I just returned back from a week in Marrakech. What a strange and magnificent city. At first I was not sure whether I liked it or not. A first for me. Normally I arrive in a city and I know instantly whether I would go back again. But, to be honest, I didn’t know until I got home and looked at the below photos that the answer to that question is, yes, definitely yes!
Marrakech is a rich and vibrant city with culture literally oozing out of every street corner. The people are warm and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. For example, my wife and I took a taxi from our hotel to Hotel La Mamounia for an afternoon on their terrace. When we exited the taxi the driver said to us, “I hope to see you again, Inshallah.” Normally, if I get more than a grunt from a taxi driver I’m happy.
This kind of affection was evident all over the city. And it didn’t matter how much money the people had either. Every person from every walk of life acted warmly towards me and my wife.
The city itself is not what I would call the cleanest city in the world. Let’s be honest, there is rampant poverty in Marrakech. But there is also incredible wealth. Two of the best hotels I have ever seen La Mamounia and the Royal Mansour are in Marrakech. They are not just hotels, they are palaces.
I enjoyed La Manounia and Royal Mansour as much as I enjoyed the main square. The food in both places is amazing and the atmosphere is second to none. I highly recommend it.
Here are some photos from my trip.
Edinburgh has always held a special place in my heart. I first saw this ancient city in 2001 and have been meaning to go back ever since. So in July when I was offered a free trip, I jumped at the chance.
Unfortunately this has been one of the wettest years on record and it rained most of the time. However, when the sun did come out I was able to capture some superb images of Edinburgh Castle, The National Monument, etc.
All of the images below were taken with my newest lens, the Canon 35mm f2.8 pancake. A great little pocket lens that was strapped onto my Canon 1Ds Mark II for the entire time.
This, above all, is my favorite bit of kit. It is light, mobile and creates stunning images. It reminds me of the street photographer days when zoom lenses were relatively unknown and most people shot with rangefinders that had minuscule lenses.
The images below show that an 8 year old digital camera and tiny prime lens is sometimes all you need.
There is one city on Earth that gets my creative juices working over time more than any other. And that city, not surprisingly, is Paris!
It is the world’s most visited city and for good reason. With more beautiful scenery and architecture than nearly anywhere else, the entire city is like a giant postcard, just waiting for photographers to capture its glory.
I have been to Paris four times and each time I wish I had more days to photograph all the things I couldn’t get to. Every time I go I tell myself that I’m going to shoot the real Paris. The Paris that isn’t publicized to everyone. The streets of Paris. But this never happens. I end up taking the same photos I always do. Not because I lack originality, but because when I get to Paris, those famous sites take hold of me and don’t let me go.
Oh, I’m sure that with a few more visits the novelty will wear off and I’ll finally discover some remote areas of Paris that tourists either don’t know about, are too scared to go to, or just don’t venture out to because, like me, they are transfixed by The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Seine and all the rest.
On this occasion, my wife and I traveled by car and ferry from West Sussex for a short weekend that included all the usual sites and a special treat, the Tour de France.
I have watched The Tour de France since 1999, the first year Lance Armstrong won it. I have been captivated by it ever since. So it was a very special moment for me when I was standing there, (for four hours), waiting for the riders to arrive onto the Champs Elysees. And to add to the pressure, Bradley Wiggins, the first British winner of the Tour in its 99 year history, was on target to win. But, the pressure eased on the rider’s 2nd time around and I captured the below images.
I look forward to photographing this grand city in the near future, when maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to capture it’s true heart and soul.
My wife and I celebrated our belated wedding anniversary with a trip to magical Venice. A place I had been before but never photographed. So I was very keen to see what I could do with that ancient city.
The results speak for themselves. I have to say, although I am confident in my abilities as a photographer, the setting helps a great deal. I saw a photograph with every corner I turned and every ancient, rusted, crumbling building I beheld.
Venice is a truly magical city with endless photographic opportunities. Here are some of my images:
All of which can be purchased by visiting Chartfords.com.
My professional website: Taylor Young Photography
This weekend I had the pleasure of photographing at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. And I have to say, this is my new favorite National Trust. The scale, the architecture, the opulence, it’s just remarkable. Built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874, this French style manor is something to behold. The grounds are also an amazing feature. One could get lost for hours. It’s the perfect setting for a summer picnic.
If you haven’t been, go. You won’t regret it.
The below images are done HDR style. That is, it is the combination of 3 separate images all taken at the same time and then merged into one. There is also a bit of manipulation in these images, which is why they look like a painting. Done correctly, I’m a big fan of HDR. Give it a try. It’s particularly good when the sun is being stubborn and it’s a bit cloudy and grey outside. You can still pull together a nice image.