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Posts tagged ‘Camera’

Marbella in May: a photography experiment (iii) – Park Life

Like many Spanish cities, Marbella is not short on shady spaces, a necessity for surviving the savagery of the searing Spanish sun. But thanks largely to the efforts of a corrupt former mayor, who paved much of the town in marble, Marbella’s parks are as grand as they are green, the many voluptuous tropical plants reflected double in the shiny polished pavements below, and curving elegantly over large ceramic-decorated fountains from which water arcs and spouts and dances whimsically all day long.

The central Alameda park is the gemstone in a series of green sprawling spaces, and has become an appropriate meeting place for Marbella’s locals and tourists alike. It’s various parallel avenues provide plenty of space for a refreshing perambulation, all paths leading to one of the parks two large fountains, while alongside the plants many a bench invites sitters to rest and imagine themselves sat in a richly verdant jungle.

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Second only to the Alameda, the Parque de la Constitucion hosts at its centre a semi-circular open air theatre characteristic of those popular in Ancient Greece, while in the park surrounding it, a distinctly moorish feel envelops the fountains, paving and layout. I adore these gardens which, being slightly off centre, exude calm and lack crowds. Strolling between the tall shady cypress trees and besides lawns and flower beds, one could almost be in an English country garden – except for the key addition of sun.

I love Marbella’s park spaces, and more particularly the rich plump tropical and Mediterranean plant species which flourish there. Sitting beneath them I am reminded of an Henry Rousseau paintings albeit only metres from Marbella’s beach on one side and historic centre on the other.

Beyond the park, Marbella is a festival of floral colour and richly leafed greenery. I was struck by the sheer abundance of colourful flowers planted alongside roads and pavements, as well as the sheer volume of newly born leaves upon the trees (no doubt the result of an especially wet winter). I don’t think I’ve ever seen the town look prettier – and luckily my new camera was there to capture it all.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Marbella in May: a photography experiment (i) – my patio garden

For me, a travel camera needs to be three things. It needs to be small enough that it can be hidden away in my pocket, ensuring that I exhibit none of the tell-tale signs of being a tourist that a camera strung around the neck shouts out like no other. It must have a good zoom – sometimes the best photos are details seen from a distance so that you can benefit from “framing” the detail with some far off backdrop. Finally it must be capable of exceptional close-ups, as nothing thrills me more than an almost microscopic photo of an insect or flower, exhibiting more exciting detail than can easily been seen through the naked eye.

So when my small pocket camera decided to take early retirement, a tough research trail ensued as I set about trying to find a camera with the triumvirate capabilities I demanded.

Eventually I settled on the Sony Cybershot DSC-HX20V. It’s not exactly pretty to look out, but what it promises to do ticks all of the boxes. For a pocket camera it has an incredibly large 20x optical zoom with a further 20x digital zoom capability. It’s easily pocket size although a little bulkier than my former model (which admittedly only had a 5x zoom). And the real winner is its ability to take incredible micro shots from only 1cm away from the subject (see the lizard below!)

Sold, I bought the camera for a snitch at £229 (from John Lewis) and took it with me, the very next day, when I headed to my second home of Marbella in southern Spain. Notorious for its vivid blue skies, beautiful sea views, consecutive days of sunshine (allegedly) and an old town which is truly a gem of Andalucia, what better place to experiment with my new camera?

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What follows are a series of posts which share my first photos using my new camera. I’m so pleased with the results. The details captured at the end of the 20x zoom are really impressive, as are the microshots at the other end of the spectrum.

Up first are photos of my family’s little patio garden out in Marbella. A small plot behind our cosy little old house, it’s a very petite but pleasing garden – our own small slice of paradise.

While it looks at its best in the summer, even at this time of year it’s flourishing, as milky white lilies poke up between a large-leafed bird of paradise, the jasmine springs back to life and brightly coloured hibiscus and bourganvilla inject the garden with a panoply of colour.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.