Posts Tagged ‘Morocco’

Honored for the Honorable Mentions in the 2014 iPhone Photography Awards

Images I shot from Morocco, Italy and India received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 IPPA Awards

Yesterday the iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAs) announced their winners and they are stunning. I was honored- and humbled- to find five of my images among the Honorable Mentions in the Travel, Sunset, People, and Architecture categories.

Left: Snake Charmers in Marrakech Right: Arrividerci, Positano

The gallery of winning images truly shows that it’s possible to shoot incredible photos with an iPhone and made me geek out about the amazing  (and every improving) state of mobile technology.

I’m honored to be in such fine company as my friend, Hector Navarro, whose image won Third Place in the People category. I’m also thrilled to discover  photographers previously unknown to me in the mobile photography arena.

Of all the images honored this year, I’m particularly inspired by this image of Marina Towers in Chicago (aka the building on the album cover of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot), which placed Third in the Architecture category. I think it resonates with me because it is both a travel image and an architecture image, and speaks to my inner aviation geek.

The Taj Mahal

Contests are strange things– often it’s about trends or personal taste of judges. But I’m thrilled that some of my favorite work from the past year connected with the judges among others.

All of my images honored by the IPPAs this year were shot using the Oggl app by Hipstamatic. The image of Positano, Italy is one of my all time favorites– I recently had it printed using the Photos to Art app and hung it in my guest bathroom at home.

Left: water carriers on Jamaa el-Fna in Marrakech, Right: Sunset in Marrakech

This year’s IPPA Travel category is particularly strong and worth checking out if you need a little artistic or vacation planning inspiration.

My iPhone to Art Print hanging in my guest bathroom

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A Stay at The Royal Mansour Marrakech

The interior courtyard of one of the three bedroom riads at The Royal Mansour in Marrakech

Marrakech has no shortage of luxury hotels, but the 53 room Royal Mansour stands out from the pack because of it’s lineage (King Mohammed personally backed and oversaw the construction of the property). Suffice it to say, the King has crazy good taste.

There is no such thing as a bad room at the Royal Mansour, even the one bedroom riads are 1,400 square feet. If that’s not big enough, worry not. The largest guest riad has over 20,000 square feet of space. All this space means the Royal Mansour is a haven of calm within the craziness of Marrakech. It’s the only place I’ve ever slept in Marrakech where I wasn’t woken before dawn by hearing the call to prayer.

Arches are a motif throughout the Royal Mansour

Each guest riads rocks a rooftop pool, all laid out over 9 acres of spotless grounds. You never see the cleaning crews working (rumor has it there is a separate network of tunnels for the staff, so that the service golfcarts don’t ruin the guest experience). When you’re in your guest riad, you almost feel as if you have the whole place to yourself, so If you’re looking for a hot pool scene, go elsewhere.

Mosaic inlays and luxe fabrics at the Royal Mansour

The nothing-but-the-best motif runs deep at the Royal Mansour, and a lot of it would be missed at first glance. From the library chair with the built-in iPod dock, to the roof which retracts so guests can see the stars, each surface has exquisite finishes. The hotel’s restaurants are overseen French chef Yannick Alléno, who runs Le Meurice in Paris. The guest stationary comes with your name engraved on it. The Pringles in the minibar will set you back $15.

The waiting area in the Royal Mansour’s Spa & hammam

With room rates starting at about US $2000, the Royal Mansour isn’t for the budget conscious. Fortunately, the hotel’s French and Moroccan restaurants, as well as it’s gorgeous spa, are open to non-guests and well worth the splurge.

Left: luxe fabrics and a gorgeous lantern detail on one of the three bedroom riads Right: a sunny sitting area

A lavish lounging area that was gorgeous, yet didn’t feel overly formal

The living room in one of the three bedroom riad style rooms

Left: A gorgeous chess set Right: the dressing area

A bedroom in one of the guest riads

Left: a metal sink Right: interior arches

Rooftop Lounging area at the Royal Mansour

Left: rooftop pool Right: rooftop dining area

Le Grand Table Marocaine

Left: Mint tea from room service Right: Interior of the La Grande Table Française

Courtyard at night

Left: a Chair in the Library with built in iPod dock Right: Cigars for sale at the hotel’s bar


Night at the Royal Mansour

The Royal Mansour

Rue Abou Abbas El Sebti

Tel: + 212 5 29 80 80 80
Fax: + 212 5 29 80 80 91

Disclosure: Much thanks to the Royal Mansour, who provided me with accommodations during my stay.



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Marrakech, Morocco’s Red City: a Photo Set

Believe in Van Gogh Still lifeHenna Painting on Jemaa El FnaBelly Dancer at Dar MarjanaCarpet Vendor MarrakechArches at the Royal MansourSexy Spa at the Selman PalaceSpice Market Marrakech Casual Dining at the Royal MansourLanterns at Maison ArabeTea glasses and rosesSeating area still life Stained Glass Still LifeBarber in the MedinaSnake Handler hanging above a tableArabian Horse at the Selman Palace Hotel

Marrakech, Morocco is one of those places that travelers usually love or hate. I am happy to say, I fall firmly into the former camp.

I’ve been enchanted with the place since my first visit in 2000. I love Moroccan mint tea, served in beautiful glasses. I buy them as souvenirs and use them for wine at home. The light is so beautiful and warm, reflecting off the colored walls of the medina I love shooting there.

Nicknamed “The Red City” because of the hue of the walls of the city’s ancient medina, I thought this photo set was a fun representation of some of what I love about Marrakech– from portraits of locals to a woman henna painting the arms of a tourist on Jemaa El Fna, the city’s most famous square.

All of the images in this post were shot on my iPhone 5s using the Oggl app by Hipstamatic.

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Check out My HipStop #Marrakech Piece in the Winter issue of Snap Magazine


Chuck Arlund shot the gorgeous cover of Snap’s Color issue

Check out my HipStop Marrakech piece in the Winter issue of Snap Magazine. Snap magazine is a digital lifestyle publication focusing on Music, Fashion, Art, Travel and Food, all shot through the eyes of Hipstamatic users. I had so much fun shooting this piece for the #color themed issue. What’s even cooler is Snap lets you know what Hipstamatic film and lens combos were used to get the gorgeous images in the magazine.

You can read my HipStop Marrakech article online here (it runs from pages 34-40).

If you have an iPhone or iPad, Snap magazine is free and you can download it for iOS devices here:

Left: The courtyard Pool at Riad Farnatchi Right: Belly Dancing at Dar Marjana

All the images in this piece were shot using the Oggl app by Hipstamatic. The Oggl app is now available for the Windows phone here.

You can find & follow me on Oggl as @lax2nrt.

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Food stalls of Marrakech: A Photo Essay

The Baker

Marrakech’s biggest square, Jemaa el Fna, turns into a giant food court after dark. You can buy everything from dried figs to grilled meat on a stick. The smell is exotic and alluring, and, the vendors are a friendly bunch.

Left: The dried fruit vendor Right: Figs galore

One of my favorite things about wandering around Jemaa el Fna is how it’s a spot that is frequented by both locals and tourists. You can eat what the locals eat here, and cheaply. And if you grab a seat at the grilled meat stand, you’ll likely find a dining camaraderie not unlike that of a sushi bar.

The Spice shop, complete with a painting of a spice shop

It’s always amazing to me that the basics, like eating, tend bring out similarities among cultures. I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t appreciate good food, and Morocco has a lot of good food. For those with sensitive stomachs, you don’t have to eat any of the street food to enjoy how much it represents a culture. Most of the vendors did not mind me snapping a photo after hanging out and watching them for a few minutes.

Left: The daily special Right: Citrus drive-by

All these images were shot on my iPhone 5s using the Hipstamatic Oggl app. If you use Oggl, you can find & follow me @lax2nrt.

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