Now that I’ve returned from Morocco, and recovered from the cold that my group lovingly passed on 🙂 , I am finally ready to showcase some of my pictures from there. But first, a few thoughts about the journey. Morocco is a land of contrasts – in the landscape, and the people. In just a few hours, we’d be in completely different terrain, and from city to city, village to village, the feeling of place was very different. In Marrakech, it’s a carnival-like atmosphere in the main square. In Fes, there was a strong artisan culture. Yet in both, in the labrynth of streets and alleys of the medina (old town), it was still like time stood still. Women in flowing robes would scurry past on their way to somewhere; old men sat smoking and exchanging the news or simply hanging out together. Burros delivered Coca Cola and bricks; and mannequins sported the latest fashion on the bodies while scarves covered their heads. The smells of cinnamon, cumin, and cardamom lingered in the air, along with the pungency of fish and produce markets. It was a very fascinating place, and a great place to photograph. There were the obvious patterns of point shoes, and mounded spices; the ubiquitous mosaic tiled fountains and walls; yet there were also the mysterious alleys and the dark souks; and the daily lives being played out in front of us. I challenged the group to look  for unusual viewpoints, and fleeting moments, and things that suggested ‘place’ or told a story. While I only saw about 10 pictures from each person while on the trip, I was delighted with how we all ‘saw’ a scene, each of us using our personal vision to interpret it.

Each area we visited offered up different architecture. In the central area near the Sahara, the Kasbahs were built out of mud & straw. That made them blend in with the landscape around them, in color; and the day we were visiting the historic Unesco site of Ait Benhaddou, the light was pretty flat, which made the pictures (see the original in color) pretty bland; but I envisioned them differently. On another day, with more contrast to the light, we would have had stronger shadows and more drama. So using Lightroom presets and fine tuning with my own adjustments, I created more mood to the scene. This was more like I imagined- walking the darker corridors and alleyways of a Kasbah…

My partner and I liked it so much, we’re scheduled to return next year, May 13-27. We’ll have the details posted on our websites soon. And I’ll be posting a few more pictures here over the next week, with thoughts/impressions.