Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 27 2009

Some more new old photos.






And just for fun, a black hole sun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20 2009

Have an old photo. I realize it might be shocking to see a photo here after so long, so don't get too excited.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 19 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates. Since classes have started I have been very busy. The way they do it here is that there is a three week period where you are supposed to attend all of the courses you might be interested in.

This has some advantages and disadvantages. I am taking one class just because I sat in on it and loved the professor and his enthusiasm. However, at the same time it actually doesn't give you much freedom to visit classes. All the classes are covering material on the first say, so going to a different class which meets at the same time means missing material. It also meant I was attending 9 different classes for two weeks. On Thursdays this means 8 hours of consecutive math class!

Things should settle down after this week. One of the classes I am in is just a three week review course. I will however still be taking 5 math course, all of which are quite challenging, and at least one of the professors has a very different teaching style than any thing I've experienced before.

The program has a very lenient policy about changing a class from for credit to audit, so I have a safety net of sorts.

I haven't had much time to take photographs since classes started, (which is sort of good, at the rate I was shooting). Hopefully this afternoon or tomorrow I will go explore some more.

Last night I attended a concert at the Palace of the Arts (in the same building as the Ludwig museum), which was only 300 forints for students ($1.50!) although it "standing room" officially. In practice there were open seats we could have taken. The Obuda Danubia Orchestra played, along with Heja Domonkos and Gergely Boganyi. The pieces included Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Weber-Berlioz. Nothing I was familiar with, but it was quite good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3 2009

I went to the House of Hungarian Photography today. They are located near Oktogon, and open weekdays from 2-7. They have a very nice library on the top floor, a couple rooms just filled with old photography magazines and books, free for residents of Hungary. And being a student there for a semester counts! I spent a while looking through their great selection. I could spend years there. They also have a shop with some nice prints and books (new and used) and exhibition space. They had a show about space photographs, but I didn't check it out.

There is a also a very cool little used book store/cafe called Tree Hugger Dan's near Oktogon. I bought a copy of Crime and Punishment there, since I was told to read it by a former high school English teacher. And they aren't people you want to disappoint!

I spent some time shooting at the Opera house which is a stop down from Oktogon (called Opera). Beautiful building. Why don't we have as cool buildings? Why doesn't anyone make stone buildings any more? They are so elegant and permanent...

Bought three more rolls of film at Soós Foto. Their prices are just a little better than the other photo store I mentioned, but they only had TMax 400 for black and white.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2 2009

On Sunday I went to Gődőllő palace, which is outside the city. It was very beautiful, but still being renovated. I guess under the socialist system they were housing retired people there (fitting, I guess, if you are a communist) and so they wrecked a lot of it. One wing has been made into a very nice theater, but the other is still in shambles. The Hungarians like the palace because it was frequented by Queen Elizabeth, who learned Hungarian and took an interest in their culture, unlike most of the Habsburg rulers. There are many statues of her around Budapest. In any case, the Palace also has some gorgeous furniture and an awesome arms collection. Unfortunately there is no photography allowed in most of the palace.

Found another really cool photostore called Soósfoto (link, although it's all in Hungarian) between Deák Ferenc Tér and St. Stephen's Bascilica. Lots of used cameras and equipment. I saw a Leica M3 (I think it was 50,000 forints, or about $265, but that seems very cheap?). Also a Mamiya RB67...Holy crap those things are big. They had lots of film, photo paper, cases for lots of cameras, all sorts of stuff. I didn't see if anyone there spoke English. I know my Hungarian isn't good enough, and I definately don't know photography terms. That place was like a dream though.

Lots of second hand shops have neat old film cameras. The soviet makes are quite common (Lubitel, Zenit, etc.) but I've seen Kodak, Voigtlander, and others.

There's a very cool old Zeiss Contaflex II(?) for 14,000 forints (about $75) I am very tempted by. It seems to work perfectly.

Anyway, I spend several hours walking around the Pest side today (and you should all know that Budapest is really two cites. Buda is on the flat east bank of the Danube, and Pest is on the hilly west bank). I climbed up to the citadel, which has lots of cool paths and good views of the city, and also up to Buda castle, which is where the Hungarian national gallery and library are. Very cool.

I am going to have to buy more film soon! Oh well, that seems like a good thing to spend money on, rather than most of the touristy stuff. I may need to get a Budapest tankard, though. They had some really nice ones for sale on the Citadel. Not sure I would be able to get it back safely.