Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to Phil In Sofia for his very kind words and the link to this blog.
I had a really fun day today. I took out my DSLR a Canon 60d for those who are interested. I haven’t really used it for a month and I thought it was high time to give it a run through. I mainly had my cheap and cheerful 50mm F1.8 (also known as the plastic fantastic).
The shots of the skate boarders and the BMX cyclist are shot on my 16-35 F2.8 (my work horse lens)
I also purchased a 135mm F4 lens for my Kiev from the flea market. the vendor I purchased it from was fantastically helpful and has lots of great cameras. There were many I could give a good home to…..
I also had surprise as I was walking past the parliament buildings, there was a parade of the guards and one of the Bulgarian members of parliament (I think it was one of the European parliament members) and also a Japanese official were out inspecting the guards. It made some great photos. I was also surprised to be let fairly close and not to have some over efficient police officer causing me problems. LONDON TAKE NOTE!
I hope you enjoy.
Mark R. Milan
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Monday, October 29th, 2012
It has been an absolutely foul day today here in Sofia. It has been wet and windy. I didn’t like the idea of going out in that weather so I have caught up on a few emails about work stuff and had a play with my SLR camera and one of my flash units. oh, and my pocket watch. I put it through Photoshop and ended up with this. just a bit of fun but quite a nice image for a rainy Monday.
I have wanted a pocket watch since I read Around the world in eighty days while my wife and I were travelling around Europe in our camper van earlier this year. This one which is a relatively common and cheap Soviet Russian time piece seemed to fit my idea of what I wanted when I saw it the other day.
Sunday, October 28th, 2012
Few things say foreign to me more than the worlds many varying currencies.
When me and my wife were on our honeymoon on the Trans-Mongolian railway we compared and swapped coins with a Siberian Russian man called Dennis who was great fun. none of us could speak each others language but with a bit of vodka some of Dennis’ special Lake Baikal smoked fish (tasted a bit like Kippers) we had a great 3 days and nights sharing a cabin.
also on that trip we experienced the Mongolian tögrög which you cannot officially enter or leave Mongolia with. although there are money exchange vendors who walk down the train with huge wads of notes just before you enter the country. they are apparently total rip off merchants on the exchange rates.
Above is a Photo of some Bulgarian LEV i have photoshopped the image slightly to make it a little more interesting.
Sunday, October 28th, 2012
Me and my wife had a lovely day in Sofia today. we took a stroll around the city and did a bit of sight seeing, went to a flea market, had a lovely meal and watched the new James bond 007 film “Skyfall” which was really great (and Keith Duffy from Boyzone was in the cinema!).
We went to a restaurant called Olives, the food was pretty good (the salad was mainly raw cabbage and grated carrot), the service was very good, the portions were huge and the bill was tiny! (great beer too!)
found this badge in the flea market and i really liked it (my regular job is a press photographer and i was born in 1980) . it is about 4cm by 1.5cm
the LIVESTRONG bicycle i mentioned in my previous post has now been relegated from the shop front to a tree opposite the shop like a 2 wheeled lepper.
a couple more decorated boxes.
a very well protected key
it was a bit windy today and there was a shower of conkers in the park.
something was happening at the Cathedral today. lots of police and press there along with the church people.
i’m not sure what made the owner of this shop think that that image was the right one for the shop sign.
Friday, October 26th, 2012
After a couple of attempts at finding a shop that stocks 35mm film I have found a place that has a good selection. it is a little pricey but beggars can’t be choosers. the shop also does what looks like a decent development service which comes with a CD of images.
this is one of the 2 feral kittens which patrol the garden area out the front of our block. they are very cute and pretty friendly. although they probably have fleas and all sorts of diseases.
there are Conkers all over the place at the moment. a British schoolboys dream!
these buskers are usually at the Serdica Metro entrance they are pretty good. There are some amazing buskers in Sofia.
this is the subterranean fountain below the NDK. it needs a good clean. it smells like a swamp on a warm day.
this shoe shine guy does a good trade. he always seems to have a customer.
Some more fantastic street art. i think they should do this to all the traffic and phone control boxes in every city. it would make a change from crap tags.
i live the way this fountain looks in the autumn sunshine.
some more of the ducting sprouting out in the park.
i wonder where it goes???
and finally these are the post boxes in our apartment block. we have no idea which is ours.
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
So today i while i was out i decided to visit the vintage shop where i purchased the FED 2 camera last week, just to have another look as my wife’s cousin Nick had asked if i could find him a similar camera. when i went in the shop the woman instantly recognised me and went to get her husband who also works in the shop and speaks great English. He said hello and asked if i bought the FED 2 last week (i thought i was in for trouble maybe i hadn’t been charged enough?) i said yes and the reply i got surprised me. he said he was really sorry but they had forgotten to give me the case for the camera. he then after disappearing behind a curtain produced the case. i was really quite taken back and after thanking them both i asked if they had any more FED cameras as i was looking for another for a family member. again he disappeared behind the curtain and reappeared with a Kiev range-finder. He said it wasn’t as good as the FED but it worked apart from the timer.
as i have experienced with most of the vintage/antique/junk shops i have looked in around Sofia they are pretty honest and pleased to have you look and inspect things. i asked the fellow how much he wanted for it and he said 25lev and i said yes straight away. i couldn’t really haggle after he had given me the case for the FED. he also gave me his email address and said if i wanted any more to email him and he would send photos and details of anything he came across. they have an eBay.com store if anyone out there wants anything CLICK HERE to look at their store. i actually prefer the Kiev to use so Nick gets the FED.
my post yesterday contained a picture of some Roman ruins, a friend made a comment to me that he didn’t think much of the pavement in the photo as a joke. i told him the current pavements weren’t much better this is an average pavement surface in Sofia. i say average as some are much worse and some are better. one thing i have learned to do while i have been here is look where I’m walking. in London any difference in the level of the footpath over 3cm is regarded as dangerous and generally fixed before anyone falls over and sues the local council. in Sofia as far as i can tell there is no such rule. there are literally man hole covers sticking 10-15cm proud of the pavement and potholes everywhere. Now please don’t take this as a complaint. i don’t actually mind it. i think the UK has gone health and safety mad and its refreshing to not be nannied constantly. sorry rant over. 🙂
This tower block reminds me of home. its similar to the Heygate Estate at elephant and castle which is near our flat in Camberwell.
I thought it looked nice with the autumn foliage in front of it.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
This is the NDK or National Palace of Culture which is our next door neighbour.
this is the reverse angle from the NDK
these Roman ruins were found when they were building extension to the metro station at Serdica
i saw this case in a junk shop and hoped it wasn’t just a case.
it wasn’t empty. and this was inside.
Lomo cameras have become collectable over the past few years and have developed a reputation for cool looking retro image’s here is a link to the Lomography website about the SMENA 8M CLICK HERE
the camera isn’t worth much as it was mass produced but i only paid around £12 for it which i can live with.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
I found a bicycle shop shop here in Sofia, it had some amazing bikes which were all well out of my price range. the cheapest cycle they had had a bit of a stigma attached to it. it was a bright yellow LIVESTRONG Lance Armstrong model. it had its price reduced by half. it’s a shame that one man who has done so much for cancer has ruined his own causes reputation by cheating.
the “LIVESTRONG” bike is the yellow one hanging up closest to the camera.
Also found this dry waterfall in the local park. i like the troll graffiti sprayed on the top right.
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
i made this animated gif, i think it’s pretty cool. CLICK TO VIEW ANIMATION