone on for the last 16 years, continues as Klepetan arrived back home on Thursday at around 10:30 am.

Embed from Getty Images

 

The two storks made their nest on a chimney in Brodski Varos in eastern Croatia more than two decades ago. The pair would fly together until Italian poachers injured Malena’s wing which left her flying capabilities restricted.

With storks being a migrating bird, this caused a problem. Every winter for the last 16 years Klepetan would leave Croatia and make his way more than 13,000 km to the warmer climates of Africa.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Without fail, however, Klepetan has always managed somehow to negotiate his return to Croatia in the spring when the weather warms up to be reunited with Malena.

However when Klepetan failed to turn up by the end of March last year the nation began to worry. He did return though two weeks late keeping the love story alive.

“It is true, Klepetan has been late 3-4 days than when he was younger. The journey is long, more than 13,000 km. Last year he was 2-3 weeks late but nobody is happier than Malena and I when he arrives,” Stjepan Vokic, who has taken care of the birds in Brodski Varos for over a decade, told 24sata.

The famous love story continues.

Vero the new app, why and how to use it

Vero, a photo-sharing app that launched in 2015, is the latest app to benefit from ongoing frustration with Facebook and Instagram's hated algorithm not to mention recent uselessness of Twitter .

LAUNCH.jpg

A week ago, Vero was ranked so low it didn't even appear in the App Store's top 1,00 apps; today it's the most popular app both on the App Store and Google Play Store. It's gotten so popular that the app's servers have been overloaded, with many users unable to post or even sign up for an account. 

The creators and owner of the app are very clear and upfront it will be a pay as you go app. I like the idea and I never believed in freebies and if is free is too good to be true.

I like as well the concept no algorithms no advertising. In exchange of a fee?? Why not!

Screen-Shot-2018-02-27-at-10.51.10-AM-680x457.png

Here is a summary of the manifesto: Vero is unhappy with the way social media has become about algorithms and ads, and they’re trying to create a more “natural” way of sharing things. In practice, that means no ads, ever (the service will be funded in part by an annual subscription model they’ll introduce soon, and in part by Vero receiving a commission on sales made through the platform).

It also means users have more control over who sees their posts: the news feed is chronological rather than thrown together by an algorithm, and users decide whether each post they make will be broadcast to close friends only, friends only, friends and acquaintances, or anyone who chooses to follow them.

In its manifesto, Vero said it does not incorporate advertising into its revenue model, but will instead begin charging users for a subscription after 1 million free users have joined the service.

“As a subscription-based service, our users are our customers, not the product we sell to advertisers.”

Vero’s been variously described as “the new Facebook” and “the new Instagram”, but in reality, it’s actually more like a combination of both

It’s similar to Facebook in that you can have friends as well as followers, divided into acquaintances, friends and close friends.  You can use it to chat with people, and you can post a range of content like links, text posts, photos, film recommendations etc.  It’s similar to Instagram in that you can post nice looking photos. There are no stories, it is good for me...I never used them anyway.

Arguably, its biggest selling point is that it has a chronological feed, allowing users to see everything. Companies can’t pay to boost posts because there is no algorithm that highlights certain posts over others, meaning – provided you scroll far enough down – you won’t miss any of your friends’ images.

Another interesting feature is the fact that, unlike Instagram, users aren’t required to crop their images: full-sized photos can be uploaded and displayed in their original ratio.

This business model stands in stark contrast to other apps like Facebook, which has become very advertising heavy. Without money from advertising, Vero has admitted it will eventually charge users to sign up for the app, however, the first million users will receive free access for life.

I like very much the modern design the easiness in creating an account and in how to use it.

Of course, at the moment it is a bit of an empty place...but was exactly the same on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! I do not mind to try a new medium in the hope it will work

 

I am on vero as marco secchi

I am on vero as marco secchi

How to use Vero:

Like most social media apps, you first have to sign up with your phone number and email address after you get Vero. By entering your phone number, you can let Vero access your contacts to see which friends are also on the app. You can also invite your contacts to make a Vero account. This step is also skippable, and you can connect with friends later.

Once you’re all signed up, you officially have a Vero account. Now you can add a bio and avatar to your profile page.


Vero will then show you its “Featured Content” page. Similar to Instagram’s Explore page, it’s where you can check out posts from verified Vero users.


When you tap “Done” in the upper right-hand corner, you’re brought to the main page — your Vero feed. The app will then direct you to share your first post.


Here is where the world opens up. You can post a myriad of different things to your Vero feed. Search for music (they literally have it all), movies (seriously, they have every movie ever), books (yeah, all the books), places, links, and finally photos and videos.

Still kind of afraid of the great beyond, we decided to keep things simple with a photo post.


The Vero photo editing process is almost identical to Instagram’s. Your filters and simple editing tools are cleanly displayed below your photo. You’ll still be able to pre-edit in another app and then upload from your library, too, if you like to have a bit more variety in your editing options.


Tap “Done,” add a caption, tag a location if you like, and then choose who’s able to see your post. When adding friends and followers in Vero, you’re able to categorize them into “close friends,” “friends,” and “acquaintances,” thus letting you control how far you want each post to reach.

 

 

My Fav Settings for Fujifilm XT2

I love my Fujifilm XT2 and these are the settings I tend to use most

I Shoot RAW + Fine JPG - set to M (12Mp) size so I get a full 24Mp RAW plus a super clean super sharp 12Mp JPG which is good enough a lot of the time for event work

To avoid Haloing in the JPGs I have sharpness to Minus 2 .... Noise reduction to Minus 3 seems to be a good balance between detail and leathery low NR artifacts - using the 12Mp size on these settings is superb and reminds me of the old Bayer 12Mp X100 and its almost Perfect ultrasharp JPG engine , if I need to crop or more rez, I`ve got the RAW..

I set boost to ON

Smallest single AF point with the full number of points available set in the menus

Choose Film sim depending on shoot / subject ..

For portraits I love the look of Astia with DR200 and +1EV.  It brings up the mid tones and preserves the highlights.