"My mind's a camera..."
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
Captured by Adam Rogers.
I remembered watching a documentary on Steve McCurry once and he shared a fact that resonated on the day of my arrival.
A truthful perception that most people with mutual interests in Photography would reciprocate.
He said, ‘when you go abroad all of your senses are heightened.’ He continues to say, ‘Photography is unlike film, it allows you to explore on your own, it is spontaneous you don’t need a script, its kind of immediate with serendipity unfolding…’
I headed out everyday around 6am along the back streets of the Souks and discovered lots of different stories, locals eating their morning Harira or Moroccan cereal soup with mint green tea. The smell of fresh orange juice, amber, spices, herbs and food suspended the air.
When I started photographing, locals and young children came scurrying towards me from all directions shooing me away with flung hand gestures.
It got quite difficult capturing some of the images I wanted.
Even my previous trip to Mexico shared a similarity. People do not like having their picture taken. A part of their soul is taken with you. And for that the opportunity is scarce.
I shot a lot of random objects too that caught my eye, such as the buckets in the picture. These were placed on the floor randomly through an open door to the end of a corridor. What was the purpose for them?
The gentleman in the head wrap/Turban in the black and white photo caught my eye during the first day I arrived in Marrakech. He drove past me on his moped with such panache. I thought I would never see him again and accepted that. One day in the week I decided to head down an alleyway to see where I would end up. And there he was. Siting down on his stool drinking his mint tea on a small round table confidently. He looked regal. We met eyes and I felt a connection.
He offered me some tea, we spoke about my travels what he did for a living. We were sitting outside his shop. ‘Haziz’ he said, offering me his hand in greeting. ‘Adam’ I replied. We shook.
He was the most discerning seller in the whole of the medina. He had such amazing items for sale. Everything was vintage. Haziz had Camel bags that were made by hand. The leather had become so soft after all the years of usage. The discolouring was stunning. There were silk scarfs, silver jewelry and brass. He went through each of his items explaining the history of them. He had anklets and bracelets that weighed like dumbbells.
‘This is what the slaves had to wear…’ Haziz said.
I asked to take his photo after searching the shop. I purchased a few items that he seemed to be attached to. One being an off white 6 meter long silk scarf.
The next morning I travelled to the charming western coast, Essaouira by coach. It was a three hour drive as the bus would stop every second of the way picking up passengers of all types, old and young, couples and families, that hailed us from all areas.
Once I arrived, I had a wonder along the sea to the famous harbor and observed the fisherman bringing the fish to the docks. So much was there to capture! The famous blue boats swaying gently to the breathing waters below. It was a brilliant blue-sky day.
I photographed these two fishermen overlooking the boats and their fellow fishermen bringing in the fish and crabs for the weekends market.
Once they both saw that I was behind them they didn’t look too happy and started wagging admonishing fingers at me saying ‘no photo.’ I was happy enough to catch them in their element. It makes the picture more real, more authentic, more natural.
Morocco is a place I could always return to.
There is more to explore and you need at three days in each Town to take it all in. I didn’t have enough film to shoot more images.
I plan a lot more trips ahead.
Adam Rogers is a contributing artist/photographer for by such and such. He resides in London.