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Tag: sofia (page 1 of 2)

The Neighbourhood

We live in a quite neighbourhood in the south of Sofia. Normally I walk through it on my way to take photographs elsewhere, but on this particular day I decided to have a closer look at the ordinary and the everyday.

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In Borisova Garden

I spent a couple of hours today walking in the Borisova Garden, one of Sofia’s many parks. The park is home to the Bulgarian Army stadium, where CSKA Sofia play. Many years ago – 1981 to be precise – I saw CSKA Sofia when they came to Belfast to play my local team Glentoran in what was then the European Cup (now the Champion’s League). The Glens had lost 2-0 in Sofia and no-one thought they had any chance. While CSKA were not one of Europe’s footballing superpowers they were, by a long way, the best team in Bulgaria – 31 times Bulgarian league champions and 20 times winners of the Bulgarian cup. Despite their underdog status, the Glens were 2-0 up with 20 minutes remaining and the game went into extra time. CSKA scored with five minutes left and the Glens were out. CSKA went on to beat defending champions Liverpool in the quarter finals before being overrun by Bayern Munich in the semi final.

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Alexander Nevsky Cathedral 2

This is a great building to photograph and when I’m out with a camera I invariably end up here and take some more pictures. On this occasion it was late afternoon with the sun was sinking, the moon rising and beautiful light. I had my ‘better’ camera with me and I originally planned to go in and take more interior shots, since when I visited previously I only had my LX5 compact. But it was too nice to be inside so I wandered around the square outside for an hour or so and took these pictures.

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Here and There 2

A second batch of random shots from around Sofia. Picking up where I left off in my previous here and there post here is another shot of the Regional History Museum, and former city bathhouse, seen through the fountain that stands in the square in front of the museum. I’ve taken a lot of photographs of this scene so if you think you’ve seen this before, you have.

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Here and There 1

Here and there – it could just as easily be bits and pieces, or odds and ends. Whatever it’s called here are a few photographs from Sofia that I’ve put together in a single post rather than having multiple separate posts. First, three pictures from the Soviet War Memorial, or The Monument to the Soviet Army, as it is properly known. It has stood since 1954, having been built to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the ‘liberation’ of Bulgaria by the Red Army. There have been campaigns to have it demolished or at least removed but so far they have not succeeded.

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Sofia Metro

I’ve taken very few photographs of the Sofia Metro which is surprising given that metro systems are one of my favourite subjects. Of those few these are the only two I thought worth keeping. The first is the Serdika station in central Sofia, the second is one of the underground walkways at the NDK station. The first of these was shot with my Panasonic LX5. In its day the LX5 was considered a high end compact with a larger sensor than typical for compact cameras of the time, but much smaller than today’s high end compacts like the Sony RX100. Not only is it a small sensor it’s also – in digital years – ancient with the LX5 first introduced back in 2010. Yet despite its small size and older technology I’m always impressed with the quality of the images I get from it.


Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Despite its Byzantine appearance the grand Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia is relatively recent. The foundation stone was laid in 1882 and most of the construction was carried out between 1904 and 1912. While the Cathedral belongs to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church it is named for a 13th century Russian prince and Orthodox saint in honour of the Russian soldiers who died during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 which resulted in Bulgaria’s liberation from Ottoman rule.

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‘Saint’ Sofia

The Bulgarian Communist Party, demonstrating that relentless lack of imagination that seems common to communist parties everywhere, erected a massive statue of Lenin in the centre of Sofia. Following the collapse of the regime this Lenin went the way of many others and disappeared in 1991. Nine years later Lenin’s spot was taken by this eight metre tall statue atop a sixteen metre column.

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Nikkor AI-S 105 f2.5

I recently picked up the Nikon AI-S 105mm f2.5 lens. I attached it to my FM2n and over the last couple of weeks I have been out and about around Sofia shooting with it. I got the developed film – Kodak Ektar – back yesterday and scanned the negatives last night. So here are some thoughts on the lens and some sample shots.

First, the lens itself. Having already bought a 24, 35 and 50 for my Nikon I was looking for something a little longer for occasional use. The obvious option was one of the various AI or AI-S 85mm lens but for some reason these do tend to be expensive even by Nikon standards. I was aware of the 105/2.5 having read many good things about it but considered that focal length to be a little more that I wanted.

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Roll 1

New year, new count. It has taken me until now to shoot my first roll of the year which doesn’t augur well for the rest of the year. Long hours and dark nights have limited my photographic opportunities, but I finally forced myself out for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning to run a test roll of film through my newly acquired Nikon F2. I happened to have a couple of rolls of Kodak Ultramax 400, a film I had never previously used, so it was also an opportunity to try it out. I brought my 24 and 105 Nikkors, starting with the former and swapping half way through.

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