Gallery: so which did you choose?
Photography, like all arts, is a subjective business. We all have our favourites. At times though it seems it’s almost as hard to judge other people’s work as it is our own. Nevertheless, we often do just that.
Gallery: you choose (I can’t!)
How good are you at self-criticism when it comes to photography? Are you ruthless about discarding less successful shots? And can you easily decide which of several is your best?
My travel year in review, 2022
All of us who love to travel, and are fortunate enough to be able to do so, will I hope be looking back on a year filled with both familiar and foreign places. For most of us, 2022 was the year in which we began to feel comfortable travelling again. When, despite a few new forms to fill in and masks to be worn, perhaps reluctantly, on planes, the world opened up again and we could scratch that travel itch, relieve that homesickness ‘for the places we have never known’.
The Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia
To leave a monument standing, to mothball it or to destroy it? That is a question that faces many countries right now, as they face up to an uncomfortable past. Maybe values have changed, better understandings emerged, or political systems been rejected. Do we want still to be surrounded by reminders of that past? Or is it justifiable to remove them, hide the memories?
Welcome to the 1980s in Bulgaria
In one corner of the room a small TV broadcasts news and propaganda. Photo albums on the table are full of reminders of happy family gatherings. Some medals are proudly displayed on a shelf, while the drinks cabinet holds treasured bottles of imported brands.
Gallery: some of the many monuments of Sofia
Sofia may have moved its many communist era monuments to a dedicated museum, but that doesn’t mean that the city is short of interesting public art pieces. And there is quite a variety, from the purely artistic to the historically significant.
Gallery: seeing Sofia in black and white
Speaking figuratively, Sofia is not a black and white city. Its history is too complex, its architectural influences too diverse. But like any city it lends itself to black and white photography.
Gallery: more street art from Sofia
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of street art. I don’t mean scrawled graffiti, or even more precisely worked ‘tags’. I mean art. Like many cities today, Sofia offers a dedicated street art tour; we saw signs advertising it in several places. But we chose not to take the tour, instead preferring to seek out street art at our own pace.
Sofia, city of contrasts and a work in progress
Bulgaria’s capital city intrigues and charms me. It seems to be in a state of constant flux, built on layers of history. One minute you are walking on a Roman road, the next staring up at 1950s Stalinist monoliths. Gold-domed cathedrals and churches dominate the vistas along wide boulevards while in side streets elegant villas sit side-by-side with their crumbling, neglected cousins.
Gallery: a September selection
There is a theme emerging in these monthly round-ups, a theme of bookends! I’ve already pointed out that while July was bookended by happy gatherings of family and friends, August was similarly bookended with funerals. And now we come to September and we are back to happier bookends: city breaks.