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“Images in the sun”

Images in the Sun Tours
Ranked #16 of 61 Tours in Essaouira
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Day Tours from Essaouira every Wednesday & Sunday into the local countryside visiting a country market (souk). Both photography and cooking workshops available.
Reviewed 31 March 2014

I have been on two trips now with Darren Lewey, who runs Immages in the Sun. The first one was a photorgaphic course for a week in Essaouira. This was a mixture of tuition, trips to various locations and feedback. The was all tied in with an excellent holiday in Essaouira which is a lovely Medina including a harbour full of blue fishing boats. Professional tuition and support from Darren and a brilliant holiday as well!

I followed this up the next year with Darren's ten day tour of the High Atlas. This time we were also accompanied by Darren's lovely wife Naima (who by the way also offers courses on Moroccan cookery). We were conveyed in Darren's 4x4 and stopped at hotels in seven different locations varying from the Atlas Mountains to the deserts including one night in Berber tent in the desert (optional!) We went to stunning locations, met some lovely locals and, although this is not a course as such, still received first rate support from Darren on the photographic side.

I can not speak too highly of these two trips, or of Darren and Naima. I will be back!

3  Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 - 35 of 58 reviews

Reviewed 11 December 2013

I joined Darren for a day, on two separate occasions, while I was staying in Essaouira in November. The first day was for portraits and reportage - Darren started the day by running through the basics that we might need and making sure everyone found the relevant settings on their cameras. With a mixed abilities group, it is always hard to find the right balance between making sure the beginners have all they need to get started but not spending too long so that more advanced users get bored. For me, I thought Darren got it just right - he managed to make it informative and relevant to what we would be trying to achieve and also showed examples on his laptop, which helped make sense of it all. I felt I learnt more in the first hour with Darren than I had on any other photo days I've experienced. Once we got out around Essaouira, Darren kept checking on each of us, monitoring our progress and offering help and advice where needed, but was not overbearing. He was also constantly looking out for photo opportunities and pointing them out to us if we had missed them, which really helped to get you to tune in to your "artistic eye". He encouraged us to be confident when going for a shot and also advised when one might be inappropriate, as not everyone was open to being photographed. After a couple of hours of working around the port and with 3 ladies who posed for us, we had a break for lunch and then met again in the late afternoon, when the light was more interesting, for further work around the port and old town. Once it was dark, we returned to the hotel, where Darren went through all our photos, picking out about a dozen from each person which he then went through in more detail, offering advice and encouragement, pointing out strengths and weaknesses in each shot. This was quite a feat as I think each of us had about 200 photos to be looked at initially! If he had criticism, he always tried to make it constructive and helpful, so that we could learn and improve.
The second day spent with Darren was with one other person, of a similar experience to myself. We went out to a Berber market and after lunch, on to a river valley with a small waterfall and sand dunes for some landscape work. I found that I was much more confident in the market as a result of the work I had done the previous week with Darren. We had the opportunity for more self expression on this trip, but Darren was always available if we needed help or advice and he was still always keeping an eye open for photo opportunities we might have missed. At the end, he created two folders of our best photos on his website and gave advice on how we might continue to improve. I feel I definitely gained from spending two days with Darren - he was both informative and encouraging and I think the photos I took while in Essaouira showed a definite improvement over time, with the last ones being some of the best I have taken. I would definitely recommend his courses for anyone wanting to improve the quality of their photos, as well as enjoying a great place, which is incredibly photogenic. (Note: The photos seem to be displayed in a random order and not the order they were taken/loaded)

1  Thank FranNov13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2013

We booked three days photography in November with Darren after our summer holiday and brief visit to Essaouira in August. Darren put together an itinerary to include the medina, port and some reportage photography. The first part of the class each day is looking at camera technique as well as referencing examples from other photographers concentrating each day on a different genre. We were also allowed to photograph local women as part of our portrait workshop. The port is fantastic, where the fish was bought in fresh, although a challenge to photograph we watched the fishermen bring their catch to shore and the subsequent haggling that went on to send this fish to market. At the end of every day he reviewed our photos selecting the highlights and arranging galleries of work as a record for us after our trip. My wife and I were pleased with the results at the end. Aside from the photography he suggested restaurants for us. I can't recommend this tour highly enough - you will take back a lot of wonderful memories.

2  Thank MrSimak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

Essouira is a lovely town and a great place to try out your photography, We did leave with some lovely photos and Darren did teach us some new things about taking abstract photos and the importance of light and shade. Compared to other tutors we have learnt from, Darren does not seem to have a real passion for photography and it feels that he is teaching the theory he has learned.

Unfortunately we found Darren's attitude was negative and condescending to the local people, economy and town, which is surprising as he lives and works there.

On the other hand his wife Namia was a delight and we really enjoyed leaning how to cook a tagine and look forward to cooking this at home.

2  Thank NA345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
moroccan-imager, Owner at Images in the Sun Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Hi Nick

I'm sorry to hear that you found the teaching not to your liking. For the two days you booked we covered a lot, including people and architecture and you mention you got some good photographs so I think we covered some good ground. There were also others in the group so indeed some of the basics also needed to be included. In teaching across mixed ability levels and including theory in such a short time it can feel a bit delivered. But the nature of condensing a lot of information into a short time can feel dispassionate. "Teaching the theory he has learned". Indeed that has come through practice and not via the text book. In response I felt that you were not completely engaged with the photo workshops, both looking at your watch and quickly skirting through the port avoiding the challenge of people photography which I encouraged you to delve into more. I run workshops for people who are interested in getting as much from their time and money as possible and my passion derives from that. As for the views on local townspeople, I let attendees know that attitudes to photography can be mixed and not to take the initial reactions of some too seriously and in cases the interactions can be developed. Of course there's a balance to be struck in respect of others. The workshops we run here are unique in North Africa. Being able to book two days whilst on holiday with an English teacher is pretty special in a country that has only relatively recently embraced tourism on a large scale.

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Reviewed 13 November 2013

Last year we spent a week in Essaouira with Darren and it was such an amazing well organised photography trip that we just had to back this year to join Darren and Naima for 9 nights in the Atlas Mountains.The group turned out to be 6 ladies,3 British, 1 Irish, one Australian and one French Canadian and we all had one thing in common the love of Photography.

The whole trip was well organised and Hafid our driver and carer had our backs at all times, he was always behind us somewhere making sure we ddn't get lost or to act as our interrupter when needed.

Darren and Naima were one step ahead at all times making sure when we arrived for lunch along the way they knew we were coming and what time and more often than not what we wanted to eat. The checking in at each stop was painless and well organised and everything we needed was made available.

The photography was amazing and Darren was also available at all times to help or answer any questions or help with advice on the best way to get the shot. He spent all day and nearly every evening with us so the hours of having your own professional photographer by your side was over and above what anyone could expect.

If you are experienced or a beginner in photography you will get a lot out of any tours offered by Darren and Naima. if you want to travel on your own there is no better way as you will be well looked after.

Thank you Darren, Naima and Hafid for a great trip:)

1  Thank medwaylass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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