Tuesday, December 29, 2009

sunset dip

sunset dip

the sunset on our very last day on Lanzarote was not as spectacular as the others - there were practically no clouds. but we happened to be in the right place to catch the palm trees against the glow. the bathing couple was a definite bonus. It looked very romantic, although I must say, it probably wasn't all the warm at this time of the evening. on the other hand, maybe those guys were scandinavians, used to jumping into ice-cold lakes.

Lanzarote seemed to be quite popular with northern eauropeans. and I can't blame them, when we came back to just-above-freezing-point UK, I couldn't help thinking "we should have stayed there". It must feel a lot worse coming to below-freezing temperatures.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

fly away

has wings, will fly

today was very clear and very cold. Well, not siberian cold, but I am a) not from siberia in the first place b) tended to dress according to the weather when I lived in Moscow. Not now. I would gladly put on something truly warm, but I don't seem to possess such items any more. When it gets cold, I just put more layers on. It kinda works, but not completely - I am still fully aware of the cold.

Anyway. The contrails (did you know that's what they are really called? I didn't up till today) were all over the sky. There were quite a lot of unusual bird activity too, probably because the usual hunting, grazing or simply hanging out grounds are under snow or frozen over. But I don't know my birds, and I do know my planes (as in "it's a plane, innit?"). So here is a picture of one. Cheers to that

Saturday, December 19, 2009

fake autumn in Scotland

This year I haven't been to scotland in autumn, which is a shame.

I stumbled across tutorial that show how to make an autumn pic out of summer one, and given the right type of picture, it looked easy, so I gave it a go using a picture taken in late spring pic on loch lubnaig. Basically, it's just selectively adjusting the hue for different colors (mostly touching yellows and greens), plus a few more tweaks

fake autumn

(Interesting, it looks to me that photobucket hosting site eats into the color somewhat)

here is the original version (click on a magnifying glass on the top left of the preview to see full size)

Not every type of pic seems suitable, though. This pic from Glenfinnan immediately starts falling into a mosaic on obviously spring (water, distant mountains and sky) and fake autumn

Friday, December 18, 2009

spinning top

spinning top

I occasionally ask kids to throw away or give to me to give to charity or recycle a certain amount or objects from their rooms, just to decrease the clutter.

As in "find and bring here any N objects that are broken, useless or not needed any more".

Timur brought downstairs this spinning top, and said that he doesn't want it. I couldn't bring myself to give it away without taking a few pictures first.

Side note : I's much more difficult to spin it when somebody is watching, camera at the ready

yesterday's snow

there was quite a snowfall yesterday, and today kids stayed at home instead of going to school for the last time before the holidays. I am guessing they liked it. I am not that sure.
The little video above is our little live (just about) Christmas tree under yesterday's snowfall. Unfortunately, it was dark by the time the main snow started to happen, so I couldn't really record the process, only the results

Sunday, December 13, 2009

bauble and s.


I bought a bunch of those twigs at Saffron Walden market yesterday. The price tag gave their name, which I read and promptly forgotten. The only thing that I did remember was that it started with "s". I had glimpses of this word all day yesterday and today up till an hour ago. I was just making this when I slapped myself on the forehead and said "salix!". To which Kirill immediately said "or course, you know - willow, salicylic acid, aspirin... you know."

And yes, I did know. Why the connection didn't occur to me before that moment, though?

Salix in medicine

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

party wig

party wig

today Timur wanted to pose (which happens extremely rarely). He specifically wanted to pose in this wig, normally used by Kirill for samba gigs. Well, who am I to say no :)

yellow freesia

freesia border

Monday, December 07, 2009

Arco Iris Samba Band at Mill Road Fair

the objective of the exercise was to get the full piece filmed. The camera would only record just over 8 mins in HD, so I was getting somewhat worried towards the end, but it did fit, even with some time to spare

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mill Road Winter Fair

mill road winter fair today

we went to Mill Road Winter Fair today. The weather wasn't that great and it started raining in the late afternoon, but there were some very colorful guys around, like those. I didn't quite get who they were. They danced a weird dance, and then walked off to another location to dance some more. Loved the tights

Friday, December 04, 2009



finall, onmy I don't know which trip to Venice, I managed to buy a small _white_ mask. On the previous visits I saw them almost the first thing I came there, and always though - I will buy later, closer to the departure, I don't want to carry it around.

Problem is, Venice is very much like Borges' book of sand - you saw something in it once, you might never see it again, and I as never able to find white mask for the second time before.

This time I made a grab for it. The shape is not quite what I wanted (the classic mask are much closer to real human face), but at least I have something

at shutterstock

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

sunflower tree


this pic - all glorious 6 mpix* of it - were sold today by lori.ru photobank for "external ad". dunno what exactly they are going to advertise with it, but it is one more completely unexpected large-ish sales of my pictures there - first being a very old picture of leaning tower of Pisa of all things. Needless to say, I am pleased :)

picture at lori.ru

* - well, it was over two years back, 6 mpix seemed plenty at that point

Saturday, November 28, 2009



I bought this bulb from a local garden center believing that I am buying a blue flower. I had in mind precisely what you see - a progress of flower over a few days. It turned out pink (hmmmm) but I am pleased with the results anyway. I also bought some mini-narcissi, but those proved quite tricky, they grow way too fast and increase in height about five times which makes for a difficult light in the conditions I used (single flashgun light)

Thursday, November 26, 2009



this orchid suddenly become quite popular download at shutterstock. I wonder why

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

blue towel

blue towel

this is an old image, taken on Fuerteventura in april. we've just booked a christmas break o Lanzarote and I am really loking forward to it. Hope the weather doesn't let us down - darkness of late autumn is getting at me lately

salsa photo

s:     ^_^ salsa

this photo of Juan and Rosi was taken back in June. Unfortunately, they don't teach in Cambridge any more (to the best of my knowledge, anyway, and not in the same place in any case). the club where the photo was taken weren't a great place for photography - it's a basement location, with mirror ceiling to the dance floor and partially mirrored walls. While you can bounce the flash off those surfaces (which I did), it doesn't really diffuse the flash much, but rather makes a squiggly light patterns all over the place. Even so, I think the results of the session were quite good, and of course those guys are very photogenic, which helped

Juan teaches classes in a couple of locations in east anglia, check his website if interested http://www.salsa-son-cuba.com/index.html

Monday, November 23, 2009

one of a kind


I can't figure out what tree it was. the leaves were maple-like, but it had the fruit like a prickly sphere, similar to plane tree, but smaller.

update : it's a sweetgum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua. was identified by collective effort :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Timur gets a haircut


as you can plainly see, he doesn't really like to pose, but well, I wanted both "before" and "after" pictures and here they are

Saturday, November 21, 2009

False Bay

false bay

sometimes, when the weather is bad and light is poor, I look through my folders from sunny places and pull out pics that are not new, but nice to look at. This one is from South Africa last December - False Bay

Saturday, November 14, 2009

silly stripes


this picture (taken a goodish while ago) now found its way into one of the featured lightboxes on shutterstock - "silly /offbeat". Fine by me, it sells again, after sale-silent months.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

broken glass

I made this fractal on white first

fractal "shrads"

then I inverted it accidentally. it proved to be one of those where once you have it inverted it's a different picture altogether

fractal "shrads" inversted

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cambridge (Fen Ditton, stricktly speaking) dragon boat festival


festival website - http://www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/cambridge/
a few more photos at http://tamara-k.livejournal.com/324898.html
Cambridge pics at shuttersock

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

red arrows again

red arrows

samw shhow. shame they don't do flybys for private occasions, or so it appears

Sunday, September 06, 2009

red arrows

red arrows at Duxfrod

red arrows were performing yesterday at Duxford. they are spectacular.
I just checked out their website and you can kinda follow them around if you wish http://www.raf.mod.uk/reds/displayinfo/september09.cfm
I am thinking hard about it

Wednesday, September 02, 2009



either Yuri or Timur (how did they grow, my little boys, I can't tell them apart from the reflection) is jumping over a pool on Aarhus pier.

Last day there it was sunny one minute and rained heavily the next

Monday, August 17, 2009

postcard from Lavenham

postcard from Lavenham

the village is ever so pretty.

incidentally, this is a village where I first saw (and promptly misinterpreted) a mention of "Odd Fellows Lodge". It was (and still is) n a little plaque on one of the public benches. I couldn't photograph the plaque, because both times we went past there was a cheerful group of old ladies sitting on the bench having a chat. I did photograph is before, though - have a look, if you wish

Anyway, the Oddfellows (written together, apparently) are not "strange fellows", but rather "assorted fellows", meaning that society is formed across trades and occupation - here is what wikipedia has to say about it

Thursday, August 13, 2009

sleeping grass

Mimosa pudica

I expected to spand some time looking for the right name of those plants, but search on "sensitive plant" retrieved this immediately - Mimosa pudica. Wikipedia entry shows it in bloom; I don't think there is a chance of that in a pot, but I can hope

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

flax in blue

flax plants in blue

we happened to be at a pick-your-own farm nearby when a field of flax was in bloom. I spotted pretty blue flowers, made a few pics and then asked the lady in the farm shop "are those linen?". the word "flax" escaped me at that point, but we quickly arrived on it. She said that she had no idea what these plants were, and asked a guy who was passing by "Listen, are those flax plants?". He scratched his head and said - "what, those blue ones? Naah, they are linseed".
We didn't argue, although it is the same thing.
Now this field is almost ripe, but I like the blue version better

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009



I never really liked to eat it, but when I was a kid, I really liked the look of redcurrant bushes. transparency, bright reds and greens, the roundness - it seemed perfection to me. I was always very annoyed when it was time for picking.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


wish I was there

I could hardly tear myself from this bilberry place, but somebody to pick us up and was waiting by the car, plus insect repellent was wearing off. Otherwise I would probably still be there

Friday, July 31, 2009



in-camera motion blur. it was late and a normal picture won't have worked anyways

Thursday, July 30, 2009



waiting on Suomenlinna pier for a ferry that would (and did) bring over Kirill, who forgot his passport a day before and had to come over a day later than planned. Maybe we were just lucky, but we had a beautiful slice of finnish summer

Saturday, July 18, 2009

you should always have your camera handy

fundrising carwash

Saffron Walden fire station was having a findraising carwash today and I turned in (I was going to get kids to wash my car, but I was going to do it for such a long time that, well, you know). I think it was something to do with next carnival, at least some of the guys have t-shirts with carnival logo on. to be fair, everything was probably written on the board they were holding by the entrance, but I didn't get to read it really.

my car is very, very clean, unusually so.

I have a few nice snaps from inside the car. I am thinking that when I am back from the hols, I will pop into the station and give them a CD.

Friday, July 17, 2009

californian bluebells

I knew the name Brodiaea and clusterlily, but this time I bought those guys under the name "califirnian bluebells". Not sure if this is a real common name or an invention of whoever gives names to the goods in the shop

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Inachis io

Inachis io

apparently it means "daughter of Inachus". well, I never.

our butterfly bush (buddleja) is at the moment full of these and "painted ladies", few red admirals etc. I guess summer is really n the middle now

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Llandudno in SA

boulders in Llandudno (SA)

from time to time I dip into my "old" picture folders, to see if there is something there that I missed when doing the first processing. this pic featured almost blown flat pale blue sky, so I swapped it to something more exciting (and taken in Hunstanton, Norfolk, of all places)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

braids and beads


it's difficult to say why this wig was originally bought, but now Kirill is using it when playing with Arco Iris samba group. It looks good, the only problem is, when it's hot, it's very hot to wear. meybe the next wig needs to be crocheted out of cotton thread, that should be nice and cool.

Monday, July 13, 2009



water drops and shooting by Kirill, my idea and processing (and modelling)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

sweet kisses

sweet kisses

today at the french market in Cambridge (yes, I know, it's a contradiction in terms. still, there you go). there were all sorts of sweets, and U was hoping for Timur to go for a thick marshmallow "rope", but he didn't - he got himself a bag of small sweets instead

Saturday, July 11, 2009

being cool

same picture of Timur making "cool" face - one almost with no processing, secod one processed in "urban decay" style.

being cool