Photographs, words and sounds
Posts Tagged ‘family’

Miss F. is 10 today…

Wow! Ten!

Drug dealers in the neighbourhood

We have drug dealers in the neighbourhood. And they are not two pimply kids selling marijuana, they are the real deal. And everybody knows it. But they seem to be above the rules us mere mortals have to abide by. Since the city and the police seem to be fine with it, the only thing that’s left to me is to take matters into my own hands. Now, I am sure going on a smashing rampage with a baseball bat would be fun, but I think I can do better – I am going to get in on the action.

I am thinking a clandestine bookstore would be awesome. Maybe even some film and chemistry for the hardcore customers. I could set it up in the basement. There would be no storefront, no marketing – strictly word of mouth. You could buy stuff only between 10pm and 4am (since we are up anyway and it seems to be a busy time on the street so I might pick up some walk-in traffic). I, obviously, would not ask for a permit or rezoning, pay taxes, or ask my landlady for a permission since those rules, evidently, do not apply on our street. And the way it would work would be beyond cool for you – the customer. Just imagine – you and a friend take a cab or a car and park, with the engine still running, right on the street. If you are particularly cocky, you can blast some music while waiting. One of you gets out and knocks on our doors. I open just enough to let you in – strictly one person or two people at the time – you pick a book or a long roll of HP5 or some D-76, or maybe even a box of Ilford’s new MG ART 300, all discreetly wrapped in brown paper. You scurry back to the waiting car and drive away revving the engine first just for the heck of it. Nobody needs to know what you picked up and you can quietly share with trusted friends where they, too, can get the stuff. It would be awesome.


It’s hard to believe how fast are these two growing up! I am testing a new to me Pentax 6×7 camera and a couple of lenses. Both of these were made with a 90mm f1.8, which is normal lens on such a large negative.


This afternoon, while Miss F. is camping with the Girl Guides, M., Little Miss F and I went to see Brave. Go see it. Smart, complex female characters and a story that completely surprised me. It’s an emotional, beautifully done film.


Little Miss F. is five today. I don’t know where the time went. In this photo she is wearing her mom’s sweater – it’s her idea of a security blanket.

Croatian word of the day: pet five

Mačak 2004 – 2012

This is a difficult post to write.

In August of 2004, two girls knocked on our doors and, with a mix of cajoling, bullying and sweet talking, convinced us that we should have a cat. That’s how Mačak [ma chak], Croatian for a male cat, got to be a part of our family. Last weekend, he suddenly had trouble breathing and it turned out he had a tumor that was rapidly spreading to his lungs. There was nothing that the vet could do. On Monday, we had to say goodbye. Keeping him alive despite his discomfort was just too cruel to contemplate.

It’s been almost a week now and I still expect him to jump on the window sill, have him follow me in the kitchen in the morning expecting breakfast or just see him stretching in the sun.

He adored M. He would present her with gifts of dead flies carefully arranged on a window sill and was in heaven if she picked him up and played with him.

He was also quite a mouse catcher and proud of it. I always admired that hunting instinct that would compel him to wait, for days if necessary, at the spot he thought the mouse would appear at. I suspect it was that same instinct combined with playfulness that would make him hide under the couch or winter coats hanging on the railing and take swipes at anybody that passed by causing Miss F. and Little Miss F. to explode in shrieks and laughter.

Of all things, I will miss the most his deep, gentle purr. We could not have asked for a better companion…

Off to St. Anthony…

Off to St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula… slightly tired of travelling this month. The photo is of Little Miss F. on Fogo Island last October.


A sunny day

It’s been a while since I posted anything. Like everybody else, I am going to blame this horrible summer that brought us nothing but rain, fog and cold. It has been really awful. We did have about four and a half sunny days since the beginning of June (and I am actually not making that up) and I happened to have had a camera with me on one of them.

We took Little Miss F. to the Bowring Park and thoroughly enjoyed a day in the sun.  The park is quite beautiful. It is on the West Side of St. John’s and for some reason, that part of the city always has been off our map as if it does not exist. We are certainly planning to come back if next summer cooperates because I am afraid that this summer is pretty much over.

We are hoping to squeeze in a couple more road trips including one to Fogo Island and Change Islands in September, but I suspect that rain gear is going to be mandatory on both of those trips . Ah… C’est la vie.

Croatian word of the day: kiša rain [ki sha]


Support Island Landscapes exhibit





Little Miss F is turning four today. She truly is the soul of our household. Little imp.

Croatian word of the day: četiri four [che ti ri]



A corner store and a warning from a three-year-old

As I was heading out the doors this morning, Little Miss F yelled after me: “Bye tata! Be careful of the biting chipmunks!”

I thought I’ll pass it along just in case…

Another (and much better) shot of Halliday’s Meat Market – one of my favourite corner stores in town. You can see the whole holga corner store set on flickr.

Croatian word of the day: tata dad [zhena]



I had the best intentions of spending my vacation doing exactly what my cat is doing in this photograph. Alas… that is, so far, the only thing I haven’t done yet…

Croatian word of the day: odmor rest


A view from the bedroom window

It’s official. We’ve moved. Not far from the old place. Still, I hate moving. It’s a nice place. This is a view from our bedroom. Lovely sunrises. Normal blogging to continue… Lot’s of interesting stuff coming up.

Happy July 4th to American friends.

Croatian word of the day: selidba move



Little Miss F. turned three today. Three! Hard to believe…

Croatian word of the day: tri three


Learning rangefinder photography

I just developed the first couple of rolls of film from my Yashica GSN rangefinder. First of all, I found out that I really like working with a rangefinder. The photos turned out absolutely amazing. I also did not want to mix a gallon of D76 developer so instead I used the only liquid developer I could get my hands on here – Ilfotec DD-X. It turns out that the combination of Ilfotec DD-X and Kodak Pan-X is really, really nice.

So over the next couple of days I will be posting my very first rangefinder photos. This is Little Miss F walking down the street in Battery.

Croatian word of the day: razvijač developer [raz we ya ch]


The curse

Family blogging today.

Harry Potter is all the rage in our house. In the photo, Miss F. and Little Miss F. are dressed up as witches trying to fit into the muggle world.

This morning, they were playing Harry Potter – dueling. Curses were flying all over the place: Stupefy! Jelly legs! Eat slugs! Stupefy! Stupefy!

And then, in a clear, ringing voice, Little Miss F. yells: PEE HOT SOUP!

Croatian word of the day: vještica witch [vie shti tza]


[Old Blog] Books to read out loud with girls

Just recently, a friend asked what we’re reading these days to our kids. Miss F and I have just finished reading The Hobbit and the entireLord of the Rings trilogy. Originally we just planned to read the Hobbit, but she insisted on reading the trilogy as well. We had a deal- if it is too boring or too scary we will stop reading. However, she got right into it. In fact, during particularly gruesome scenes (like orcs catapulting the heads of the defenders of Osgiliath into Gondor) she had this maniacal grin on her face obviously enjoying the gore.

Some time ago, I run a list of books to read out loud with girls and this seems to be good time to update the list with the suggestions from the comments to that original post as well as with the books that we either read out loud or that Miss F. is reading by herself. The only criteria for the list (and J.R.R. Tolkien obviously does not meet it, but that does not mean you should not read it to girls) is that the books should feature well-rounded female characters. And please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

I, Coriander by Sally Gardner
The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw
Airborne by Kenneth Oppel
Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Ronia the Robbers Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel
Sunwing by Kenneth Oppel
Firewing by Kenneth Oppel
Polly and the Pirates by Ted Naifeh
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke
Matilda by Roald Dahl
BFG by Roald Dahl
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean by Alexander McCall Smith and Laura Rankin
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
After Hamelin by Bill Richardson

In the photo is the Little Miss F. with her friend and a neigbourhood cat.

Croatian word of the day: knjige books [knie gae]


[Old Blog] Love…

I’ll be heading home tonight and I have to say that I am really looking forward to it. I miss my girls and the crazy life we have at home.

The photo above is my new favourite photo of my significant other. She is telling a story to the girls at Chatters café in St. John’s. I like that playful and passionate expression on her face. This is a Panasonic LC1 photo.

I just picked up the first roll I put through my Yashica. The negs look fantastic and I can’t believe that it took me 15 years to start shooting medium format. I don’t remember when was the last time I had so much fun making photos. I will reserve my final judgment until I see the scans and the prints, but I think the Yashica and I will get along very well indeed.

Also, I picked up the B&W magazine because it had a photograph by Helen Levitt on the cover whose work I love. Highly recommended issue.

Croatian word of the day: zaigranost playfulness


[Old Blog] Letting the air out, Change Islands

On Sundays, we often talk to my parents via Skype. It works really well. Today, Little Miss F was sitting in my lap while we talked and she yawned – a really big yawn.

Grandpa (sympathetically): You must be very tired.
Little Miss F: No. Just letting the air out.

Change Islands, Newfoundland.

Croatian word of the day: zrak air


[Old Blog] Family…

Long time ago, I said that I have no intentions of posting family photos on this here blog, but you know what – they are so awfully cute. I like this photo a lot, especially because it has a kind of a counterpart in a photo taken just over five years ago – on film, too. Time flies.

Croatian word of the day: ljubav love [lyu bav]


[Old Blog] Two

Little Miss F turned two today.

Croatian word of the day: dva two


[Old Blog] St. John’s bookstores, my brother’s been busy…

There are many things that Newfoundlanders do right and Sweet Relic is one of them. Those who know us can imagine what a little slice of heaven a place that sells books, coffee and chocolate is to us. This also happens to be one of the oldest standing structures in the city.Granny Bates is a children’s bookstore that is just as lovely. We haven’t been in Chapters since we moved to this neighbourhood four months ago.

My brother’s been a busy bee and is wrapping up the work on a short animated film. Here is the trailer:

Most of what you see is his work. The kid is amazingly good at what he does, eh.

Croatian word of the day:crtić cartoon [tzr tee ch]


[Old Blog] mily conversation, Lehmann, Foster, Clark, World Press, Leningrad, new laws, Kellie Walsh

Miss F. had no school today (professional development day for teachers) so the lady who takes care of Little Miss F on Tuesdays took both girls this morning. Here is a snippet of a conversation from earlier this evening:

Ms. P to Miss F: Rhonda said that you were horrible and that you screamed every time she asked you to do something.
Miss F. (indignantly): NO! I DID NOT!
Me: Why not? You do it at home all the time.
Miss F. (slyly): Because we have to be nice in other people’s houses.

I guess we taught her something, eh.

Today some photo links.

John Lehmann is a photographer with the Globe and Mail. He recently produced an exceptional multimedia package from the infamous Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Some may find the photographs and the language disturbing. He also blogs.

I am adding a couple of blogs to the links section. Brent Foster is a Canadian photographer currently based in India. Andy Clark is a photojournalism veteran currently working with Reuters. He is probably the nicest person in this business. I met him once during a portfolio review and I, the idiot that I am, never kept in touch. He is a good story teller, too.

World Press winners have been announced. As usual some good stuff out there. Here is a short interview with the head of the jury. Also some controversy among photojournalists wondering about the limits of burning and dodging when it comes to this beautiful set. If you go over here, you’ll be able to see one of the originals six photos down.

And since we are talking photo-manipulation, here is a link to some really interesting composite images commemorating 65 years of Leningrad (today St. Petersburg) blockade. The images are composites of the photographs taken today and 65 years ago.

With all this talk about landscape, nature, and manufactured landscape on this blog lately, I am happily sending you over to Gismodo to look at the photographs of some Japanese factories.

And for the end, a new law in Britain prohibiting photographs of police officers. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. And dangerous.

There, this should keep you busy!

This is a photo of Kellie Walsh, choir conductor working at Memorial University of Newfoundland who recently won Bela Bartok award, one of the most prestigious awards for choir conducting in the world. For the whole story, you can go to page 14 here (pdf).

[Old Blog] Orhan Pamuk Nobel lecture, Telegraph piece

Once in a while, I come across an on-line piece that I would actually prefer to print out and read slowly on paper. Orhan Pamuk’s Nobel lecture published in New Yorker is one such piece. Enjoy.

Sara Wheeler, the writer of the story for Telegraph Magazine on a London – Nova Scotia house swap vacation plays with her sons on a beach near New Glasgow. They are playing Olympics.

Croatian word of the day:nagrada award