Life is what we make of it. My aim is to make mine fantastic.
My name is Raoul Pop. I am half Romanian, half Hungarian by birth and American by upbringing. I emigrated to the United States with my family in 1991 and grew up in America. Having spent half my life in Romania and half in the US, this makes me somewhat of a mongrel. These days, my wife and I share our time between the US and Romania, spending most of it in Romania.
I am the sole author of this website. I’ve been writing and self-publishing online since 2000. I’ve had a website since 1995, and the first time I went online was in 1994.
Why this website exists
I love to write. I do it for two reasons:
- To celebrate what’s good and beautiful
- To call for change when something isn’t right
I discovered my love for writing in college, where I majored in English and Creative Writing. The best outlet I’ve found for my passion has been this website, and here is where I intend to keep writing and publishing for a long time to come.
I am a photographer. I adore the beauty, majesty and peace of nature. I am most at peace when in nature. I preserve glimpses, beautiful moments from my experiences, in my photographs. You are welcome to browse my photo stream. Some of my photographs are featured on the Flickr Marketplace and on Getty Images. I license my photos for commercial and personal uses under RM and RF terms. More on my licensing terms here and more on my photography below.
I am also a filmmaker. You can see my efforts on my YouTube Channel or my wife’s YouTube Channel, where we are both Partners. I’d like to explore acting, so if you’re putting together the cast for an interesting, whimsical movie that will be shot beautifully, please think of me. More on my filmmaking below.
If you’d like to see what equipment I use for my photography and filmmaking, it’s listed here.
What you’ll find here
I publish original content here about 3-4 times per week. Sometimes I publish links or collections of links to interesting articles. If there’s a lull in my posts, that means I’m either busy with projects or I’m traveling.
My interests are varied, and my writing reflects that. I like photography, filmmaking, exercise, old movies, old cars, old architecture, old cartoons, old and new music, new information, new computers and new technology, especially new cameras.
Here’s a list of the main topics on this site:
- Filmmaking: I film and edit my wife’s two current web shows, Ligia’s Kitchen and De Vorba cu Ligia, and my own show called Romania Through Their Eyes. I also have a web series called The Elegant Gentleman.
- Photography: I post my own photography, gathered from my numerous outings and trips. I also do reviews of cameras and lenses or write about advances in the field.
- Travel: I visit all sorts of interesting places, and when I do, I take photos and post them alongside my reflections.
- Technology: I am naturally interested in everything that has to do with computers and various other technologies that make our life better. But I am also deeply concerned with how we are disposing of old technology. We must recycle and reuse as much of it as possible.
- Exercise and Nutrition: I trained with weights quite seriously from 1994 to 2003 and I’ve started bodybuilding once more in the fall of 2012. You can see the results of my work in this post. I also dabbled in archery and fencing while in college. And I do a bit of horseback riding from time to time.
- Movies and Cartoons: I love old movies and cartoons. Some new movies manage to re-capture the magic and the spirit of the old cinema but they are few and far between.
- Cars: I love old cars. I love cars made by hand, lovingly put together piece by piece, tuned by ear, cars that sputter and rumble, cars that come alive when you turn the key, cars that charm your eyes and steal your heart, cars that click and clack and perhaps even creak a bit, cars with character and charisma and a bit of muscle and mostly, mostly a lot of style.
- Products: New and innovative products are wonderful. I love good design and I admire products where design, function, durability and reliability are tightly integrated. I review cameras, computers and other technology-related products on my site.
- Books: I do book reviews from time to time.
- News and discoveries: I love to find out what’s new in the world.
- Ideas: I post my own ideas here, because I want to do what I can to contribute to our overall well-being.
- Life: I write about various things in my life or life in general, with all its quirks, pleasures, adventures and opportunities for personal growth.
In addition to my website and various other places on the web where I post my photographs, my work is also featured in six published books and numerous publications. Here is a partial list:
- Six of my wife’s books feature my food photography and various landscapes, nature photographs and portraits. These books are, in chronological order: “Pasi in lumea muzicii” (2007), “Retete vegane fara foc” (2010), “Germeni si vlastari: surse de sanatate si energie” (2011), “Deserturi pentru parinti si copii sanatosi” (2012), “Jurnal de sarcina: sfaturi pentru o nastere naturala si un bebe sanatos” (2014), “Sfaturi pentru o viata mai sanatoasa” (2015) and “Diversificarea alimentatiei la bebelusi” (2015). Did you know my wife is a famous raw food chef?
- A book of poetry written by Jean Wilbur Stromberg, entitled “Walk the Towpath” (2010) (about the C&O Canal and its towpath) features one of my photographs on the cover.
- A guide for would-be photographers written by Jen Consalvo, entitled “Love Your Photos” (2010) features one or two of my photographs in it.
- My food photographs and my portraits of my wife have naturally made their way into various (and numerous) Romanian media publications and TV programs.
Being a filmmaker is a wonderful thing. It’s also overwhelming, particularly when you get to play the role of writer, producer, director, camera operator, sound operator, lighting technician, set designer, editor, media technician, publisher and distributor. Has it been worth it? Absolutely. I’ve learned so much and my craft has improved quite a bit over time. I’d say the most important aspects are framing, lighting and sound. When I improved on these three things, my videos started to look a lot better.
Here are the web shows I’m currently working on:
- “Ligia’s Kitchen” (2010 – present)
- “De Vorba cu Ligia” (2012 – present)
- “The Elegant Gentleman” (2012 – present): not so much a show but a collection of videos on subjects related to the art of being a gentleman.
- “Romania Through Their Eyes” (2011 – present)
I’ve got knowledge and experience in the following fields:
- Creative thinking and creative writing (by creative thinking I mean coming up with creative solutions to real-world problems, like patentable technical or design issues; contact me if interested in my help)
- Photography and filmmaking
- Blogs, podcasts, vlogs
- Product reviews and product improvement
- Healthcare administration (I have a Master’s degree in this)
- IT management
- Web design and development
- Information/knowledge systems management (i.e. EMR/LMS/CMS implementation & management)
- Server and desktop administration, management and virtualization
- Database design and administration
You’ll notice that I write a lot about technology, and you may wonder what gives me the authority to do so. I have been an IT professional for 15 years and have served in various capacities, including tech support, programmer, webmaster, manager and director. I now work as a consultant. I have implemented and developed electronic medical records systems and online learning systems and content management systems. I have written IT policies and have hired and fired employees. I assembled server rooms and servers and desktop computers and made IT purchases big and small. In short, I’ve worked a LOT in IT. It’s a field that I know and like.
Ligia, my wife, is an accomplished raw chef, artist, piano teacher, and writer. She is also the host of our cooking show, Ligia’s Kitchen, which is internationally renowned and is one of the winners of the YouTube Next Chef Program, and of our talk show, De Vorba cu Ligia. She likes old movies, old cartoons and old music, like me.
She published her first book, entitled “Pasi in Lumea Muzicii” (Steps in the World of Music), in 2008. The book is an innovative and approachable method for teaching children piano, and was published in the Romanian language. The first edition sold out in less than a year, and we’re now planning a second edition. She published her second book, entitled “Retete Vegane Fara Foc” (Raw Vegan Recipes), the first book of its kind in Romania, in 2010. The first edition sold out in a few months, so we had to print a 2nd edition, a 3rd edition and then a 4th edition. The 5th edition is now in print and it’s one of the most popular recipe books in Romania, having sold over 12,000 copies. This book is also the winner of the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award for 2014 as the “Best Vegan Cookbook in Romania”. She published her third book, entitled “Germeni si Vlastari: Surse de Sanatate si Energie” in 2011. That first edition has now sold out and a 2nd edition has now been published. Her fourth book, a collection of incredible desserts for the whole family, entitled “Deserturi pentru Parinti si Copii Sanatosi” came out in 2011. The first edition has sold out and a second edition is now in print. Her fifth book, “Jurnal de sarcina: sfaturi pentru o nastere natural si un bebe sanatos” was published in 2014 and has met with much success and appreciation from mothers in Romania. Her sixth book, “Sfaturi pentru o viata mai sanatoasa”, was published in early 2015 and is being praised for its usefulness. Her seventh book, “Diversificarea alimentatiei la bebelusi” is being published in the summer of 2015 and her public is eagerly awaiting its arrival on library bookshelves.
Our entirely adorable daughter Sophie was born to us in March of 2013 and we’re thrilled and blessed that she’s in our lives.
History of this website
After several years of writing articles for my other sites (I started writing online in 2000) and several months of blogging in late 2005 and early 2006, I decided to consolidate my content into a single website.
When you see posts from 2001 as you look through the archive, those are articles originally published at Amalgamy and Lupus Pernix, old websites of mine. For the first few years, I wrote them in HTML and published them as individual web pages, then I coded a precursor of what today would be called a blogging engine, which I called an online publishing system, and used that for a while.
I had actually written that system in 2000 and used it extensively at Dignoscentia, another of my sites. It was (for its time) a full featured publishing system written in ASP, running off an Access DB, and it included a control panel where you could add, edit and publish articles, with images, using an online HTML editor. It was, even if I say so myself, pretty nice and well-written. Now I wish I had open-sourced it instead of mothballing it, because it was ahead of its time and even though it ran off an Access database, it was surprisingly robust and could handle quite a bit of web traffic.
In April 2006, I took my published articles from Amalgamy (a site where I wrote about various subjects) and a smaller selection from Lupus Pernix (a site where I wrote about web development) plus my posts from Blogger (where I had started blogging), and combined them into a single site, which I called ComeAcross (comeacross.info).
In December 2007, I moved all my content to this domain (raoulpop.com). And in January 2010, I moved to WP.com from a self-hosted install of WP.org, because I wanted to stop worrying about server issues and focus on publishing my content.
Feedback is welcome
Your ideas and suggestions about anything that pertains to the site and its content are welcome. If you know of an interesting piece of news or some tidbit of knowledge, let me know.
Thank you for visiting my site and I hope you stick around!