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Archive for the ‘Northern Cyprus’ Category

Water is life

 

“Water is life” proclaim the advertising slogans.

It’s ironic then that one brand of bottled water, Hayat (which means life in Turkish), together with all other bottled waters, should be responsible for so much pollution.

A couple of years a I took a series of photos of marine litter for a photography competition on this subject. Ultimately it is, of course, the human race which is responsible for marine (and terrestrial) pollution. You have only to walk along any of the beaches on the island of Cyprus to see that this is a problem. Rubbish thrown into the sea at sea from small fishing boats to huge liners or container ships ends up being carried with the currents on to the shore, to add to the accumulation of all the rubbish already dumped by so many care-less people visiting the beaches.

On a beautiful, sunny, autumn day I was the only person on this beach, which stretches for miles and would be so beautiful if it weren’t for all the rubbish – plastic bottles and bags by the thousand, fishing line, shoes, pens, food containers, medicine bottles, glass, piping and a dead dog – to name but a few, polluted the beach of Akdeniz, one of the few remaining beaches where caretta caretta turtles come to breed.

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In the rock pools where only seaweeds drifting in the current or small fish darting in the shallows should be seen, also drifted swathes of plastic.

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“Message in a bottle” – it was sadly only too obvious that bottles were the message …. It took me less than 15 minutes on a small stretch of beach to collect enough bottle tops to spell out this message:

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At the end of my walk I was appalled and depressed by the mess. It’s no wonder people don’t want to use the beaches. It’s all very well putting up noticeboards encouraging people to keep our environment clean but where were the rubbish bins? Children and adults too, need to be educated to take their rubbish home with them. It’s not difficult to do. Perhaps if we lived in Singapore we would all think differently – littering of any sort there is a punishable offence ….

David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II series really brought home to thousands of people the damage we are doing to our seas, galvanising people into action – organising beach litter clean-up days, refusing to use plastic bags, re-using water bottles, rejecting plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables, refusing straws in drinks in their local bars, etc. Please do your bit to help the planet. We only have one life.

In the name of …..

Once upon a time, on a sun-kissed island in the Middle Sea the people worshipped different gods. In spite of their differences they lived and worked together, married and brought up families in an atmosphere of peace of goodwill.

One day, in one of the more remote villages, a group of people decided that their god, a newer one than the old god worshipped by most of the older people in particular, should be the one and only god and that everyone should henceforth worship that one.

They decided to build themselves a new place of worship. In the meantime, because they didn’t think the original place of worship was right any more, they decided to change and adapt it to their new way of thinking.

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They also had radically differing views on suitable decoration. It was time to get rid of the angels, birds and animals that originally adorned the place. In future only geometric designs would be permitted. They tore the carved peacocks and angels off the wooden screen and disposed of the pulpit, removed the altar and seats and laid bare the floor. They dragged a set of steps into the gap in the screen. The (probably) beautiful windows were smashed. Little remained of its former glory. In the grounds they erected a small building to serve as a wash-room.

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Work on the new building continued apace while they used the adapted building until the new one was completed. Then they abandoned it.

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Today the walls and window embrasures are still there and it is home to the swallows, sparrows and pigeons.

The youngsters of the village have found a new use for it …..

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Perhaps their games will re-unite them once more.

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Here are a few macro photos I took of a yellow goat’s beard seed head, Tragopogon Pratensis (aka Meadow Salsify and Jack go to bed at noon) and a thistle. I loved the golden colours and the way the seeds shone in the sunlight.

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They were taken with an Iphone 6S with in the in-phone camera. I decided not to edit them in any way as they are beautiful in their own right.

See Sally’s original post and links to other beautiful macro shots here.

Sally Ds mobile photography challenge: challengers choice

 

In case you hadn’t guessed, my challenger’s choice is “architecture”. The following 3 photos were taken with the iphone 6+ in camera app and were edited using various settings in the Enlight app. This app produces some great abstract effects.

 

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Bellapais abbey, Northern Cyprus

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Bath abbey, UK

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a chapel in Clifton, Bristol, UK

 

take a peek at other challenger’s choices

Sally Ds mobile photography challenge: black and white

I was particularly interested to read Sally’s latest post about preferring to use her iphone as opposed to her trusty old Nikon. I, too, have made the transition from my Canon Eos 450 (with which I was never entirely happy) to my iphone 6+ which I’ve had for just over a year now. I am rarely without it and only use the bulky Canon when we’re on an important trip, when I like to have the security of a second camera just in case ….

I use the Lenka app for my black and white photography. The advantage of this little app is that it takes both a black and white photo and a colour one so that if you’re not happy with the results of the black and white one you can always run the colour one through another app to achieve a black and white image. These are all SOOC (straight out of the camera).

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For Lens and Pens

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This is the bud

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the ephemeral beauty of night-flowering cacti plants. Within half an hour of my taking this shot the flower had already started to wither

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the ephemeral beauty of the last persimmons/kaki/sharon fruit in the garden – ephemeral because it’s a question of who gets them – me or the birds. I think the birds are winning ….

All photos were taken with an iphone 6+ using the Camera+ app, and the macro setting for the first two

Find other contributions here

travel theme: hills

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Does this count as a hill or a mountain? Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

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tea plantations in the hill country around Kandy, Sri Lanka

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Sagaing hill, near Mandalay, Myanmar. The entire hillside is covered with Buddhist temples and gilded stupas

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early morning in Provence

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shafts of sunlight pouring down the hills in Northern Cyprus

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view from St Hilarion castle, Northern Cyprus

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view of Kyrenia/Girne harbour with hills behind, Northern Cyprus

Ailsa’s inspirational “hill”s are here, along with links to many others.

travel theme: enlightened

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Luang Prabang, Laos

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whirling dervish, N. Cyprus

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enlightened by sunrise in Yala park, Sri Lanka

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enlightened in Austria’s Losium

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A Vietnamese poem hat – you can only see the figures when the hat is held up to a light source

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Hoi An lantern festival, Vietnam

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young lantern sellers in Hoi An

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awaiting the enlightenment of Angkor Wat at dawn

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sunset at Bagan, Myanmar

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Shwedagon pagoda at night, Myanmar

Did you illustrate Enlightened?

Sally D’s mobile photography challenge: editing a photo with apps

There is something intensely appealing to me about abandoned buildings. Apart from the fact that I find beauty in decay there are always unanswerable questions – who lived there, what were their lives like, what inspired them to build the building and why in this particular place?

The original photo was converted to a watercolour image
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the same original photo was converted to a pencil sketch
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the two resulting images were then combined
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and given a different colour cast
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This was the original photo
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this is a larger view of the same building – unifinished – I suspect it was going to be a hotel and the owners simply ran out of money to complete the project

Which one do you prefer?

Inspired by Sally Donatello

travel theme: history

Nicosia or Lefkoşa (depending on whether you are a Greek or a Turkish Cypriot) is the capital of the island of Cyprus. Unfortunately it is a divided capital and has been since 1963. A narrow band of no-man’s land, known as the “green line” separates the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sections of the city. The same “green line” extends east and west from the city forming a boundary buffer zone patrolled by the UN between the northern and southern parts of the island.

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The old city is surrounded by walls, built by the Venetians, with the gates into the city at strategic points. This shot was taken near the Costanza gate.
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much of the northern part of the city is in a bad state of repair
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house backs

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small old mosque

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interior courtyard of the büyük han, formerly the main trading and staging post and now a cultural centre
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the forbidden zone – it is hoped that at some point in the future this area can be restored, repopulated and rejuvenated

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sculpture, south of the Ledra Street crossing point

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shade sails provide welcome shade in the heat of the summer

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the Phanorameni church in the south part of the walled city

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fountain in the more affluent South, outside the walled part of the city

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in the south

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stencilled logo

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graffiti

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5th century sculpture of lions attacking a bull

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female figurine found in one of the ancient sites

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modern reproduction of a bronze age ceramic vessel

If you are interested in learning more about Nicosia, Wikipedia has a fascinating article

Discover more history with Ailsa and followers