Last November, The Significant Other and I visited Jordan. It was a great trip into a fascinating country. I already wrote about our visit to the ancient Nabatean capital Petra and the tour of Kerak Castle, a stronghold from the time of the crusaders. Today I take you along to explore Al Balad market in the old town of Jordan’s capital Amman.
The Al Balad is the oldest area of Amman. This part of the city is also one of the most interesting ones to explore street life of this fascinating middle east capital. The area is full of food markets, stores, artisanal products, merchandise, coffee shops and restaurants, a great place to enjoy a walk and discover a little more about the traditions and culture of the locals.
It’s such a great experience to just stroll through the alleys and narrow passageways and observe the locals doing their everyday grocery shopping. In order to blend in and be as unobtrusive as possible, I decided to just bring a single camera/lens combo, the Olympus PEN-F and the 17mm F/1.2 prime lens. In my pockets I carried two spare batteries and a reserve SD card. So it was just me and the camera, no bag.
People were very friendly, didn’t mind my presence at all. As always when doing street photography, I shoot very openly, establish eye contact with my subjects and determine whether it is ok for them to have their picture taken. An advantage in shooting with a 17mm lens (35 mm full frame equivalent due to the m4/3 crop factor of 2) is that, for street portraits, you have to be in close contact with your subjects anyway, so they always know your intentions and can make it clear to you if they don’t agree. But everywhere in Jordan, people were very open and friendly and very rarely I got a “please no” signal.
I felt very comfortable exploring and shooting in the Al Balad market area, and it was easy enough to get “into the flow”, just drift around and search for motives. A street photographers paradise, because of the variety of people and the stories of life happening. But apart from the photographic part, it was just great to take in the sights and sounds and smells.
I took all photographs with my Olympus PEN-F and the mZuiko 17mm F/1.2 pro lens, because of the small size a great and unobtrusive combo for street photography. Raw conversion and postprocessing in Adobe Lightroom Classic.
I hope you liked that little tour through the market in this far away mid east capital. In these times where traveling is all but possible, doing virtual travels via our blogs is a great way of fighting the Corona blues.
Stay safe and have a great Sunday!