Sunday, April 10, 2005

Washington Monument Gleams After Restoration

This is a two for one shot -- the monument plus cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossom Festival

The cherry blossoms in Washington DC are really a sight to behold. If you ever plan a trip to our capital go during this time of year. Besides avoiding summer heat and humidity, you will come away with a memorable vision.

Marine's Memorial Arlington

Sunrise can offer spectacular opportunities for dramatic shots. It was cold the March morning I photographed the Iwo Jima statue, but my photographs were gratifying. The memorial is only about a five minute walk from the hotel I stayed at while in Washington for medical evaluation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bulgarian Parliment on Sunday Morning

Parliment shot about 30 minutes after sunrise. I am rather happy with this shot. It was taken during the winter (2/19/05) and the low angle and clear cloud conditions make for dramatic light. The camera setting was on auto.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A very fine example of Thracian sepulchral architecture

The royal Thracian tomb at Sboryanovo consists of a dromos (corridor) and three premises (chambers), each of which is covered by a separate vault. The decoration of the central (burial) chamber is exceptionally rich. Four different Doric and one Corinthian column support a frieze with triglyphs and metopes; between those there are ten female figures (caryatids) with uplifted arms and above them, in the lunette of the vault, is the pcturesque scene of deification of the deceased ruler.

Quoted from the "Sboryanovo Historical and Archaeological Reservation", Vion Publishing house, Plovdiv, 2002. I was given this volume by the mayor of Isperih during my visit in September 2004.

Sbooryanovo is a short drive from Razgrad near the village of Shevastari and has many archeological points of interest. The royal tomb is listed in UNESCO's highest valuation sites. The tomb is not open in the winter months.

The main edifice of the liberation monument in Razgrad, Bulgaria

This is a view looking back towards the two stone cataracts in front of this main monument. The smaller sculptures can be viewed in the far foreground. It is difficult to compose a picture with all these huge elements. The massive structure of this monument is visible for miles around Razgrad.

Regrettably, the "eternal flame" at the base of the monument no longer burns, doubtless a casualty of the hard times the citizens of Razgrad had to endure after the fall of the regime. The monument is also debased with graffiti, which I find surprising in view of the admiration and reverence Bulgarians pay to their history. If you don't have money to pay someone to guard a monument how can you avoid vandals?

Three sculptures line each approach -- these are on the left

The massive size of the six sculptures lining the approaches to the main monument is apparent when compared with human subjects in the foreground of this shot. Three sculptures line the left side as you approach the main monument, and three sculptures line the right side.

The scenes depict battle scenes or civilian suffuring during the fight for liberation (from the Turks I am now informed). All the pieces are done in Socialist Realist style. Or at least I think they are in this style. I need to consult a town historian.

Three sculptures viewed from the opposite side

I really need to discover more information about these massive pieces of art. Who did them? When? What is the title of each piece.

Oblique view of one sculpture

An oblique view gives an idea of the scale.

Liberation monument art

There are six huge sculptures, three on either side of the stone "cataract" leading to the main triangular shaped highest stone monument. All are accomplished in the Socialist Realist style. I have not searched out the town historian who can tell me about these sculptures, but intend to in the future.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Seema named 1 of 50 people to watch in San Diego in 2005

Seema Sueko

Critics have been raving about this talented young actress- playwright ever since her stage debut last summer in the lead role of the Old Globe’s The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow. Sueko subsequently showed another side of her talents when she debuted both a play she had written—Remains, about the death of a peace activist in the Gaza Strip—and Mo‘olelo Performing Arts, a company she started for fellow Equity players. Top of the list this year for Sueko, an American Muslim, is to broaden the audience for theater, which she believes “needs to exist in the context of the community".

Quoted from San Diego newspaper.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Socialist Realist Art in Razgrad

This winged statue is a prominent feature of the main commercial district of Razgrad, but I don't care for it although I find a lot of sculpture done in this style interesting. Who am I to complain? What I know about sculpture would fit in a teacup, but this statue just does not appeal to me. No, that comment is too kind. To be brutally frank, I just cringe when I look at it and I'm not sure why. There are lots of statues in Razgrad, in fact this is one aspect of the place that makes me like it here. Most of the statues I admire. It is just this one that my eyes avoid when I pass by.