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Morocco is one of the few countries on this planet I have visited and I am happy to highlight it for the Travel Photography Inspiration Project. What I liked about Morocco were not only the markets and popular sites, but also getting out to the coast to the relaxing town of Essaouira. It’s so close to Europe and an easy boat ride lands you on the shores of a different continent. The bustle of a port town gives way to open regions dotted with farms and mosques.
The images below are from your fellow DPS readers and attempt to show their experience in this vibrant country. If a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s start a 40,000 word journey through Morocco!
This is the sixteenth country we are covering the DPS reader fueled DPS Travel Photography Inspiration Project. (sorry the list is not being updated at the moment due to a technical difficulty, but we are proceeding through as many countries as we can cover!)
If you would like to be involved in the next country’s post, drop me a line here.
Djemaa El-Fna coming alive at at dusk by Kirsty Larmour
Use a slow shutter speed and a steady table, railing – or even better a tripod! – and capture the movement and hustle and bustle of a crowded area.
Merzouga – Desert tree by Federico Campeggi
Location: Draa valley. This is one of my favourite shot because for me it represent the life growing up in such a difficult environment as the desert. I decided to freeze the tree on the left side of the pic, not in the center, in order to draw the viewer’s attention not only on the tree itself, but also on the sand dunes, in order to reach a good balance between loneliness (the desert) and life (the tree).
Exploring by Janice Rotinsky
Exploring the narrow back streets of the old cities is a constant surprise. This old tannery was visible through a small opening in the wall. The people are very friendly and welcomed us in to take photos when they saw us peaking in.
Dunes of Erg Chebbi by Angus McIntyre
Foreground detail can make sand dunes more interesting.
Man and donkey, Fes medina by Marcy L
This man was resting in an alley of the Fes medina. Tip: Be aware of the local culture, and ask permission before taking a picture if that’s expected. This man gave me permission to take his picture for a tip.
Rabat IX by Reena Mahtani
Colourful tradition and modernity together. The three girls were playing with their phones by the sea, a bit like everywhere else in the world.
Untitled by Karo Krassel
Cap Spartel by Peter West Carey
Location: Where the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea meet, Morocoo
Tip: While we were reluctant at first, facing a hour delay at the train station meant we hired a cab/guide for the day to see some quick sites in Tangier, the main port across from Europe. We were happy we did as we saw sights we never would have experienced if we saved a few bucks and hung out at the train station. Paying a cabbie a half-day fare can be a great idea for last minute sightseeing.
Peeking through the beads by Kirsty Larmour
If travelling with your kids remember to get down to their level and take pictures of the things they find fascinating too – little girls always love sparkly things!!!
woman passing doorway – sidi ifni by Michael Robert Powell
Look for patterns in colors. This was a quick shot. The original was good but in post-production I improved it with a slight crop, also removing a powerline and sharpening the wall texture.
Merzouga – Desert storm by Federico Campeggi
We reached Merzouga on a late evening, with the aim to go through Erg Chebby desert the day after. as soon as we arrived, we were caught by a powerful storm, so I decided to go up to the roof of my room to take some pictures. I choose a 30″ exposure and after 4 or 5 shots I was lucky enough to get that shot of the lightening
Merzouga desert by Janice Rotinsky
The red sand dunes at the edge of the Sahara are stunning. There’s plenty of opportunity to go on a camel ride anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. We were just sitting on the dunes waiting for sunset when I spotted this guide leading his camels home.
Landscape in the Atlas Mountains by Angus McIntyre
The intense colors of the High Atlas are stunning; rent a car rather than taking public transport, so you can stop where you want.
Sheep heads, Fes medina by Marcy L
You never know what you’ll see when you turn a corner in the narrow, crowded alleys of the Fes medina. Tip: Keep your mind open to unusual subject matter.
Meknes I by Reena Mahtani
Long hours in trains can also give you an insight of the country. This mother was telling stories and playing with her daughter. I wish I could speak French to understand what they were talking about!
Streetphotography in Essouira by Karo Krassel
Photoidea: Most people in Morocco don’t like to get photographed (religious purpose). So it’s best to try to be invisible while photographing. Have your camera ready for the next shot to be able to quick make a photo as you are passing by a street. In morocco it’s better if you don’t run around with the camera around your neck – better have it in a small bag close to you or with a scarf covered. Like this it’s easier to be “invisible”, to not show that you could take a photo every moment and also to keep your camera save from not getting stolen.
To get shots of moments you need to be fast. Know your camera to be able to handle it quick.
woman at beach by Michael Robert Powell
Custom dictates that women in public – even when going to the beach should be covered; this also applies to swimming. Here a young female looks out towards the rest of her family in the water … This black and white conversion enhances her sense of solitude (amid the sands: looking like a Sahara-scape).
Casablanca At Dusk By Peter West Carey
Tip: Don’t stop shooting when the sun goes down, but do find something to brace your camera against. In this case, a balcony railing will suffice.
Mint tea by Kirsty Larmour
Take photos of the local food and and drink as a way to take you back to the evocative tastes and smells of Morocco
Legzira beach by Federico Campeggi
Personally this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Morocco, located in the south of the country, around 200 km from the Western Sahara.
We reached this beach on a late evening, around 6 pm. my attention was instantly drawn to the 2 beautiful arches that, starting from the cliff, dive into the sea. so I tried to include both of them in the frame of the picture by walking for 10 meters into the sea to reach the final composition.
Untitled by Janice Rotinsky
One of the reasons I enjoy travelling is to see the locals go about their daily lives. Just by chance I caught this group of men resting in their carts. It helps to have a zoom lens so it isn’t evident that you’re taking their photo.
Sunset and minaret of the Koutoubia mosque, Marrakesh by Angus McIntyre
Minarets improve skylines (but minarets against blue sky make dull photos)
Woman and donkey, Ait Ben Haddou by Marcy L
Some families still live in this ancient fortified city in Morocco. Parts of the Russell Crowe film Gladiator were filmed here. Tip: Include local people in your long shots to give a sense of the scale and the atmosphere.
Fes III by Reena Mahtani
My highlight of Morocco is the food. Starting with the simple bread they give you everywhere, the pastries that they eat with mint tea, pastelas and tajines. Yummy!
Untitled by Karo Krassel
While I was having my van at the mechanic, there was this local guy there. We got into a conversation, he told us crazy stories about his last year in prison (which he actually really enjoyed because you get free food and have a free bed), while this I was making these portraits (after asking if that would be alright).
Photoidea: You want to take closer photos of people, don’t just go in front and make a shot, ask them first! Not only that they don’t like it, you could also get in some trouble. The best is to get to know them, talk to them for a while, perhaps have some friends with you talking to them, ask them between if you can take photos and if yes, take your time while you are having a conversation to make some pics. But don’t forget to really listen to the people, you will hear some amazing stories and learn about the life in morocco!
old city of essaouira by Michael Robert Powell
This Atlantic coast destination is a traveler’s favorite (and I’ve visited Essaouira in 1991 and 2007). This image was shot from a harbor tower adding a depth of field with the stone wall then the inclusion of the seagull drifting your eyes towards the old city.
Volubilis Panorama by Peter West Carey
A panorama of the ancient Roman ruins at Volubilis, Morocco. The panorama was stitched from 21 different photos shot in a vertical orientation.
Tip: Some shots are just a little too big. Practice shooting panoramas before you go.
Decorations for Sale by Kirsty Larmour
The colours of the souks are amazing – close up pictures of some of the little details you see make wonderful colourful pictures even without seeing the whole scene
Merzouga – dromedaries by Federico Campeggi
When leaving Merzouga and Erg Chebby desert we saw these dromedaries crossing the street. I jumped off the car and waited for the dromedaries to walk close to the sand dunes in order to include also them within the frame of the picture.
Moroccan Mosques by Janice Rotinsky
The religious architecture in Morocco is beautiful. It’s often hard to show the grandeur of a building in a photo, it helps to have a person in the picture to gain perspective. Even better when it happens naturally.
Cooks in the Djemaa el-Fna by Angus McIntyre
Marrakesh’s Djemaa el-Fna is heavily touristed, but there are still good shots to be had at early evening, when the square comes alive.
Marrakech VIII by Reena Mahtani
Djemaa El Fna can be a very tempting shopping spot. Carrying a small backpack is essential to avoid buying lots of stuff. I brought back to England around 15 kilos, including coffee, a small carpet, a pair of leather shoes and plenty of gifts for my friends.
Kids playing football on the beach of Sidi Kaouki before sunset by Karo Krassel
Photoidea: Morocco has an incredible light. Get up early to make pictures at sunrise or go out with your camera before sunset and make some silhouette photos or to get your motive in the best light.
tagine – a traditional moroccan dish by Michael Robert Powell
A tasty, must-try meal in Morocco is Tagine. It simmers for some hours and is then eaten straight from the clay cooking bowl. Its ingredients vary across the country but in this instance it was fresh fish. This simple image fills the frame, with a nice contrast of blue table mat and colorful meal.
Nothing On TV by Peter West Carey
Tip: Everyday things can be the most interesting when seen in a different context. Shoot the obvious.