Friday, June 29, 2012

Made in Morocco

From the souks of Fes to the D'jeema el Fna of Marrakech, Morocco is an incredible shopping destination. What makes shopping so special here is that in most cases, you can see the workmanship that goes into whatever it is you consider buying, and you can watch and meet the very person who has labored long and hard to create a finished piece.

There is something to be said of a Moroccan artisan selling their work. Pride of craftsmanship goes hand in hand with quality of goods. Whenever I see something I want to buy, I ask "Did you make this?" and suddenly what might initially appear to be a vendor hawking junk becomes a friendly and personal conversation during which they share a pride of skill and labor, and I earn an education into not only the making of a piece, but the person and family behind it. The value (for me anyway) grows as the price gently comes down. Friendly smiles, and a sincere interest and appreciation for the livelihood of another will make for a pleasant shopping experience here when you take the time to look behind the product. Of course, there is plenty of junk out there too, but take a moment to seek out the back corner of a quiet stall or shop and you will discover for yourself that one man's junk is another man's prideful labor and livelihood. This is the heart and soul of the shopping experience in Morocco.

Join me on this photo journey through the souks and markets of Morocco to see just a few of the things for sale, and what has gone into making them.

Leather Goods

For Sale:

The tanneries where skins re bleached and dyed

Stretching and softening the hides

Treated and dyed leather


For Sale:

Potter working with clay

Hand-painting designs on ceramics

Painted ready for the kiln


For Sale:

Dying the silk threads

Silk Spools ready for loom

Weaver at loom making silk scarf

Fresh off the looms


For Sale:

ceramic tiles

cut into shapes

laying out pattern

And everything else...





Dedicated to the artisans and craftsmen of Morocco, I appreciate your work and treasure what you make for sale!

For more, visit my full Morocco Image Gallery, and be sure to check in to twitter #Frifotos to see what else is "for sale" around the world!

Friday, June 08, 2012

World Oceans Day - Surf Around the World

"Es que ese mar que a tu playa va tambien bana la mia"
- Irene Farrera (El Mismo Mar)

The ocean connects us all. The same sea that goes to your shore also comes to mine. Regardless of race, nationality or religion, we are all united by the vast ocean spanning our planet. It is a humbling entity, and certainly deserving of our awe and respect every day, not just on World Oceans Day.

For Saving Trestles, California

Lucky me, I'm an island girl, born in Coronado, California (recently named Top Beach of 2012). I grew up barefoot on the beach with my toes in the waves. I can't imagine what my life would be like without the blessed familiarity and profound appreciation for the ocean. When I am away from it, I feel different- like a toddler who has strayed too far from her mother. Perhaps it's a primal element of being human, but the closer I am to the ocean, the more I feel at home. It's a comfort like none other to breathe in the salty negative-charged ions of fresh churned sea air....ahhhh!

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

I surf. For pleasure and for health. No, I haven't surfed my entire life, nor do I run out the door with a board when the big swells roll in - when that occurs, I'm more likely to run out the door with my camera, tripod, and a gigantic telephoto lens. But ever since I caught and stood up on my first outside wave, and looked over to see a mother and baby dolphin riding the same wave not 10 feet away, I was hooked. I was in my element. I was at one with nature. Surfing, more than any other sport or activity I can think of, promotes physical, mental and spiritual health while being completely at the mercy of something greater than yourself...greater than anything else on the planet...the ocean.

Green Wall (La Jolla Shores), California

I also travel. For a living. While my destinations don't always involve sandy white beaches and rolling waves, I do make an effort to get to the closest shore and check out the local surf scene, whatever that may be, wherever I go. When I can, I capture a photo of the surf, preferably with a surfer. So in honor of celebrating World Oceans Day, I dove into my archives and fished out some favorite images of surf scenes around the world. I will also be sharing images from this post and many other ocean and surf shots all day on twitter, as I guest co-host the #Frifotos theme of #oceans with National Geographic Traveler. Ride the wave along with us and enjoy!


Peninsula Valdes, where the surf is populated with Sea Lions:


Bathsheba Beach


Brazil has so many beautiful and surf-worthy beaches. My favorite spot to watch the surf (and surfers) is Prainha:

But Copacabana can toss around some mean rips, and I watched the helicopter make no fewer than 7 rescues in the space of an hour!

Rio Beach Rescue - Images by Kymri Wilt


Wickanninish, Vancouver Island, British Columbia:

Related Blog Post: How Cool is Ucluelet?



Hong Kong

Ok, it's a stretch, but with a sense of humor will appreciate this related blog post:
Stand Up Paddle Surf Safari in....China?


Manuel Antonio

Playa Esterillos



Talk about a wave all to yourself!


River Surfing in Munich (hey, it counts!)



Giant's Causeway


So I only caught a glimpse, but still, boards and wetsuits hanging out near Kamakura.




...and the dirtiest water I've ever seen surfed, in Lima


Praia de Guincho, Cascais - one of the most beautiful surf spots anywhere


My first glance of Indian Ocean waves, along the Whale Coast/Garden Route:


Muizenberg (Cape Town)

Related Blog Posts:
Where Oceans Meet
Winter in Cape Town


Bora Bora Reef


Waikiki, HAWAII

And, finally, home sweet home, Cardiff by the Sea, CALIFORNIA

Related Blog Posts:
Big Wave Surf, Cardiff
Roxy Jam Women's Longboard Pro at Cardiff Reef
On Being Active, Surfing & Advertising
San Diego Natives of Paradise
Rob Machado, Because He Cares

My favorite moments are those spent with my daughter in the ocean.

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Happy World Oceans Day!