Salina Turda

Salina Turda

Hidden below the Transylvanian landscape in Turda sits a large underground wonderland with a brightly lit modern art theme park nestled 120 meters below the surface of the Earth inside one of the oldest salt mines in Europe.

Salina Turda is the largest salt mine museum in the world, and easily the most incredible. Salt extraction on the site’s surface started in antiquity, but the work expanded underground during the Roman occupation of Dacia. The salt was extracted manually using pickaxes, hammers, chisels, and steel wedges, by free people who were paid in florins, ale, and loaves of bread.

The mine was closed in 1932, but it was used again during World War II as a bomb shelter. After the war, the mine served several purposes, one of which was a warehouse for storing cheese. Regardless of its history, this salt mine is not just a huge museum, but an epic tourist attraction. It was even ranked by Business Insider as the most beautiful underground place in the world.

Today, Salina Turda has been transformed into an incredible underground theme park.When you visit, you’ll head down about 400-feet before reaching the submerged wonderland. Once inside, you’ll find an amphitheatre, a bowling alley, an underground lake with paddle and row boats, and even a Ferris wheel. You’ll also find a mini golf course and ping pong courts.

The stunning rugged caverns walls are like surreal paintings and the result of mining that carved out over three billion tons of salt. Salina Turda is open year-round. Costs vary based on your preferred package, but will typically be around 15 lei (about £3) for adults and is worth every penny, there’s nothing else like it in the world.

Lighting Modifiers, Don’t Be Fooled By The Hype.

Lighting Modifiers, Don’t Be Fooled By The Hype.

When it comes to lighting modifiers, don’t be fooled by the hype, the quality of the materials are important, but the brand name will not make the light quality superior or transform you into Annie Leibovitz. However as Annie Leibovitz knows how to light, she could use any modifier to create a good image regardless of it’s brand name.

I have purchased various lighting modifiers over the years and think I have found one of the most versatile lighting modifiers I have ever seen and used, what is it? A HWAMART ® EOS100B 100cm 39″ Easy Open Silver Soft Umbrella Softbox.

For my uses a modifier above “39 for outdoor use becomes an issue if there is a breeze and anything smaller than “39 is just a tad too small in relation to size, distance and light quality. However, this conclusion has resulted after experience of photographing Horse Portraits outdoors, whilst trying to keep kit portable, packable and of good quality.

The HWAMART ® EOS100B provides the sweet spot in terms of the quality of light it produces in relation to its size, quality and price. The softbox is built around an innovative and integrated spring-loaded rod system that quickly snaps into place. There is also Included is a detachable beauty dish deflector as well as two levels of removable diffusion panels and a honeycomb grid. With these options you have many different ways to achieve different lighting for most situations.

What is the build quality like? Is it as good as Westcott? I guess time will tell, but for the price it is very close and far better than most of the gear coming out of China.

If you are getting into lighting and are looking for your first light modifier, the HWAMART ® EOS100B is worth considering, if I had the choice of only having one lighting mod, this would be it. Price wise it’s in the middle, the price tag is neither low or high and from my experience, this price point provides quality without paying for the name and unlike most of the cheap kit from china, it will last if you take care of it. Moreover, learn to use one light properly and you can achieve some great images, spending a fortune on kit won’t provide any short cuts, you have to put in the effort and practice.

You can purchase these online through various vendors. Amazon link for idea of prices https://www.amazon.co.uk/HWAMART-Umbrella-SpeedBox-Foldable-honeycomb/dp/B01M1EIDK7/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

Light Shaping Pioneer

Light Shaping Pioneer

Photographers have a wealth of creative tools at their disposal today that enable the creation of some truly amazing images in relation to lighting. Despite Adobe Photoshop making almost anything possible image manipulation wise, have you ever wondered how similar images of today were crafted and lit 30 years ago?

There are past photographers whose body of work stands the test of time and whose names are very well known and there are others whose names fade. This year I have decided to improve my lighting skills and knowledge so I have been searching for good learning material and recently I learned about a photographer I had never heard of, Dean Collins.

Dean Collins? If like myself you have not heard of him, once you discover what he did and created, if you are interested in lighting, you will see that he was a lighting pioneer.

Mr. Collins was a photographer that specialty was light – understanding it, controlling it and making it do anything he wanted. Although the videos on YouTube look dated with the eighty’s hairstyles and clothing and the technology looking like pieces from a museum, at the core, there are still little learning gems that shine as brightly now as they did over 30 years ago.

Why is Dean Collins still relevant today? His workshops taught about the properties of light and instead of focusing on current trends, he stuck to the fundamentals that are still as relevant today as they were 30 years ago and if you have never heard of him, personally I think he deserves discovering either via YouTube or an internet search.

I have just purchased a second-hand book called “Photographic Global Notes” Although the book has contributions from numerous photographers from around the globe, they were all lighting pioneers in what they did and there are plenty of insights and learning opportunities and it only cost me £4.50 with delivery.

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