elba, again

I realize that I still owe the pictures from Calin’s wedding, and so much more, and that I haven’t blogged in almost a month. It’s been a crazy summer and I barely had time to get the stuff done that I needed to do. My paperwork is piling up on my desk and my dirty laundry underneath it (my desk, I mean). The house is a mess, and I don’t even remember when I answered my last email. The good news is, we did have time last weekend for an amazing barbecue of slowly smoked ribs and tenderloin by the one and only Raymond J. Suda that blew my family and me away and once and for all redefined what we know as barbecue. Also, we managed to squeeze in a short trip to our beloved Island of Elba with Beth’s parents. Here are some shots from my cell phone:

Tourist crowds at Fetovaia beach on the Tuscan Island of Elba, Italy, Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

Beth takes a picture of her parents Kathy and Ray at Marciana Alta on the Tuscan Island of Elba, Italy, Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

A family takes in the view from one of the many side alleys in Capoliveri on the Tuscan Island of Elba, Italy, Monday, August 6, 2012.

Tomatoes are on display at a grocery store on Via Roma in Capoliveri on the Tuscan Island of Elba, Italy, Monday, August 6, 2012.

A group of local boys plays a video game in the mountain village of Marciana on the Tuscan Island of Elba, Italy, Wednseday, August 8, 2012.

Pedestrians pass by a store window on Via Calamita in Capoliveri on the Tuscan Island of Elba, Italy, Thursday, August 8, 2012.

The sun sets over the Golfo di Stella on the Tuscan Island of Elba, Italy, Tuesday, August 7, 2012.

August 21, 2012

romania, part one

I realized that I still owe some pictures from our trip to Romania – I apologize for the delay, but my Lightroom catalog got corrupted with all the edits that I had done on my takes there, and I was simply too lazy over the past two weeks to redo it all.

I decided to split the Romania pictures up in two sets – one with general shots from our time there, especially with our friends. The second one, which I will post shortly, is going to be exclusively of Calin and Domnita’s wedding and the preparations.

It was a great experience to visit Romania, and it was not at all what I had expected. I was impressed with the beauty of the country and the rich German heritage in large parts of Transylvania, and I can’t wait to go back there. At this point, I’d like to express our gratitude again to Calin and his family for everything, and also to our dear friends Catalin Abagiu and Vivian Esparza for their companionship, as well as Catalin’s wonderful mom for her caring hospitality.

Beth points out a herd of sheep that she saw on our way from Sibiu to Targu Mures. After 26 hours on an overcrowded, hot bus with zero leg space, the ride in the airconditioned minivan with no other passengers to Sibiu felt like heaven. Thursday, July 5, 2012.

Beth points out a herd of sheep that she saw on our way from Sibiu to Targu Mures. After 26 hours on an overcrowded, hot bus with zero leg space, the ride in the airconditioned minivan with no other passengers to Sibiu felt like heaven. Thursday, July 5, 2012.

The man of the hour has every reason to be happy: Our dear friend Calin Ilea, who got married to his sweetheart Domnita on July 7, only to celebrate his birthday three days later. Sighisoara, Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

The man of the hour has every reason to be happy: Our dear friend Calin Ilea, who got married to his sweetheart Domnita on July 7, only to celebrate his birthday three days later. Sighisoara, Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

Calin's niece and and nephew, Raluca and Rares, play with the family dog in the chicken coop of Calin's house in Targu Mures. Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

Calin's niece and and nephew, Raluca and Rares, play with the family dog in the chicken coop of Calin's house in Targu Mures. Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

Family friend Caius Ratiu feeds the cat Pamela at Calin's home in Targu Mures. Friday, July 6, 2012.

Family friend Caius Ratiu feeds the cat Pamela at Calin's home in Targu Mures. Friday, July 6, 2012.

Catalin and Vivian at the pizza place in Sighisoara. The latin mural behind them translates to "Love conquers everything." 'nuff said... Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

Catalin and Vivian at the pizza place in Sighisoara. The latin mural behind them translates to "Love conquers everything." 'nuff said... Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

One of the things that really stuck with me is how colorful the houses are in Transylvania. Passing through a typical village on our drive from Medias to Sighisoara with Catalin and Vivian. Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

One of the things that really stuck with me is how colorful the houses are in Transylvania. Passing through a typical village on our drive from Medias to Sighisoara with Catalin and Vivian. Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

Taking a walk through the woods in Medias with Cata and Viv. Monday, July 9, 2012.

Taking a walk through the woods in Medias with Cata and Viv. Monday, July 9, 2012.

After a week of scourging temperatures that gave me a nasty case of prickly heat around the neck, a cooling thunderstorm finally gave us a little break. Targu Mures, Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

After a week of scourging temperatures that gave me a nasty case of prickly heat around the neck, a cooling thunderstorm finally gave us a little break. Targu Mures, Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

The next day had us sweating bullets again, so we took a little walk to the public pool in Targu Mures for a refreshing dip. Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

The next day had us sweating bullets again, so we took a little walk to the public pool in Targu Mures for a refreshing dip. Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

I really love the landscape in Transylvania. It reminds me of my home, only slighlty more hilly. Between Targu Mures and Sighisoara, Thursday, July 12, 2012.

I really love the landscape in Transylvania. It reminds me of my home, only slighlty more hilly. Between Targu Mures and Sighisoara, Thursday, July 12, 2012.

Caius jumps on our way to the public pool in Targu Mures. It was our last evening in Romania. I can't wait to go back there and explore more of this intriguing country.

Caius jumps on our way to the public pool in Targu Mures. It was our last evening in Romania. I can't wait to go back there and explore more of this intriguing country. Stay tuned for Calin's wedding pictures, which will be up soon!

July 28, 2012

kocherlball

This morning, Beth and I got up at 4 a.m. to cover the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance. Held once a year in the early morning hours of the third Sunday of July, the ball was originally an opportunity for the cooks and maids of the 18th century Bavarian nobility to find their future spouses. Nowadays, it is organized by the Cultural Department of the City of Munich to celebrate the city’s Bavarian heritage. Every year, thousands of people flock to the Chinese Tower in the English Garden to dance to the traditional music under the guidance of two dance masters.

It was one of these events that sound so amazing to shoot – Lederhosen, Dirndl, traditional dances, etc. – but turn out to be much harder than you think. The sheer masses of people everywhere are overwhelming, and you don’t really know where to begin. It is hard to get a good sense of place and an overview over the dancing crowds, and you quickly feel like you’ve exhausted all your visual possibilities. Nevertheless we had a lot of fun, and I think we complemented each other fairly well. Where Beth had some great moments, I think I got some nice scene setters. Look out for Beth’s pictures on her blog, here are mine:

People arrive at the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's Englischer Garten city park for the 2012 Kocherlball early morning Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Thousands of people participate in traditional Bavarian dancing at the 2012 Kocherlball under the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Visitors of the 2012 Kocherlball sit in the beer garden at the Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Dance masters Magnus Kaindl and Katharina Mayer lead the dancing crowd at the traditional Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances at the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

A couple kisses during the traditional Kocherlball dance at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People dance traditional Bavarian dances during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

People in traditional Bavarian attire watch the dancing crowd during the Kocherlball at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

Thousands of people fill the beer garden at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten during the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

A slug crawls into an abandoned beer mug during the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

A couple dances away from the bath rooms during the Kocherlball, a traditional Bavarian dance at the historic Chinese Tower (Chinesischer Turm) beer garden in Munich's city park Englischer Garten, Sunday, July 15, 2012.

July 15, 2012

let the games begin

When we were in Verona, we went to watch the opera Carmen in the Arena di Verona. Built in the year 30 AD, the arena has hosted everything from gladiator fights to medieval executions and more civilized gigs such as operas in later times. It was an absolutely unreal feeling to sit on the very marble that 70 generations before us have polished with their butts.

Spectators leave the Arena di Verona during intermission of the premiere show of the opera Carmen during the 90th Arena di Verona Opera Festival, Saturday, June 30, 2012. If you look closely, you can find Rita and Beth in there, too...

Spectators leave the Arena di Verona during intermission of the premiere show of the opera Carmen during the 90th Arena di Verona Opera Festival, Saturday, June 30, 2012. If you look closely, you can find Rita and Beth in there, too...

July 4, 2012

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