Photo (and Poetry) Blog

Haiku Tuesday: The Lark


Serenity


We took rest on a mountain pass

Even above the soaring lark.


by Basho

Translation by Asataro Miyamori


Throwback Thursday: Lost In Translation


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Hi there! For today’s TBT we’re going back in time exactly one year - to Tokyo in September 2015. 

One thing that I love about travelling is to experience new things, imerse myself in a new culture, and eventually see the world with new eyes. The more ”exotic” (different) the country, the better; and a  different alphabet is a bonus. It always makes me wonder about what I see around me.

I shot the image above in the Tokyo underground, and to this day I’m still trying to figure out what this cute doggie is advertising. Going back to school? A new, revolutionary, pet book? How to train your dog? Or something completely unrelated, say a telecom service? Japanese are pretty good at ”cutifying” everyday stuff, so who knows? Cute dog anyway, which is what attracted my attention in the first place :-).


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What about this one? It looks like some kind of service. Your guess is as good as mine. Again, pretty cute, huh?


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I LOVE browsing through magazines and newspapers when I’m abroad. I’m fascinated by the ones with no pictures on the cover, as there’s really no clue to what they are about. 


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Hey, this is one magazine I can ”read" ha, ha!


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And then the shops, oh my! And the vending machines that are everywhere ...


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These looks like soft drinks. But as figuring out which  is plain and which is sparkling, or what flavor it is - I go by trial and error. Once I identified the right bottle, I’d take a picture with my phone and then check it when it’s time for a new drink again. Here, free tips! You’re welcome!


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I love these menus you can see in the streets, with pictures of the various courses or simply dummies (they’re made of plast, not real food) - just point to what you want to have and smile :-). Easy-peasy!


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This one is easy - don’t climb on the bridge rail. Very Japanese-cute. I wonder what it says though, in so many words … don’t climb the rail, it’s dangerous? You are going to be fined? Go to prison? No karaoke for three months?


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And what about this one in the Tokyo main railway station? So self-explanatory and cute … notice the one tear on the little girl’s cheek?


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Wow, a lot of text for ”No smoking”!


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Some street variations on the ”No smoking”-theme. Japanese don’t smoke in the streets, i.e. when walking about, or eat - that’s considered very bad taste. If you see someone doing that. you can bet it’s a foreigner.


I’m preparing some more ”real” posts on Japan, stay tuned and have a great day! Looking forward to the week-end :-)? One more sleep (as the Aussie say), and we’re there!!


Haiku Tuesday: A Quiet Abode

In The Garden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com



My horse ambles clop-clop across the summer moor;

I find myself in a picture.


by Basho

Translation by Asataro Miyamori


Sneak Peek Millesgården


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Hi there! How’s your Monday? I’m always sooo slow on Mondays, it does take me some time to gather steam for the week. So no long post today, just a few photos from Millesgården - more to come into a separate post.


Have a great week!


A Week-End in Stockholm

Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


It’s a rainy Sunday here and what greater way to spend a dull Sunday than looking back at a lovely summer trip? We spent a week-end in Stockholm at the end of July, mainly to go to two exhibitions, Yayoi Kusama at the Moderna Museum (here’s my blog post on it), and Josef Frank Patterns - Furniture - Painting at Millesgården (I’ll tell you all about this in a separate post). 


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


The weather was fabulous. With Sweden it’s always a gamble when it comes to weather, so end of July could be awesome. Or not. We were lucky this time, the sun shone all days and the temperature was perfect for a stroll, not too hot and not too chilly.

We landed in Stockholm late afternoon and immediately went for a walk. I hadn’t taken the camera wiht me as I didn’t want to ”work”, just enjoy the nice weather and being back in Stockholm. I couldn’t hold myself, of course, so I took a lot of photos with my cell phone in the end (sorry about that). It was just THE perfect summer evening in Stockholm, what with golden light, no wind, lots and lots of water and boats, and people enjoying the week-end.


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Typical Swedish: Dala horses; they make very popular souvenirs.


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Typical Swedish: people sitting anywhere and enjoying the fine weather. If you’ve spent one (long, dark) winter in Sweden, you’d do the same, take my word for it. Pictured above - the Royal Theater.


Grand Hotel Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Grand Hotel Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Grand Hotel Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


We’ve stayed at the Grand HotelWe usually stay at a LHW hotel when travelling, and Grand Hotel is the only hotel in Sweden that is part of LHW (Leading Hotels Of The World). 

The LHW membership costs around 150 US dollars per year, and it’s well worth it if you’re traveling a lot. Benefits include for instance free breakfast (which is usually very expensive), free newspaper of choice, and a small gift.

We were a bit disappointed with the service this time, considering this is five stars hotel and a LHW member. We actually had to call LHW customer service upon arrival. Unfortunately nothing happened as LHW couldn’t get hold of management when they called the hotel (!). We didn’t get an apology from the hotel either. 


Grand Hotel Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Grand Hotel Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Anyway, the hotel is very fine otherwise, and it has a great location, just across the royal palace. The images above are shot from the Cadier Bar - with the palace in the background. The bar is perfect for a drink with friendsa Friday evening, or an afternoon tea (their afternoon tea is very good).


Grand Hotel Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


One afternoon we had vanilla ice cream with warm cloudberries which is an yummy Swedish dessert. This was well worth the price (190 SEK).


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm is simply breathtaking in summer, and I didn’t realized how mcuh I missed it. We haven’t been back in Sweden a lot, but preferred travelling in Switzerland and central Europe - to take advantage of the location so to speak. It’s much easier to travel from here than from Stockholm.


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


An usual sight when we lived in Stockholm: the Royal Palace, the archipelago traffic boats and the sighseeing boats. Besides the exhibitions, we didn’t do too much, but simply enjoyed strolling through the city and revisiting favorite spots.


Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Swedes taking advantage of the fine summer weather in Kungsträdgården. Including us :-).


Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, Sweden by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


I spent a ridiculous amount of time watching the kids chasing soap bubbles in Kungsträdgården. Pure joy. It was a nice adieu to Stockholm and Sweden. We’ll be back!


Black and White Abstract Photography

B&W Abstract Photography by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Happy Saturday! I hope you have a good week-end. We’ve started the day with running some errands … and this is where the magic happened! 

We went in the local Nespresso shop to buy some coffee, and there I found this fabulous lamp. I knew right away this would make a perfect black & white abstract photo. I only had my cell phone with me so I’m pretty pleased with how the final image turned out.


B&W Abstract Photography by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com (1)


This is the lamp - fabulous, isn’t it? Now I’m browsing the internet after something similar.


In the Woods Abstract B&W Photo by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


The image I shot in the woods earlier, now in black & white. I can’t decide which one I like best. What about you? Color or B&W?


Friday Favorites


Fall Colors by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Hi there! I can’t believe it’s Friday again. How has your week been? 

Monday was a holiday in our canton (Zurich) so I had a short week, yay! Spent the day relaxing - managed to go out for a walk (gorgeous weather!) and take a few photos, and then parked myself on the couch with Minette (the tabby) and Star Trek (The Next Generation). OK, OK, and some chocolate (which is, as you surely know, required when watching your favorite show). 


In case you were wondering, all the cantons in Switzerland have their own holidays. Most of them are common to the whole country, such as Christmas or the National Day August 1st. But then there are some days that are holidays in one canton, but not in another. So my husband, who is not working in canton Zurich as I do (holiday) but Schaffhausen (ordinary day), had to work on Monday. Tough luck. Schaffhausen has actually the fewest holidays in the whole Switzerland.


Anyway, now that you’re updated on Swiss holidays, here are my favorite things found on the web this week.


Tasty food for Dixy on Behance


Favorite IllustrationTasty food for Dixy by Catzwolf Integrated on Behance. You can see this and other lovely illustrations on Catzwolf’s page on Behance.


Red Smile by Natalia Nazarova


Favorite Wildlife Shot: Red Smile by Natalia Nazarova. How cute isn’t this fox? This must brighten your Friday! You can see more of Natalia Nazarova’s wildlife photography on her 500PX gallery.


Amazing New Balloon Sculptures of Animals and Insects by Masayoshi Matsumoto   Colossal   Bloglovin’


Favorite Balloon Art: this orange peacock by Japanese artist Masayoshi  Matsumoto. So cute! You can see more of his balloon sculptures in his Facebook gallery.


Stone Fruits with Honey-Drizzled Soft Cheeses and Toasted Almonds Recipe   Martha Stewart


Favorite Breakfast: this light cheese-and-fruit course from Martha Stewart! So yummy and easy! 

And yes, I used to watch Marta Stewart too, complete with cat and chocolate :-). Got some of her books too. I know, nerd level … anyway, that was all for today, folks! Have a great week-end!


Abstract Photography

In the Woods Abstract Photo by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Something that I love is abstract photography. I do have a few photos in my portfolio, but I have to admit I don’t do a lot of these shots even if I actually enjoy it. I love the one above - it looks like a star trail but it’s not! Continue reading if you’re curious :-).


In the Woods Abstract Photo by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Can you guess what I did? It’s very easy, really. Just move the camera when pressing the shutter. Ta da! Of course it’s not that easy, but some practice will get you a long way. I shot these photos in the woods behind our house (yes, it does seem we always make sure to live close to woods, very pleasant of course, and very practical for nature photography that I love!). I shot A LOT of photos to be able to come up with a few that look nice. If you’re interested, I could create a tutorial maybe?


In the Woods Abstract Photo by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


All photos taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. In the woods behind our house :-).


Three Is A Magic Number

Rose Garden, Winterthur by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Rose Garden, Winterthur by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Rose Garden, Winterthur by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


I can’t get enough of roses and golden light … these were shot in the Rose Garden in Winterthur, Switzerland with Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.


Haiku Tuesday: The Summer Moor

Summer Flowers Field by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


My horse ambles clop-clop across the summer moor;

I find myself in a picture.



by Basho

Translation by Asataro Miyamori


First Signs of Fall ...

First Signs of Fall by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


First Signs of Fall by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


First Signs of Fall by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


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First Signs of Fall by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


All photos taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.


Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Hi there! I can’t believe it’s Friday again, this week has passed by at an incredible speed. I guess time flies when you’re having fun :-). Let’s have a look at my favorite things I found on the big internet, shall we?



Favorite Artist 1: Queen B - of course! Always inspiring, isn’t she? She gave her fans a nice present on her birthday September 4th - she uploaded the video of her song Hold Up (from her Lemonade album) on YouTube. The video was available earlier only on Tidal, the platform co-owned by her husband Jay-Z. How cool is that?


Eleonor Boström


Favorite Artist 2: the Swedish ceramic artist Eleanor Boström http://eleonorbostrom.se, specialsed in sculptures with function. How cute isn’t this haberdashery dog?


Candy Pink Cat Planter  Cat Pottery  Cat Face Plant Pot


Favorite Planter: this cat planter from Design Forest http://www.designforest.co.uk


Did you find anything you like? Have a great week-end!


Throwback Thursday: On the Shortness of Life

As I was browsing through older posts to find something for Throwback Thursday, I stumbled upon a post that feels as relevant today as last year, about life and stress, and wise use of the limited time we all have on Earth. I admit it gave me a push back on track, I really needed it. What about you? Do you wish you had more time, or are you a wizard and make the most out of your time?


Dark pine tree forest


Do you feel stressed? Are you always on the run? Do you think there's never enough hours in the day? If yes - know you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I once asked a fried how she was, and she said: ”Coping”. We’re coping. We’re coping, and mistaking doing for being. We’re dwelling in the past, or making plans for the future - forgetting the present.



If you think this is a product of modern civilization, think again. Human nature is human nature. Not much has changed in the past two thousands years. We may live more comfortably than cave men, but deep down, we’re all the same.



It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lof of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not-supplied but wasteful of it … Life is long if you know how to use it.


Do you know who wrote that? Seneca, the Roman philosopher in his two thousands-year old On the Shortness of Life”.



He continues:


Nobody works out the value of time: men use it lavishly as if it costs nothing … We have to be more careful in presenning what will cease at an unknown point.


(…)


No one will bring back the years; no one will restore you to yourself. Life will follow the path it began to take, and will neither reverse nor check its course. It will cause no commotion to remind you of its swiftness, but glide on quitely. It will not lenghten itself for a king’s command or a people’s favor. As is started out on its first day, so it will run on, nowhere pausing or turning aside. What will be the outcome? You have been preoccupied while life hastens on. Meanwhile death will arrive, and you have no choice in making yourself available for that.


(…)


Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.


So - what are you waiting for? Go chase your dreams, and do whatever you have put off for years, waiting for the right time, right place, enough money, enough time … go live your dream now!


Stockholm Snapshots

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We’ve been away to Vienna for a family celebration last week thus my Stockholm post got delayed. 


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I’m working on it, no worries! For now I’m posting a few snapshots from that trip. More to come soon!


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A few photos from a magic afternoon in Kungsträdsgården.


Haiku Tuesday: In Imitation of Kaku’s Haiku on Knotgrass and a Firefly

Japanese Maple Leaves by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


Ah! I take my breakfast,

Viewing morning glories.


by Basho


Translation by Asataro Miyamori


By all these lovely tokens ...


Autumn by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


By all these lovely tokens

September days are here,

With summer’s best of weather

And autumn’s best of cheer.


Helen Hunt Jackson (1830 - 1885)


Fall Colors by Mihaela Limberea www.limberea.com


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