Marrakesh Rooftop City

Marrakesh Rooftops

A view of some nearby rooftops and a stunning sunset over Marrakesh, Morocco. In black and white I know, but I have a few more shots of the same sky coming! This was shot from Riad O2 in the city where Polldaddy recently stayed.

In the Medina many (most?) of the houses are jam packed in next to each other. We had to take a winding alley way from the main road to the building, going left, right, left, right, left (and maybe 2 more turns?) to get there. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

What’s Marrakesh like? The medina is the old fortified town which is where we were staying. You’ll be woken each morning by the Muslim call to prayers as there are loud speakers dotted around the city. Currently the first one starts around 5:30am so I hope you can get back to sleep afterwards! I wasn’t too fond of heading out in the city. It’s very busy, vehicles of all sorts zoom up and down the streets. Everything from motorbikes to carts pulled by donkeys will pass you by. There are no traffic lights in the medina either and footpaths disappear without warning, if they existed at all.

The food we ate there was excellent, both in the riad and outside. Well, except for the one night we decided to sample what was on offer in the plaza. What a mistake! For the same price you’ll get a top quality meal in a fancy restaurant elsewhere!

The hot air balloon guys were super friendly and I can recommend them, the locals taking care of us in the riad were too but out on the street was another matter. Talk to anyone and they’ll either lead you to a particular area of the souk or demand a tip for “showing” you the way.

If only we could get a bit of their sun here in Ireland right now. Go on clouds, let the sun through!

Oh yes, I may have to change the tagline on this blog. This photo was processed by Adobe Lightroom. It’s not Photoshop but it’s close. I used this preset on this photo but Lightroom is really impressing me. It’s ability to recover blown out detail is amazing, the noise reduction and sharpening tools are easy and effective. The one area it really falls down in is not being able to reassign keys. I fixed that by installing Paddy which let me assign hotkeys to my two main export presets.
I imported over 23k photos into a catalogue and it’s running nice and fast. The next thing to do is write a preset and assign a hotkey to import images from my CF card.

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/30s

A Berber Village in Morocco from the Air

Berber Village from the Air

A Berber village in a valley outside Marrakesh in Morocco. Another of the hot air balloon shots from Wednesday. It was so peaceful drifting overhead, we could hear animals calling and see people looking up. There were hardly any motorised vehicles at all. All those buildings, except for the mosque, were made of mud and straw. Look around you, how different is your life from theirs?

Aperture ƒ/10
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/200s

To Kiss the Blarney Stone

To Kiss the Blarney Stone

If you ever wondered where the Blarney Stone was just look up. This shot was taken from a balcony looking into the exposed interior of Blarney Castle. The people at the top of the building are standing around the Blarney Stone and it looks like there’s one brave soul yet to perform the deed. The other two are Castle employees.

You see, you have to lie flat on the stone walkway high above there and lean out backwards while holding on to two railings and then kiss the stone just below floor level. Don’t worry. There are bars below you. I’ve never heard of anyone falling to their death! One of those guys holds on to you while you kiss the Stone and the other takes a photo.

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

Telecom Club

Telecom Club

The Telecom Club on McCurtain Street, Cork.

Telecom Éireann was the state telecoms monopoly until other companies came into the country some years ago but in it’s current state, Éircom, they still own most (all?) the copper phone lines that go into homes here.

I’m not sure of the history of the Telecom Club in Cork, but I have been in there. A few years ago I took Spanish classes there for about 3 months until my interest waned. Don’t take that for a sign of how you’ll do with your new year’s resolutions. :)

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/40s

No Hotel

Moore’s Hotel on Morrison’s Quay, a former hotel that is now up for rent. I’d never been in there when it was a hotel but did meet an interesting man who worked there. The woo was strong in that one!

Edit: mouse over the image. Trying to do a before and after thing. Do you like it?


Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 16mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s