Mystical Marrakech and beyond.

I’ve been lucky enough to do a fair bit of travelling over the years.  Unfortunately much of this was before the photography bug had bitten me.  Anyway, having planned a surprise birthday treat for my daughter i figured that this would also be a fab opportunity to try my hand at a little travel photography.

I’d visited Morocco some 15+ years ago and had many fond memories of the culture, people and lifestyle of this amazing country.  The sights, smells & tastes of the spice markets & street food were a bewildering attack on all of your senses and i was excited to experience these again, with my daughter, and this time with my camera in hand.

I was also keen to pay a little attention to the amazing architecture that still exists in this country, some of which has not changed its appearance for hundreds of years.  From the mystical medina of Marrakech’s old town to the long abandoned Casbah’s on the edge of the Sahara desert there was certainly plenty to capture our attention.

For the trip i travelled light from a photographers point of view, with just 2 Fuji XT-1’s and a small selection of prime & zoom lens’. The cameras were amazing to work with, especially in the tight confines of the Souks.  I was able to work relatively unnoticed and if you’ve ever been to Marrakech you’ll know how difficult it can sometimes be photographing on the streets.  Many people dont like having their photograph taken and those that do often come asking for money for the privilege.

Marrakech itself is a city that is full of life, it never seems to sleep.  That said, it’s at night that it seems its liveliest.  We travelled in July and, true to our expectations, the heat of the day was pretty much unbearable, hence the reason many stay indoors during the day and emerge at night when the temperature had dropped a little.  Talking of the temperature, towards the end of our stay the temp was 45 degrees Celsius and with the heat index of the stiff Saharan wind this felt more like 49 degrees celsius.   Anyway, the buzz of the Medina at night, especially on the Jemaa El-Fnaa is a must for any traveller to Morocco but watch out for the Snakes & Monkeys!!

So, enough of the blurb heres a selection of images from our trip which includes Marrakech and our excursion through the High Atlas Mountains to the edge of the Sahara Desert to visit the ancient Casbah’s of Telouet and Ait Ben-Haddou.

Moroccan Flag.

The Moroccan Flag. The green pentagram represents the 5 Pillars of Islam.

With Snake charmers, Monkeys, food & entertainers the square of Jemaa El-Fnaa (square of the dead) is a full-on sensory overload but certainly a must see!!  The Koutoubia Mosque, the largest in Africa, sits close by to the west of the square and if the towering minaret doesn’t grab your attention the call to prayer certainly will.  Views of all the activity are best viewed from one of the many cafes that offer roof top terraces and one of my favs was the Le Grande Balcon Du Cafe which offered panoramic views and there most amazing spot for capturing the sunset, but get there early to secure your space.

Morocco, Marrakech, Jemaa El-Fnaa, Sign

The tanneries are somewhat of an experience and if your a little sensitive to strong odours then maybe its not for you.  But, if you do visit you’ll be given a bunch of mint leaves to ward off the smells a little and a whistle stop tour finishing of being taken to see the “finished products” AKA the leather shop.  Here you will experience the most amazing display of leather goods but also the most amazing level of pressure sales you’ll probably ever come across.  Don’t be forced into buying if you dont want anything but if you do, be sure to bargain hard and firm.

Morocco LR-5888

The tropical gardens, Jardin Marjorelle, offer some respite from the madness of Jemaa El-Fnaa with their abundant collection of exotic Cactus and other plants & palms set around the deep blue of the buildings that were once an artists studio.  Until 2008 the gardens were owned by the designer Yves Saint Laurent.

Jardin Majorelle Marrakech

The alleyways of the souks are a maze and getting lost is all part of the fun.  Almost anything is on sale from skins to bones and treasures to tatt.  If you can’t find it in there then i dont think it exists. Be prepared to haggle and walk away if you dont get the price you like, very often they will chase you and agree to your offer.  Their sales patter/technique can sometimes appear aggressive but dont let that stop you bargaining.  Also watch out for the ‘ever helpful’ guides – young males who seem to be everywhere to help guide the lost looking tourist.  As we found out they can, and will, lead you the wrong way, or the long way (but not always though) and expect a little payment at the end. Having already visited the Souks of Fez one thing i did notice in the Souks of Marrakech was the abundance of mopeds.  The booming things were everywhere, even in the most crowded of places they were intent on pushing their way through and on the quieter alleyways they seemed to travel at some speed so do watch out for them.  It’s something that i do not recall being an issue in Fez.

Medina & Souk, Marrakech, Morocco.

The Palais La Bahia, Palais El Badi and the Medersa Ben Youssef each display fine examples of Moroccan architecture from the ages.  With intricate mosaics, carved cedar wood and the finest moulded plaster walls that any modern day architect would find difficult to emulate.  Listen for the Storks nesting on the walls of the Palais El Badi, they make the strangest noise at dawn & dusk.

Morocco, Marrakech travel photography by Rob Ferrol

We ventured out to the edges of there Sahara desert passing through the high Altas mountains, along twisting roads and the Tizi n’Tichka, the highest mountain pass in North Africa, to the Casbah’s of Telouete and Ait Ben-Haddou, the latter of which has been the backdrop of many films including The Mummy, Gladiator and the more recent The Game of thrones.  Although we didn’t make it to the Sandy “dunes’ part of the Sahara, which was another days travel away, with was certainly very barren and a world away from the hustle & bustle of Marrakech.  We even had time for a Camel ride but thats another story 🙂

"Berber TV"  at the Casbah of Telouet.

“Berber TV” at the Casbah of Telouet.

Morocco is truly an amazing place and has much to offer any traveller, certainly more than one visit could cover anyway, so im hoping to make a return visit myself sometime soon.  If you’d like to experience a different lifestyle & culture then be sure to put it on your bucket list.  As always, if you enjoyed this little blog please do leave me a comment and also feel free to share it on your social media sites.

http://www.robferrol.com

Derbyshire Wedding Photographer, Ringwood Hall – Laura & Robbie

It was massive pleasure to capture the special day of Laura & Robbie a few weeks ago.  They contacted me after being guests at a wedding of one of their friends and loved the work i produced for them.  Both of them looked fantastic and i’ve included a few links from their chosen wedding suppliers.

The venue for their big day was the wonderful Ringwood Hall, near Chesterfield, which boasts some beautiful period features, glittering chandeliers and some wonderful ornate gardens offering plenty of photographic opportunities.  It really is a pleasure to photograph weddings at this venue.  A big thank you to the staff a Ringwood Hall too, who very helpful and a pleasure to work with.

Laura & Robbie Booked our full day package that allows us to capture images from bridal & groom prep right through to the cake cutting & first dance.  This captures the full essence of your special day and creates a compelling storybook portfolio of images.

Here are a few of their images from their special day.  If you’d like to find out more about our wedding photography please visit our website or feel  free to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

Venue – Ringwood Hall

Dress – Nora Eve

Makeup – Bridal Creative

Hair – I Heart Hair

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Derbyshire Pre-wedding Photoshoot, Makeney Hall, Meryl & Daniel

It was a huge delight to catch up with Meryl & Daniel who booked me last year to photograph their big day this June.  As always the day soon comes around in rapid fashion.  Their chosen venue, Makeney Hall in Derbyshire, was somewhere that i’ve not previously photographed a wedding at so it made sense to have their pre-wedding photoshoot their.

It gave us both chance to have look around the venue, find some beautiful locations, both inside and out, and also allow them to become a littlemore relaxed at having their photograph taken.

Makeney Hall boasts some beautiful period features and some wonderful ornate gardens with some hidden follies too.  Had we not done the pre-wedding photoshoot it would be all to easy to miss these “little gems”.

Anyway here are a small selection of images from their photoshoot which lasted just about 1 hour.  If you’d like to find out more about our wedding photography please go get in touch.

Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol PhotographyDerbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography Derbyshire Makeney Hall pre wedding photoshoot by Rob Ferrol Photography

A mixed bag of London – Street, Architecture, Fashion & Sports Photography

In my last blog post i gave you an highlight of my images that i took of the final stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race.  A chance encounter on a fantastic weekend in the city.

I had planned to be on a 2 day workshop that ended up being cancelled last minute but having already paid my travel & accommodation costs i decided to still head down there and have a weekend of self indulged photographic fun.  It was my first ever time in London on my own with my camera so i had just planned to take my time and soak it all up and it ended up being a mixed bag weekend.

I’d arrived late in london due to a train delay but was pleased to see East Coast Trains staff handing out refund vouchers which was a pleasant surprise, id always thought train delays were part and parcel of modern day rail travel so well done East Coast Trains for your fist class customer service.  So, having arrived late, i decided to head straight over top Tower Bridge to get some late evening shots.  I didn’t plan on dragging all my luggage with me but i didn’t want to waste my first evening.  The hotel checkin could wait a little while longer.  As i mentioned above, the weekend turned into a mixed bag of photographic subject.  As well as stumbling across the Tour of Britain on the Sunday i found myself in a photographers melee on Saturday afternoon.  After a quick lunch at the Covent Garden food market I wandered down to the Strand and found London Fashion Week in full swing.  There were photographers and models everywhere, it was like organised chaos and one couldn’t resist grabbing a few shots.  I may have to venture down to London just to capture the atmosphere around this event one day.

Anyway, i suppose i’d better let you get to the images.  As I said a very mixed bag of stuff which i hope you will like.  Please do feel free to leave a comment and maybe share this blog with your family & friends.  Just before i go i’d like to finish in a couple of thank you’d both heading in the direction of two London Cabbies.  Firstly to a kind chap called Dave who, after chatting in the cab on the way to the hotel, decided to give me a free ride out of gratitude for my past military service and also for my current public service as a Paramedic.  I was blown away with his kind hearted gratitude.  Secondly to another London Cabbie and good friend Terry who is also an amazing photographer, you can see some of his fabulous images on his website here.   He took time out of his hectic weekend day to catch up over coffee and then to show me a few locations around Canary Wharf.   So, on to the images.

London by Rob Ferrol Photography

Tower Bridge, London

Underground, London Rob Ferrol Photography

Early morning tube ride – so quiet compared to the evening rush hour.

London, the shard,rob,ferrol photography

Dawn Light on the Shard, Lomndon

The Shard London Rob Ferrol Photography

Dawn Light on the Shard, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Skateboard Graveyard, Golden Jubilee Bridge, London

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Sh*@ting on Humanity

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Going Underground.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

London Street Photography

London Rob Ferrol Photography

What to have for lunch?? Food market in Covent Garden

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Flying the flags, Covent Garden, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

London Fashion Week

London Rob Ferrol Photography

London Fashion Week

London Rob Ferrol Photography

London Fashion Week

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Dusk colour at Canary Wharf

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Canary Wharf in Mono

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Bright Lights Big City. Canary Wharf, London

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Millennium Bridge & St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Millennium Bridge & St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Canary Wharf Clock, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Tube Tunnels, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Spot the Banana, Canary Wharf, London

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Lloyds Building, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Gherkin abstract, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Tour of Britain final, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Tour of Britain final, London.

London Rob Ferrol Photography

Tour of Britain final, London.

Tour of Britain in London

It was by a streak of opportunistic luck that i came across this final of the Tour of Britain cycle race in London tis weekend.  I’d planned to be in the city on a two day photographic workshop but sadly this was cancelled by the organiser last minute.  Having already paid my accommodation and hotel fees i decided to just head down anyway and have a self indulged weekend of photography shooting some city architecture and some street photography.  It turned into a weekend of good fortunes, more about this in my next blog.

Anyway, i managed to catch up with a fellow photographer and London Cabbie Terry Gibbins who happened to mention that there was a cycle race on the Embankment on Sunday.  I was planning to head into the city on that day to shoot some LE stuff around the Gherkin and Lloyds building and figured there would be less people around on a sunday.  There was in a way but it was full of traffic that was being diverted due to the race so was not as peaceful as i had hoped.  So, with a morning spent there i decided to grab the tube and head over to Westminster for the last few hours before heading home from Kings Cross.  After getting off the tube at Westminster i found that i was right in the epicentre of the race.  What i’d seen earlier must have been some warm up heats as the actual race hadn’t started.  The place was full of people but i somehow managed to find a clear spot that looked straight down the start/finish line.  Not sure how i managed that one but it was a prime spot i wasn’t go into give up so decided to get comfy and enjoy the race.  The atmosphere was amazing with entertainment provided by the band of the Coldstream Guards and then some very enthusiastic DJ/Compare.  Anyway the images below are just a selection of what i took, im not sure of all the competitors names but Sir Bradley Wiggins was in there somewhere, hope you like them!!

I’ll have a full roundup of my weekend in London coming soon but please feel free to leave a comment and why not stop by my website to see more of my work.


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