Image Overload

Yesterday, I had a deep need to sit alone by the ocean and look at the water. Even though I live at ‘the coast’ – there isn’t really anywhere to do that nearby. So I got in my Vanagon and drove up to Haceta Head Lighthouse where I parked and looked out at the water. It was a rainy day again…sometimes it feels like the rain in Oregon this year will never stop…but even so, there were people coming and going – pulling in, looking, snapping a few pictures, and then going again. Most of them got out of the car for a few minutes at most, but a few were dedicated and spent more time finding nice shots. And there’s the thing – every one of them took photos either with their phone or with their camera. It’s a pretty spot and with the big bridge going over, the lighthouse, the little rock islands, the cliffs, the ocean, the beach, the river coming down – there are plenty of great photo moments to be had there. I don’t blame them – in fact – I took a couple of pictures too. Every person there took pictures. Every one (except for the little kids without cameras). It’s what we do.

I’m in the process of trying to sort my digital photo library. It’s no easy task. Over the past decade, I’ve had several external hard-drives that I’ve moved my photos to and from, a chromebook, a netbook, a laptop, a couple of digital cameras with memory cards, 6 phones with memory cards, and no shortage of great programs that were the previous solution to my photo organizing…I have an icloud account, a google drive account, and a flickr account as well as that google photos thing. I’m trying to get all my photos in one place and organized so I can enjoy them, share them, and preserve them.

I downloaded a little program to gather up all my photos – it did a search of my primary laptop and external hard-drive and gathered all the photos – unfortunately it has no way of knowing which are photos that matter and which do not. It found a quarter of a million photo files in a 20 minute search. Yes, 250,000 (give or take 5000). At first it felt hopeless, but then I realized that many of those files were duplicates that have been moved from machine to machine. Then I realized that many were photo files from websites I’ve built. Then I realized that there were quite a few I could get rid of. Over the past few days, I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to getting rid of the website files and the downloaded and duplicates (which happen when you move photos from machine to machine and drive to drive). I downloaded another little program that lists the duplicates and I’ve been deleting huge numbers of them. Unfortunately, early in this process I made the mistake of deleting a couple of files that had inadvertently had other folders dropped in them and I lost all of our family photos from 2013. I also learned that many devices use the same naming conventions and so you can’t just delete based on name (so long 2003) and that you need to find a program that looks at many factors. After days of work – I’m down to 58,000 photo files with approximately 10,000 duplicates. There are actually smart people who have created a business out of doing this sort of thing – digital organizing. They charge huge amounts of money but they probably don’t lose 2013 and 2003. So, I – and actually all of us – am drowning in digital images.

In the two hours I sat at the beach yesterday – there were probably 40 cars that came and went. Usually there were two people but sometimes there were four and infrequently there was one. So it’s a fair estimate to say 80 people. Most of them took 5-10 photos but some of them took a great many more. I watched people taking pictures of the other people taking pictures and since I was sitting in a scenic spot in a vehicle that most people feel a bit of nostalgia for – I was often in their photos. I think it is fair to estimate that I had my photo taken 50-100 times during the two hours I was contemplating the water. It sounds like a lot, but in truth, in 2016 a person living in the USA was caught on camera an average of 75 times per day. For a person in London that number jumped to 300 times per day. And, given that the rate of digital photos and surveillance cameras is still rising, that number is certainly rising.

I was particularly struck by something I noticed yesterday. People knew they were in a beautiful spot. They knew that there was something wonderful about being alive and in that particular place in that moment. I watched several people walk down the rocks in a bit of a daze, clutching their cameras, feeling the need to really do something. It’s my opinion, that what they needed to do was to just be. To be aware of actually being right there in that moment. To have a sense of actuality. To feel the mist of rain and the crash of the waves, to experience the cries of the gulls and the rumble of the ground. To sit and be present – for a moment. But ultimately, few of them seemed to do so – instead, they lifted their cameras or phones and clicked the shutter buttons. They saved the digital image – do a google search of haceta head and millions of images will come back to you. You can look at them all, but you will never get the feeling.

Three Beaches You Must Visit in Morocco

Morocco is well known for its outstanding culture and coastal delights which is why you should always look to find the perfect beach resort.

Morocco Beaches

Whether you’re after a dreamy lagoon, a bustling coastal town or something that offers peace and seclusion, there are all sorts of sandy beaches available for you to set foot on in Morocco.

Here are three seaside resorts you must visit on your trip to Morocco. If you find the time to visit all three then you’ll struggle to pick a favourite!

Saidia

Marrakech is one of the busiest places on Earth with the usual hustle and bustle capable of draining the energy of any tourist group. If it’s a peaceful break from the usual activities associated with

Morocco that you’re after, Saidia beach could be the ideal destination for you. It’s here that you will be exposed to the true aspects of Moroccan culture with the quiet seaside town creating a charming atmosphere that is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed.

You can take in the exotic flavour of this seaside resort by strolling along the shore and embracing the history of the medina. The sea is beautifully coloured and you’ll be desperate to go for a swim at this luxurious seaside resort.

Oualidia

There is a delightful lagoon situated right in the middle of Oualidia beach that is as appealing to the locals as it is tourists. However, this is quite an unknown seaside resort that gives tourists the opportunity to escape the crowded beaches and enjoy the untouched sands for themselves.

Located on the Atlantic, this is the ideal destination for someone who isn’t a fan of crowded beaches. The beautifully shaped rock faces on the shore are an ideal place to sit back and admire the costal views.

To top it all off, Oualidia has proven to be the perfect location for avid birdwatchers to get a glimpse of some particularly rare species, with hundreds of birds flocking to the shores throughout the year.

Essaouira

Essaouira has to be one of the most elegant beaches on the planet. From the shore you can witness some truly magical scenes, from delicately glazed waters alongside stunning weather conditions through to the comforting sands and delightfully decorated sailboats.

You will be identifying all sorts of worldwide influences at Essaouira that go far back throughout history. There are plenty of clear indications that this particular setting ahs managed to inspire some of the most creative minds in history.

A combination of grace and style is what makes this seaside resort a must visit for any tourist group. It could be the perfect ending to your already fun-filled Moroccan adventure.

About the author:
Tara Ennis is a beach lover with a particular passion for northern Africa. She has contributed this post on behalf of El Zohar Riad, stunning Marrakech holiday accommodation in the heart of the historic old Medina

Three Beaches You Must Visit in Morocco

Morocco is well known for its outstanding culture and coastal delights which is why you should always look to find the perfect beach resort.

Morocco Beaches

Whether you’re after a dreamy lagoon, a bustling coastal town or something that offers peace and seclusion, there are all sorts of sandy beaches available for you to set foot on in Morocco.

Here are three seaside resorts you must visit on your trip to Morocco. If you find the time to visit all three then you’ll struggle to pick a favourite!

Saidia

Marrakech is one of the busiest places on Earth with the usual hustle and bustle capable of draining the energy of any tourist group. If it’s a peaceful break from the usual activities associated with

Morocco that you’re after, Saidia beach could be the ideal destination for you. It’s here that you will be exposed to the true aspects of Moroccan culture with the quiet seaside town creating a charming atmosphere that is guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed.

You can take in the exotic flavour of this seaside resort by strolling along the shore and embracing the history of the medina. The sea is beautifully coloured and you’ll be desperate to go for a swim at this luxurious seaside resort.

Oualidia

There is a delightful lagoon situated right in the middle of Oualidia beach that is as appealing to the locals as it is tourists. However, this is quite an unknown seaside resort that gives tourists the opportunity to escape the crowded beaches and enjoy the untouched sands for themselves.

Located on the Atlantic, this is the ideal destination for someone who isn’t a fan of crowded beaches. The beautifully shaped rock faces on the shore are an ideal place to sit back and admire the costal views.

To top it all off, Oualidia has proven to be the perfect location for avid birdwatchers to get a glimpse of some particularly rare species, with hundreds of birds flocking to the shores throughout the year.

Essaouira

Essaouira has to be one of the most elegant beaches on the planet. From the shore you can witness some truly magical scenes, from delicately glazed waters alongside stunning weather conditions through to the comforting sands and delightfully decorated sailboats.

You will be identifying all sorts of worldwide influences at Essaouira that go far back throughout history. There are plenty of clear indications that this particular setting ahs managed to inspire some of the most creative minds in history.

A combination of grace and style is what makes this seaside resort a must visit for any tourist group. It could be the perfect ending to your already fun-filled Moroccan adventure.

About the author:
Tara Ennis is a beach lover with a particular passion for northern Africa. She has contributed this post on behalf of El Zohar Riad, stunning Marrakech holiday accommodation in the heart of the historic old Medina

Wonderful, Beautiful Fucking Marseille

First a few pics that demonstrate why this town has immediately won me over…

If I lived in France, I’d live in Marseille. I’m sure of it. Nice is nice, Paris is cultural, Bordeaux is pretty shitty, but Marseille? Great food, great street art, perhaps the friendliest people I’ve met in Europe and a multi-cutural soup bowl that is worthy to be the home of bouillabaisse, which it is. Marseille is my kind of town.

Dog friendly, graffiti filled, fisherman town filled with a melange of African, Arab, European, and everyone else. The only bummer about Marseille is that I’m suddenly a bit ill on my second day here. This is a definite grippe and the culprit is no doubt a lack of sleep at home and in the Sahara last week, the flight here, and the fact that in a town that gets 300 days of sunshine, I arrived on one of the other 65. Today was a total deluge and even with the big umbrella provided by my new favorite hotel chain “Mama Shelter”, I still got drenched.

It was fine but as the day went on, I started to feel a real malaise that four cups of coffee didn’t get rid of. Then my back and neck started hurting and even though there is a lively crowd downstairs in the bar, I can’t seem to find the energy to go down and enjoy the sounds of the DJ and hang out with my new friend Bobzilla.

Instead, I’m up here in my big comfortable feather top bed lounging amidst four big down pillows on super soft, super clean white sheets while looking at an iMac TV and using the fast wifi. Sure, I’d love to be down there, but feeling like this, I realize I need to be resting. This is just the beginning of almost 3 weeks in Marseilles and London so I figure it’s better to be down for the count at the beginning than down for the count for the entire trip.

The World Travel Market in London next week is too important to be sick for. Maybe if I go to sleep now, this fever will go away. If not, at least I’m in a five star bed with plenty of luxurious accouterment to keep me company. The toilet is just a few steps away and all mine – though, I’m a bit bothered there isn’t a bidet or a bum washer. My anus just can’t handle paper anymore. There it is…if you can’t handle my anus making an appearance once in a while, you’re definitely in the wrong place.

Come to think of it, given the reputation Marseille has – it’s no wonder I love this town.

Grafitti and Public Art in Morocco, Italy, Egypt and Turkey

Grafitti and other public art captivates me…this is some of my favorite I’ve encountered this year in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Egypt and Malta during 2012.

Rather than posting my photos one by one, this might be a better way. It gives me a chance to share my work and tell you the details of it at the same time. What do you think?