It’s an amazing thing, how reading or, in my case, listening to a book, can urge your mind on forming coherent thoughts. Maybe it’s a matter of a book itself, of its ability to catch you right away, make you stay up late at night and listen, catching every word, worrying about the characters, that you begin to love from the very first page. Maybe it’s just a matter of a huge amount of beautifully arranged words and phrases, that always manage to find a place in the back of your mind, safely preserved there for later.

The book that kept me awake last night was Hunger games. Almost always I read the books that was already read and ‘approved’ by Natalie, and Hunger games was no exception. Although I put it on hold for quite a while, before I finally knew that my mind was peaceful enough to accept a new reality, created by Suzanne Collins. And I have to say, this reality is brilliant. I’m only (well, almost) through the first book of a trilogy, but I’m in love with it already. It was so nice to finally dive into the world that does not spin around vampires! I think I didn’t even notice that I was getting tired of them until I had a taste of something different. It has also done well for my nerves and, of course, my knitting: I finished one hat last night, and I’ve already moved on to another. It’s only no good for one thing – my diploma – that seems to remain on hold forever.

Last month wasn’t exactly the happiest, with Andrew having one cold right after another, endless doctor appointments, enormous amounts of money left in drugstores. Andrew’s well now, but he’s still at home, cause I’m afraid he’ll catch some other children’s disease the minute he enters the kindergarten. Not exactly the educational environment, especially for such a lazy procrastinator like me, especially when I at last feel tired of being a student and doing researches.

I can’t tell what exactly got me to finally write a blog post today. Guess I have to blame a sore throat, that keeps me doing nothing useful, along with the brooding mood, that has me captured for quite some time now. I don’t know if I’ll be posting in the future, I hope I will, I really want to, but sometimes it’s really hard to put my thoughts together. I used to blog pictures, and just a small amount of words, usually just commenting on my pictures and what’s in them, but now I don’t have any pictures to hide behind. It’s new and somewhat scary to have words as my only instrument: writing my thoughts down was always a biggest challenge for me.

As for my relationship with photography – there hides one of my biggest fears – the one that from time to time creeps along my back and whispers that I’ll never want to take a single picture again in my life. That even if I want to, I won’t be able to produce something at least as good as I used to a few years ago. I hope desperately that someday, when everything else is well in my life, it will pass.

And just so this post won’t be ‘naked’, I’ll add a couple of old pictures. I’ve talked about the Hunger games, and a part of this book is about nature, so I’ve found pictures of the beautiful Peacock butterflies I’ve spotted in Sestroretsk when we stayed there in August. Those were the most beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen around here. I hope you enjoy it as a glimpse of summer in the middle of the still wintery weather, that lingers here in Saint Petersburg.

And I hopefully will see you soon. Have a great weekend, everybody!

September 19, 2010

While we were at Sestroretsk two weeks ago, the best sunsets always were on the days when I never had my camera with me while walking. Last Tuesday I finally had my camera with me and there was beautiful sunset – all at the same time! And I also had a plenty of time to shoot all the changes of the sky. You can see the pictures below, all of them are with timestamps and all of them are clickable to view it 3000 px wide 🙂

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September 19, 2010

Day three was surprisingly sunny 🙂 In the morning we took a short walk in the park, and there was nothing interesting there except for these funny mushrooms – it looks like burnt muffins or cookies 😀

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Another thing I like about 28 mm – I can take a lot of silly self portraits! 🙂 For example this one:

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But of course Andrew’s portraits too 🙂 (and oh, my fav lens flares!):

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We also had a small apple tree near the house we were staying at, so we had a chance to eat some fresh apples 🙂 You know, of all fruits and berries I’ll give anything for a juicy apple. I wish I had my own apple garden – a house and an apple garden – but, I probably never will) But, speaking of reality, sometimes we had to share our apples 😀 :

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Yesterday I promised to post pictures of the sunset – well, it’s ready, but I’m going to post it separately a few minutes later 🙂 Below are some more silly self portraits (I did say I take a lot of it, didn’t I? :D) I’ve made while shooting the sunset:

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Are you ready for some very sunny pictures? 😉

September 18, 2010

The second day was colder. It was still misty and some times it was raining. Again we started our walk on the beach, but then went into the nearby forest because mom wanted to look for some mushrooms (she had hoped that she would be able to find the good ones). And I was just wandering around taking pictures of everything I saw.

Here is the red maple leaf, wet after the morning rain:

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And the rose hips:

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And we’ve found this little lilac flowers – I don’t know what it is, but it was beautiful 🙂

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Isn’t it absolutely lovely?))

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And this little spiky flower with the tiny water drops between the spikes – I wish I had a lens with greater magnification)

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And finally, deeper in the forest we’ve found mushrooms. Of course, the poisonous ones 😀 though I don’t know which ones – maybe something like the death caps? I don’t know much about mushrooms))

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Next we’ve found the only good mushrooms that were present there – russulas) but there was very few of them, compared to the variety of different poisonous mushrooms))

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And then there was plenty of something that lookes like False Chanterelles:

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And something else:

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Then we went to the nearby health center, wandered around its small garden for a while, and mom have taken the next few pictures while I was on the phone.

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When I was done with my phonetalk, I found a little snail in the grass))

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And even more waterdrops than yesterday 😀

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We took another walk in the forest late afternoon, but I hadn’t found much shooting material, so I’d shot some leaves and russulas and other mushrooms:

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And when I was all done with shooting and put my camera away in my bag, there it was – a beautiful red toadstool, growing under the pine tree, half hidden in the grass – the perfect kind of shooting material! 🙂 I was all covered with pine needles when I’d finished shooting it, but the result was worth it:

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I’d shot nothing else that day, I just walked in the forest and then along the beach, enjoying the stillness of the world at that moment.

I guess the Twilight finally got so deep inside me that I even started to enjoy that kind of weather – it was overcast, dark and gloomy, the wind was cold, and it started drizzling at some point. But I was enjoying it. I was enjoying the drizzle! I was standing there, watching the horizon, listening to the wind, to the light waves on the bay. It was quiet. It was peaceful. It made me happy in a way.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting pictures of the beautiful sunset I’ve shot on Tuesday! See you later) And have a good night (or maybe a good night out since it’s saturday night 😉 ).

September 18, 2010

First day was overcast, though it was pretty warm. We took a long walk along the beach, and I tried to capture some signs of a fall. While the trees were only starting to change their color to yellow and red, fall could be noticed in the faded grass, wilted flowers and, of course, mushrooms in the nearby forest. I guess all of the mushroom that we’ve seen were poisonous (except for only the russulas), but it looks pretty good on pictures anyway 🙂

The beach was gloomy and misty, but still there was one lonely kite surfer 🙂

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We walked slowly along the beach looking for some shooting material. I shot the drops of water on the grass and few flowers that were left.

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Andrew helped, of course 🙂 though he still needs a lots of training to be a good assistant 😀

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Have I already told you how much I love my Sigma lens? I’m talking about 28/1.8 my dad gave me last Christmas – I’m absolutely in love with it!

I swear, since the time I attached it to my camera for the first time I use it more often than anything else – I almost forgot about my amazing Minolta 50/1.7 that used to be my #1 for all time 😀 And I’m afraid to admit it, but when I look through my favorite 135/2.8 (and I used to love the long focal length lenses), I don’t know how to put together what I see, cause I’ve absolutely forgotten what it’s like 🙁 I guess I really need to shoot more often.

But what I wanted to say about Sigma: the most wonderful part of using it is ability to shoot macro, and though its maximum magnification is only 1:2.9, it gives very beautiful pictures) I can’t get enough of it 🙂

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A lonely bug 🙂

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Another great thing about the fall – there are no flies, mosquitoes and other bugs.

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A thistle is very interesting: on one hand, it has pretty lilac flowers, and on the other hand, it appears to be all covered up with sharp prickles. A perfect representation of me as a flower, don’t you think, Natalie? 😀

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Then we’ve found some seashells and played with it a bit))

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I always have doubts about posting Andrew’s pictures in my open blog where everybody can see it, but at the same time it bugs me to keep the second private blog – I usually don’t have enough time to post pictures here so I completely forget about posting something to Andrew’s lj. So I figured out I’d better post a few pictures here than nothing at all 🙂 So here we are, and as you can see, Andrew is pretty bored with us taking pictures 😀

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Like I said before, the day was pretty warm, and I haven’t even got cold walking barefoot on the beach cause I’d got so much sand in my shoes I had to take it off 🙂

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As we continued walking, I shot some more water drops:

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And suddenly, there it was – in the middle of a cold, overcast and misty beach – a sunflower! Little sunflower 🙂 It was wonderful to find it))

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As we walked home we saw some mushrooms, in fact, as you can see, a lot of mushrooms 🙂 Too bad that we haven’t found any good mushrooms in such amounts 😀

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I’m almost ready to post pictures from the second day – another set of water drops and poisonous mushrooms 😀 But I’m too tired to finish it now, so stay tuned 😉 Good night))