Essaouria: Morocco’s seaside gem

I was lucky enough to visit Morocco in February, before the coronavirus pandemic brought international travel to an abrupt halt.

My trip took me to the country’s Atlantic coastline with its warm winter sunshine. I spent a day in the town of Essaouria, which I can strongly recommend.

The old town’s ramparts are perched next to the lively ocean, and it’s full of colourful, rustic little streets to explore. Essaouria is very blue, including the boats of the bustling fishing port (pungent but well worth a look). Hungry gulls circle in clusters looking for morsels. There’s also a broad strip of beach away from the medina.

I came here in 2011 as part of a grand tour of Morocco and was charmed by it then. My opinion hasn’t altered and I could have spent several days there, watching people and taking more photographs. Read more beneath the gallery

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I thought long and hard about publishing a travel blog in a world where tourism has been severely curtailed. 

Morocco is in lockdown until at least June 10th, while some European countries and airlines are planning to restart for the summer.

The UK’s ban on all but essential travel remains in place and a great deal remains uncertain. Essaouria and Morocco may be a consideration for your travel bucket list, whenever that may be possible.

Link to more posts about travel on mikeosbornphoto

I love Beetham Tower

This is a Manchester landmark known by every Mancunian.

I’m especially fond of Beetham Tower, as it’s part of my neighbourhood of Castlefield and framed perfectly in my own living room window.

This slim, tall chisel of blue glass and steel changes colour with the weather and light.

I’ve photographed the building often since moving to Manchester in late 2016, and it continues to enthrall in spite of competition from new skyscrapers. Here are some of Beetham’s best bits.

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Lockdown carnations

The lockdown is apparently making us creative. Loaves are being baked and music is being made online.

But I’ve been sticking to what I know and finding new ways to do it because my camera is staying indoors.

I bought two hefty sprays of carnations, a sturdy flower known for funeral tributes and old school wedding buttonholes. 

Instead of just doing some freehand macro photography, I set up my tripod, created some surfaces from what I could find and made the most of natural backdrops in my apartment. 

It was an enjoyable session and my models were well-behaved. And these beautiful, underrated, long-lasting flowers are still sitting in their vase.

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Lavish interiors

I lived in London for 16 years before moving north to Manchester in 2016. For years I roamed around the capital city with my camera, going inside many beautiful buildings.

A favourite weekend of the year was when Open House London enabled access to many premises. There were so many lavish rooms to enjoy and photograph.

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has made photography more difficult. That’s why I decided to trawl my archive and revisit some favourite shots. Many have been re-edited to suit my evolving tastes and sensibilities, although architecture stands the test of time. Please enjoy!

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