A thought occurred to me as I focussed my camera on a sun-dappled, tree-lined street populated by smiling strollers wearing chic summer clothing; the women in colourful, light cotton dresses of various lengths that complimented their curves; the men in loose shirts and three-quarter length pants that were both casual and stylish. The camera liked them.

The thought that occurred to me was that my camera likes some places on Tenerife more than it likes others and that has possibly fashioned my view of some of the towns and resorts on the island.

Over the years I’ve photographed many towns, resorts, villages and hamlets on Tenerife for print and web publications. For many of these I use the images to compliment the text by trying to show the subject at its best. This isn’t always easy as there are lots of places on Tenerife that I don’t find particularly photogenic.

You can more or less point and click in La Orotava and get a result

The old towns and cities are easy. There are places like Garachico, La Orotava, La Laguna and Santa Cruz that I could return to again and again and still find new things to photograph. The rural places like Masca and Santiago del Teide have scenery to boost their lack of streets and historic buildings.

Towns with a fishing community have harbours, colourfully bobbing boats, fishing nets piled high and grizzled fishermen and those are always good subject matter.

Hill towns can sometimes pose a challenge, especially when the population has grown and breeze block buildings are in the majority like in Santa Ursula, La Victoria, La Matanza, San Miguel de Abona and Granadilla de Abona. But these have history and there are always quirky corners to uncover.

It's got a church and the buildings are inoffensive - but it's 'blah' lifeless

It’s the purpose built resorts where I struggle. Remove the beach from the equation and there’s usually very little left to interest the camera. Being new they don’t even possess any urban grit.

Funnily, Playa de las Américas, which is often unfairly held up as Tenerife’s tackiest resort by those who don’t know it has a lot of potentially interesting shots. Whereas once I move away from the beach at Playa del Duque in ‘upmarket’ Costa Adeje my camera positively yawns with boredom.

Worst of all are the purpose built resorts without a beach where the architecture is new-ish and often characterless. What the hell do you photograph there? And if there’s no sunshine, forget it. I’ve tried Callao Salvaje, Playa Paraiso, Golf del Sur and Costa del Silencio a number of times and never been satisfied with the result.

I tried to use the holes in the wall in Playa Paraiso...but still no cigar. Just can't get a decent picture.

Of course that could be my limited creativity, but search Flickr for any of the above and the evidence suggests otherwise.

The upshot of this is that there are places on Tenerife that bore me in photographic terms and subsequently I avoid spending time in them.

Another thought occurred to me as I focussed the camera and that was the people in the photograph. I point a camera up La Noria in Santa Cruz and the people in the frame are very, very different than if I point it along the promenade at…say…Puerto Colón. But that is the topic for another blog completely – and I’m not sure I’m brave enough to go there…for the moment.

If there’s anyone who has managed to get really good shots of the places that I mentioned I struggled with (I don’t mean HD, sunsets or over processed so that they don’t match what the eye sees) I’d love to see them.

  1. I assume then that your first paragraph was written about Calle Noria?? Because I was wondering all the way through your post where you’d seen such elegance?

    • dragojac says:

      No, on this occasion it wasn’t (but of course it could easily have been) it was on Calle Quintana in Puerto de la Cruz yesterday. The town is full of Spanish visitors anyway but on Sunday evenings it’s packed with Domingeros in all their finery. One of the best times of the week to be out and about.

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