The Cathars were here

 

Catharism was a Christian dualist revival movement in the time between the 12th and 14th centuries. Simply put, they held firm to the idea of two Gods – the good one of the New Testament, and the evil one of the Old Testament. Naturally, this didn’t wash too well with the monotheistic Catholic Church. It was round about this time that the Catholic papacy was in Avignon. So, literally just down the road from the pope’s house, and he was not too keen with this going on under his nose. So began the Albigensian Crusade to get rid of the Cathars from the Languedoc Region. I think it’s safe to assume there was a lot of cruelty. In fact this crusade has been labeled as “one of the most conclusive cases of genocide in religious history”.

Incidentally, this is where we get the word “cathartic” from. It means “the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.”

     Aperture: ƒ/5.6 Camera: Canon EOS 20D Focal length: 85mm ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/50s
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Barging through a canal

barging-20070524-800x600-9A good few years ago, someone recommended canal barging to us as a good way to pass the time. Having little clue about boating, we investigated, weighed the pros and cons, and decided to take the plunge in 2008.

We decided on the Canal du Midi in France. This runs from near Toulouse and empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The premise is that you’re given a boat, or penichette, taught how to sail drive it, and you set off on your way. ON YOUR OWN.

We chose a one-way journey from about 30km SE of Toulouse and ending just outside Narbonne. Places we travelled through were Castelnaudery, Bram and Carcassonne. Too many to mention really.

The idea is that you travel along the canal, navigate through locks (up and down), stop anywhere you like for food or to spend the night and the only deadline is being at the end in a week’s time. It was AMAZING. Not the cheapest holiday, but the best adventure anyone could ever imagine. The image above is just the average view you have on an average day. In other words, stunning!

     Aperture: ƒ/22 Camera: Canon EOS 20D Focal length: 17mm ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/1000s
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Chapman’s Peak – next stop Antarctica

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You can’t see Antarctica of course, but it’s there all right.

This image was taken on a bike ride up Chapman’s Peak Drive. I’d taken my little point and shoot camera with (I normally shoot with my cell phone) and I was rewarded with a stunning sunset.

 

     Aperture: ƒ/3.8 Camera: Canon PowerShot SX610 HS Focal length: 4.5mm ISO: 160 Shutter speed: 1/500s
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Harbour wall silhoette

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This is taken from inside the harbour basin, looking back at the tower at the end of the breakwater. It’s in black and white and copped square.

 

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Sunflare and pier

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As our boat cruise rounded the corner into Cape Town harbour, the sun was neatly position behind the watchtower at the end of the breakwater. Shown here in black and white.

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Cape Town harbour breakwater

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This is part of the breakwater protecting the inner basin of Cape Town harbour.

Again, shown here in black and white

 

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Blast from the past

 

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##Well, the book I self-published with the images from our Israel trip arrived, and we’re really happy with the results. So, now it’s time to dig into my archives and pull out some other images that I’ve not seen in a long time. I hope you’ll like them.

This one’s from a boat cruise we did a few years back from Cape Town harbour to Clifton and back. It was a bright day, and while the sky was blue and lovely, I thought the images would look great in black and white. And they do! Enjoy

This is shows Cape Town Stadium, Signal Hill and Table Mountain. I really like this, and it’s going to get printed to hang in our home this Christmas.

 

     Aperture: ƒ/7.1 Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II Focal length: 50mm ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/320s
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Another sunset

Here’s another panorama sunset that I took a few weeks ago. This one I plan on printing at some point later this year, probably on to perspex for mounting above my desk at home as a reminder to keep taking pictures. I hope you like it

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     Aperture: ƒ/7.1 Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Focal length: 35mm ISO: 100
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Artwork of Mahane Yehuda Market

I’ve posted about the Mahane Yehuda Market here, and a bit of research indicates that a project ‘Tabula Rasa’ (Blank Slate) was begin in 2011, and all the artwork on show is the brainchild of street artise Itamar Paloge who co-opted a number of other artists to decorate the market. It’s a joint venture between this project and the merchants of the market and makes the market far more than just a place to buy food…

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Jerusalem at night

Our memory of Jerusalem (while not complete by any means) was that there are three distinct experiences to be had – the Old City (of course) and the nearby newer, trendy area Mamila precinct, or the urban area away from both of the other two.

We experienced the urban area both during the day and night time. During the day, it’s hot and things are a bit sleepy and quiet, but as the day draws to a close, people arrive from work to get the supplies and provisions they need. Clothing stores seem to do a roaring trade and fashion, jewellery and other boutique-type stores stay open until late. It’s a very chilled vibe around this area with most people just going about their lives. The trams runs our a strict schedule, and it always seems to be full of people doing hustle and bustle things.

We were focused on food and photography. And we enjoyed both immensely. Luckily, we brought back some lovely teas and more than enough photographs.

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