Morocco Soul

Marrakesh is a wonderful, vibrant city. There are photo opportunities around every corner. However,  every potential image is met with an equal challenge. Many locals don't enjoy having their picture taken. Some simply are opposed to it, others see the opportunity to make a quick Dirham from unsuspecting tourists.

Originally, I was intending on shooting the collection on film using Kodak Ektar 100 - a film stock I love but haven't used for a couple of years now. Due to the potential challenges outlined above (and to save a bit of cash), I opted to go digital. For my primary lens I went with the Zeiss 28mm f/2.8, this would be more flexible when shooting from the hip and better suited for the tight side-streets of the medina. 

Overall I think I made the correct decision. For the most part, I needed act pretty quickly. There were also significant changes in light when heading in and out of the markets, easy to get caught out and waste exposures when shooting analogue. 

Below I have split the images into each of the key places we visited during our stay. 

Jemaa el-Fnaa

The main square in Marrakesh isn't much to look at in the day. In the evening it really comes alive, with food stalls, snake charmers and tourists. You may get hassled a bit, but that's okay.

Jemaa el-Fnaa - Clifford Darby 2018

One of many busy stalls in the Jemaa el-Fnaa - Clifford Darby 2018

Snails for Sale in the Jemaa el-Fnaa - Clifford Darby 2018

Medina (Old Town)

The winding streets of the medina make it easy for tourists to lost. Extremely contrasty to shoot during the middle of the day. Here I mostly metered for the highlights for that big-contrast 'look'.

Strawberry Stall - Clifford Darby 2018

A father and son navigate the narrow streets of the medina - Clifford Darby 2018

Marrakesh - Clifford Darby 2018

Central Souks

If I remember correctly, Marrakesh's central market is approximately 6km squared! Plenty of great images available then. Definitely one of the more challenging parts of Marrakech to photograph due to light being so limited.

Central Souks - Clifford Darby 2018

A baklava stall - Clifford Darby 2018

Rugs, scarves and colour - Clifford Darby 2018

Rahba Kedima Square

The Rahba Kedima Square was right next to the Riad where we were staying. Selling mostly spices, the square had many interesting characters knocking about. 

Winston - Clifford Darby 2018

Rahba Kedima Square - Clifford Darby 2018

Atlas Mountains

We did a one-day excursion up into the Atlas Mountains. There we explored a local Berber home before going on a short hike up the mountains with a local guide. As it was out of season to mountain trail and surrounding valleys weren't loaded with tourists.

Muhammad, a Berber man  - Clifford Darby 2018

A young but sure-footed Berber girls plays - Clifford Darby 2018

Atlas Mountains - Clifford Darby 2018

I'd highly recommend visiting Marrakesh - with or without a camera. Although I found it quite difficult to maintain a consistent look to my images - with the ever-changing light situations - I do feel I went some way in capturing the chaos and the charm of Marrakesh. Hopefully in the coming years I'll be able to expand this collection by visiting other parts of Morrocco. Casablanca, maybe?