I fell in love with Morocco last year when I first visited. It’s a wonderful country rich in culture and traditions. So when I knew I was coming back for a second tour, I truly got excited.
There were some places that I wanted to go back to, and had some images in mind that I couldn’t do the first time. This is one of them. Last time I was in Casablanca, about a year ago, I visited the majestic mosque, but it was too late to make this photo in the way I envisioned as I needed to move to Chefchaouen. You see, that’s the good thing about visiting places on more than one occasion: you get to know your way around and you can plan ahead.
Knowing that I was coming back, I researched the location ahead of time so I could have a better chance to get the shot. The mosque Hassan II, also called the Grande Mosquée Hassan II, is a beautiful structure, built over reclaimed terrain on the Atlantic Ocean. The building is surrounded by the ocean on three sides: west, north, and south. When the tide is low and the ocean recedes, there are some natural pools that form around it. In order to make this photograph, you need to get there not only for the good light but also when the tide is low in order to access this viewpoint. In normal situations, the area from where this photo was taken is covered by the ocean.
As I didn’t want to take any chances, I went back to the mosque the same day Ie arrived. I was tired, but didn’t want to risk any mistakes. When I got there the tide was receding and the conditions were really good. The only problem was that to access the tidal pools you need to climb down through rocks and some of them are loose, covered by seaweed and very slippery. Luckily I managed to reach the bottom and I wandered until I found the right spot to place my tripod.
The mosque is one of the most eloquent structures in Casablanca and a symbol to this country, so I had to capture it right. I stood there, making photos and waiting for the perfect time. I composed my image with the mosque in the upper third to the left of the frame in a way that the tidal pool formations lead the viewer to the building. It was a treat to be there and I’m happy that I dragged myself there after a 14-hour flight, as I went back three more nights in a row trying to shoot a different angle but the conditions were never the same.
This photo was shot with the Fujifilm GFX 50S and with the Fujinon GF 23mm F4 R LM WR mounted on a tripod. I also used a six-stop ND to make a long exposure, 15 seconds, to soften the ripples of the tidal pool.
By the way, the 2019 Morocco Photo Tour is now open for registration. If you’d like to travel with me and make awesome photos, you can check it out here. It will be my third time in Morocco as a tour leader and I can’t wait to go back.
That’s all for now; I hope you like it. Feel free to send me questions and comments, and if you’d like to buy a print of this image, just click here.