I’m still processing my move to the mid west but wanted to do a quick post today. I’ll try to do another one next week.
Since I’m out of town this week, I’ll be posting a few non HDR images from my archive. I’ve been reminiscing about my time in Morocco and found a few color slides that I wanted to share. It’s been a bit since I posted some Rabat images so I hope you will enjoy a couple this week.
This shot was taken with my back to the Atlantic ocean and a very large storm just rolling in from the south. The weather at the coast in Morocco was pretty similar to here in Eastern North Carolina except for much more rain in the winter.
I punched the colors a little for this shot to get more of a pseudo-HDR look. What do you think?
For scenes like this, black and white, monochrome works beautifully. Along with the tonality, the subject matter, old and exotic, are perfect. Opinions may vary but I really like this one.
The walls of these buildings and the light fixtures seemed very disproportionate to this man. A photograph from my stay in Morocco, this is part of the Rabat Medina. This old area in the Medina had literally thousands of beautiful photo opportunities. So, I’ve decided to share a few of my favorites in the coming months.
This photo was made with an old Contax II rangefinder camera that I picked up at a pawn shop in Pensacola Florida before leaving for a military tour in Morocco. It had a beautiful Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 lens in pristine condition. That camera was pretty slow compared to my then brand new, latest model, Nikon F but the image quality was still far superior.
I’m setting up a Monochrome catalog on another site and decided to include this image. And as usual, I worked this up with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.
I took this photograph long ago and far away while traveling around Morocco in a VW bus with friends. We were moving at about 50 mph on curvy mountain roads. Our driver was experienced but I still found it a little terrifying.
The original image was captured on Kodak Kodachrome slide film with a Nikon F camera and 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor lens. That was my primary shooter back in the day. With the broad expanse of land and sky, I decided to make this a panoramic to portray the full breadth of the scene. The area around the Atlas Mountains is incredibly beautiful and I was able to burn a few hundred rolls while I lived there.
These shots were taken some time ago. But from what I’ve seen more recently, these little snippets still reflect some of the current culture.This shot shows it’s age, I know, but the “ambiance” still exists. I remember not being able to walk very far without a shopkeeper trying to sell me something; anything. I once found a tapestry that I liked with a price of $100 US dollars. After a few minutes of “haggling”, I think I got it for around twelve dollars. And he probably still ripped me off. But, I was happy.
Roaming the back streets was also pretty interesting. The kids were everywhere! Some of them were shy and standoffish. But, occasionally one would be ready to pose for the camera.
I’ve mentioned in an earlier post how I saw many examples where a young child would be taking care of an even younger child. The cultural disconnect was always there but the children seemed to be able to transcend all differences with a smile.
Another one of my favorites were the wood carvers in the Medina. Their artistic skill and technique were incredible. Watching them work made me appreciate the finished products even more.I’ll finish up with a few more shots. As you can see, life in the Medina is very lively.
One of my favorite places to visit in Morocco was the Roman ruins at Volubilis located near Meknes between Fez and Rabat. One meaning for the name is “sculpture” and I can only guess that the place had lots of sculptures at one time since it was a small Roman city. I’ve also found that the name in Latin means “Morning Glory”. That seems to go along with what I was told by the “freelance guides” at the ruins. I visited Volubilis twice during my stay in Morocco. The first day was one of those perfect sky days; just a few clouds and a perfect sunset. The second trip was rainy and cloudy all day which allowed for high color saturation slides while shooting under an umbrella. I’ve mixed images here from both trips.
I was told while visiting that the famous Roman Roads traversed northern Africa and Volubilis was one of the cities that could be reached. It’s easy to imagine how it might have looked almost two thousand years ago. You can see the outlines of all of the main buildings and many houses as well.
After researching the ruins, I discovered that much of the information that was shared (for a price) by the old men in the long hooded garments, was just folklore. Oh well. They need to make a living too. Thank goodness for Wikipedia.
This is what’s left of the Capitol. I wonder what it looked like when more than just six rebuilt columns were standing. Part of the beauty of these ruins is the surrounding area of low mountains, lower hills and sweeping plains. Must have been a magnificent place to live. They even had running water, I was told. The shot below is part of the expansive aqueduct system, that was used to transport water throughout the city.
The ancient Romans used lots of what we would call modern technology but in a primitive sort of way. The engineering that would be needed for these structures is a reflection of what historians have referred to the Magnificent Wonders of Ancient Rome.
So, what Roman colony would be complete without a large Arch for an entry way. This and the starting image above is the Triumphal Arch. Yes, that’s what it’s called. Not sure what significance the name has but it really sounds impressive. Don’t you think so?
Here is another shot of the Capitol. I liked the glowing sky lighting behind the columns.
Before I did my research, I thought this was the remains of a temple with the raised platform below the steps being some kind of place of sacrifice. Your imagination can really run wild without good information.
I’ve included a few more images below. It’s the kind of place that can never be fully explored. You’ll probably run out of memory card space, or film as I did back then, before you can capture everything.
I’m continuing with my trip back to Morocco today to present a few more shots. This time, I’m concentrating on the handmade rugs that are made in small villages in the Atlas Mountains. Even though these shots were done many years ago, the industry still thrives. I did a brief post last year about this topic (you can check it out here) but wanted to expand the visuals a little.
These photos were shot with my Nikon F with various lenses on Kodak Ecktachrome slide film. The Ecktachromes were known to be a little on the grainy side but for low light situations where flash would be too distracting, they were fantastic.
Even without flash, it was impossible to be discrete while shooting. Some of the children seemed to be curious about the tourists with cameras. At any rate, I must have shot dozens of images without using a meter hoping that I’d get a few good exposures.
The shot below looks like a finishing process. It’s interesting that the women seem to be supervising while the men are working to make the rug pile even. How Interesting! It must be a matter of perspective. . .visual perspective.
I’ve decided to take a short break from HDR and dig into my archives. Lots of stuff from way back. I still love the old transparencies that I shot “back in the day” when life was much less complex. All I needed was a camera, a couple of lenses and places to go.
This is one of my favorite shots from Rabat Morocco. Even though things have changed since I shot this, my memories are still fresh. I’d spend hours wandering around Rabat with my trusty rangefinders (no meters) and an SLR (Nikon F no meter). We’d use the suggested exposure settings that came with the film and make minor adjustments based on what we saw or, if we had the time, what our silenium cell, handheld meters would tell us. I had just purchased a new Gossen Lunna Pro Cds meter. . .quite an improvement, I thought. But that was part of the art of photography.
I always underexposed my transparencies a bit for a little extra color saturation. And we’d push the Ektachromes (shoot at a higher ASA(ISO)) when the light was too dim. The labs would accommodate quite a range.
This image was taken using my Contax II rangefinder with Zeiss 50mm Sonnar 1.5 lens on Kodak Ecktachrome slide film. Yes, pretty grainy if you look close. So don’t look too close. As you can see, the vertical metal focal plane shutter was just a bit off. Every image seemed to have a slightly darker bottom, or in this case right side, of the frame. What do you expect from a then very old camera purchased from a pawn shop in Pensacola Florida when a Nikon F Photomic was the top of the line 35mm camera. But that Zeiss lens was incredible, tack sharp with beautiful construction and smooth as butter operation.
I loved doing photography in those days but would never go back to non-digital except for fun, maybe. I currently have a Contax III (the meter still works kinda) with a similar lens that I may play with sometime.
Well, so much for my memory lane stroll. Life is good!