Thursday, 17 October 2013

Our photography tours and a new blog

We haven't posted here for some time as we are now using our main blog to keep you up to date with the latest in photo news, tips and knowledge. However we'd like to tell you about our photography tours and bring you some images from the latest, last month.  We're featuring the work of Jacinto, a Spanish guest, who arrived with a huge desire to produce some competition entry quality photos.  Our tours are exceptional in that we focus on giving access to local people, something which other photo tour providers only hint at. If you would like to find out more about tours then click on the link otherwise proceed to our Pinterest page to see more of Jacinto's images.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The king of local sports at it's zenith in August.

Action photography is rarely covered here during the workshops but Isabel took full advantage of a Kite surfing instructor's downtime to shoot extremely well with her 70-300 during her week of photography here in Essaouira.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Photography Tours | Photography Tour in Morocco.

A brilliant self-portrait from Val Lear on a photography tour with us in the region of Tafraoute and the Anti-Atlas in Morocco.  Taken with an extreme wide angle lens during the brightest part of the day it shows some wonderful compositional sense and uses her extremely long leg to good effect:-)  To join the next photography tour in October this year, please visit our website link. You can see the rest of Val's and other galleries here.

In other news photography and cooking are proving more popular for holidays here in Essaouira especially with couples who are either both choosing to do a week's cooking course together or choosing one activity each.  Prices for two people are very reasonable so take a look at the new cooking holidays website.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Photography Tours | Photography Tour in Morocco.

It's been a while but after a busy few months with courses here in Morocco I can finally add a post to the original Blogger platform.  Nearly all the updates and current news these days can be found at imagesinthesun but it's a good time to refresh here with an offer of an upcoming photography tour in Morocco touring the Anti-Atlas mountain range to the east of Agadir.  It's a 6 day tour with overnight single room accommodation in 2/3 star hotels and focuses on landscape photography and all types of terrain from the mountains of the Atlas near Marrakesh (includes an overnight stay here) to the desert in Morocco's south(not the dunes I might add - they're much further east).  The photography tour is by 4x4 and begins on February 20th and ends on the 25th. February is a great time of year in the Anti-Atlas as the blossom is out and it looks quite stunning.  There is just one place left to make up a group of 3 so book now.  The price is £575 so not at all bad for a 5 night, 6 day tour in some fantastic scenery.  For more information visit the images website here.

Best wishes

Thursday, 21 July 2011


We also offer frequent 10% discount for holidays with us in Essaouira throughout the year. Our next available date(s) for a bargain are:

* places left.

30th Oct. - 6th Nov. - £805. enquire for availability.

Xmas Specials 

Book a week's photography with a friend or partner and receive two nights free accommodation after the course to extend your holiday.

Available for courses starting on the 17th, 21st and 22nd of December.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Well we've been doing something right on our photography holidays here in Essaouira, Morocco. Without tempting fate we've been given 5 stars by recent graduates, due in part to the wonderful location, atmosphere and service of the staff Maison du Sud where all guests stay during their week here. June's workshop's are drawing to a close and it's a good opportunity to reflect on some impressive photography but more of that later...It's perhaps an opportune time to announce future tour and holiday dates.  This October and the following February see us venture with small groups by 4x4 into the region of the Anti-Atlas in Morocco. We'll be crossing the Tizi n'test pass which is rich in spectacular views, before descending down into Taroudant. The tour also takes in Tata on the edge of the Sahara and Tafraoute situated in the middle of the Anti-Atlas before finishing in Marrakesh. It's a 6 day tour guarenteed to hit the spot for landscape photography enthusiasts and those wishing to find out what the great traditions of landscape photography are all about.  The price is £695 or £625 is booked before the end of July. Read more about the workshop here.  Xmas and the new year also offer great possibilities for a photography holiday here in Essaouira. The average temperature is 18 degrees and there are many other activities to do apart from a week learning photography.  Essaouira's beach and dunes of are perfect for horse riding and the Hammans are particularly inviting during the winter months. Prices start at £895 for 7 nights and start dates are flexible so get in touch.


This month Adrian came to Essaouira on holiday and took a one-day workshop with us here at Maison du Sud. His selection of final gallery images produced some lovely surprises particularly this one of my friend Ali, shop owner and entrepreneur. The one-day workshop here in Essaouira is divided into a morning and early evening session, the first session focusing on camera controls and technique.  The evening session comprises of a tutor led tour of the Medina followed by an assessment of the photos taken and the selection for the online gallery, which is useful to have to shows friends and family back home.  We also cover a little post-production work using Photoshop.  Prices for the one-day photo-workshop are 750Dh which is about £60 so if you find yourself in Essaouira for just a short time then get in touch. Click on the link to read more about one day photography workshops in Essaouira.  The rest of Adrian's gallery can be seen here.

Abby and Andrew have just completed their respective weeks in the sun. Andrew arriving the day, before got into his stride quickly, shooting some decent first images at the quite extraordinary visual experience that is the Sunday souk at Had Draa. Both different in style and approach Abby and Andrew enjoyed their weeks and both now feel particularly confident photographing people. Abby rather excelled with her people gallery, Andrew preferring to find creative possibilities in shadows, a quite unique photography holidays gallery produced during my time here in Essaouira. photography-holidays-moroccoA&A can be seen left, entirely unposed! just outside the souk Idagouard which course participants visit on Wednesdays. Increasingly I'm using image manipulation programs, such as Aperture and Photoshop during the week's course, to demonstrate the possibilities of controlling highlights and what can actually be recovered from an over-exposed image. Understanding what software can achieve, can inform our use of histograms on location and encourage us to expose for the highlights and let the shadows areas fall away into darkness. It's easier to "bring up' the shadows than render detail in a "blown out" areas of white. Emma Simpson's photo from last month, demonstrates what I mean.  She exposed correctly for the bright central area which on her camera led to a surrounding solid black area.  In post-production we brought up some of the foreground shadow detail offering more interest in the final image as seen right.

Abby's & Andrew's galleries can be viewed here.

You can book a photography holiday in Essaouira for £895 or visit our offers page for seasonal discounts.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Photography holidays at home in the desert

Creative courses should inspire and it goes without saying that tutors also need to fire up their creative juices on a regular basis.  Given the chance to venture further south into Morocco’s glorious past; mountain passes, Kasbah strewn oasis valleys and deserts teaming with nothing but sand, we jumped at the chance.  Our tour guides were Around Morocco, a long established company specialising in 4×4 tours all over Morocco.  They had a 5 day itinerary in mind that took us from Essaouira to Ouarzazate via Marrakesh, through the Dades Valley and onto the edge of the Sahara and indeed Morocco at the Algerian border at Merzouga.  We returned via Zagora and the Draa Valley.  Needless to say the scenery is quite exceptional and is a feast for the landscape photographer.  Of course there is a subtext to our 5 day trip  - even staying in a berber tent on a windy night – was part of our grand scheme.  Look out for future photography workshops that offer tours into the villages and desert dunes of the south and east of Morocco.  For now take a peek at the photographic highlights of our tour here.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Craig's photography holiday in Essaouira is drawing to a close and his eye for a picture has certainly come to the fore as the week has progressed. The image left taken at Souk Idagouard shows how photography is not always about clever compositions but is more often about spotting quirky juxtapositions and allowing the subject/objects to shine through with a simple framing.   Craig also took advantage of rare 'Fantasia' festival near Essaouira, not an event we've covered before on the photography holidays but once safely positioned in a good location at the front, Craig's correct choice of shutter speed and timing gave him some truly exotic images.  Mind you, the fear of being trampled by a late braking horse was surpassed by the only real incident of potential danger when an ambulance wanted to pass through at some speed. Apparently a misfiring gun had broken a warrior's arm and I can only guess the driver felt he had room for more!

Perhaps the most unusual finding of the week has been Craig's topographic work, a long since forgotten genre of photography, on my part at least, formalised in the 1970's through the photographs of Lewis Baltz and Robert Adams amongst others. 'Topographic Photography' focuses on man altered landscapes and in Craig's case it was an 'organic' development during the week to produce something more  than 'pretty' pictures. The topographic movement is  typically  characterised by photographs stripped of 'artistic frills'.  

Craig's photographs are not as sparse as that but there is a detached and intelligent 'eye' at work. In all 5 superb galleries for the week.  A photography holiday here in Morocco often throws up a few photographic surprises particularly with how course attendees observe such different things.  I must also thank Craig for alerting me to the potential keyword search of residential photography holidays not something I had thought of before. You can view Craig's galleries here.

Friday, 6 May 2011


10% discount for a week's photography holiday beginning June 10th.  Now £805.00.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Helen rounded off her month with three superb galleries here in Essaouira.  Her 'things in 3's' gallery offers a reminder on the beautiful balance that 3's brings to classical composition.
Click below for a peek at her three galleries.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A screen grab for the home page of the new Wordpress site offering resources and greater functionality for users as well as new courses in Spain and Morocco. Click on the image to go to 'Images in the Sun'.


Thursday, 24 March 2011

SPECIAL OFFER - 20% discount 
A week's holiday with us for £725 during May.
Available dates:

6th May - 13th May
21st May - 28th May

All dates have bookings already attached so why not join a group for a week's culture and sunshine.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Peter escaped the Berlin winter to enjoy a view during his holiday last week. His 'life emerging' gallery offers an insight into the former industrial soul and grandeur of Essaouira's colonial past.  It's part of the town's charm to see original buildings particularly outside the medina.  Gradually they are being either renovated or developed but for now they provide great photo opportunities. Click on the link to view Peter's galleries.

Friday, 25 February 2011

For all potential clients of Essaouira images, the situation in Morocco and particularly Essaouira is normal and calm.  Despite organised protests on Sunday Feb 20th across the country this is a relaxed town and very few things can provoke the local population into organised demonstrations; tourism continues to flourish here.   As a resident of Essaouira I am naturally in touch with events here on a daily basis.  For those wishing to book weeks or months in advance, please rest assured any payments will be returned to you if the situation changes.  Best wishes Darren Lewey

Sunday, 20 February 2011

During Sharon's week here she produced the first landscape portfolio for the photography holiday experience here in Essaouira.  On Wednesday we went to a village 40km south of Essaouira and trekked amongst the fossilised remains of a former seabed before dwelling on the stream that flows past Sidi m'bark towards the waterfalls and sea. Thursday was a national holiday and with Naima's family we went to a fete near Had-Draa, north of Essaouira which displayed a quite primitive looking fairground wheel which nonetheless enthralled the local children.  By Friday night we were up for some local music with the most famous Gnawi of them all, Mahmoud Guiniawho despite an impromptu evening off played one fabulous song before we headed home.

Essaouiraimages is all about experiencing Moroccan culture beyond the tourist trail.  Each day we focus on a different photographic genre that explores different parts of the town and beyond.  You'll meet new people along the way and feel as if you've been here for a lifetime.  It's an intense experience but one that draws people to return again.  By the end of the week students are confident and independent with their photography and they've met many people and seen places that independent tourists rarely get to experience.


On February 6th Naima and I drove the 5 or so hours from Essaouira to the small but beautifully located town, Tafraoute in the Anti Atlas range of mountains.  The approach as seen above, harbours wonderful valleys of blossom.  However we nearly didn't make as it as we ran out of fuel 30 km out, an hour or so from sunset.  However within seconds a Berber family were passing and they located a can of diesel for us.

Tafraoute is where I first came to Morocco in January 1991 as a student to make a short film with my newly acquired 16mm Bolex camera.  Then I was befriended by a local guy, my age who spoke a little English and with Larbi's help after two weeks I returned to Derby with an unusual film to say the least.  My return this week was exciting, naturally the town is bigger and smarter but of course the draw is the surrounding epic landscape.

We were only there for the day so we headed to the painted rocks, where I had filmed the main sequence for my short.  It still has a magical quality.  More remarkable was that unwittingly Naima was wearing clothes that made her part of the landscape.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Dan's review can be found here.  "An oasis of calm and civilisation"

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Niki's review can be found here. "wonderful Riad with superb staff"

Saturday, 5 February 2011

She came, photographed and shopped...Niki lost in the jungle of the Maison du Sud.  You can view her three splendid galleries from last week via the Viewbook gallery link:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa at 4167m, photographed last week during one of my trips around Morocco approaching from the village of Amizmiz.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Bernadette, Clare and John from Australia enjoyed their time in Essaouira.  Creatives in their own right, their websites can be viewed here:

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Valentines Day 'things to do' TNT listing for Essaouiraimages. 24/1/11

Sunday, 16 January 2011

During his week here Dan explored a multitude of genres, venturing beyond the medina as well as visiting two souks and waterfalls near Sidi M'Bark.  By the end he'd solidified his technique on exposure and was intuitively selecting the right composition.  Interestingly many of his best images were framed portrait style as above.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Dan taking on the mighty Argan just outside Ida ou Gourd.

Friday, 14 January 2011

A collection of photographs unearthed 4 years ago documenting the observations of Vivian Maier, a nanny working the US during the 1950's have been published and they are simply stunning.  Click here to view.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A charming Claire from Oz making new friends with Aziz.  Find his portrait here.

Clare Pond bonding with some souk sellers at Had Draa.  She had the knack for integrating and getting some wonderful pictures.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Gerry and Doli with Naima demonstrating the 'hand of henna' on a day trip to Ida-ou-Gourd near Essaouira...without the henna...

Friday, 7 January 2011

A selection from John Ellway's beach shots taken with a Canon 40D at the end of a fine sunny day in early Jan.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

For a photography holiday in Morocco you could do no worse than take the national carrier. See below for Royal Air Maroc promotions to Agadir and Marrakesh. They provide free meals and they don't get hung up on luggage excess weights!