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