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Archive for the ‘SOOC’ 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.

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Sally Ds-mobile-photography-challenge-macro

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: 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: sound

Some years ago we visited a sound installation, called “Harmonic Fields” in Dorset. If/when the wind blew the various “instruments” suspended on wires were supposed to reverberate or make a sound. Unfortunately on the day we visited there was very little wind, but it was still beautiful to look at.

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In Myanmar we saw one the largest bells ever cast, I can’t imagine what it might have sound like when struck. As you can see, most people feel the urge to bend down and creep inside the bell and then stand up and touch its interior. I love the girl standing behind my husband, just peeking out with a cheeky grin on her face.

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These smaller bells, hung around the eaves of a temple in Thailand, were much easier to hear.

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This is a print by a friend of mine entitled “bouche à l’oreille” which could be loosely translated as “gossip”

Find out what “sound” means to Ailsa and co.

road trip in Turkey part 8: Tarsus

A couple of years ago we went on a road trip in Turkey at this time of year but I never got round to posting about it. This year’s sacrifical Bayram has just finished so it seems appropriate to post it now.

Today was the most important day of the Kurban Bayram (sacrificial Bayram) when families sacrifice a sheep, goat or cow and divide the carcass up between the family and other less fortunate people. Wherever we saw a group of people gathered out of doors they were busy skinning or cutting up a carcass and in some places we caught sight of blood in the drains – not a pretty sight.

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scenery en route to Tarsus

At Nigde we found ourselves on a motorway that wasn’t even on our map! We passed fields and fields of dark green cabbages. The 3 lane on each side motorway took us through a series of tunnels, 8 in all, a phenomenal feat of engineering. Once through the tunnels, Akcaktekir looked like an Alpine town and the trees were now clad in their autumn colours.

One of the dashboard warning lights came on so we stopped in a service station to phone Hyundai’s 24 hour helpline. They said we could keep going but if the engine speed changed we should call again and with some trepidation we hit the road and completed the trip without any further problems. We were pleased and surprised to discover that use of the motorway was free because of the Bayram holiday.

Once in Tarsus (birthplace of the Bible’s Paul of Tarsus) we found our hotel without too much difficulty, located in the historical part of town and within easy walking distance of most of the main sights.

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entrance to the Tarsus Konak hotel

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Inside the hotel were a number of these shirt-shaped decorations. They are based on shirts produced in Tilsim and feature on ceramic plaques and jewellry.

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historical quarter.

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We visited St Paul’s well – not much to see there,

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the covered Bedesten (market),

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where we saw these pictures of a mythical monster called a Sahmeran

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a stretch of ancient Roman road,

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St Paul’s church memorial (painted landscape murals),

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the Ulu camii (main mosque), noteworthy because its minaret also doubles as a clock tower

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the local hamam,

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another Christian church that had been converted to a mosque,

It was very quiet everywhere because of the Bayram and the only people about seemed to be the many men busily cleaning animal skins in the streets. We tried hard not to look at these.

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eye candy!!

We had dinner in the hotel and then walked down ‘bar’ street next to the hotel, had a drink in a bar and watched football. C said she didn’t feel very comfortable walking around the streets near our hotel especially in the evening as it only seemed to be guys going into the bars.

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Next day we met the Sahmeran outside a shopping mall

I thought the hotel we stayed in there, was the nicest one of the whole trip. It was in one of the historical houses with lots of attractive sitting areas and interesting artwork and pictures on the walls – several examples of Ebru (the art of marbling using coloured inks/paints on paper) as well as some interesting coffee table books. According to one such book, ‘Topkapı saray’dan Tılısımlı gömlekler’ (Tılısımlı shirts from the Topkapı saray) the decorative ‘shirts’ on the walls were based on similar shirts. These shirts feature largely in wall decorations, ceramics and jewellery all over Turkey. It was here, in the covered market, that we also came across images of the mythical creature called a şahmeran, which seemed to be part mermaid and part sea monster.