The clouds are very low in the sky and I feel the snow coming. The wind picks up as I start my hike. I put on the snow shoes and strip almost naked. It's too hot for a February day. As I head up, I wonder if those dogs that attacked me in Autumn are still there. Wonder no more, because the sleet starts. The backpack feels heavy and I have an unusual pain that forces me to stop often catching my breath. I sink in the snow and I realize I won't make it to the camp place I had in mind. So I decide to venture out of the trail and find another one. I meet a flock of hinds and stags that check me out. As we look to one another, I feel blessed being there. Just being there, sweating and breathing fresh air and carrying that damn backpack.
I stop. This place is perfect. I can look in the distance and for some reason, the sound of the train somewhere down below comforts my solitude. I suddenly spot a marten besides my camp. He's looking at me for quite some time when I notice him. Scared by my fearsome looks, he takes his ready-for-winter-fat-ass into the woods. I wish he stayed. The sleet delays putting up my small tent. I wait for the evening. The sleet goes on as I take some pictures of the camp and a few of the trees near-by. I go to sleep way too early. I wake up at midnight, melt some snow as I have ran out of water, write a few meaningless words in my notebook, listen to some music and try to sleep again. I'm soon visited by a curious owl. She's prowling my camp site and keeps me company as I fall asleep. Thanks, owl.
6:30 am as I wake up. The sleet has been replaced by wind and the skies are clearing. Except for my sleeping bag, everything is wet as I pack up. The night was even warmer than yesterday. I don't hurry, but I soon realize I might miss my train. I run a short marathon, the train station being the goal. I almost forget the weight I'm carrying, but as I stop in the glory of being there before the train, my back sends me distress signals. The ride warms me up again and I enjoy myself by looking at people waving good-byes to the loved ones in places that time forgot. I arrive home walking slower than the fast paced style during the week. I have with me around ten images on a card that probably takes in five hundred and one that I can keep. Almost empty handed, but with my soul whooping. "Yesterday was a good day", I say to myself. One good day, one decent image, one happy man.
From a little story I wrote a while ago.
- 2019 GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year - winner Plants and Fungi
- 2018 Asferico Nature Photography Competition - finalist Landscape
- 2017 NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year - winner Plants and Fungi
- 2017 Milvus Nature Photography Contest - grand prize
- 2016 GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year - finalist Plants and Fungi
- 2015 Transnatura International Nature Photo contest - 2nd place Wild Abstract
- 2014 Transnatura International Nature Photo contest - 1st place Landscape
- 2014 Milvus Nature Photography Contest - 1st place Photo Essay
- 2012 International Photography Awards - 3rd place Nature - Other
- 2012 Milvus Nature Photography Contest - 1st place Landscape
- On Landscape (UK) - article contributor
- League of Landscape Photographers (CA) - member
- Nature Photo Blog (EU) - member
- Aurora Photos (US) - contributing member
- FORONA (Romanian Nature Photographers Association) - founding member
- Verlag art & nature (DE) - postcards with my images
- Greenpeace (RO) - images for the forest campaign
- Adventure Journal (US) - article about our bicycle trip in Iceland
- National Geographic Traveler (RO) - article about our bicycle trip in Iceland
- National Geographic (RO) - images from Retezat National Park
- GDT Forum Naturfotografie (DE) - interview