Old Times Old Ways

As I said before, inspiration is a strange beast…

I am writing a story about Balto and Togo, two dogs who were a part of the 1925 Nome Serum Run, the famous dog sled relay, composed of 20 dog sled mushers and 150 dogs, which brought initial relief to the citizens of Nome, Alaska, who were being struck down by a diphtheria epidemic in late 1924 and early 1925. Doing the research, I came across some old photos of the sled dogs from 1920s. That gave me the idea to turn one of Berta’s photos into a vintage photo, reminiscent of those times.  Berta being a husky mix made it even more exciting.


The original was taken on one of our morning walks in December, was published on Instagram and featured here as the January Photo of the Month. Post processing was not very complicated, although it involved more than few steps. After converting it to b&w and adjusting the exposure, I softened the far background, which made her stand out more prominently. Playing with different textures actually gave me the idea of the vintage photo. So, I added some old paper texture via PixlrExpress and imported the image into FotoSketcher, where the final conversion step happened.

I like the final result, it does remind me of those old times. Here is an old photo of Togo, so you can make sense of my initial idea.


As I already said last week, our dear hostess Leanne Cole moved her post Monochrome Madness Challenge to Australia Thursday/Europe Wednesday, so I don’t have a direct link to her post. You can check her site Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY tomorrow, where you will find many other amazing entries.

We are But a Memory

Time for another entry in Friday Fictioneers challenge, courtesy of Rochelle Wissof-Fields. If you want to give it a try, check the info on her blog. 100 words more or less, inspired by a photo, here we go….


 Copyright – Jan W. Fields

26th of March 1827.

My love,

The lightning outside my window heralds the sound  of thunder that remains ever distant, but I know it is you calling upon me. Surrounded by familiar, yet foreign faces, it is a relief to acknowledge there is no strength left.  There is a kindness around me that I surely don’t deserve, but it is balanced by the greediness with which their hands   sort through my earthly possessions.

To finally fly free into your arms, beyond this prison of commonness…It would never be too soon. My immortal beloved…

We are forever.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Josephine Brunsvik

Immortal Beloved


The Observer

For two weeks in a row my Berta is the subject of ABFriday. And I love it, I think it is so much fun working on an image you feel passionate about.

This image was captured on one of our early morning walks at the end of December, few days before it started to snow. It was a string of exceptionally beautiful mornings where every sunrise offered spectacular colors.

Loré Dombaj ABF73 before

As in most cases, there is a difference of what we remember and what our camera captured. In editing process I tried to get closer to my memory. The editing was minimal, just a little bit of clean up and enhancing of colors. I had to deal with the upper left corner where the sky was blown up, so I used few filters and a partial vignette. Not the best job, but it got me where I wanted.

Loré Dombaj ABF73 after

Once again, be so kind and show support to other participants of AfterBeforeFriday on Ben’s blog Aperature64.

Dancing Out In Space

Time for another entry in Friday Fictioneers challenge, courtesy of Rochelle Wissof-Fields. If you want to give it a try, check the info on her blog. 100 words more or less, inspired by a photo, here we go….


 Copyright – Amy Reese

– I miss it.
– What?

– Life on Mars…I enjoyed the solitude and the winds. Do you remember the winds?
– I remember our first walks…and that one time I stole your hover chair.

– We were absolute beginners, but it was fun saving the world.
– Yes, we thought we could be heroes…never imagined the retirement would be so suffocating.

– I miss it.
– I know, you already said it.

– No, the hover chair. Why would anyone steal that?
– Well, we didn’t save the world from human stupidity. Here, let me carry you upstairs.

– You never let me down.
– And I never will.

– So now what?
– Let’s dance.



My favorite Friday challenge featuring my favorite living being! Can it get better? Of course it can, especially if there is a cup of hot chocolate involved. 😀

Loré Dombaj ABF72 before

Last Saturday it finally snowed. Some people like snow, some don’t. People with dog companions, especially those that have some husky blood in the mix, know what kind of happiness snow can bring.

Hence the smiling dog. Berta loves snow so much, I am seriously contemplating moving to Iceland…or Greenland…or Laponia…

Loré Dombaj ABF72 after

In post-processing, I wanted to bring focus on that smiley face. Few steps involved cropping, sharpening, adjusting exposure…Touch of vintage photo filter, merged with the original image and voila! Flying, smiling Berta!

Don’t forget to check out other participants of ABF on Ben’s blog Aperature64.


Happy Holidays!!!

Here we are, at the end of another year. But, as the wise people said before – This is not the end, just a rest-stop before the new adventure.

I wish you all Happy Holidays, wherever you are and whatever you are celebrating! I hope you will spend time with your loved ones, filled with peace, joy and celebration.

Merry Christmas

Until the next year!



50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

Few days ago Dawn Landau of Tales From the Motherland invited me to participate in an interesting event. Trying to spread positive thoughts across the blogosphere, I agreed to make the list of 50 things that made me happy in 2015. The trick was to write them down in 10 minutes or less. I thought it tricky, but in truth I managed to come up with 50 happy things in 9 minutes, which in return made me happy again. The event is going live on Monday 21 and if you want to help spread happy thoughts, you will find all the necessary details at the bottom of this post.

And now….here are my 50 happy things!!!

Berta 02.08.2015

My dearest Stefan


Writing poetry
My best friend Irena
Morning walks with Berta
Traveling to Italy
Walking over Charles Bridge in Prague

Decorating my home for Christmas
Drinking tea with my high school friend Danijela
High school reunion (first time in 23 years)
Watching movies with my best friend
Being amazed by my uncle’s trip to US (he is 61 and doesn’t speak English, but he visited Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, flew over Grand Canyon)
Joining Instagram (I am posting photos every single day!)
Taking photos with my camera, phone, friends camera, anything I can get my hands on
Two published articles!!!
Dynamic Range, where my series The History of Women Photographers is being featured

Dynamic Range Magazine - Issue 2 Nov 2015 - cover page
My blog (one of the best things I did in my life)
Friday Fictioneers
Spreading my writer’s wings
My new notebook
Berta (again and again)
My hometown
Running wild
Chasing rainbows (even in my forties)
Knowing when to stop

Loré Dombaj ABF57 after
Dreaming big
Living large
Planning my trip to New York
Knowing I will go to New York with my best friend ❤
Visiting my family
Sharing things
Keeping special people close to my heart
Losing myself in the best way
Finding myself over and over again

Visiting Prague again after six years
Loosing weight (and not gaining it back)
Improving on my photography skills
Learning few Italian words
Walking around Milan (with the camera in my hands)

Cuddling with my Berta
Vilma, a new member of my extended family
Looking at the mirror
Packing my bags
Happy memories
Still having a love affair with myself

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! When I finished my list, I took a few extra minutes to add links and photos.

To join the bloggers who have come together for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click on the blue frog at the bottom of this post. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise.

And The Carousel Still Spins

Time for another entry in Friday Fictioneers challenge, courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you want to give it a try, check the info on her blog. 100 words more or less, inspired by a photo, here we go….


 Copyright –    Ted Strutz

“Do you remember our first date?” You ask me, your lips brushing gently the tip of my nose…in that casual way that makes my knees weak…just like I was a girl again.

“You took me on a ride, hoping my dress would get caught in the wind.” I kiss your soft lips and you smile at me….just like you were a boy again.

We make our way to the ticket booth, cutting in front of our grandkids, laughing at their complaints. “We were here first!” they shout, but we are already spinning…smiling…forgetting the world.

Follow the Cairns

Time for another entry in Friday Fictioneers challenge, courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you want to give it a try, check the info on her blog. 100 words more or less, inspired by a photo, here we go….


You think I am gone. Chasing rainbows in the after, waiting for you so we can cross that bridge.

But you are mistaken. I am here, a permanent tenant in your heart, cuddling and  sleeping…and when I wake up, I run around, chasing my tail. That is why your chest hurt so much and you feel the need to cry. But don’t worry, I am just trying to say: Thank you for a place to sleep.

And when the time is right, I’ll run before you, placing little cairns along the way…so you don’t get lost.

Last Friday, we said goodbye to my best friend’s companion. I suspect she took a little bit of space in my heart, too. Sleep, my little friend. ♥


Moderato Cantabile

Time for another entry in Friday Fictioneers challenge, courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you want to give it a try, check the info on her blog. 100 words more or less, inspired by a photo, here we go….


 Copyright –   C.E.Ayr

Everywhere I turn, there is your sad face. Today you are on the cover of every paper, fast-selling news. Tomorrow they will start to question your legacy.

I never knew you…and still, you were the part of my life. In this harsh, crumbling world you were the island of undeniable beauty. Somewhere in the house there are your records, perfectly preserved.

She loved your music so much. I can still see her sitting at the kitchen table, lighting another cigarette, slowly sipping her drink. There is an added layer of sadness in your death. Because of the way my mother cried over your music.

Arsen Dedić 28.07.1938.-17.08.2015.