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Author Topic: Traveling to Morocco  (Read 3330 times)

Richard Holbrook

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Traveling to Morocco
« on: March 23, 2014, 11:05:20 PM »

We're leaving for Morocco in a few weeks.  My main system is the D800, and I'll be bringing that, but have been advised that the D800 (even with a small lens) will likely attract unwanted attention in Marrakech and Fez.  Has anyone else photographed in Morocco / Fez / Marrakech in particular?  If a D800 attracts too much attention, could I get by with one of the Fujis, like the X100s or X-e2 without attracting the same attention (realizing for these purposes the all black nodel would probably be better)?  Thanks in advance.

Richard
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 12:29:38 AM »

Take the D800.   Morocco's geography is spectacular and you'll be pining for your Nikon if you don't take it.

You might consider a strap that doesn't say "STEAL ME!" like the stock one does.  DSLRs look pretty much the same to the uneducated and a bit of black electrician's tape over the various logos on the camera will help conceal its identity.

If you have a big lens installed, that will attract attention, but if you're worried about your gear in the markets, you probably won't want a big zoom at those locations in any case

Use common sense about leaving it around anywhere.  Besides, if it's not with you, you can't shoot. :)

Take anti-dust precautions.  It's a dry, dusty place.

It's also a target-rich environment for photographers.  Have fun.

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kikashi

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 04:36:10 AM »

I used a 5DII with the 24-105 in Marrakech and Agadir without, as far as I could tell, attracting any particular attention. If I'd used a long white zoom, things might have been different, I suppose.

Jeremy
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PhotoEcosse

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 05:12:01 AM »



You might consider a strap that doesn't say "STEAL ME!" like the stock one does.  DSLRs look pretty much the same to the uneducated and a bit of black electrician's tape over the various logos on the camera will help conceal its identity.


+1

In any case, an anonymous black neoprene padded strap is much more comfortable than the advertising abortion that Nikon put in the box.

(and don't go around looking unsure or vulnerable - it is personal demeanour, rather than the camera you are carrying, that attracts attention. Walk tall, act confident and never look at a map in public.)
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Richowens

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2014, 08:49:18 AM »

Richard Holbrook

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2014, 11:11:25 AM »

Thank you for all the replies -- I always value the forum's thoughts on matters like these.  I'm absolutely bringing the D800, and I'd seen the LL article on travel in Morocco but the D800 with the 14-24 is quite a bit larger than the M8.  In any event, it is good advice re an anonymous strap and I'll probably get one of the smaller primes.  I have the older 35 and 50, but never really liked them on the D800 from a sharpness perspective. 

Richard
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mvsoske

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2014, 02:36:42 PM »

I had no problems in using my D700 with a 28-300 throughout the souks in Marrakech.  The only thing I did differently was not using a neck strap but rather having the kit in a Mountainsmith shoulder bag - not a camera bag - which provided me with quick access to the camera both in and out.  A colorful, lively, and fascinating place requiring all the pixels you can bring.  Don't forget to get the mint tea!

Mark

hubell

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 05:08:49 PM »

Very frustrating environment in which to shoot. There are immensely intriguing opportunities to photograph, but the people in the Medinah are VERY hostile to being photographed, or even having their surroundings photographed. I was physically assaulted in the Medinah and came close when photographing Bedouins in the rural areas. Be careful!
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dcfoto

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 07:42:57 PM »

I have been in Morocco many times. YOU will attract attention as a foreigner. People will approach you all the time and try to sell you something or trick you. Your camera will attract thieves, but that probably applies to any camera. The bigger, the more attrative. If you watch your stuff, you will be fine. It rarely happens that people are violently robbed - they rather steal things when you are not watching (which may go as far as cutting holes into backpacks). I would bring the D800 and hold onto it.
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tom b

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 11:47:31 PM »

You can hire official guides in Morocco who are well trained and the rates aren't high. You'll need a guide for Fez but I'd hire one in the more popular tourist areas. The benefit of a guide is they will deter touts and will be able to give you advice on what you can and can't photograph.

Cheers,

Londoner

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Re: Traveling to Morocco
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 06:26:38 AM »

The D800 and 14-24 will make you very prominent indeed, and you will be too close to people to photograph them in safety.  I agree with the earlier comments to the effect that Moroccans do not like to be photographed, and sometimes make this clear in a very forceful manner.

I also agree with the recommendation to hire an official local guide.  Apart from the knowledge you will gain from a guide, he will also provide a lot of protection from touts, and will get you much lower prices on taxis, etc.  He may also save you from some problems - when we were in the mountains near Marrakech our guide strongly advised against photographing the local people, on the grounds that they would be so angry that they might attack us.  I believe him.

I suggest that if you want to do any street shooting, take along a small camera which will be much less intrusive, and keep the D800 in the bag.  There will be lots of other opportunities in Morocco to use the D800.
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