When many of us think of Morocco, sun baked deserts and endless mountains may enter into the imagination. However, Morocco is hardly a desolate landscape suited only for nomadic herders. Perched on the north-western coast of Africa, this country has much to offer both the amateur and professional photographer alike. Morocco combines a rich cultural history with stunning architecture, all nestled within some of the most unique landscapes on Earth. We need to peruse but a few of these numerous sights to realise what an amazing opportunity awaits.
The natural scenery is as diverse as it is captivating. From the nearly 3.5 million square miles of tranquil, timeless desert one can photograph a singular moment in the endless lifespan of the forever evolving dunes. Combining the earthen tan of the ground below with the colourful turbans of the numerous guides offering tours, a striking image presents itself. In contrast, one of the most popular photographic attractions is the Ouzoud Falls. Perched in the High Atlas Mountains, this pristine waterfall gets its name from the verdant green olive trees which protrude from nearby cliffs.
Slowly working one’s way back to civilisation one can witness a beautiful sunset above the Menara Gardens, located to the east of Marrakech. These gardens contain an artificial lake which irrigates the palms and olive groves surrounding its periphery. The golden sunlight dancing across this lake’s lazy currents provide the backdrop for some amazing photographic opportunities.
Morocco’s majesty does not end with natural beauty; on the contrary, the cities and villages offer a mélange of both the ancient and the modern. In the major cities, one can find sun-bleached mosques and architecture dating back centuries adjacent to the more modern buildings designed during the recent French occupation. The temporal disparity this scenery provides has become sought after by photographers worldwide. One may also choose to partake in one of the many open air markets, the umbrellas which cover the vendors below reflecting all the colours one can ever imagine. If we combine this with the very urban feel of countless fruit and vegetable stands, what was once a city of clay and stone suddenly bursts forth with all the sights and sounds that define the vibrant past of an ancient people.
Morocco is a photographer’s dream and with such a close proximity to major European transport centres, it truly is only a snapshot away.
Image credits: Patrick Wuske, Nwardez.