Milano Revisited

I went back to an old image, from 2014. It is funny how you can find something new in a pile of old stuff. I think I took images of Arco Della Pace from every possible angle, except aerial. Yet, you can always rediscover new details.


When I was doing and AfterBeforeChallenge (hosted by Stacy Fischer), I used a trick on a couple of projects, stretching the image. I went back to that trick again, just to see how far I can push it. I managed to stretch the image by 10%, everything beyond that was too much. It was fun doing something different, cause lately I’ve been doing all the work while taking the image, with minimum effort in post-processing.

For more interesting monochrome images, I recommend a visit to Leanne Cole’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY, where every Wednesday she hosts The Monochrome Madness Challenge.

Toil and Trouble

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 –  Jean L. Hays

“This is perfect! We’ll make a trading camp here.”

“Well, if you hadn’t blown up our tetra-hop speedster, we wouldn’t have to execute the emergency debark in the middle of nowhere.”

“Shh, don’t let the terrestrials here you call this goolie a middle of an unknown place.”

“This transliterator seems a bit off…I think goolie means something else. I told you we should have turned left when we reached Jupiter. Last time we landed in New York, a kid stuck a gum to my tail. It took me forever to grow another.”

“Mom will kill us. Again.”

“Shut up.”


Around The World

November Monochrome Madness Theme is Travel, whatever that word represents to us. It took me some time and thinking to get to this image, trying to avoid all the obvious subjects. I thought about roads, railways, cars, trains planes, shoes, suitcases, tickets…so many different things, but I thought everyone would post something along those lines.

Then I spotted this little globe – pencil sharpener that I bought years ago at the flea market in Prague and thought it perfectly encompassed what travel means to me. Aside from the fact that I bought it while I was actually traveling, the globe represents my desires and dreams to visit every corner of our little planet and even beyond.


Setting the stage was fun. I placed the globe on the cover of my laptop and placed a piece of a black cardboard as the background. For lightning once again I used a flashlight, suspending it above the globe and searching for the right angle. It seems this is one of my favorite techniques, I enjoy manipulating the image by playing with light.

For more intersting images representing travel, I recommend a visit to Leanne Cole’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY, where every Wednesday she hosts The Monochrome Madness Challenge.

Hand of Colossus of Constantine

Almost thirteen years has passed since I stood in front of the Hand of Colossus of Constantine. What a sight! It is impressive to look at the image, but the feeling of standing there is indescribable. Rome is one of the places I want to visit again, it is not a city, it is the world’s biggest museum.

The Colossus of Constantine was a colossal acrolithic statue of the late Roman emperor Constantine the Great (c. 280–337) that once occupied the west apse of the Basilica of Maxentius near the Forum Romanum in Rome. Portions of the Colossus now reside in the Courtyard of the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Musei Capitolini, on the Capitoline Hill, above the west end of the Forum.


This image is a part of Monochrome Madness Challenge. As usual, for additional monochrome images, visit Leanne Cole’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY, where every Wednesday she hosts the challenge.


The Man in the High Castle

I’ve been watching a TV series The Man in the High Castle, so my inspiration for this week’s Monochrome Madness theme High derived from that. This is the image of Karlštejn Castle, from one of my many travels to Czech Republic.


Karlštejn Castle is a large Gothic castle founded 1348 CE by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor-elect and King of Bohemia. The castle served as a place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia as well as the Bohemian/Czech crown jewels, holy relics, and other royal treasures. Located about 30 km southwest of Prague above the village of the same name, it is one of the most famous and most frequently visited castles in the Czech Republic.

I found so many images on the internet where the castle is surrounded by woods. All I can say – cheaters!!! 😛 The castle stands above the village and it is almost impossible to get the clear shot of it from the main road. I think it would be possible to get a better shot from the north side, so there is a motive to go back and do it all over again.

As usual, for additional monochrome images, visit Leanne Cole’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY, where every Wednesday she hosts Monochrome Madness Challenge.


Instagraming Through May

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for few weeks, wish it was something fun and enjoyble…alas it was work related. But I managed to continue my Instagram project, with images from my walks with Berta.

I was lucky to capture few more dandelions in their ethereal form, before they turn into yellow rascals that defy all hardships. But I love them in both versions.


My little piece of heaven still hides forgotten treasures, like this old rusty nut, half buried in sand. Things with Berta are still the same, meaning she is still ignoring me.

As usual, my botanic knowledge is non-existent, so I have no idea what kind of wild flower this is.


I enjoyed some really beautiful mornings with bright sky and even managed to capture a sunset through some trees. Berta. Still. Ignoring. Me.

This last image was taken on my visit to my uncle and aunt in Bosnia. Their horses are so beautiful and powerful, it was a treat to capture them. Unfortunately, the sun already disappeared, so I haven’t had as much time as I would like.


Well, that was my May on Instagram. I am starting to think you can’t have a serious presence on social media, unless you hire a help. I wonder if anyone has any experience with that?

As always, you can find me under the nick snowlocked. I would love if we connect on Instagram, too!


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.


Лебединое Oзеро

For today’s AfterBeforeFriday I played with another image from my recent visit to Prague.

I was trying to capture the image of Charles Bridge, so I went to a new, secluded spot. It took me probably half an hour to notice those swans, resting some 500 meters from me. I don’t think I ever saw so many swans in one place, it was a beautiful sight.



In post-processing I did all the usual things, adjusting exposure and colors, cleaning, sharpening…but when I cropped the image, something reminded me of an oil painting. I didn’t want to use FotoSketcher and actually transfer into an oil-painting look-a-like, so I softened the image to get that golden quality. Or at least I think I got it.



As always, show some kindness to other participants of the ABFriday Forum on Ben’s blog Aperature64. Next week ABFriday is replaced by OnePhotoFocus, hosted by Stacy Fischer. Since I am not participating, I will show you what I was up to on Instagram in November.

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Pražský Orloj

It’s been too long since I posted something crazy. So naturally, I thought ABFriday Forum would be a perfect place for some end of the week craziness. 😀

On my short visit to Prague in October, I had very few opportunities to go out and about with my camera. And when I managed to steal some free time, the weather was not in my favor. It was mostly raining, with just a few moments of sun peaking behind the clouds.

Loré Dombaj ABF69 before

When I got to the famous Astronomical Clock, the crowd was huge, so I decided to walk around the Old Town Hall and try to take some interesting pictures of the clock tower. I love to capture images from the frog perspective, especially the old architecture, it adds power and drama, making them even more imposing.

After few tries in different editing directions, I realized the biggest problem with this image was the sky. I needed a more dramatic backdrop to bring out the character of the tower, but I didn’t want to tinker forever with the existing sky and I doubted it would give me the desired effect. Instead, I went to PicMonkey and selected my favorite space texture, which has proven very successful in some of my past edits.

Loré Dombaj ABF69 after

This gave me just what I wanted, a magical look. I find it a perfect fit, this medieval tower that holds probably the oldest functional astronomical clock on this planet and that colorful sky that looks like a battlefield in The War of The Witches.

That would be all from me for this week, I am so happy it is Friday. Please, show some kindness to other participants of the ABFriday Forum on Ben’s blog Aperature64


Charles Bridge

Few quick words about this week’s Monochrome Madness. Another image from my last month’s visit to Prague, this is one of the most famous bridges in the world.

Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge that had been badly damaged by a flood in 1342. This new bridge was originally called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or the Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been the “Charles Bridge” since 1870. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas.


I took this image with the 70-300mm lens, from a considerable distance, without a tripod. It was a challenge to keep a steady hand, but I had some breathing lessons, so that helped a lot.

The editing was fairly simple. I went for the panoramic crop, it usually works well when your subject is a bridge. Adjusting exposure to bring focus to the stone work was my next step. Finally, blurring the background added a tridimensional feel to the bridge. I like those swans and boats, they add a little bit of dynamic to the image.

As always, be sure to check Leanne’s blog Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY. for other amazing entries.