A medina is an old part of a town or city, found in many countries of North Africa, not just Morocco. It is typically walled and contains narrow streets, fountains, palaces and mosques. Many medinas are car-free as there is not enough space in the alleyways for cars to pass. But, this doesn’t stop anyone from trying to drive a small truck in the alleyways, motorbikes or donkeys and carts. Always watch your step in the medina and expect the unexpected. If you hear “Balek!”, get out of the way.
No matter what is around the next curved alley, you’re sure to be enthralled. Guaranteed.
The Old Medina in Marrakech is ideal not only for travel photography but also for film photography. I made it a point to use only black and white film as it lent itself to the aged area. Travel to Marrakech for me always seems like a time travel to another era, except Marrakech does operate as any modern city would.
There are photo opportunities everywhere you turn, so take your time while wandering through. And, don’t forget to appreciate everything the busy city offers.
The Mamiya 7II was perfect for me to use as there is a reliable built-in light metre in the camera. The ease of use was great as sometimes in the Medina you need to take a photograph, then think, as a lot happens so quickly. That said, using a film camera drives you to think about composition more. Your creative eye trains itself almost as if it is connected to the camera and what is shown through the beautiful glass lens. And then, the photographic process becomes second nature. I often find my eyes constantly scanning a scene with a frame around it. I do this without lifting the camera. So, when the perfect capture is in front of me, I simply lift the camera, focus, then click the shutter.
I know I’ve got the “shot,” and you will, too. There is no need for the instant gratification of an LCD on the back of the camera. There’s something rather gentlemanly about this confidence. You know firsthand what I mean if you already are familiar and comfortable with film photography.
Marrakech is a fascinating city and part of the thrill is total immersion, which occasionally means getting lost. A little common sense, a confident air and an awareness of what’s around you will mean your stay is infinitely more pleasurable than if you are timid, suspicious or scared. People are often happy to help, so don’t be afraid to ask. However, some people are opportunistic: Morocco is a developing country and tourism offers a lot of opportunities to earn money. People will expect to be paid for services they offer, so do be aware of this.
Where Is the Marrakech Medina? How Do I Get To The Medina in Marrakech?
Marrakech Medina GPS Coordinates :: 31.6318° N, 7.9893° W
Detailed Map of the Medina in Marrakech