Daily Inspiration #111 by Zoran Kulusic-Neral

Hope you are all having a great weekend! Here are some very lovely and touching shots that were sent in to me by Zoran Kulusic-Neral. They were shot with is Leica M9 and 50 Summilux ASPH as well as a Leica Digilux 3.  Enjoy.

From Zoran:

“Hi Steve,

I am sending you some of my first images with Leica M9 and my Summilux 1.4/50 ASPH, f1.4, 1/500, ISO 640 (images Maria 2 and Maria 3). I have taken Maria 1 with Digilux 3 (f5.6, 1/320, ISO 100)

Maria used to be my neighbour when I was living in this village 30 years ago. I use to call this place – From God forgotten place. Unfortunately nothing to do with the recent war. In fact, 30 minutes drive from the Croatian Capital. She came there from another forgotten part of Croatia to be married to the man who was as poor as she was. Before he died few years ago, he was working in the local shoes factory, before they closed it just after the war, during the non-fair privatisation process. After that he joined her to work as a day labourer – without any daily compensation – just for 3 meals a day. They have lived in the small house – 1 kitchen and 1 bedroom. Not alone. Maria was there with her two little girls, her father in law, her brother in law, and her sister in law. On the back of the house, there was and still is a stall with 1 cow and few other domestic animals.

Today, Maria lives alone. Still works as a day labourer. She is 68. She is deaf since she was hit by a goat when she was 9 years old. However, I have never met a more positive person. Even though she is living in, for majority of people, unacceptable conditions, she goes on and never gives up. I am meeting her once a month and she always says ” What can I do? If it cannot be better.” The three enclosed photos are part of my portfolio called Maria. She is my inspiration and when I feel I am having a tough life, I always think on her, look at her face and I keep going on.

Thius is just apart of the story about Maria. I could write a book about being her neighbour for 3 years when I was 10 years old. I hope that this short story and her face will inspire the visitors of your site. I am aware that the photos are not technically perfect. Therefore I did not enclose a phot where she smiles as it is bit blurred. I did not use a tripod. This was and always is a short conversation with Maria while I was holding my camera, manually adjusting the elements which make a good photo.

Thanks for your time reading this.

Best regards from Croatia and keep going wiht the great pictures and reviews.

Zoran Kulusic-Neral”


  1. Thank you very much for all your comments. I am currently preparing a website to show some of my photographs. Hope to have it ready by the end of this month and will then share it with all of you.

  2. does anyone have any more information about a website or some online gallery of his work? I can’t seem to find anything. Any further links or information would be much appreciated

  3. All very good images, but if i was to pick a favorite i would actually go for #3. The DOF isolates perfectly, i can see her face and the dark tones still allow me to see detail in the background. I would also love to see the one where she smiles. Even though it might not be technically perfect, it might be “flawed” in just the right way. Technically perfect images have a tendency, to me, to be dull and too clinical. These images however is just the right mix. Thank you for sharing and i would love to see more.

  4. Zoran,

    These are fabulous pictures because they tell her story and you’ve captured it just beautifully. Her face, her eyes, are priceless and who cares about technical skills, sharpness, depth of field, whatever. Anyone looking for that in this type of images is a fool who doesn’t understand anything. Sorry to be so blunt but looking at these, that’s how I feel. You could have taken these with a disposable and they would still be fantastic.

    All the best,


  5. What can one say about something like this. A wonderful story of hope, sadness and strength. One can see the story, etched in her face, but what comes to me more… the steely focus of her eyes (particularly in photo 2), the use of the freshly cut flowers is a masterstroke. Is Maria in some way, also a fresh flower, cut from the beautiful landscape? Is she not holding what she once was, all those years ago? On another level, she is just a woman, like any other, that smiles and is happy when holding fresh cut flowers. Environment does not change people, only our perception of them.

    Thanks for sharing, I will be thinking of these pictures, and Maria, for along time to come.

  6. Zoran, your image touched my heart so deeply, it’s a great photo, well done and thanks for sharing this…peace.

  7. Zoran,

    I love these images and the emotion they convey. What a wonderful story. Maybe, someday you could include your images of this simple but dignified woman in a book, honoring her life.


  8. Zoran — Both the second and third image are great…excellent light. I really enjoy #2 and your story of Maria as well…the connection you two have comes through in this image. Thanks for sharing them!

    Best regards — Bishop

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