Marrakech 1 – Jardin Majorelle

Yes! Back from Marrakech – first time in Morocco, Africa, and an Arabic country! And it was goooood…

I could write loads about what I thought but actually I can’t really be arsed so instead I’ll just post small batches of photos. Apologies in advance: Marrakech is known for its souks, artists on the Jamaa El Fna and colourful characters in general but after a day or so I realised I am too shy to bother with proper street photography. I just can’t face the prospect of having to extricate myself from the hassling of anybody who’s stall/donkey cart/snake I just photographed. I have a few sneaky shots but my camera wasn’t particularly good at them – 90% came out blurred from either movement or misfocussing (usually both :( ) . I might include them at some point but they’re not going to feature very prominently.

However – I do have a fair share of sharp photos of “other stuff” so I’ll stick them in a couple at a time, with background of some sorts.

The first set that is moderately coherent is that of Jardin Majorelle (and something with Yves St Laurent). Quite hyped in its flyer blurb in the end it’s not the most mystical transcendent garden in the world – it’s instead a neat little garden, tucked away in some arse end of the new town.

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Photos from the archives: Essential Holland

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Windmill at Keukenhof. About at clichéd as one can get. Still a nice photo :p.

Windmill at Keukenhof. About at clichéd as one can get. Still a nice photo :p.

Not much to say about this one – it is what it is. The crop isn’t great, due to the fact I had to take this from down low with my A700, which didn’t have a tilt/flip screen. But, you can’t knock the essence of Holland!

As with the cathedral, there will probably be a few more pictures like this coming up later…

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Photos from the archives: wedding bouquet

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Actually the bridesmaid's bouquet but hey...

Actually the bridesmaid’s bouquet but hey…

I don’t normally do weddings (I don’t like people, and I prefer to use my hands for drinking), but this is from one where my girlfriend was the bridesmaid.

This is actually her bouquet, not that of the bride. Quite neat and “to-the-point” I think, with the glass adding a subtle festive touch. I quite like it.

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Escapism? Photos of sunny Brighton

With so much to write about (Israel, a rampant gunman in the UK, oil in the Gulf of Mexico, elections coming up in The Netherlands, and a World Football Championship on the way, as well as my new job), why not not write about all that?

But instead get that ancient photo of the West Pier out of the way and blog some new photos…?

…yeah that sounds good to me.

I finally got round to shooting a few more ‘typical’ photos on the Palace Pier today. I’m still not great at people-in-masses, but it’s an improvement over all I had. Actually I haven’t put any of my ‘people pictures’ in the gallery below because, well, I still don’t like them much (both the people and the photos of them :p).

As you can see it’s a series made with my übercool ultra-wide angle lens, the Sigma 10-20 mm. Unbeatable in weather like this – look at the deep blue of the sky and the colours of the sea – woo hoo!

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Opinion | Opinie 26/03/2010

A beautiful day… relaxed, feeling good… and as usual, that stifles all creativity to write stuff.

I’ll just post some of the photos I’ve been toying around with recently (as showcased in the Flickr! preview window, too). My opinion then will be, that I like them, and I am happy to be playing around like this with my photos :-).

Bulb flowers rule!

the Bollenstreek

Flying home!The right time of year, at the right place, with the right weather. In other words, a brilliantly sunny day in April in the Bollenstreek.

There is no place in the world like the Bollenstreek (“bulb region”) in spring, anywhere, anytime. There, I said it. And of course within the Bollenstreek there is nothing like the Keukenhof. On their website they claim to be the most photographed place on earth – which I was a bit skeptical about when reading. Well… I am a believer now. Never ever have I seen so many people with so many cameras taking so many pictures of so many… flowers. (All the different nationalities are quite cool too, a real microcosm of the world.)

the Keukenhof

Cycling there through all the flower fields is already an amazing sight:

Beautiful, big...tulips!

Beautiful, big...tulips!

And then the Keukenhof (the name means “kitchen garden” – in the 15th century it was exactly that, being part of the castle of Jacoba van Beieren) itself… well I was there a few years ago but had quite forgotten, or not even realised, how stunning it actually is. Some photographic impressions follow to try and illustrate my point…

Some parts are set up as a park...

Some parts are set up as a park...

... while others are just arty ads for flowers

... while others are just arty ads for flowers

The central, and in my opinion easily the most impressive, pavillion, is the Willem-Alexander pavillion. It features simply the most amazing collection of cultured tulip breeds you can think of. It makes you feel very sympathetic to the people who got infected with tulip mania – it does make you wanna wanna wanna have them!

The Willem-alexander pavilion, home of amazing tulips

The Willem-Alexander pavilion, home of amazing tulips

Those white tulips were at least half a meter high – incredible!

But also in the park itself there are plenty of stunners, such as these. Must be the reddest flowers I’ve ever seen!

No need to photoshop this one

No need to photoshop this one

As I said, everyone from every place on earth is there, and is taking photographs all the time :-).

And from everywhere they come

And from everywhere they come

Just for photo geeks, my lens (this time it was the Tamron 24-135) turns out to be an excellent macro lens – not surprising, given 135mm with a minimal focal distance of around 30 cm. Here’s a sample of what that means. Nothing special, it’s a “just because I can :-P” photo.

Up close & personal with a tulip

Up close & personal with a tulip

So all in all a great day out, not a little helped by the great summery weather (22°C!!). Not something you do every year, by the end you really have seen more than enough tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, but still… very nice!

Until another time..?!

Until another time..?!