Thursday, March 17, 2011
My grandparents came from Holland and several times I have been in Amsterdam during Tulip season and Grandpa always grew Tulips on his farm in Michigan but Tulips came from Turkey. The Tulip Festival in Istanbul makes it a great time to be in Istanbul.
Kas has two harbors, this one in the town center has numerous fishing boats and ferry boats going to the Greek Islands which are a few miles offshore. Paragliders also land in the parking lot after gliding down from the mountains above town.
This wall on the west side of Ephesus was part of the harbor baths and gymnasium. There was an aqueduct that brought water here and they had rooms underneath the complex where fires warmed the water. You can see the pipes in the town that carried water to the houses which were also heated by warm water.
The Museum in Selcuk shows a early photo from the 1800's that shows this piece of wall but the blocks were not as precarious as they are now.
The Church of Three Crosses is carved into a sandstone cliff in Rose Valley outside of the town of Goreme. The name comes from three crosses carved onto the ceiling, one of which can be seen in this view. You can also see remnants of painting on the walls. There is a great hiking trail that goes through Rose Valley past other churches carved into the cliffs. One of the churches farther back has a caretaker that sells cold drinks and will have you sample his wine he makes from the ancient vines growing in the canyon. At one point a narrow Roman arch crosses a wash going from a cave with a pool of water to the terraces where grape vines are growing.When I asked the caretaker how old the arch was he figured that it was over 1500 years old.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Theater of Ephesus was reconstructed by the Romans in the first century AD. The original Theater on the site dates back hundreds of years. The Theater will hold over 25,000 people. On this visit a group of black robed pilgrims from an church in Greece started singing on the stage and even from high above you could hear them very clearly.
This photograph was processed in black and white.
The Aya Sofya in Istanbul was built by Emperor Justinian and was completed in 537 AD. It was converted to a mosque after the 1453 conquest by Mehmet and in 1935 was converted into a museum.
This photograph was taken from the roof of our hotel in the early morning light.
The paper sizes I use for black and white prints done in the darkroom is 8x10, 11x14, and 16x20 inch and printed with a half inch border . The darkroom papers come in these sizes and its what I have used for many years. Now all of the sudden the paper manufactures, some who make standard size darkroom papers, make their digital ink jet papers in different sizes.
The lower photo shows my small and medium size prints. The small have a 7x10 inch image on 8.5x11 inch paper. The larger print, what would be the medium size, is a 9x13 inch image on 11x17 inch paper which is the 17x22 inch sheet cut in half. The largest size will be on the full sheet 17x22 inch paper.
The upper photo shows the two smaller sizes matted. The small print is matted with a 14x18 inch mat and the medium size is matted with a 16x20 inch mat. That means these two sizes can be framed with the same size frames as the black and white darkroom prints are.
Monday, March 14, 2011
A couple of summers ago in Amsterdam I met a photographer that had some great photos of Antarctica. Antarctica is one of my dream trips and he told me he had gone by sailboat. Now that would be a dream trip. They do a couple of trips a year there from the tip of South America. When I called the trips were full for that season but was told I could go on the last trip which went to Antarctica then on to Cape Town instead of returning to South America. He said it would take 55 days to Cape Town and gave me the website to see pictures. The pictures showed the boat covered with ice as it sailed the southern ocean. It would have been a great trip but 55 days in a cold and stormy sea.
So we are sitting in a restaurant on Cape Town harbor and I see a Sailboat going into dry dock right out front. It took a minute for the boats name, Europa, to sink in. It was the boat from the Antarctica trips.
One thing about photography is that the best places to photograph from are always off limits like the fenced off dry docks of Cape Town. It's even worse when you need to get in with a large camera and tripod.
The nice thing was that there was a hole in the fence at the dry dock. In dry dock the boat is 20-30 feet above the water and you are walking on large beams out over the water. I was able to photograph the Europa from all angles and at the back they were changing one of the large bronze props and the workers were even nice enough to move some of the scaffolding so I could get a better view. At one point a very official person came over, this usually means you are out of here. He asked me if I was photographing for the harbor or the boat owner. I guess harbor was the right answer as he just left me alone. Wasn't so lucky the next day, the Europa was back floating and another boat had taken it's place. This time some one called the police, when I showed them the map that said marine museum they pointed out that it was on the other side of the fence. If I ever get to do my Antarctica trip I will bring the Europa's owner some good photos.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
After 7,000 miles we get our first view of our destination. Cape town is a beautiful modern town. The center of town is right on the harbor and has great shops, restaurants, and shopping malls that would looked like they could be in downtown Scottsdale. The one big two story mall at the harbor has a couple theaters, designer shops, and great restaurants that were welcome after our last two months on the road. The only difference from a fancy stateside shopping and tourist center were the number of security guards. In the banks and shops there were guards carry shotguns.
One of the guide books said everyone loves Cape Town until they are mugged for the first time. For me it took three days. Once in one of the shops I was telling the owner that this part of Africa looked a lot like my home state of Arizona. He then asked a question I had never been asked. He asked "how much violence is there?" He had so many breakins and robberies making that his biggest problem for his business. Yes, we are luckey.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
After camping just north of the Orange River we crossed over to the border into South Africa. We had a great camp on the river and had a day long canoe trip on the river. Slept outside on a nice grassy area and woke up to frost covering the grass. It was the start of the Spring in the Southern Hemisphere and there were lots of wild flowers.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Stopped at a seal colony in Namibia. The seals were just having babies and the Jackals were going crazy trying to grab a baby seal. The seals were defending them in a very noisy and clumsily manor. Didn't stay long, a very smelly place.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
This part of Africa really felt like you imagined Africa to be years ago. In the small villages you mainly saw locals in the native dress or undress. In the market or on the street you saw woman dressed in only red clay, really don't know how comfortable that would be. Probably was a good sun block but not likely to catch on here.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
No matter where you go in the world kids are the same. The kids here wanted you to swing them. One of us on each side of them would lift them by there hands and swing them. You would always get tired before they did.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Visualize.. . . Visualize a world where everyone is happy and smiling. Where going to work is "just having fun". A world where kindness and caring are the rule not the exception. This would be a Denise world. She was that kind of lady.
Denise, thank you
Denise didn't want a service, she wanted a party. She did not want to see anyone sad. This afternoon, what would have been her birthday, we decorated the convention center and had a party. Champagne was served by the guys from the Naked Turtle, her favorite beach bar. We ate birthday cake, sang Happy Birthday to her, told stories and watched a slide show. Then all the balloons were let go.
After there was a concert by a group from Nashville to raise funds for breast cancer research. The group had done a party for her back in August and she was looking forward to this one.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Our driver had a friend in one of the towns that knew the chief of on of the Himba villages and offered to take us there. The Himba are nomadic and travel with their herds of goats and cattle but this village was for the young children an woman. The chief had several wives the village had some goats and cattle. We stopped at the market in town to get some tobacco and flour as gifts for the chief, our guide also asked each one of us to bring a large bottle of water. A bottle of water seemed like a strange gift. On the drive to the village, a narrow dirt road then several miles on a track across the desert, the guide explained about the village and the sacred fire. A fire is always burning and keeps the contact between the living and the dead. He explained we must not walk around the fire.
When we got to the village the guide had us wait in the truck while he talked to the chief. The village was a few mud huts and two corrals for the goats and the cattle all surrounded by a fence made up of thorn bushes. The chief invited us in to the village and said, through the interpreter, that we didn't need to worry about walking around the fire as it "wasn't of us". It wasn't of our beliefs so there was no problem of walking anywhere. Seeing our cameras he said we could take all the pictures we want. The water was the gift that got the most interest. They had no well and to get water the woman walk over seven kilometers one way. Later we had them come to the truck and we drained our water tank filling all there buckets.
The woman cover there bodies in red clay and their hair is braided and caked with red clay. They all wanted us to take pictures of their hair so they could look at them on our camera screens as they had no way of seeing their own hair.
Our visit ended with all the woman singing and dancing in a circle. It was so surreal to realize that villages like this still exist.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
In Namiba we met two distinctive tribes the Herero and the Himba that carried on there tribal traditions more than any of the other tribes we met in Africa. While most tribes seem to adopt more western ways and dress, these tribes of Namiba made you feel like you were in a 50 year old National Geographic Magazine. The Herero are a cattle hearding tribe and the Himba are semi nomadic and have resisted change and preserved their cultural heritage.