Motovun & Rovinj

Yesterday, I went on my first, all day, school trip with the 8th graders. We went to Istria, to visit towns Motovun and Rovinj. Now, my main job was looking after the pupils but, because they are good kids, I did manage to take a photo or two, for myself. The only downside of the whole trip was the rain, following us from the very start. But, we did survive and kinda got accustomed to, as the time passed by.

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We visited both the coast and inland. Rovinj is a coastal town I had never been to and yesterday was the first time going there. I knew it was beautiful but, you really have to visit, to fully understand why. The whole town has that Venetian historic vibe even though it is a Croatian city. The old, historic part of the town is build upon a peninsula and the buildings literally rise from the water. I really enjoyed this cute, narrow, cobbled streets with little alley ways crossing path every few meters. Every mediterranean town has them. And, yes, I had to find a red bike to completely loose my mind and shoot from every angle. Rovinj was the second (and last) town we visited and the rain had somewhat stopped.

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Now, I have been to medieval Motovun once already, in 2012. The first time I wasn’t really impressed by it. Mainly because I didn’t have enough time to roam around. This time, it was windy and rainy. But, I got to experience Motovun like never before, under different weather conditions. I must say, even though it was really challenging, I enjoyed the rainy clouds and shooting the landscape from that high up. Motovun is set on a 277 meter high hill. Maybe, next time, I got to experience every weather change there as I plan to stay for a few days. And, again, I didn’t have to opportunity to shoot the town from a distance. God bless.

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Sudden Travel Decisions

It seems like every Sunday in the last couple of weeks has been a travel Sunday. Yesterday, the three of us were hanging out at my friend’s house and, all of sudden, we decided to take a small road trip. It’s one of those moments when everything feels right to go on an adventure. So we did. For the next 6 hours we were driving east and exploring Posavina (one of Croatia’s regions). Not to mention making multiple stops to take a bazillion of photos. Posavina is still a fairly untouched region, full of countryside vibes and unspoiled nature. There are herds of sheep, horses and cows all around. Also, there are a bunch of cute little fishing spots with wooden docks.

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One of the first stops we did was to take a photo of this beautiful herd of horses near the small village called Svinjicko. The horses weren’t scared of us at all. We especially loved the little foal, goofing around and kicking every horse on its radar.

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After that, we went to visit Ethno Village Stara Lonja, in Lonja. It is run by two brothers who made us feel most welcomed. If you’re interest in rural tourism, I would highly suggest booking a trip there. The area is packed with traditional wooden houses and domestic (and wild) animals. Not to mention being situated in the heart of Lonjsko polje, one of Croatia’s nature parks.

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On our way home, we visited Muzilovcica and Suvoj, the two places along the bank of river Sava filled with the mentioned fishing spots and little wooden docks. Also, we bumped into a herd of sheep and goats accompanied by their shepherd. After that, we made one last stop which was a fast food stand in Sisak. Kinda hungry we were. Hehe. Anyway, it was such a beautiful and fulfilling day. We need more of such traveling rash decisions in our lives, for sure. God bless.

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One Sunny Sunday

That Sunday was yesterday. I had a really great time with my family as we visited the cutest little farm/restaurant near Petrinja called Korablja Tišinić. From the moment I entered the premises, I knew I was gonna roam around with my camera. And, so it was. I was basically balancing between the iPhone and my Nikon. As you can see, almost all of the animals are domesticated and walk around without being scared of humans which was a super delightful photo op. The only thing I didn’t like, was the time of the day. It was under a direct afternoon light so I had to shoot against the light to squeeze out some contrast. Of course, the deer were turning their backs on me. Hehe. Nevertheless, it has a story, I guess.

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Beside the lovely deer family, there was a variety of other, both domestic and wild animals. I distinctly remember one hilarious rooster just going back and forth around the estate. The third time I saw it there was nothing else to do but to laugh. I wish I had taken a photo of it. Also, the place is packed with goats, rabbits, ponies, hens, dogs, … Not to mention the beautiful surrounding, mostly forest all around with trails. Haha, the shot bellow, with all the cute animals in the frame reminds me so much of the Animal Farm novel by George Orwell. I mean, it’s so random that it’s amazing. I just can not look at it and not make a smiley face.  We are most definitely coming back again. Soon.

I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged in quite a while. I just wasn’t right there with my inspiration and haven’t had much photo opportunities, lately. I hope to finally blog more, as I used to. Man, I say that every time. God bless.

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Simplicity

I’m not sure if I could tell when was the last time I did an update, here. Well, at least not without looking at the lastest post. Today, I spent an entire day with my family, it was a Sunday as it’s supposed to be. Family, friends and no work. It was a beautiful, sunny (yet cold) Sunday. Some of you might remember my sister (first cousin) who I was taking photos of all the time, like, 5-9 years ago. Then, I stopped. Somehow, I didn’t want to blast her photos all over Internet. She is almost 15 now and grown into a beautiful young woman. I couldn’t resist but to take a few snaps, as the light was beautiful and the hair wreath was a perfect touch. Young people sport everything so much better.

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Along with the Photoshop CS6, I purchased VSCO Film (pack 1) and have been playing with it ever since. I really love the filmy effect it gives. I know the packs are the new it thing among digital photographers these days but, I genuinely like them, not just because everyone is using it. I remember, back in the 2006/7., my processing work was so crazy blown out. Not to mention fake blurs, hyper contrasts, textures, over saturation, … You name it, I’ve done it. I’m not saying these are all bad processing ways to go but I really was misusing them. I am glad my post processing has become more clean and simple. Over the years, thankfully, I think I have finally found my processing niche. Don’t get me wrong, even the best presets may look terrible, including the VSCO ones, if you use them incorrectly. Haha, I hope I’m using them right. Please, comment bellow what were your worst processing mistakes. Let’s share a laugh together as mine were pretty serious, hehe.  See you later and God bless.

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The new spring

Even though this was taken last Spring, I found it suiting for what I’m about to write. I have finally purchased my very own Photoshop CS6 licence (lifetime, not Creative Cloud). So what, you probably think. But, I’ve been waiting to make this step for 6 years as I didn’t want to use illegal copy. Basically, that’s not how I roll when it comes to the movies, editing programs and so on.  I’m so happy as I can finally do the editing my way.  For six years, I was seriously limited with what I could do, using programs I was never satisfied with. Except for when I used PS trials of each and every new edition. Imagine converting every .nef raw file to .dng just so you could edit it. Ah. Never, ever.

Now, I really feel motivated as I finally have all the predispositions for happy editing. I know that’s not the essence of photography rather good frames, light and subjects. But, being a digital shooter, processing kinda goes with the territory and Photoshop is something that gets me the furthest in my expression. I really tried all kinds of programs; Gimp, Ps Elements, DxO, Lightroom, that Nikon program I always forget the name of, Corel, … and none,  I honestly claim, none is a match for Photoshop. They are all good, don’t get me wrong but, for me, they would only get me so far. I know awesome photographers who would choose Lightroom over Photoshop anyday. They might not understand my PS appreciation. Hehe. In the end, it’s the final result that matters, just different weapons of choice.

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Sometime ago, I blogged about being lost in this whole art; no inspiration, no motives, no photography. And, I really was in that place. I would catch myself using the iPhone more than my DSLR. Tragic, ain’t it? I mean, photography world tragic. Then, I started to think about where my life would be if I didn’t discover photography all those years ago. For the last 8 years, photography has really been God’s gift to me. If I didn’t say YES to it, I wouldn’t have met some of my dearest friends who I can’t imagine my life anymore without. Not just that. When I shoot, I’m genuinely happy. But, again, it’s never just that. Many opportunities evolved out of my passion for photography such as the contract with Getty Images providing a somewhat steady income every month. Nothing major but, it did save my student budget quite a few times. It also gave me the opportunity to serve God, in the parish life but, we don’t wanna boast about that, do we? Hehe.

I really feel enthusiastic for the future projects even though my main and the most important project is living a life and documenting it as I go. Thank you all for the super sportive comments on my last pity party post. I really loved all your thoughts and advice. Thank you, God bless.