The great escape continued in March with a shoot in Egypt and a journey of contrasts from the incredible temples of Luxor to the decadent afternoon spent at the Cataract Hotel in Aswan overlooking the Nile whilst watching the Feluccas sail passed. From our Nubian island retreat overlooking the Philae Temple we set out on our four hour trek across the desert to the architectural wonder and engineering feat of Abu Simbel. From there we returned to the chaos of Cairo, the faded glory of the Egyptian Museum and the incredible Tutankhamun’s Mask. For all the endless images without viewing the mask it’s impossible to appreciate the unbelievable workmanship involved. Reality dawned again when we edged our way through the chaotic Cairo traffic towards Giza catching the occasional glimpse of the Pyramids until the only existing and oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World came into view. With every individual stone block weighing over two tonnes the construction still remains a mystery.
Avoiding the UK winter in January became a necessity after spending the last two Northern Hemisphere winter’s shooting in New Zealand and Seville, Cordoba and Granada were the perfect escapist locations and not only for the wonderful wine and tapas. The impressive Seville Cathedral, completed in 1528, is one of the largest churches in the world incorporating 80 chapels, a breathtaking 42 metre high nave and an incredible altarpiece, the lifetime work of a single craftsman, Pierre Dancart. It was the perfect forerunner for the Mesquita in Cordoba, constructed in 785. With its incredible Moorish interior and endless decorative columns and double tiered arches Mesquita is an important monument in the history of Islamic architecture. The final location on the shoot was the unbelievable Alhambra, one of the most impressively preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world, majestically perched on a hillside as it overlooks the town of Granada with the snow covered Sierra Nevada mountains in the background.
Surprisingly I’ve never explored Provence having previously spent numerous years in Asia. Provence conjures up fragrant fields of lavender and endless villages with their respective markets displaying the enticing culinary produce of the region. The landscape and colours of Provence has also inspired an array of iconic names of the art world, Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir, van Gogh, and endless other artists who were all drawn by the climate and the clarity of the light. Le Mistral, the wind of Provence, being responsible for this special quality of light removing the dust from the atmosphere and in doing so increasing the visibility. Visiting the Saint-Paul Asylum where van Gogh was hospitalised was incredibly emotional. The year he spent in Saint-Remy-de-Provence was his most productive creating more than a thousand paintings. There are still numerous recognisable elements in the landscape that proved to be inspirational for his creations. Provence has always been considered a photographer’s dream and I can now appreciate why, Le Mistral creates a clarity of light particularly conducive to photography. Photographic prints are available from any of the images on the website please complete the enquiry form for further information.