Casablanca’s colour palette

A sense of place – Philip Lee Harvey reveals his approach to photography which captures the essence of a destination.


PART ONE – Casablanca

Although I have been travelling far and wide for assignments for over 20 years, it is still very difficult not to pack preconceived views and visuals of a destination into my mental camera bag. Such was the case with Casablanca in Morocco. The name alone conjures up a nostalgic magic, which may or may not have ever existed.

My typical kit for an editorial shoot

The fact that the original 1942 epic film was made in Burbank, California doesn’t really seem to matter, the visuals are still there, imprinted on my mind and muddling my view and expectations.

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By Philip Lee Harvey

Born in Canterbury, England, multi award-winning photographer and film maker, Philip Lee Harvey has travelled the globe in search of his subjects, finding them everywhere from the dark drama of a Haitian voodoo ceremony to the stark brightness of Bolivian salt flats. He believes photography should convey the emotion of places and people rather than functioning simply as a descriptive guide. He has spent the past 20 years perfecting his art, researching and preparing shoots and then working spontaneously to capture a moment. His images focus on the character of people and places and are acclaimed for their graphic quality, use of light and composition. For Philip, photography acts as a physical and emotional adventure. His work is always a journey and an exploration of the perfect moment.