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

Torre del Mar

November 25, 2018

Torre del Mar is one of those seaside resorts that the Spanish flock to during the summer.  In the low season it is a quiet, quite charming town without looking deserted, the way so many resorts look off season.  The first impression is that of space, with wide promenades and parkland, plus the empty car parks at our end of the beach.  As with most Spanish towns that I have visited, there are very few cheap tourist shops, it is quite a classy town.  Sadly the beach lets it down, another typical dark gritty expanse.  There was however a beach specifically for dogs, just before you got to the nudist one!  I think it would be quite an easy town to live in with its relaxed, friendly inhabitants and all the facilities you need close by, plus a large shopping centre just three kilometres away.


There are no areas of woodland by this section of the coast so I initially concentrated on the more formal elements of the tree population.  I quite enjoyed working here as there is a sense of history to the place.  One quite surreal aspect is a lighthouse in a square surrounded by apartments.  It would seem that they have the opposite problem to many British coastal towns, instead of the sea eroding the land, the Mediterranean is depositing sand.  As a result a new lighthouse had to be built about a hundred meters closer to the sea.  The name of the town comes from a defensive tower that was built during the wars with the Moors, it is now hard to imagine the area as being a front line now.


 I originally edited this image in black and white, but the colour of the roof tiles contrasting the greens made me change my mind. I was drawn to the relationship between the geometry of the curb, building and posts on one hand, then the soft lines of the tree.  Like many of these towns the formality of the man made is softened by the trees, even if they are annually pruned for conformity.  

The lone pine enclosed with the lone fisherman was an obvious choice of subject.  

 These ornate laurel trees are quite abundant in the public spaces.  They give relief from the geometry of structures and tile work, while adding a small amount of shade.

 This is actually the outside view of our campsite boundary.  It caught my eye while returning from shopping.  It is almost like the trees are imprisoned while being viewed by a free specimen.  The aggressive, shouting stick man adds a certain degree of tension, while the very happy looking hangman relieves this.  Again I edited this in black and white, but I think the almost monochrome green works better.

This seems almost an oasis amongst the apartments with the soft lines of palm trees.  the strange, rigid pathways of the crazy golf counteracts this, with the semi formal laurels occupying the central zone, both conceptually and visually.

 Shape, light, tone and texture.  The pools of light and shade, with their relationships to the structures are one of the pleasures of working here.

 Working in monotone again, this time much warmer.  This was another that started life in black and white, but the tones are much more welcoming in this version.

 These flat, almost two dimensional palm trees are common in the centre of roads.  The lighter crown breaks up the darker surroundings while the fan gives welcome shade.  The almost woven structure makes them stand out as being different to the environment they now habituate.

 I can't resist the relationship betweens pathways and natural elements.

 Tone and texture, the man made and the natural, its the language of landscape photography.


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