Christmas on Four Continents

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

It is the time for Christmas – a time for joy, celebration and reflection, a time to look back to the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.

Looking back many years, the Christmas caught me in some unusual places such as in the airplane flying from Toronto to Bucharest, in a deserted lounge of the Lagos airport, near the bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand, on the top of Carpathian Mountains or at a cabaret show in Havana.

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Dog enjoying the view from the car

High Contrast Black & White Thailand Images

Seeing the world in black and white allows you to discover details and shapes that may not be visible at a first look. It may help you concentrate to essentials.

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” – Robert Frank

To take high contrast photos I mostly used the Ricoh GR camera with the “High Contrast B&W” mode setting. The location is in Thailand. Enjoy the Black & White Thailand selection!

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Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The Border Crossing from Nepal

India is a country of huge contrasts. In 2010 I visited just a small part of the country, the North-East India including Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The first impressions can be shocking when you pass the border from Nepal to India.  The crossing was done by walking and what a difference few meters can make!

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Lens Flare

8 Funny and Not So Funny Stories of Taking Photos

Did you ever try to take a shot by using your nose tip to press the shutter button? How many times did you get in trouble with the authorities while taking a photo? What is your best accidental shot? Read the stories and find out.

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Zombies

The Zombies Resurrection

It happens every year: the zombies take over Toronto!

What is a Zombie?

“The Walking Dead. Scientific name Homo Coprophagus Somnambulus.” – Urban Dictionary

“Zombie” definition extracts from the Urban Dictionary:

“A deceased human being who has partially returned to life due to undeterminable causes. The brain retains base facilities, namely gross motor function. In its near-mindless state, it grasps no remains of emotion, personality, or sensation of pain. In rare cases, some of the reanimated have reflexively preformed routine activities from their past lives.”

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Sam Pan Bok Canyon

Sam Pan Bok (3,000 Holes)

One of the lesser known attractions of Thailand is the impressive Sam Pan Bok – the Grand Canyon of Thailand, located near Ubon Ratchathani, close to Laos.

Made up of sandstone cliffs that run along the Mekong River, the Sam Pan Bok canyon can be best seen by taking long tail boat tours from the Song Khon village. The boat stops in few places allowing the tourists to step on different rock formations and sandy beaches.

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Kyoto Railway Station

“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Kyoto Station 京都駅

Kyoto Station is one of the largest railway stations in the world. It opened in 1997 commemorating Kyoto’s 1,200th anniversary. The architecture is stunning, mixing a futurist style with traditional Japanese elements.

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Havana, Cuba

“My mojito in the Bodeguita del Medio and my daiquiri in the Floridita.” – Ernest Hemingway

Cuba, one of the last bastions of communism in the world, a forgotten country so close to USA and so far away…

My first trip to Cuba was in 2008. I joined an international Cuban tour organized by Cuban Adventures. And from then on, a life of Cuban adventures has started!

Havana (Habana)

Passing through the José Martí International Airport in Havana, is like being in another world, a world stopped in time 50 years ago: aged buildings, grandma fashion and smell of cigarettes. People were smoking while waiting to pick up their luggage!

I accepted a ride to my hotel from two men inside the airport. Their “taxi” was a very old, broken Lada soviet made car. Of course, no safety belt or taxi meter. The men were very friendly and smiling all the time, until they frown up…