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Photo of the Month - exploring the Story behind the Image...

Orange Stall in the Djemaa el-Fna

Orange Stall in the Djemaa el-Fna

Year: 2010, Month: November

Morocco > Tensift > Marrakech

Capturing the iconic is never easy. In the last Photo of the Month page we introduced the concept, and suggested some ways that this can be attempted. This month's image continues the theme with an image taken in one of Morocco's most famous locations, the Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakesh.

The city of Marrakesh is exotic and colorful, mysterious and vibrant, and engenders all that people think of when conjuring up a picture of North Africa. The Djemaa el-Fna is the city's central square, and encapsulates all that exoticism in one place - a riot of sound and vision that engulfs and bewitches the visitor to Morocco, leaving them in no doubt that they are indeed in a very foreign land. Snake charmers wave their instruments, musicians circle their tasseled fezes at they blast forth their heady music, whilst fortune tellers and mystics, acrobats amd wrestlers all vie to attract the attention of the passer by. In the evening, the square is covered by many food and juice stalls. The orange juice stalls, especially, are both popular and memorable, so it was one of those that I chose to photograph in my desire for an individual image of iconic Marrakesh.

The lines of carefully stacked oranges that advertise and promote the business of this stall make a classic compositional technique to lead the eye across the image to a pleasing halt at the customer, dressed in a traditional jellaba,the ankle-length robe with pointed hood worn by many throughout the country. The jellaba itself is an iconic image of Morocco, so its inclusion in the scene leaves the viewer with no doubt as to where the photograph was taken and what it represents.

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