понеделник, 31 май 2021 г.

European Photographer certification gained!

For English, scroll down 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

Обичам да казвам, че станах фотограф, защото ми казаха, че не ставам и не мога. Че съм "тъпа фуста" и да оставя снимането на големите момчета. Тогава бях на 19 и тъкмо се бях регистрирала в първия си фото сайт и питах за съвети (историята я има в едно от видеата ми за митовете във фотографията). Тогава бях на 19 и първо си поревах малко, а после се амбицирах и реших да докажа на ония "разбирачи", че мога. 

10 години по-късно, смея да твърдя, че съм дипломиран магистър-фотограф (Master of Arts, Falmouth University UK), член на няколко професионални организации (между които и Кралското фотографско дружество на Великобритания), а от четвъртък вечерта (когато излязоха резултатите) - вече съм сертифициран European Photographer към FEP (Европейската федерация на фотографите):

Учила съм се по проба-грешка и успях да запиша магистратура фотография заради качеството на кадрите си. Никой не ме е държал за ръчичка да ми дава "позитивна критика" - точно обратното, виждала съм гадната страна на фотографията като занаят, където всеки крие от теб познанията си, все едно са безценно злато и няма друг начин да ги научиш, освен да им "лижеш Д-то" преди да ти спуснат заветната информация. Обаче знаете ли? Щом има желание - има и начин и онова, което успях да постигна за времето, през което се занимавам с фотография (от 2009-та насам) е живото доказателство.

Ако преди 10 години не ми бяха казали, че не ставам, вероятно никога нямаше да започна да се занимавам с фотография и днес нямаше да съм професионален фотограф. Обаче ето на - дори и нещо толкова негативно може да се окаже повратна точка в живота. 

А къде са "разбирачите" сега ли? От дребните ми наблюдения в наследника на оня сайт - на същото ниво. 

Защо ви разказвам тази история ли? Защото няма значение какво ти казват другите, а в какво вярваш ти и колко си мотивиран да го постигнеш! 

Какво смятам да правя оттук нататък ли? Имам още, по-високи цели във фотографията и когато (не "ако", а "когато") ги постигна, ще ви разкажа и историите зад тях. 

Днешният ден е една огромна крачка във фотографската ми кариера. Дай Боже да има още по-големи крачки! 

I love to say that I have become a photographer because I was told that I am no good and I can’t do it. That I am a ‘stupid wench’ and I should leave photos to the ‘big boys’. I was just 19 then and had just registered to my first photo sharing website and I was asking for advice (you can find the whole story on my YouTube channel in one of my ’12 myths about photography videos’). Then I just cried a bit and after that decided to prove those ‘big boys’ wrong. 

10 years later, I dare say that I am a professional photographer with an MA in photography (Master of Arts, Falmouth University UK), member of a few professional photo associations (among which is the Royal Photographic Society, by the way) and since Thursday evening (which is when the results came in) – I am now a certified European Photographer by FEP (Federation of European Photographers):

All I have learned, I have done by trial and error and I managed to land a place in the MA photography programme because of the quality of my work. There was no one to hold my hand and give me ‘positive criticism’ – the very opposite of that. I have seen the nasty side of photography where everyone regards it as a craft which you could potentially steal if they share some insights with you and there is no other way but to kiss @ss in order to get that information. But you know what? When there’s will, there’s a way and what I have achieved throughout the years I’ve been into photography (I started in 2009) is the living proof of that.

If these people hadn’t told me that I am no good 10 years ago, I would have never become so obsessed with photography and would not have become a professional photographer at all. But there we are – even something as negative as that could prove to be a turning point in one’s life. 

Where are the ‘big boys’ now’? Judging by my checks in that website’s successor – at the same level they had been 10 years ago. 

Why I am telling you this story? Because it doesn’t matter what the others tell you. What matters what you believe in and how motivated you are to achieve it!

What I am planning to do next? I have more, higher photography-related goals and when (yes, ‘when’, not ‘if’) I achieve them, I will the backstage stories as well. 

Today is a big step for my photographic career. Hoping to have even bigger goals! 

Bistra Stoimenova Photography
Culture Crossroads

неделя, 2 май 2021 г.

Happy Easter

Христос Воскресе! 
Когато си фотограф, не можеш просто да качиш случайна снимка на яйца и козунаци, трябва да са си твоите, актуални тазгодишни яйца и козунаци :) 

When you are a photographer, you cannot simply post random Easter greeting - you need your own images - so happy celebrations everyone :)

Весели празници на всички и се забавлявайте! 

#bistrastoimenova #photography #easterbunnywashere #eastereggs #kozunak #easterbread #celebration #orthodox #orthodoxeaster #traditions⁷

събота, 15 август 2020 г.

Today is a huge religious holiday in Bulgaria

Today is the day of Dormition of the Mother of God

In honor of the holiday, I'm posting a picture of the highest statue of the Holy Mother of God in the world. It's 14 feet tall and the chapel below it-17. It's located in Haskovo, Bulgaria.

Truth be told, this is an old photo but I still love it :) 

About the place:

Getting there is easy. There are signs all over the town because it's one of the main landmarks. If you climb up the bell tower you can enjoy a panoramic view of the town. The chapel is open every day, but in order to enter, you have to be properly dressed.

The story behind the shot:

This shot is an accident. I had some bad luck that day, I ended up on location right at noon when the sun shines directly from above. With that sun, the statue remained in shadow, so I didn't expect miracles. Before I left, I decided to take a shot of the sun and the statue to make a silhouette. 

However, this was far beyond my expectations...


To create an image like this, you'll need a closed aperture (the biffer f/ number, the better) and bright sun. The rest is a matter of luck. 

неделя, 5 юли 2020 г.

Two on the road

Two on the road 

A calm and typically rainy evening at Falmouth, UK

I know I haven't been around these months but I'm trying to get to grips with everything. So, an Instagram picture is the perfect way to bring the page back to life.

The story behind the shot
In case you don't know, shops and restaurants there close at 9 p.m. local time. So, if you are used to the Eastern European way of life (where the night just starts at 9) you will surely be a bit shocked. As I was back then. 

The UK weather stereotype goes that it rains everyday. Not here though.This place has the climate of a greenhouse. It's awfully humid and full of greenery that I wouldn't have believed could grow in there (I'd rather think it would be in Greece). When it rains though, it's not torrential rain. No big raindrops to tap on your windows. Nothing of the sort. It resembles a thick, persistent mist that gets you soaked in no time. 

While hiding from such a rain, I got bored and started to take pictures of what I saw. This one is one of my favorites :) 

#bistrastoimenova #phonesnap #photographylovers #photography #uk #uklife #falmouth #falmouthcornwall #ukevening #bluehour #cityscape #citylife #citylights #streetphotography #phonephotos #phonephotography #cornwall

неделя, 8 март 2020 г.

Честит осми март!

Честит празник, мили дами! 

 Happy international women's day! 

#womenempowerment #womensday #womensday2020 #womensday2020❤️ #women #flowers #bistrastoimenova #photography #8ofmarch #осмимарт #деннажената2020 #деннажената 

събота, 7 март 2020 г.

Color palette

Sighisoara old town, Romania

A walk through the alleys of Sighisoara in a gloomy and rainy afternoon. You must have seen this shot here and there, if not - now's the perfect time to stop and read.

I mentioned a long time ago that Romanians are not afraid of rain at all. Photographers, on the other hand, hate humidity in all it's forms. However, when everyone around stares at you because you carry open an umbrella and you wander around the desolate and gloomy alleys of an unknown town, attracting unwanted attention is not the best idea.

The story behind the shot:
This is the old town of Sighisoara, and by the time I got to that part, it was already raining unpleasantly. The alley was narrow and beautiful, but one has only two hands... What happens in that case? Lean against a door and shoot, run to the next one and so on. It doesn't seem to be raining in the picture, but in truth it was well, not OK.

Photo advice and safety:
There is no camera that loves water. So don't get too wet. Wipes will not go unused, as well as a raincoat (though I hate them).

Watch out for the empty streets too. Sighisoara is a medieval city and this makes a walk through the quiet areas a bit creepy. You don't know who's watching you.

Read more about the place on the Culture Crossroads project page.

вторник, 3 март 2020 г.

Happy Liberation Day!

Happy Third of March to all Bulgarians and people who feel for Bulgaria in some way :)
Today, we celebrate 'Liberation day'

Here is some info about the history of the place.

The Crossroads point:
The monument on Shipka peak as seen from Orlovo Gnezdo (the literal translation for that in English would be Eagle Nest)
The place is a very dramatic an symbolic for all Bulgarians because 141 years ago it was the place where the fate of the whole nation was decided. It is a place where we honour the heroism of those who fought there to make us safe.

In 1877, during the Russian-Turkish Liberation war, that place was attacked by the Ottoman army.
The idea was that one Turkish pasha (Siuleyman) had to go to Northern Bulgaria to help another pasha (Osman) with the Russian siege of Pleven (which is in Northern Bulgaria). Had he done that, the Liberation War would have ended with defeat for the Russians and devastation for the Bulgarians.
This is where Shipka comes to the fore – to go to Northern Bulgaria, Suileyman had to cross Stara Planina (which stretches across the middle of Bulgaria) but driven by anger he foolishly chose the highest mountain pass in the area – Shipka pass.
The defenders on the homonymous peak above the pass were around 7 500 Bulgarian volunteers and Russian soldiers against more than 27 000 Turkish soldiers and bashibozuk (the Turkish version of volunteer army, known for their cruelty). In a dramatic 3-day fight when even the ammo ran out, the defenders fought till the last one standing and even threw the dead bodies of their comrades against the enemy. They managed to stand their ground until some reinforcements were sent and that slowed down the Turkish army and basically tilted the scales in favour of Russia. Today, it is said that that fight won the whole war and won freedom for Bulgaria

The monument has long and tangled history (which deserves a post of its own) so for the time being I'll only mention that it was built on donations and opened to visitors in 1934. It is open all year round, the exact working hours vary according to season.

More info on how to get there, tickets etc. can be found on their website: