The AWAI Travel Photography Workshop in Granada by Jerry Newsome
The Alhambra Palace, Granada
Following the photography workshop in Seville, Spain, an optional add on trip to Granada, Spain, was also orchestrated by Jackie Gray and Efrain Prado of AWAI. The add on trip originally was to have gone to Marrakesh, Morocco, but due to the bomb blast there a few days prior to leaving, the destination was quickly changed to Granada. Four members, Jerry, Brent, Simone, and Lynnia continued with the optional trip while the other members returned to their homes. We missed them, their participation, and their camaraderie but the workshop continued and we went to photograph and learn more from Efrain. I was surprised to learn that Granada is a Spanish word for pomegranate and the stylized symbol of pomegranates were everywhere to be seen especially on posts and fountains.
Another view of the Alhambra Palace, Grenada
Our first subject to photograph at dusk was the Alhambra, literally "the red one". It is a palace and fortress complex occupying the top of the highest hill in the area. Construction began in the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers at that time. Over the years various Catholic and Christian rulers came and went adding their touch and influence.
A garden of the Alhambra Palce
The complex grew without a formal master plan but always included flower gardens, running water and fountains. Charles V, (Holy Roman Emperor in 1527), incongruously inserted his palace within the Nasrid fortifications. Disruptions, wars and lack of interest eventually caused the complex to fall into ruins and disrepair until it was "rediscovered" in the 19th century by scholars and travelers.
A fountain and cool, pleasant walkways
Huge, green hedges line the walkways
Generalife, the name of the garden area, is said to mean Garden of Paradise. The garden area has few replicas of living creatures such as statues of humans or animals but is filled with huge green hedges, verdant covered walkways, flowers, fountains, and flowing waterways throughout. Eight centuries of Muslim rule provided abundant religious calligraphy on the walls and pillars of the buildings and palaces . "Allah is great", "There is no conqueror but Allah" is inscribed over 9,000 times along with other verses from the Q'uran.
A beautiful waterfall in the Alhambra gardens
Opportunities to photograph are endless. One has to concentrate on specific themes and leave others out to do justice, with the workshop in the amount of time we had. Alhambra and Generalife have inspired almost countless works in music, art, books, and other genres over the centuries Two examples. In 1922 M.C. Escher's produced works after studying the Moorish use of symmetry in the Alhambra tiles. In astronomy there is a main belt asteroid named Alhambra.