The Faces of Morocco – Part 2

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The Faces of Morocco.

Photographing the Moroccans was not an easy feat. Many of them believe that their souls will be robbed.  I tried a number of times by raising my camera and smiling, trying non verbally to get an OK, but the odds were against me.  I took the shot whenever I could, and most times with their approval.

Driving thru the mountains we came upon this sheep herder.  Ali, our amazing guide, asked this man if we could photograph him. As you can see he was delighted.  I know we made his day, and he made ours!

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At another stop, where we captured the views, there was a man playing his recorder.

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Morocco is made up of the Sunni Muslims and Berbers.  Berber is derived from the Roman term for barbarians.  Berbers are a non-Arabic tribe, however, throughout the centuries the Berbers have mixed with many ethnic groups, most of them being Arabs.  Both of these men are of Berber descent.

Below, his reaction to the photo ….

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Abdul was a merchant at the same stop …. also a Berber.

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The way I choose to travel is with photography tours.  You mingle with the locals and see and experience more than a normal trip would include.  It’s a history class with benefits.  One of the benefits was to photograph models under different settings, creating different moods. I tried to capture something … anything.

The 1st man is an artist and he is the caretaker of a very famous and historical home. I apologize for not remembering where, but if I can’t pronounce it ….

The second gentleman was at another historical site, also the caretaker.  He had a personality when no one was looking…  He tucked me right under his cloak and gave me a big smooch on my cheek.

My friend Cathy got the shot !

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Nomads.  Berbers.  This stop fascinated me.

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 I had to show you the outside and the very cozy inside. The little girl who lives here was darling and smiled at her photo. The mother was also lovely.

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A guard and his camel …. I like this one.

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Our escorts, via camels, to our tents in the Sahara … These two men are also Berbers. Berbers do not read or write. They refer to themselves as “free men” and have survived by raising herds of grazing animals, driving them from place to place.

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These gentlemen are dressed in their native attire to sell water.  Unfortunately, they now exist for the tourists to photograph.  There were 4 ‘water men’ that day, but these two caught my fancy.  The other two men were about 30 years younger, no wrinkles, and way too many teeth …

and last, but not least …

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George, Cathy’s camel, old and cranky!

and …

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… a Singe Magot

Morocco has launched a rescue plan to protect the macaque macaque, or Barbary macaque, a monkey weighing about 55 pounds. They live north of the Sahara.  I was about 5 feet away … they are used to having humans around, but one must still be aware.

Thank you for reading and viewing, and please stay tuned for more …!

Morocco, and all it’s wonders … part 1

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Morocco, April 2019

‘Morocco’s location has dictated its history:  Every major European power felt the necessity to control the mouth of the Mediterranean at one time or another. Each left its mark.  Following centuries of Arab and occasional Berber rule, Morocco became a protectorate of France in the early 1900’s; it gained independence in 1956.’

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9terrain

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This North African nation has the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Algeria to the east, and Mauritania to the south.  The terrain ranges from coastal plains to mountains and deserts. The Atlas Mountains average 11,000 ft in elevation.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this country, and I love to write about what I photograph…  Morocco has many sides and facets and I plan on sharing each one in its own post.

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The Faces of Morocco, my first love

This man was one of our camel jockeys and is of Berber descent. And that in the background is the sand of the Sahara …

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2markets

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The Markets:

  Never buy the item for the price that is suggested by the seller… you must bargain.

I’ll admit that wasn’t my strong suit, but I was always happy with my purchase.  There are many more markets to explore thru my lens …

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The Foods:

  There are 52 varieties of Olives in Morocco. The olive is a staple in their diet and every meal was served with olives.

  Lamb, chicken, meat, fish, carrots, potatoes, and couscous are typical of the main ingredients. Spices like cumin and paprika are added to these dishes, all of them are delicious!

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The Artisans:

Someone who does skilled work with their hands… and there are plenty.

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The Sahara: 

Camels and more camels . ATV’ing, sleeping, and dancing under the stars …

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6Tannery

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The Tannery in Fes

Another favorite shoot …  Imagine lifting those soaked hides from the vat, one after another, only to do it again in the next solution.  I will explain in more detail when the time comes.

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7pottery

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The Pottery Factory in Fes

Visiting the pottery factory was another highlight. Shooting for color, texture, and detail … the up close and personal that I love.

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8streets

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The Streets of Morocco

This image was taken in Chefchaouen, the Blue City.

No two cities, that we visited, were alike.

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10Mosques

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The Call to Prayer  … 5 times a day

This is Hussein II Mosque. It is the 3rd largest Mosque in the world.  The largest is located in Mecca, and the second largest is in Egypt.

So I have showed you 9 points that interest me … and the 10th being the Moroccan terrain.  The one thread that all of these topics have in common is color, the colors of Morocco are abundant everywhere.

I hope I have piqued your interest, please stay tuned for my next full post:

The Faces Of Morocco

1950’s Firestone Cruiser

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 This post really isn’t about the Firestone Cruiser, and the reason is:  no information. 

So, I am going to tell you my story.

You would think that living in beautiful and picturesque Galena, Illinois I would have plenty to keep me shooting, but as

most of you know landscape photography is not my bag, and the reason is:  I cannot see it. 

So the dilemma begins.

What makes me click is color, texture, and detail,

and I found it in my latest subject,

The Firestone Cruiser.

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A few years ago I documented some old cars at a car depot (dump) on our way to St. Louis.  At first it was a stop I could not wrap my head around, but then I saw the beauty !  Well, a friend of mine in Galena collects, buys, and sells motorcycles… old and new.  Hmmm, let’s give it a go! So I asked Jimmy if I could take some pictures of his motorcycles, and he said yes.

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I drove to his building, stepped inside and stood in awe. It was manna from Heaven … I was going to have a feast .. and I did.

I took my time with each and almost every motorcycle but then, from the corner of my eye, I saw it  ….

The Firestone Cruiser

It was love at first sight.  Color, Texture, and Detail here I come!

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I haven’t had the need lately for the lens I used, my 60mm micro, but I sure do love it. I had used it quite a bit when I was photographing food for the Up Close and Personal images, but that was a long time ago.  It’s a ‘nifty’ feeling to be reunited …  just like riding a bike!

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I love to shoot wide.  And this means?  This means to open up my aperture. The aperture controls the depth of field, and when it is opened to a larger size it will blur out the noise (distractions) in the background and create a beautiful bokeh. ( bokeh: the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light) Then I tighten it up and zero in on my point of interest … yep! this is how I love to shoot!

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Because of the ‘colorful noise’ in the background, such as red and blue from the gas tanks of the motor bikes,  I muted every color except green.  The Firestone Cruiser green… must have kept some yellow in there too.

As you have heard me say before, I am my worst critic  and at the same time I can be my best fan!  Today I am a fan! I love these images …  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and I am the one beholding.  You see, I’m the needy type, I need the approval of an outsider, but I have realized every one has an opinion and they are all different …   it is when something clicks with-in me that all is good!

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Hope you enjoyed the ride ….

The Fjord Horse

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Where am I today and what have I been doing?  As most of you know I am living in Galena, Illinois and working my fingers to the bone with my son at his delicious coffee and sandwich shop…

Big Bill’s

Days off are far and few between, lying on the couch is a thing of the past, and keeping up with my camera skills proves to be a challenge … BUT!  I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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So, how have I been honing my talents?  Horses!  Horses are one of my newest interests, but not just any horse….

Close to my home here in Galena, Illinois is

The Green Valley Farm.

This farm is a well known Norwegian Fjord horse farm with some of their horses among the top highest scoring Fjords in the United States.

Pretty impressive!

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I knew of this farm and I just had to try …. so I gave them a call.  The owner, Sophie, and her right hand gal, MeMe, gave me the presidential tour.  Lucky me!

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The Fjord horse has a distinct appearance. The breed’s conformation differs from many other breeds. They are a blend of a draught horse with muscle and bone, but are of a smaller stature with greater agility. They have a strong arched neck, sturdy legs, good feet, and a compact muscular body.

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Their head is medium-sized and well defined. They have a broad and flat forehead and a straight or slightly dished face with small ears and large eyes. Despite its size, the breed is fully capable of carrying an adult human and pulling heavy loads.

The Fjords natural mane is long, thick, and heavy, but it is usually clipped in a distinctive crescent shape between two to four inches so that it stands straight up and emphasizes the shape of the neck. This roached mane is thought to make for easier grooming. It also accentuates the horse’s strong neck and full-length dorsal stripe.

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Some feathering is allowed on the lower legs, however, the breed standard discourages profuse feathering.

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The Fjord horse is one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. These horses were known to exist in Norway at the end of the last ice age.  It is believed that the ancestors of the modern Fjord horse migrated to Norway and were domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations at Viking burial sites indicate that the Fjord horse type has been selectively bred for at least 2,000 years. The Fjord horse has been used for hundreds of years as farm animals in western Norway. Even as late as WWII they were useful for work in mountainous terrain. The Fjord horse also has a long recorded history of pure lineage without crossbreeding from other sources.

(wiki… and a bit of me)

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I fell in love with these people pleasing animals.  They watched my every move and seemed to have posed for my camera,  knowing instinctively what I was looking for.  I am anticipating my next visit to Green Valley Farm to improving my camera skills and ‘eye’ while I mingle with my new 4 legged friends. The Fall has now slipped away but I’m sure the Winter will be pretty spectacular!

  Thank you Sophie and MeMe for a very fun Summer morning!

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It’s the Beginning of the End…..

 

The beginning of the end ?  What are you sayin”?

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I’m talking about returning to life as usual, getting at least 6 hours under the covers, 3 squares a day, a few laughs and a couple of cocktails …    This has been a long time coming, and it’s finally over.  Our 5th and 6th AIRBNB are on the market, and these final two were not an easy feat.  I’d like to include myself in this prelude but there is no room at the Inn for me …  This story does not include the one that worried every day and every night, the one that lost sleep wondering when her boys would return home, only to have them appear just in time to make the coffee.  No, this is not about me …

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My husband and son worked tirelessly well into the early morning hours every day and every night for  four long and hard months …. They used a 1″ wood chisel and a 2 pound hammer to remove the horse hair plaster that was applied ( cemented ) to the brick.  Each hit cleared roughly a 2 square inch area….  They discovered 2 doorways and found a window that was used before the building next door was constructed. Thru one of the front windows they built a make-shift chute to unload 12 thousand pounds, or 6 tons of debris. I asked both of them if they would do this again …. Nope, not in a million years!!

(until next time)

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These rooms are connected if need be, other than that they are locked doors with plenty of insulation between the two.  A family of 4, or 2 couples, can enjoy the entire space.

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The one above is the Corner Apartment Above Main …..  and the one below is the Loft Apartment Above Main.

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AIRBNB.com  Galena Illinois

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That is one happy boy above !

(photo bomb)

He has been working for the past 16 months fixing up and remodeling 6 apartments for our AIRBNB’s. 

“It’s over it’s over now…”

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So, what do you think….would you like to visit?  Just remember,

What happens in Galena, stays in Galena !

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

 

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Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored

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He had loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

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I have seen him in the watch-fires
Of a hundred circling camps
They have builded him an altar
In the evening dews and damps

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I have read his righteous sentence
By the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on

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Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
His truth is marching on

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I have read a fiery gospel
Writ in burnish’d rows of steel
As ye deal with my contemptors
So with you my grace shall deal
Let the hero, born of woman
Crush the serpent with his heel
Since my God is marching on

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He has sounded forth the trumpet
That shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men
Before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul
To answer him be jubilant, my feet
Our God is marching on

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Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
His truth is marching on
His truth is marching on

 

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Nummer 4 … Numero 4 … Nombre 4

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Yes!  Number 4 is ready to roll.

  This space is the smallest of our Airbnb rooms, but it is still a great apartment to relax in while visiting Galena, Illinois.

  I’d like to title this room

“Quaint and Cozy”

but I’m not sure that would fly with my son.

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Unfortunately,  I missed taking a picture of the room before the dry-wall had been removed. This is another space where the beautiful Galena orange brick had been covered up.  The building has been thru many ‘updated’ features, and dry-walling was one of them.

Are you wondering if that is shiplap on the walls?

why yes,  yes it is !

You see, when Jack was growing up I made him watch HGTV with me.  As it turns out he has a great eye and an obsession for detail. Chip and Jo have paved the way…  Of course this was a two way street,  I had to watch a few ‘Gas Monkey’ episodes just to be sure we were fair and square.

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  There were 6 apartments in this building to rent.  Finding a good tenant was not easy, and collecting the rent was just as hard …

Cleaning and repainting had to be done between every tenant, and because we are ‘Deiters’, we did everything ourselves.

It was always a dirty job, and definitely unfit for the likes of me.  But, because I am a ‘Deiter’,  I had to help .

(just shoot me )

We went that route for several years until last March when the Airbnb seed was planted in our minds by a friend….   WOW!  what a blessing it has been ! 

 Galena is a tourist town with the most lucrative times between May and October.  The town loves and supports my son and his restaurant, but love alone  ain’t enough to pay the bills in the dead of Winter!  With these nightly rentals I am now able to sleep thru the bleaker months of the year…

  Amen Sister!

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Here is a peek at #5 and #6, and may I add,

there is no rest for the weary …

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AIRBNB.COM