My Nikon, my friend

Since these pictures did not find their ways into their own blog post, here they are grouped together.

The Mosque and the Church  (Marrakesh, Morocco)

mosque and church in Marrakesh Morocco

Amin picking out carrots (Marrakesh, Morocco)

Amin buying vegetables

Double Rainbow (Taos, NM, USA)

new mexico rainbow

Filling my eyes with sky (Taos, NM, USA)

cloudy sky in Taos New Mexico

Yousef  filling his cup from the endless source (Imam Jazuli’s tomb, Marrakesh, Morocco)

tomb of imam jazuli

A perfect moment (Ocamora, NM, USA)

yousef in archway

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My newest discovery

Regarding photography…obviously one needs a good camera, the bulky three dimensional unwieldly kind, not so much the flat kind that comes in pink and fits discreetly in your purse.  Mine is a Nikon D3000 , the most basic of all DSLR’s, the baby of the bunch.  By the way, I highly recommend Amazon for this camera, they are underselling the Nikon website, so they can’t even display the price until you add the camera to your cart.

Then, most photos need a little, um, plastic surgery, by an amazing doctor called Photoshop!  Just as I am telling myself most emphatically that I am NOT the kind of person who has 4 hours a day to spend tweeking photos…my words came back to bite me.

Here are some before and afters.

Before:  nice photo, but doesn’t quite have that pop to it.

After: much better, dontcha think?

Or remember this picture from the El Jadida beach?  I was pretty excited about it, before:

After: high drama!

So, next time you see photos that look too good, chances are they’ve had a little work done.

Photography tips by Moroccomama

Tip #1:  There’s never a bad time to take a picture.  Let go of perfectionism.  I used to think that the only time to take a picture was early morning or late afternoon (when the light is warm and very yellowy).  Certainly never at high noon.  I used to hold back from taking pictures, because someone’s face wasn’t washed, or because we were in the car and it would be blurry or have a glare.

But you know, I’ve never regretted taking a picture, no matter how harsh, messy, blurry or glare-marred.

For example: on our trip to the desert, I was somewhat despondent because the sky was hazy, in fact it was the exact same hue as the asphalt ribbon that unspooled before us for hours.  I also kept thinking, let’s wait until we stop and I’ll take some pics.

However, in the end, I realized that I’d better just go for it.

I’m thankful that I took these pictures, even from a moving car, even with the ashen sky.

Tip #2: Pictures of people are always interesting.

Tip #3: Get some perspective, and a focal point. I like photos with some lines that draw you in and take you somewhere.

Tip #4:  Find something incongruous. Like this Dodger’s fan on his moped, about to drive through an elaborate gate in the desert town of (I’m guessing here) Rissani.  Ok, I know he’s not a real Dodger’s fan. Judging from the things  I’ve seen written on shirts here, I’m guessing most people don’t know what their shirts say.

Tip #5: Don’t discount the obvious. When I was in the desert, everything was so picture perfect I didn’t know where to start.  So, this captures the basics: some full-length palm trees, the sky, the dunes, the tents.

I don’t have a tip for this one.  Maybe something about shadow and light.  These were all the camel guides in their tent eating breakfast.  Remember that while the rest of us rode on camels for 1.5 hours, these guys walked it.   Sometimes they make the trek several times a day.  The camels know and follow only their own guide.

Tip # 6:  Closeups are good.  And don’t be shy. This young man was dressed in a jellaba and turban, selling some pretty geodes and necklaces.  Living in Morocco, I have an aversion to many of the people trying to sell stuff to tourists.  I always check out the person’s vibe before approaching.  If he is too eager or aggressive, I don’t bother.  I look to the person first, merchandise second.  This guy passed my very stringent judgement of character.  We weren’t looking to buy anything though.

I hope these tips are useful.  In full disclosure I must add that I only came up with them just now.

Do you have any tips to share?