Doctor Who to film spaghetti western episode

Once again the badlands of Almería play host to western but this time, a little bit different…

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Oh and if you want your very own personalised trip, you just have to say…

Contact details:

Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography
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Sergio Leone

Many of Sergio Leone’s seminal films were made right here in the province of Almeria – so come-on-over, have a personalised photography tour and see why he chose this special place.

Contact details:

Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography
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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

One of my (many) favourite places in the Province of Almeria is the Desierto de Tabernas (Tabernas Desert) or “Badlands” and I have been there many times. One of my favourite blog posts relates to a previous visit to Tabernas which you can read here.

Yesterday I took two clients to the Desierto de Tabernas as although they were regular visitors to the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata, they had not really strayed further than the many beautiful coastal paths. The weather was quite variable resulting in some seriously moody skies and some very special light, especially towards the end of the day – the lighting conditions actually couldn’t have been better.

I’ve created a slide-show of photographs I took yesterday and hope you like them. I do not pretend to know all of the flora & fauna of the area and welcome comments in this respect.

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Anyone interested in taking a photography experience to the Desierto de Tabernas, please contact me.

Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography
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In addition to the photography experiences I offer to these Badlands, my good friend Jesus Contreras of Oz Nature offers the most fantastic Geography field trips. These are well worth attending and very educational. His contact details are given below.

Oz nature
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Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography | Photography and Nature Activity Week

Our latest offering, an ALL inclusive activity week. Perfect for couples looking for something special to do in Cabo de Gata.

Martyn Thompson – Landscape Photography | Photography and Nature Activity Week

Desierto de Tabernas

Desierto de Tabernas

Desierto de Tabernas

The Tabernas Desert is situated between the Sierra Nevada, Sierra de Gádor, Sierra de Los Filabres and Sierra Alhamilla in the Province of Almería and is one of the most dramatic landscapes in Spain. A combination of little rainfall, high temperatures all year round and long levels of sun exposure produces the dry climate that gives rise to this true desert. Temperatures in winter rarely drop below freezing at night. During the summer, temperatures during the day can exceed 40°C.

Site of a former Tsunami

Site of a former Tsunami

The Tabernas Desert (Badlands) is one of the most geologically interesting landscapes in Europe, since it clearly shows the process of natural desertification and erosion. Features include the sheer-sided gullies, carved out by the infrequent but torrential rains falling only a few days in the year. The arroyos or small steams formed by the torrential rain harbour most of the vegetation and fauna. The desert also contains numerous dry river beds or ramblas, which provide a unique micro-climate that is more humid than any other place in this otherwise parched landscape.

About eight million years ago, the sea covered the entire Tabernas desert area, reaching the Sierra de los Filabres to the north. The deposited material (sand and loam) of which makes up the Tabernas desert today. A million years later the Sierra Alhamilla rose up, cutting off the desert from the ocean and creating an inland sea where further sand, loam, clay, limestone and gypsum were deposited. At the end of pliocene epoch the sea receded, leaving the seabed exposed to erosion.

Last of the Mohicans

Last of the Mohicans

The Tabernas Desert, because of its similarities with the North American deserts, was used from 1950s (and still used today) for the shooting of many films and westerns. Many spaghetti westerns, including the seminal films of Sergio Leone were shot here, as were scenes from The Last Mohican, Lawrence of Arabia and many more.

There are a number of film studios in this area you can visit that have now been turned into theme parks.

Yet another photographers paradise in the Province of Almeria and not too far from the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. We were lucky enough to be shown around this beautiful area by our good friend Jesus Contreras, please visit his website to learn more about him.

This Tabernas Desert is best seen in spring-time when there is an abundance of colours and vegetation. Although it’s fair to say you could visit these Badlands everyday and see something different.


Welcome to Sunseed

For a while now I’ve been hearing about the work carried out at the Sunseed project near Sorbas ( so last night (in fact last Tuesday now) a former volunteer and friend took Dale, Heather, Amber and myself there for a tour, dinner and just generally to hang out.

What I found was a lovely caring community with people living and practicing a sustainable organic lifestyle; there were compost toilets, solar cookers, solar panels and pretty much everything was recycled to some extent; this was a great place to be.

Though I have are a number of reservations relating to the management / staffing of Sunseed, this is great place to visit and if the inclination takes you, a great place to become a (paying) volunteer and get involved. All details can be found on their website (link given above).

Martyn Thompson Website

The Martyn Thompson Landscape Photography website is still in development and will be live shortly. I am creating a website to promote photography tours / workshops in the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata and surrounding areas of Spain.

Located in the south-eastern corner of Spain, Cabo de Gata-Níjar is Andalucia’s largest coastal protected area, a wild and isolated landscape with some of Europe’s most original geological features. The eponymous mountain range is Spain’s largest volcanic rock formation with sharp peaks and crags in ochre-hues. It falls steeply to the sea creating jagged 100m-high cliffs, which are riven by gullies leading to hidden coves with white sandy beaches, some of the most beautiful in Andalucia. Offshore are numerous tiny rocky islands and, underwater, extensive coral reefs teeming with marine life.

I will be offering a wide variety of landscape photography experiences ranging from basic camera techniques to specialist bespoke photographic excursions and together with associates, wild-life photography trips such as bird-watching, night-photography, even aerial photography.

My mission is to provide the best photographic experiences to you whilst promoting a healthy respect for the surrounding environment and nature.