This was our first stop in Morocco; and it was a shock to the system. We were so out of place; everybody staring as we made our way into the town. First impressions make it seem a little unwelcoming and tense, so I was worried about taking pictures in-case it caused an issue. Going into the Medina was scary for a while, and it took a long time before I was comfortable with showing my camera at all, and I was still worried about the looks we were getting from the locals.
I was put off by all the poverty; worried about my safety, but after a few hours I had loosened up, I realised everybody was actually very friendly, especially if you were offering to buy something there! I had been so weary about not getting into the trap of being lured into shops, I had missed out on meeting these great characters, and this is a boundary you really have to break down early on if you want to visit and enjoy Morocco. Once you start talking to the locals, they become welcoming, and everything becomes more relaxed; the more you worry about it the worse it seems, but when you start chatting, you realise everybody is just interested in you! I decided I would buy a traditional Muslim abaya, (as I had fallen into the harbour trying to climb ashore, and wanted a change of clothes). This meant I could get some pictures of the shop owners; bear in mind quite a few people will not want to have their photo taken, so it’s best to ask after talking to them for a while.
On the way back to the harbour; I had settled in enough to take some pictures of the people and the harbour. Everything here has so much colour and texture; almost nothing is boring – it’s either vibrant, beautifully decrepit or just such a different way of life it always is eye catching. This scene for example was full of blue: the door, the stall, the buckets, the crates and the jeans. The sun had started to go down, so I had nice long shadows and orange light to go with the blue (complimentary colours!)
I really wanted to get a close up of the fishermen, but you can’t really as it’s not busy enough to be close without an excuse, so I had to go with this style of showing more background. If I’d gotten eye contact it probably would have been much better but he was very focused on his net and didn’t look up.
There are stray cats everywhere in Morocco; especially the harbours as the fishermen give them scraps of fish.
When I saw this stack of fishing crates; it made me think of something in Michael Freeman’s book ‘The Photographers eye’ about how to display and exaggerate many things in a frame. His take on it was to stand back as much as you can to just get everything in, and then have the edges of the frame showing cut of parts of the subject to create the impression there is much more surrounding what you have chosen to show.
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