In a diversion from the Essaouira based photography holidays the year’s first Morocco photography tour kicked off with Mike & Colin arriving in Morocco in early October to grab some great photos of Morocco’s Anti-Atlas. Both carrying Nikon kit Colin, Mike, Ali, Naima and myself set off in the Toyoto Prado 4×4 after a night in Marrakesh(and celebrations amongst the local ladies after Morocco’s victory in football) and headed for the Atlas mountains and Tiz’n’Test pass where we enjoyed a superb Berber omelette in one of the remotest but beautifully situated cafés you’ll ever find. Late afternoon we arrived in Taraoudant and quickly set to work in the setting afternoon sun hunting the light and finding it warmly glowing against the town’s impressive medina wall. Both Mike and Colin had some solid photographic holiday experience behind them but this photography tour Morocco bound was a chance to take advantage of the golden hour of light most landscape photographers set their clocks to. A few shots in the bag were supplemented by some very comfortable rooms at the guesthouse in Taraoudant. The next day after an excellent breakfast we drove about 4 hours to Tata stopping en-route at a village where we were befriended by a local chap who guided us via his moped at rapid speed around the village. It was hugely entertaining and both M & C got some portraits of local women. The route to Tata is impressive offering the emergence of Morocco’s desert. Tata itself made an impression on us for its remoteness and look of the people who are much darker than further north but it’s a town that could really do with a makeover. Still the landscape feels Saharan although there is not quite the dunes found in Merzouga further east. Rattling through the late afternoon light, down tracks in the 4×4 took us to a one wonderful spot overlooking a valley. M & C made great use of the fading light on a ridge looking down on to the desert.
The next day Tafraoute beckoned and the landscape changed once again. Huge boulders and rugged mountains envelope the town. It’s a wonderful spot, with very little tourism but yet is relaxed, friendly with good hotels to match. The oasis villages a short drive from Tafraoute also offer superb opportunities for landscape photography. In all the 6 day trip was a stimulating holiday and I think produced two excellent galleries of images(from the hundreds of photos taken) which really show Mike’s and Colin’s different approaches to composition. Their respective galleries can be viewed here. The next tour is in February so to be one of three photographers on the holiday reserve your seat now.