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Embrace the fog

Essential Photography Tips series – expanded distribution

If you have been following my blog, you already know I published two books under “Essential Photography Tips” series. Initially I choose to only publish them on Amazon platform, but now, due to demand from you, the readers, I am making the books available in other bookstores as well.

Essential Photography Tips
Essential Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR

The first book of the series, “Essential Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR”, is mainly intended for fresh DSLR owners who are looking to enhance their photographic skills and it is covering topics like: composition (“Rule of Thirds”, “Fill the Frame”, “Use a Simple Background”), how to (“How to Photograph Birds”, “How to Photograph a Scene Mainly Consisting or Black or White”), do’s and don’ts (“Do not Be Afraid to Go Out on a Cold Day”), tips on camera usage, general framework, post-production, and recommended accessories.

You can purchase “Essential Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR” on any of the following links:

Essential Travel Photography Tips - Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills
Essential Travel Photography Tips – Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills

The series continues with “Essentials Travel Photography Tips – Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills”, a book providing usable tips to any traveler wishing to improve his or her photographic skills. Reading the book you will find out how to plan your trip, where to find useful information, what equipment you shall carry, what to do in location, how to take care of your family, which schedule to have, how to deal with different shooting situations, how to better compose your pictures, how to make a backup plan, or how to stay out of trouble.

You can purchase “Essential Travel Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR” on any of the following links:

Wherever you purchase any of my books, please do not forget to send me your feedback and leave a review on the book’s page from the chosen bookstore. Every review helps, even the short ones. This is very much appreciated. Enjoy your reading 🙂

Essential Travel Photography Tips – Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills

New book – Essential Travel Photography Tips – Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills

Essential Travel Photography Tips - Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills
Essential Travel Photography Tips – Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills

Good news, I have added one more book to Amazon: Essential Travel Photography Tips – Better Memories with Improved Photographic Skills.

It doesn’t matter where you’re heading to. 

For a travel photographer the process is the same even if the destination is the Moon. Yes, there are small changes, mostly logistics (you may need a passport and a visa or you may only need your national ID, you’ll drive or you’ll fly renting then a car in location, you may need a spacesuit or you can only take your casual clothes). But in any case you will need a camera, you will need a lens, you will need a memory card, you will need a bag. And you will need a ton of other things that we will discuss in-depth in the book. 

The scope of this book is to provide usable tips to any traveler wishing to improve his or her photographing skills. Are you willing to take better pictures while in vacation with your family? The book will drive you through the entire process, starting with planning before the trip, being in location, and all the way down to the return home. You will learn how to stay out of trouble, how to feel good in your trip, and how to return with better photos. 

At the end of the book you will know how to balance your family life with your photography passion.

You can get the book now on Amazon. Please do not forget to send me your feedback, leave a review on the book’s page on Amazon. Every review helps, even the short ones. This is very much appreciated.

How to photograph birds

How to photograph birds

Use camera in Shutter speed mode (usually S or Tv on your mode selection button). Use a shutter speed of no more than 1/250s (1/500s is even better).

Check the aperture proposed by camera. If it’s not a middle aperture (for example f/8), raise your ISO. A mid aperture will give you enough depth of field to get entire bird in focus.

Try to use a telephoto lens, it will be easier to fill the frame. If it’s not enough, you can crop in post-production to bring more focus to the subject.

Focus on the eye. After all, the image will be a bird portrait, and as you know the eyes are catching you 🙂

Use continuous focus.

Use single focus point, choose middle point for faster focus. If needed, crop your frame in post-production to meet rules of thirds for example.

Do not crop more than 25% in post-production, as this will lead to potentially unclear images.

Interested in more photography tips? Check my book, Essential Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR.

Ancient Stagira

Ancient Stagira – Olympiada area, Chalkidiki, Greece

Ancient Stagira is an archaeological site, few hundred meters out of Olympiada, Chalkidiki, Greece.

Stagira was founded in 655 BC and it is best known as Aristotle’s birthplace. Aristotle is one of the most known philosopher of Greece, son of the personal doctor of King Amyntas II (father of Macedonia’s King Philip II), a student of Plato’s Academy, and later the teacher of Alexander the Great.

After the end of the Persian wars, Stagira joined the First Athenian Alliance. However, during the Peloponnesian War, Stagira citizens revolted against Athens and sided with the Spartans. Few years later, Philip the Macedon besieged Stagira and had it destroyed. In honor of Aristotle, the teacher of his son, Philip rebuilt the city and had the enslaved inhabitants freed.

In 322 BC, Aristotle passed away. His body was transferred to Stagira, where he was buried in great honors. He was declared founder of Stagira, and a festival named Aristoteleia was established.

Despite the rebuilt of the city, if was the beginning of a decline. The city was deserted during the Greco-Roman era. Close to 1000 AD, we have reports of a castle called Livasdia. Today, the most notable remain of the castle is the byzantine wall, visible even from Olympiada.

What can you see these days in Ancient Stagira? The byzantine wall, the citadel, old houses, the big agora, large ceramic bowls, tower ruins.

The road to Stagira is well signaled, you can see a lot of signs in Olympiada. You can access Ancient Stagira from the main road to Stratoni, or from the dirt road in the vicinity of Olympiada port. I recommend you to visit Ancient Stagira during spring or autumn, to avoid high temperatures during the summer. Reserve for the visit at least 2 hours. Entrance is free.

How to shoot a landscape

How to shoot a landscape

– use camera in Aperture mode (usually A or Av on your mode selection button).

use a small aperture. Typically, in a landscape picture, you want everything to be in focus, from foreground to background. To get this, you will have to use a smaller aperture. F/8 is a good start for a landscape picture.

use a wide lens. To help with the effect we spoke above, you have to use a wide lens, and this will greatly help you to have a large depth of field. A wide lens will also help to capture the greatness of the nature. 17mm is a good start for landscape photography, but don’t be afraid to experiment.

– use a low ISO value to get a great image quality, even ISO 100 if possible

use a polarizing filter. A polarizing filter will greatly improve the quality of your landscape photos. The sky will be blue (instead of vague white grayish nuance), the vegetation will be more vivid (either green in the spring, either yellow/orange in the autumn)

– use a tripod. Small aperture combined with large distances, the usage of a polarizing filter and low ISO will result in low shutter speed, especially in low light situation. After the polarizing filter, the tripod is the most used accessory in the landscape photography world.

– use water as a mirror. If you photograph a lake, there will probably be reflections on the surface of the water. Make use of it, include both the reflected object and the reflection, or only part of the object and full reflection. Don’t be afraid to experiment 🙂

– include people. We are used to see people everywhere. Do not fear if there are people around your beautiful landscape. Embrace them, make humans an element of your photo.

– the sky is looking better with clouds. No doubt, a clear sky is boring. Throw some clouds in the sky and everything is changed 🙂 I’m not talking about post-processing. But you can be careful when framing. Nice interesting sky? Maybe make it bigger, usually two-thirds of the picture. Boring clear sky? Make it smaller, one-third of the picture, or even get the sky out of the frame.

– speaking of sky, in many landscape pictures we have to work with the horizon line. The big question is where we place it. Generally it’s a good idea to avoid the middle, remember the rule of thirds. For better results, you have to choose which element should have a bigger impact. If it’s the sky, then give the sky two-thirds of the image. If it’s the land, then give the land two-thirds of the image. You will get very different results in these two situations, maybe for start you want to try both ways.

shadows are really interesting in landscape photography. Avoid taking picture at noon, there is almost no shadow at all. Get out for landscape shooting in the mornings or in the evenings. You are going to see more details and a bigger sense of depth in your images.

Interested in more photography tips? Check my book, Essential Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR.

Into the night...

New book – Essential Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR

Essential Photography Tips
Essential Photography Tips

I’m happy to announce that my new book is available on Amazon: Essential Photography Tips: Get the Most out of Your DSLR.

This book is mainly intended for fresh DSLR owners who are looking to enhance their photographic skills. Most of the advice presented in this book can be happily adopted by a mirrorless camera owner too.

You can read the book in chronological order, or you can skip around to topics you are most interested.

We will start by diving into composition. This is what matters most, composition rules should become a habit, and you have to be able to apply them without judging too much. We will then continue with a series of “How to” topics: “How to shoot a portrait”, “How to shoot a landscape” and so on.

Next we have some DO’s and DON’Ts. Among them are “Do not be afraid to go out on a cold day” and “Embrace the fog”. In the end we are covering tips on camera usage, general framework, post-production, and required accessories.

Book is full of pictures illustrating each topic. There is though one chapter without any attached photograph, but I will let you discover why is this 🙂

Now let’s get to work and remember: no matter how much you read, it’s worthless if you don’t practice. Go out and practice! Actually, we have a chapter dedicated to this, so move on 🙂

You can get the book now on Amazon. Please do not forget to send me your feedback, leave a review on the book’s page on Amazon. Every review helps, even the short ones. This is very much appreciated.

National Theatre

Iconic buildings of Bucharest


Last week I was in the field on assignment: Iconic building of Bucharest, Romania. Here are more details about some of these monumental buildings.

Romanian Athenaeum is a 600 seats concert hall, built in 1888. Today, Athenaeum is the main concert hall in Bucharest, the home of George Enescu Philharmonic and of the George Enescu yearly international music festival.

Across the street you can find National Museum of Art. The building was opened in 1837 as Royal Palace. The Museum is established 100 years later, in 1937. Among the painters hosted in the museum, I can mention Romanians Nicolae Grigorescu, Stefan Luchian, Nicolae Tonitza, Theodor Aman, Theodor Pallady, Gheorghe Petrașcu, and Gheorghe Tattarescu. You can also admire plenty of international painters: El Greco, Tintoretto, Jan van Eyck, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Monet, and Rembrandt. There is also a nice collection of sculptures, including some by Constantin Brancusi.

Next point of interest is Central University Library of Bucharest. The Library was founded in 1895 by King Carol I. It started with a collection of 3,400 volumes, reaching today few millions books. More than 500,000 books were burnt during the Romanian Revolution from 1989.

Novotel Hotel is quite a new building in the town center. Having more than 250 rooms, plenty of conference spaces, spa center, and all usual features a 4* hotel has, Novotel has a good fame around business people.

National Military Center is a monumental building owned by Romanian Army, serving as an entertainment center. The building was established between the two World Wars by Romanian King Ferdinand I.

No Bucharest review can be complete without University Square and Intercontinental Hotel. University Square is considered the central point of Bucharest, it’s the starting point of Romanian Revolution in Bucharest, is the central point for any rally. Intercontinental Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Bucharest, with 25 floors and 77 meter high.

A great week, and a great city to visit!

Get your travel guide to Romania from Amazon.

Romanian Palace of the Parliament

Romanian Palace of the Parliament – Saint Patrick’s Day


The Romanian Palace of the Parliament is the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function, most expensive administrative building, and heaviest building.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world; especially in Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Between 15 and 19 March 2013, Bucharest was the host of St. Patrick’s Festival. All these days, after dark, the Palace of the Parliament was advertised as The Embassy of Ireland. These were freezing days, but the view worth it without any doubt 🙂

You need to stay in Bucharest? Check these accommodation recommendations.

Get your travel guide to Romania from Amazon.

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