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Marrakech, Morocco Best Travel Destination 2015

Travellers Choice on Trip Advisor has voted Marrakech the top destination in the world to visit .

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd

Marrakech, Jemaa el Fna sunset

It is easy to see why, just 3 hours flight from the UK and you are transported to a city that for me, as a travel and garden photographer, has such a rich tapestry to photograph. No visit to Marrakech is complete without a visit to the main Jemaa el Fna square, a cocophony of noise from snake charmers to drummers with the smell of spices and food being cooked for locals and visitors from far and wide.

One of my favourite street food stalls in Jemaa el Fna is Chez Hassan, number 32. You can’t miss it, just look for the one creating the most steam and smoke as the best Merguez sausages in town sizzle on the griddle, be patient as it’s hard to get a seat as this is a firm favourite with the locals.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd

Chez Hassan, number 32

Of course there is much more to Marrakech than the main square. The nearby Koutoubia mosque dominates the skyline and is a favourite location of mine for photography.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Koutoubia mosque

Woman walking in front of the Koutoubia mosque

The souks and narrow winding alleyways of the old Medina always come up with travel photography gems. Getting to find your way around can be very tricky, fortunately after photographing here over the years I know my way around the maze like labyrinthian narrow streets.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd medina

Man with donkey cart, old Medina, Marrakech

There are so many great backdrops for photographs in the old Medina. I am always on the lookout for a good background for a photograph. One of the skills of travel photography is to observe the movement of people in a particular location and see when the best light hits the scene. Once you have found a location with good light and movement of people, a trick I employ is to frame my scene with the camera on a tripod with a remote shutter release. When a person comes through the scene I’ve framed they don’t have the same reaction as if I had the camera up to my eye. I tend to even look away when they appear as if I’m not even taking a photograph, it’s a trick that works for me, resulting in natural looking images with people.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd cyclist medina

Cyclist in the old quarter of Marrakech

In the old Medina I love the crumbling coloured walls, there always seems to be a good prop set against them.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd bicycle medina

Bicycle, Medina

The Medina is home to many artisans located in their own areas. The tannery district is only for those that can bear the stench, but a fascinating place to photograph.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd tannery district

Tannery district

Other favourite areas are the wool dyers district.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd wool dyers district

Wool dyers district

and the metal work district.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd metal workers district

Metal workers district

If you are in this area be sure to check out the Museum of Photography to see some amazing photography from Morocco spanning a number of decades. The place also has a great rooftop café with views over the sprawling city and Atlas mountains.

A great escape from the hustle and bustle of the old Medina is to go and visit the iconic Jardin Majorelle, a feast for the lens with its cobalt blue walls, colourful containers and collections of cacti and bamboos. The garden was restored by Yves Saint Laurent and there is a memorial to him in the garden.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle – Yves Saint Laurent garden

Spend some time here, there is plenty to photograph, you can also get one of the best Moroccan breakfasts in Marrakech in the courtyard garden.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle, ‘Kalanchoe Beharensis’

Be sure to look out for those hidden corners too.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle

If you want to escape the city altogether the Atlas mountains are only a short distance away with its Berber villages and slower pace of life.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Atlas mountains

Atlas mountains

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd Atlas mountains

Atlas mountains

Back in Marrakech there are numerous souks to get lost in, my favourite is the spices souk.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd spices souk

Spices souk

It’s worth while weaving your way around the maze like souk to see what you stumble upon.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd souk

Marrakech Souk

I love exploring the quieter areas off the beaten track, you just never know what you are going to encounter around each corner.

digital travel photography holidays tours workshops to Marrakech Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma Asia hosted by Stephen Studd man with fez hat

Marrakech man in traditional djellaba and fez hat

Other places of interest for photography are the various Palaces and the Ben Youssef Madrasa, a favourite place with my guests on the travel photography city break I run there each year.

North Africa, Morocco, Marrakech, Marrakesh, Digital photography holidays and tours to Morocco, Marrakech Ben Youssef Madrasa

Ben Youssef Madrasa

An alluring appeal that keeps me coming back to Marrakech is the light and the African sunsets you get there. Perch yourself on one of the numerous cafes in the main square, get yourself a Moroccan mint tea and a tajine, watch the place come alive as the sun sets, and enjoy the feast for all the senses. Yes the billowing smoke you can see in the shot below is coming from Chez Hassan.

Jemaa el Fna and Koutoubia mosque, sunset

Jemaa el Fna and Koutoubia mosque, sunset

You can join me on a 5 day travel photography city break to Marrakech in September 2016, with an optional photography excursion up in to the Atlas mountains where we have a traditional Berber lunch on my Berber friend CoCo’s roof terrace.

Full details can be found on my travel photography holidays website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Newsletter subscribers receive special offers throughout the year on my travel photography holiday and landscape photography workshops, you can subscribe here


Keep in touch:

Websites:

My travel photography holidays & UK photography workshops website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

My travel and garden photography website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com


Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

https://www.facebook.com/stephenstuddphotography

Instagram: https://instagram.com/stephenstuddphotography/

Twitter

www.twitter.com/PhotographyHols

www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google +

https://plus.google.com/+Digitalphotographyholidays

https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography

 

 

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and Siem Reap, Best Travel Destinations 2015

Trip Advisor has just announced that Angkor Wat is the top Landmark in the world to visit, with Siem Reap voted 2nd best Destination in the world.

UPDATE: Lonely Planet has just voted Angkor Wat as the Best Travel Destination to go and see 2015.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Monks in front of Angkor Wat.

I have been photographing here since 1999 and it is truly a magical place, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The whole Angkor complex stretches some 400 km2, so there are always new places to discover.

Of all the different temples that make up the Angkor complex, Angkor Wat is the jewel in the lotus and also the most well preserved of them all.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Angkor Wat, sunrise

The stone carving here is some of the most exquisite of all the temples.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Apsara detail, Angkor Wat

Even though the place sees a large number of tourists each year, local life still goes on in and around Angkor Wat.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK South East Asia Cambodia Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple complex UNESCO World Heritage site young boy fishing in the moat of Angkor Wat sunset

Boy fishing at Angkor Wat

Siem Reap is the gateway to the temples and a town that has expanded over the years but never lost its charm.

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Siem Reap. Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK

Shrine on the banks of the river, Siem Reap

digital travel and landscape photography holidays, vacations, tours and workshops to Asia, Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Siem Reap. Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar), Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco, the Gower Wales UK South East Asia Cambodia Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple complex UNESCO World Heritage site portrait of Cambodian Khmer old woman with traditional headscarf

There are now great places to eat and drink to suit all budgets in Siem Reap. I’m looking forward to heading back again this November. There are places available on the photography holiday if you want to improve your photography skills. Because of my extensive knowledge of the area I get you to the best places for the best light.

My photography holidays here also support some NGO’s helping street kids, the rural poor, people with disabilities and also a nature conservation project.


Details of the travel photography holiday I run to Angkor Wat can be found on my website: http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


You can follow my journey over the years of photographing at the Angkor Wat temples on the Manfrotto website: http://www.manfrottoimaginemore.com


Keep in touch:

Websites:

My travel photography holidays & UK photography workshops website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

My travel and garden photography website: www.stephenstuddphotography.com


Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

https://www.facebook.com/stephenstuddphotography

Twitter

www.twitter.com/PhotographyHols

www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google +

https://plus.google.com/+Digitalphotographyholidays

https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography


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Myanmar (Burma) travel photography video

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Morocco hosted by Stephen Studd 2014 2015

Rough Guides published a short video about my travel photography in Burma, with a few photography tips in there too. I’m really pleased with the final video they put together, enjoy the journey:

There are also some photography tips on their website, which can be found by following this link: http://www.roughguides.com/article/why-myanmar-burma-is-a-travel-photographers-gold/

My newsletter subscribers are always the first to hear of any new destinations and receive reward codes for selected holidays and workshops throughout the year, you can subscribe here: http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com/466457/newsletter/ (I never send more than 12 newsletters per year.)

My travel photography holidays to Cambodia and Burma have also been launched on the Responsible Travel holidays website.


For photography commissions my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run small group travel photography holidays and flower photography workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

I am represented by Getty Images and Robert Harding for my travel photography.

Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DigitalPhotographyHolidays

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Studd-Photography/387939741345414

Twitter

www.twitter.com/PhotographyHols

www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography


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Print Gallery

After many requests for prints of my photography I have now started to roll out a new Print Gallery on my website, with three different print sizes.

Digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco hosted by Stephen Studd

The Prints gallery has travel & flower photography sections. I will be adding new collections throughout the year. To visit the gallery please follow the link to my website.: www.stephenstuddphotography.com

Dahlia flower photography by stephen Studd photographer

I have also set up a new Etsy shop with photographic prints of flowers, this will be added to over time with travel prints too.

To view my Etsy site please click the link below.


For photography commissions my website is www.stephenstuddphotography.com

I also run small group travel photography holidays and flower photography workshops www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Studd-Photography/387939741345414

Twitter www.twitter.com/StephensPhotos

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+Stephenstuddphotography


 


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Behind the photo: Portrait of Khmer woman, Cambodia

South East Asia Cambodia Siem Reap Angkor Wat temple complex UNESCO World Heritage site portrait of Cambodian Khmer old woman with traditional headscarf digital photography holidays holiday vacations tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Venice marrakech Paris Morocco Prague hosted by Stephen Studd

Cambodia is one of my favourite places for travel photography. On a recent trip there I wanted to photograph the sugar palm village which is on the way to Banteay Srei temple, part of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

The sugar palm tree (Borassus flabellifer) is the national tree of Cambodia and has over 800 uses. The root of the tree is used in traditional herbal medicine, the hard heavy wood is used for house building and for furniture making, the palm fronds are used for thatching roofs, making mats, baskets, hats and fans and also weaved to make the walls in traditional Cambodian homes and the fruit is used to make, palm water, syrup and sugar., which has a very low glycemic index.

The sugar palm village is always a hive of activity with bubbling vats of palm sugar steaming away. I was wandering around the village greeting people in the Khmer language, when I came across this lady. She spoke back to me in Khmer and I replied back, much to her amusement. She called out all her family and got me to speak to them. They all found it funny that I even bothered to speak their language, they spoke no English. I was invited to their house to drink the sugar palm water with them, which is highly prized. It had a lovely sweet and very earthy taste.

I was just about to ask if I could take some photos, when the lady had already pointed at my camera and stood up, I always find it amazing that thought always seems to have no language barriers. I took some photos of her and when she looked at them on the back of the camera gave me the seal of approval.

It is these chance encounters that really make me buzz when I am on a travel photography assignment as I love meeting the people of the country. Over many years of travelling to Cambodia I have learned some words and phrases and they always break the ice when meeting people, this is the same when travelling to any country.

I was pleased with the portrait and decided to convert the photograph to black & white in Lightroom and then split toned the image, which is a favoured technique of mine for black & white photography. I used my favourite Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens, at 70mm – aperture f6.8 – shutter speed 1/80th sec at ISO 500 as the light level was quite low.


I host small group travel photography holidays and tours to Cambodia, Burma, Marrakech and Venice, further details can be found on my website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com


 


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Photography tours & holidays to Burma, Cambodia, Marrakech.

I am running travel photography tours and holidays to some of my favourite places in the world for photography.

Book now to ensure your place, there is no single person supplement.

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U Bein bridge, Burma

Full itinerary for the Burma photography tour click here: http://digitalphotographyholidays.com/516995

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Marrakech Venice 2014 2015 South East Asia  South East Asia

Angkor Wat, sunrise

Full itinerary for the Cambodia photography holiday click here: http://digitalphotographyholidays.com/388262

digital photography holidays holiday tour tours workshop workshops to Myanmar Burma Cambodia Angkor Wat Marrakech Venice 2014 2015 South East Asia  South East Asia

Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech

The Marrakech photography city break itinerary can be found here: http://digitalphotographyholidays.com/559913

We welcome non-photographer partners on all our holidays and city breaks, each location we go to there is a special package for them.

I look forward to welcoming you on one of my Digital Photography Holidays.

 

 


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Travel photography tours and holidays to Burma, Cambodia, Marrakech & Venice.

Join me on a photography holiday to awe inspiring locations that I have a great working knowledge of, getting you to the best locations at the best time of day for stunning photographs.

The photographs on this blog are from last years photography holiday guests.

Burma I call photographers gold at the moment, a country that is starting to open up to the outside world after years of isolation. My photography tour to the Golden Land is unique as I have secured permits to travel overland between Mandalay and Lake Inle in the Shan State, a truly memorable experience as we travel through different landscapes on the way and getting to places tourism hasn’t hit.

Myanmar Burma Digital travel photography holidays vacations tours workshops

We also travel by train from Bagan to Myingyan on a classic rail journey full of photo opportunities.

Stephen G Young Digital Myanmar Burma travel photography tours holidays vacations workshops 2014 2015

From Myingyan we take the ‘road to Mandalay’, made famous by Kipling.

Between Yangon and Bagan we fly as we also do between Lake Inle and Yangon. There is a full itinerary for the Burma photography tour on the website: http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

 

Cambodia is one of my favourite places for photography, a place I have been returning to since 1999, since then I have forged very strong friendships with local people and also NGO’s. This photography holiday is not just about photographing the magical temples it is also very much about the people too.

This photography holiday supports organisations that help street kids, disabled people and the rural poor, enabling them to receive education, training and skilled work.

Brian K Smethurst cambodia Phare circus siem reap Angkor Wat Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

On the photography holiday we spend a day with the floating village community on Tonle Sap lake, which helps to support their community handicrafts project and also the local nature reserve.

D Elder Tonle Sap Lake Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

At the time of year we visit the water level is 10 – 12 metres above ground level, exposing only the tree canopy above water.

Tonle Sap Lake Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

Last years guests in the tree canopy above the swollen Tonle Sap lake. Photo: P Lawson photography.

Release your Indiana Jones as we explore and photograph the magical temples at the best times of day for the best light, beating the crowds, literally having the temples to ourselves for an hour or more every morning.

Angkor Wat Cambodia travel Photography tours Holidays vacations workshops

Further details and full itinerary can be found on the website: www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

Marrakech & Venice photography city break.

I have had the pleasure of photographing in both Marrakech and Venice many times over the last twenty years, this year for the first time I will be leading photography tours to these destinations. Join me as we explore these great short haul destinations for photography.

Moroccan man Souk Soukh Marrakech Marrakesh Morocco Digital travel photography holidays vacations workshops tours to Marrakech Morocco 2014 2015

Full details can be found at www.digitalphotographyholidays.com

I look forward to welcoming you on one of my Digital Photography Holidays, “may the light be with you”.