Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Hasselblad - Vintage Love

I love photography, I live and breathe it. 

So I'm delighted to introduce the latest edition to my camera collection.... A Hasselblad 500c from 1957, Isn't it gorgeous?

I've cleaned the camera, its lenses and numerous, beautiful accessories. I've read all the original manuals, still in perfect condition that were tucked neatly in the front pocket of the leather kit bag. The 120 roll film has arrived, so ready to go! 

It has been a while since I used film. At college I managed to source a Large Format 5x4 camera and the most sturdy tripod to be found to take the weight of it. Both of these things could hardly be carried, but the results from the camera were worth all the effort of lugging the equipment around.

It will take more than a couple of rolls of film to get used to this Medium Format camera, there will no doubt be more than a few mistakes, but images that happen to be blurry or imperfect, that are shot on film, can turn out to be beautiful mistakes.

Another consideration is that in these days of digital photography, buying film and having it processed isn't cheap, every time the shutter is clicked it will cost. That all being said, I'm delighted with this new addition and have already begun getting to grips with analogue again.

I'm also working towards a new exhibition (more details coming soon) and I plan to shoot a collection of images using these wonderful vintage cameras.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Kasbah

The double doors to the forecourt are twenty feet high.  A giant negro slave opens the lock with a key a foot long and sets his shoulder to the iron-bossed wood; the door gives way reluctantly, inch by inch, creaking and rasping upon rusty hinges.  A kestrel hawk, disturbed from its nest in the wall above, flies out scolding with sharp staccato cries.  The surface of the courtyard is an uneven rubble, sloping sharply to the left, down to the curtain wall, where row upon row of dark doorways lead to the stable quarters. Above them are castellated look-out posts facing the Jebel Ghat.  There is sheep dung scattered among the rubble, and the reddish curling horn of a Moroccan ram.  To the right rises the whole mass of the Kasbah, tower and rooftop; ill-ordered, ill-planned, but majestic in its proliferation and complete absence of symmetry.  There are three colours only – whitewash, red stone, or clay and brilliant green roof tiles.  Above these the ever-present birds of prey, the vultures, ravens, and kites, weave slow and intricate patterns upon the hard blue sky.  There is no sound but their calling and the clacking bills of the storks which nest on every tower.

- from Lords of the Atlas by Gavin Maxwell

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Happy Monks

Whilst travelling, some of the best days are when you discover things by happy accident.  Driving through north eastern Spain, we picked the town of Moncayo at random because it had a campsite and while staying there we discovered another beautiful monastery, the Cistercian Veruela Monastery, with its own winery and museum.

This spectacular monastery has existed here since 1145 and now has at its heart a wine museum of the Campo de Borja wine denomination, an innovating area where tradition and modernity come together (more on the delicious wine and the museum in another blog post).  It was interesting to learn that the monks liked making wine here (and probably drinking it too)! Inside the monastery there was also an art exhibition, another space where old meets new.  


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Small Faces of Toledo, Spain

On our travels this summer, driving from Scotland to the Sahara desert, we stopped off for two nights at a beautiful campsite in Toledo. Campground El Greco was only a short walk away from the old town of Toledo and we enjoyed wandering around the medieval streets, stopping off every now and again at pavement cafes to people watch over liquid refreshment. 

Late in the afternoon, to escape the heat, we walked around the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes. I spent a few quiet moments exploring alone while my other half read up on the history of the place. 

I noticed how excessively lavish the decoration was, no square inch was lacking in complicated and lacy carving. There were many carvings of children, animals and plant life. I became fascinated with them and spent the rest of the afternoon searching the walls to capture them with my camera.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Oh, to live in a Windmill...

Life back at LHM Photo HQ is pretty dull after our wonderful adventures this summer, driving in Herman our VW Campervan from Scotland to the Sahara and back again. We are already planning our next journey...Scotland to Dakar maybe??

Here on my photo blog, I'll be posting many images of our journey, and to begin with, a collection of windmills...my ideal home.

Ever since I saw Windy Miller in his windmill in Camberwick Green, Trumptonshire, I've fancied living in one.

These windmills are in the Spanish town of Consuegra, a beautiful little place we stumbled upon on our travels from Toledo to Cordoba.

Our home in Scotland is currently on the market and yes, I would love to live in a windmill.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Fine Art Photography Exhibition at Little Botanica

I've had a lovely morning sipping delicious tea whilst hanging a display of my Fine Art Flower Photographs (aka Lolliography) at the gorgeous venue Little Botanica, 741, Pollokshaws Road on the Southside of Glasgow. 

Little Botanica is passionate about floristry, and they are also keen on a good cuppa and a big bit of cake! 

If you are nearby, do pop in for a pot of tea, you will find a whole host of beautiful things at Little Botanica, where they create stunning wedding flowers for your big day and even host tea tasting events! 

All the photographs are signed by the artist (me) and for sale. They make perfect gifts, so choose your favourite from the collection, there are roses, daisies, orchids and bunches of other flowers too!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Inspired by Felix - Fine Art Flower Photography by Laura Hudson Mackay

I have three adorable nephews, Matthew, Felix and Joseph. To all three I'm known as Auntie Lolli. 

If you have read my previous blog posts you'll know that I recently exhibited a selection of fine art photographs with Bespoke Art Gallery at House for an Art Lover.  Felix (4), came along to the event with his parents and he gave me this lovely card he had made to wish me a successful day. 

Felix likes flowers. Auntie Lolli also likes flowers and inspired by my lovely nephew, Lolliography was born. I am now busy working on a collection of black and white floral images for an exhibition in an utterly lovely venue on the South side of Glasgow (more details will be posted here soon).

For now, it's Friday and time for a G&T in the sunshine surrounded by beautiful flowers, just hope I don't trip up over my tripod!

Friday, 12 April 2013

LHM Photography Tours of Marrakech and beyond...

The Photography Tour, booked and arranged by Passeport Travel, involved a small group of clients visiting Morocco to celebrate a special birthday.

It all began with a brief health and safety lesson, "Mind your heads." (there are many low archways in Marrakech) "Look out for Donkeys, mules, mopeds, taxis and carts...all at once!"

Over the next few hours I gave technical advice and hands on photography tips and tricks. I explained how to improve exposure, understand composition, get the best from the camera in ever changing lighting situations and shooting from different viewpoints. During all this, we all took in the magical sights, sounds and smells of Marrakech. The group discovered many hidden gems away from the usual tourist trail, from spice souks, food markets, flower stalls and palaces. At the end of the tour we sat on low chairs in the sunshine, each sipping a well deserved glass of mint tea while the cry of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer wafted by.

Since the tour I've been delighted to receive two wonderful quotes from the group, which I've shared below, along with a small collection of images I managed to capture in-between teaching.

"Our morning with Laura in the Medina was a real highlight. Marrakech is such a photogenic city and to see it through Laura's eye was an utterly pleasurable experience. We explored secret markets, stunning stalls, cultural sights and met all manner of wonderfully photo-friendly subjects. This is one of the most fun ways to explore the souks and is thoroughly recommended."

Mr A Conti, Passeport Travel

"Shira felt her day with you was not only educational, but a pure joy getting to know you and spending a little time seeing Marrakech through your eyes. I enjoyed it equally and think you may have an additional career path looming if you're interested! Thanks, Laura." 

Mrs S Solomon

If you would like to enjoy a full or half day photographic tour of the souks, palaces and hidden gems of Marrakech with an experienced professional photographer, book now by contacting me directly at info@hudsonmackay.com

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

LHM Photography to exhibit at House for an Art Lover

This Sunday, 14th April 2013, I'm delighted to be exhibiting my latest series of Fine Art Photographs for sale at House for an Art Lover in Glasgow. Further details for the event are below. Please do come along to what promises to be a wonderful exhibition in a fabulous venue!

The new series includes Limited Edition Photographs inspired by the Arabian fairy tales from 'One Thousand and One Nights'. Last year I found an original Victorian copy of the tales in Young's Interesting Books on Skirving Street in Glasgow.  The Victorians were fascinated by these tales of djinns, genies, sultans, palaces and magic. In this series of artwork I have sought to invoke the spirit of Arabian fantasy contained within these tales.  

Here is a sneak preview titled 'The Djinn of El Badi Palace'...

© Laura Hudson Mackay Photography

More details from Bespoke Art gallery...

We are delighted to invite you to the Bespoke Art Fayre at the prestigious Charles Rennie MacKintosh House for an Art Lover on Sunday14th April. 

This will be a wonderful day at a truly stunning venue which we are delighted to be returning to for the 3rd time. Highlights of the day are as follows:
  • A chance to view artwork by some of the country's leading artists and discuss their work at one of Scotland's most iconic arts venues
  • A live classical pianist will be playing throughout the event
  • Afternoon cream tea will be served throughout the event by House for an Art Lover (included in ticket price)
  • £5 entry fee includes all of the above with profits from ticket sales going to Yorkhill Children's Foundation Registered CharityNumber SCO07856

Please note tickets are limited and booking is advised via http://www.bespokeartgallery.com/page60.htm more information and just some of the artwork can be seen on the attached flyer.
We look forward to welcoming you there!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Wonderful Endorsement

Today I received an amazingly kind endorsement for my photography from my absolute favourite writer...Tahir Shah

In 2010, after reading and being inspired by two of Tahir's books (The Caliph's House & In Arabian Nights) a door opened and I travelled to the magical country of Morocco for the first time. I fell completely head over heels in love with the country, having since renovated a riad (traditional courtyard house) in the heart of the Marrakech Medina and now spend as much time working there as I can.

Not many people would be so kind to take time out of their busy lives to send an endorsement. Thank you Tahir.

I'm over the moon! 

"Laura Hudson Mackay's photography captures the essence of the lands through which she journeys in the rarest and most wonderful of ways. Through her lens she reaches the raw magical underbelly, which so often escapes travellers." 

Tahir Shah, Author & Filmmaker

I'm travelling back to Morocco next week to host a photographic tour of the souks, palaces and hidden gems of Marrakech. During the tour I'll be on hand to give camera tips and techniques and discover more of the raw magical underbelly of Marrakech! I can't wait.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Our Favourite Shop...

Shopping in Marrakech can be an exciting experience and one of my favourite shops is Mustapha Blaoui's Tresor des Nomades. Hidden behind large wooden double doors, there is no shop sign to indicate the treasures which lie within. You could easily walk right by. 

However, if you're lucky enough to step inside, you'll find it piled floor-to-ceiling with lanterns, tables, masks, pots and chairs. 

There was certainly enough treasure and inspiration here to help us furnish and almost fill up Riad Romm'an

A real Aladdin's cave just waiting to be explored. Mustapha Blaoui's Tresor des Nomades, 142 rue Bad Doukkala, Marrakech. Tel: 024 38 52 or 024 385 240