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© 2017 John Kiely        john@purlieu.photography             Phone +447736849388


November 12, 2018


On paper, or to be more precise on screen, the campsite near Manilva should have been perfect.  Next to the beach, close to the town, swimming pool and plenty of bars around.  In reality it was another mistake.  The pool was closed, and thanks to a photographer with a wide angle lens, was no where near as big as it looked on the website.  The site was very formal, reflecting the British ownership, and had a strange atmosphere.  The overall impression so far has been that of relaxed communities, not here though.  May be this coloured my view of the area, but I found it hard to work here, everything was very neat and tidy, as if the area was in its Sunday best and wanted to create a perfect impression.  It also bugged me that most of the signs in the town seemed to be in English, not Spanish.


I spent a couple of days working here, but didn’t really get a good feel for the place, everything seemed very contrived.  The trees had all been tamed and seemed regularly manicured to keep the place looking neat and tidy.  In a way it seemed the least Spanish of the places that we had visited, there was not the normal laid back, relaxed and friendly atmosphere.


 Everything in the area seemed to be over maintained.  This shot was alongside a main dual carriageway at the rear of an apartment building.  All of the small trees in the carpark were trimmed in this dome shape.  In this image I try to emphasis this formality with the trees at the rear.  The lack of contrast from the flat light meant that I had to find contrast in another manner, so I am using the rigid structure and contrasting colours of the supermarket as a counterpoint to the dominant green foliage.  

The town is on two levels, with this long, narrow park running through the residences on the top strata.  The natural growth provides a bridge between the angular buildings and the wilder mountains and clouds in the background.  The formality of the gardens layout reflects the buildings, while the more morphic shape of the trees is reflected by the billowing clouds. 

This tall almost Christmas shaped tree seems confined by the small bed and the surrounding pavement.  There is such a small area of exposed bed that the plants must survive on an irrigation system.  The defined structure of the tree seems to sit easily amongst the geometric shapes surrounding it.

Not quite a tree but this palm seems totally enclosed.

 Even on the beach the palm trees seem to have been designed rather than grown.  Normally when I have worked on beaches the palms have been in small groups, but these exist as individuals.




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