This image is a perfect example of a photography principle I am often banging on about; get the image first and foremost!
It was taken near the jewish quarter in the medina at Essaouira in Morocco. Exploring the maze of backstreets we came upon this little scene of some men playing cards in a small room. The image is far from perfect, it is slightly out of focus due to the low light inside the building, movement of the subjects and shallow depth of field. Having witnessed the scene I quickly captured the image before the opportunity escaped.
As it turned out I was right to do so because moments later whilst changing the settings on the camera to attempt to obtain a clearer image the door was closed. The chance had gone, if I hadn’t already taken it so would my capture.
Technically the picture is not great, however I really like it, as it provides a tiny glimpse into the culture of the country. Men meeting up in public places, enjoying mint tea, some conversation and maybe playing cards. This is one of my favourite reasons for taking photographs, wonderful vistas and stunning cityscapes are fine, but trying to capture the essence of a destination is preferable to me.
This usually requires getting away from the main tourist areas and exploring the less salubrious areas of a destination, remain observant, be curious but as always use common sense.
In these circumstances, having my camera set up ready for any anticipated scenes which may present themselves will only go so far. Sometimes the unexpected happens and the most important thing is to get the picture, hopefully there will be another chance to get it right afterwards.
More from Morocco – Morocco; A story of three medinas