Jordan explored – Al Balad Market

Amman - Al Balad Market
1/80 sec | f/4 | ISO 1600

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.

Amman - Al Balad Market
1/500 sec | f/3.2 | ISO 1600

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.

Amman - Al Balad Market
1/320 sec | f/2.8 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/250 sec | f/2.5 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/400 sec | f/3.2 | ISO 1600

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.

Amman - Al Balad Market
1/320 sec | f/2.8 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/100 sec | f/3.5 | ISO 1600

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.

Amman - Al Balad Market
1/80 sec | f/4.5 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/100 sec | f/4.5 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/125 sec | f/5 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/160 sec | f/1.8 | ISO 1600

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.

Amman - Al Balad Market
1/200 sec | f/2.2 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/250 sec | f/2.2 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/160 sec | f/1.8 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/200 sec | f/2.2 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/16 sec | f/2 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/125 sec | f/1.8 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/160 sec | f/2 | ISO 1600
Amman - Al Balad Market
1/100 sec | f/1.6 | ISO 1600

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!

Marcus

Related Posts:

Jordan explored – Petra by Night

Jordan explored – Kerak Castle

Roadtrip

Jordan explored – Petra

36 thoughts on “Jordan explored – Al Balad Market

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  1. Awwww, such a wonderful treat. Even more so in a lockdown. See people, dive into the hustle and bustle of a market, smell new things, hear conversations in a language I barely understand, see smiling faces, old and young ones. I would love to listen to your stories from Jordan. Thanks for this insight, Marcus.

    1. Glad you liked the post, Daniela, and I appreciate your kind words! There are many stories to tell from our fantastic week in Jordan. There are still a few posts to come 😉 ! Wish you a great weekend! Marcus

  2. Thanks for the tour, Marcus! It looks like a wonderful place to explore and definitely seemed to have many great photographic opportunities.

  3. Love that one of the guy on the phone towards the end. Great post. I enjoy your commentary on what it’s like to take photos in a foreign place. I am still getting comfortable doing it.

    1. Thanks, D. Marie, appreciate your kind words so much! Regarding photography in a foreign place, just take your cam and go for it. As long as you shoot in the open and smile a lot, you will find how easy it is! Have fun! Marcus

  4. Markets in any city are a draw for me, but I’ve never gotten shots of people as beautifully as you did in Amman. Excellent work. Also, thanks for including the 3 settings you used for each. I’m still learning, and this helps. You are very talented.

  5. A truly fascinating montage. The one of the chap enjoying the hooka really stood out to me. Did he offer you a hit? Stay safe, Marcus, and thanks for sharing these remarkabel images.

  6. I can’t imagine all of the fantastic photos you have that have never been shared with the world… thanks for sharing and I’m looking forward to more!

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