April 2011 Commission for Red Online (luxury women’s lifestyle portal) to review Finca Cortesin Hotel in Casares, Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
Situated just minutes away from the most picturesque pueblos blancos (white villages) in Spain, this hotel has been a big hit with the travel press, winning rave reviews from journalists worldwide. The place has palatial high ceilings, and a majestic, tastefully-designed Italian-style loggia (porticoed gallery), with hand-painted Portuguese ceramics depicting the four seasons, whose open-air arched façade leads on to lush green manicured lawns and a Mediterranean sea view. With less than 100 rooms, two enormous pools, endless gazebos and literally acres of land, it’s the feeling of grandeur and space in the hotel that really strikes you. Home to two superb restaurants, Rincon del Victor with traditional Spanish cuisine and the super-sophisticated Schilo restaurant, with its theatrical open kitchen, the hotel is a food lover’s delight. Finca Cortesin has splendid Mediterranean gardens with cascading bougainvillea and four-meter high walls covered with jasmine. All this plus a championship golf course (it hosts the Volvo World Match Play Championship) and a world-class spa, placing Finca Cortesin firmly on the luxury hotel map.
April 2011 Hotel Essence photography at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco, USA
Talk about city sleek – this is the place to be when doing business in the financial district of San Francisco. It also has the added advantage of being tranquil at weekends while the “financial city sleeps”. Apparently many crews use the almost-empty streets for commercial weekend car shoots. My room was on the 43rd floor and, my goodness, do you have amazing views – you could even see the Golden Gate Bridge and the island of Alcatraz from the bathtub! The fascinating San Francisco fog can engulf the higher rooms, surprising the guest with a natural performance as this cosmopolitan city veils and unveils itself to the Mandarin Oriental’s guests. One of the many hotel highlights is Sunday brunch, as you can design your very own champagne cocktail with fresh fruits, herbs and all kinds of exotic ingredients.
Whilst at the hotel I shot an image from the bath tub (bedside it, not in it!) using HDR high dynamic range. I choose an angle looking out to the Transamerica Pyramid, which is the tallest and possibly the most recognizable skyscraper in the San Francisco skyline. I also captured night shots from the room and the glass walkways.
You really feel you’re immersed in the city here – afternoon tea, Silks restaurant, suites in the sky and, of course, the essential Hotel Essence photography details.
More imagery of The Mandarin Oriental San Francisco can be viewed at www.hotelessencephotography.com
April 2011 Stock imagery of Seville, Andalucia, Spain
Wow – this classic, conservative city is moving – and it’s moving fast. Trams and eco-friendly cycle lanes; hip cutting-edge tapas bars co-habiting with traditional ham-hanging bars; new hotels and modern architecture, in particular the recent addition of the Metropol Parasol, or the Mushrooms as it is known locally. The stunning capital of Andalucia has lots of new angles for photographers to discover, and no trip is complete without your camera.
April 2011 Photo shoot in Mallorca, Spain
My last shoot in Mallorca was for the British Airways inflight magazine Mediterranean Life. This time my task was to document a luxury villa situated just 15 minutes’ drive from the Mallorcan capital Palma de Mallorca. With a crew of two assistants and stylist, we worked non-stop from sun-up to sundown to capture the rooms, pool and gardens in the best possible lighting conditions. We also captured complementary imagery of nearby attractions such as the famous Real Club de Golf de Bendinat and the jet-setting people-watching venue, Puerto Portals.