Monday, 15 June 2015

Garden in Taurito, Gran Canaria

Taurito is a tourist resort set in a steep volcanic valley with hotels cut into the rock face. In the centre is a pedestrian area that leads to the beach with shops, a water park and a well cared for garden.

During the holiday the garden area became a bit of a focus for photography. The more times I visited the more patterns, shapes and colours I saw. These are a small selection of the results:

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Fuente de los Azulejos, Gran Canaria

On the road from Mogán to San Nicolas de Tolentino is an unusual yellow, turquoise and pink rock formation called Fuente de los Azulejos or "fountains of tiles".

The colours in the rock were produced by hydrothermal alteration of the pumice about 13 million years ago. A more detailed description of this process can be found here

Photographically, the light was perfect for capturing the colours in the rock and these were the results:

Monday, 8 June 2015

Inland Gran Canaria

Sun, sea and beaches are the Canary Island's big attractions but it is also worth taking a trip inland so long as you are prepared for a drive up winding roads and have a head for heights.

On this trip we decided to take the road through the Mogán valley to the reservoirs; Presa del Mulato and Embalse de la Cueva de las Niñas. The first stopping point was in the small village of El Molino de Viento near Mogán which translates rather appropriately as Windmill.

After Mogán itself the road divides into two. The GC-200 heads for the coast road to the north of the island (a trip we did later in the holiday) and the GC-605 climbs its way towards the centre of the island and the reservoirs. This view was taken from the Mirador el Mulato. Mogán can be seen at the bottom of the ravine and there are glimpses of the many twists and turns in the road leading up to the viewpoint.

To give an indication of the height at this point, the mountain on the left is Montaña de Tauro which is about 4000 feet high. This is roughly the same height as Ben Nevis in Scotland.

When we reached the first reservoir, Presa del Mulato, the landscape had changed to forests of Canary Island pine trees. Unsurprisingly, the Canary Island pine, Pinus canariensis, is a subtropical tree and one of the most drought-tolerant species of pine. (

Also unsurprising, given the climate, was the density of the forest. I am guessing that each tree needs enough space to abstract any moisture from the ground and from the air.
The thin density of trees was a real advantage for the quality of composition and I picked out this small group to produce one of my favourite shots of the day.   

At Embalse de la Cueva de las Niñas there was a recreation area with footpaths around the reservoir allowing more of an opportunity to explore the landscape on foot. These were some of the results:


To finish the visit we headed back to Maspalomas on GC-60 stopping at the Mirador Degollada de las Yegus for a photograph of the Fataga Valley.

Friday, 5 June 2015


On an overcast day in Gran Canaria we stopped at the dunes in Maspalomas. I was interested in capturing the contrast between the light sand tones and the thick cloud hanging over the mountains of the National Park.

Later in the week we took the route up into the hills stopping at the Mirador Degallada de las Yeguas. From this vantage point it was possible to see the opposite view from mountains back to the Maspalomas dunes. More impressive however was the Fataga Valley.

According to the site information the valley was carved out from rock larva flows towards the end of the first volcanic activity on Gran Canaria about 11 or 12 millions years ago.

Back in Maspalomas the photography on a dullish day demanded a slightly different approach and a change to black and white. This approach produced my pick for shot of the day.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Canarian Friezes

On one of the walls in Puerto de Mogan are these depictions of Canarian life. I have applied some post processing techniques to give soft textured finish to the images.

Credit of course to the original artist.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria

Puerto de Mogán is a picturesque town in the south western part of Gran Canaria. It is a working port, marina, commercial centre and a tourist destination.

The harbour area is characterised by uniform streets of two storey buildings as well as small connecting canals. Each building has green painted doors and windows but the aspect that makes the area so attractive is the pastel coloured trim and the colourful arches of bougainvillea.

Photographically, the colours were an obvious attraction. However capturing a balanced exposure was a bit of a challenge in the bright sun. The white painted walls were hard to expose correctly without throwing everything else into deep shadow. The solution that seemed to produce the best results was the in-camera HDR mode. I had not used this facility before as I prefer to select my own settings in manual mode but whilst on holiday there seems to be more time to experiment and try different things.

The HDR mode is an automatic camera process. When the shutter is released three consecutive shots are taken at different exposures and then combined within the camera.  There is an option to apply some creative finishes but I preferred the natural option.

These were some of the results: