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Fes Medina

Fes (or Fez) is one of the best places in the world for street photography. The medina of Fes is the old medieval city, tucked away in the heart of the vibrant, modern city. Inside the medina's stone walls is a bewildering labyrinth of narrow, winding alleys full of merchants and local artisans selling colorful wares.

Where: Fes is located in northern inland Morocco. It is the second largest city in Morocco. The medina is in the center of the city. You'll definitely want a guide to lead you through the winding alleys of the Fes medina. Otherwise, it's pretty easy to get lost, and a guide can ensure you get to the best photo spots.

When: Anytime of year, anytime of day is a good time to explore the medina. During the middle of the day, you have your best chance of some light reaching down to the bottom of the alleys, giving you unique photo opportunities.

Photography: There are a thousand different stories playing out everyday in Fes, and your job is to tell some of them with your photos. Look for interesting colors to showcase in your images, whether it be people wearing colorful clothing or the vibrant colors of merchandise being sold by street vendors.

Fes is a place where the old world blends with the new; look for compositions that feature old world styling, or juxtapose that with hints of modernity. Also be on the lookout for colorfully painted walls and doors.

It can be very dark inside the narrow alleys of the medina, so plan to use high ISOs to compensate for the lack of light. When direct light comes in from above, it is often filtered by haze from cooking smoke, which can create photogenic sunbeams.

Try experimenting with long exposures for creative blur effects. You can try this with your camera on a tripod, so that the overall scene is rendered sharp but moving people become abstract blurs (make sure you can set up out of the way of people walking by). Or, you can use long exposures while handholding, moving the camera to create motion blur. Start with 1/15 or 1/8 of a second, trying different shutter speeds until you get the blur effect you want.

You might also want to plan a visit to the Chouara Tannery. It's a bit stinky, but there are lots of colorful photo options to be found there. Look to get a higher perspective, which will better reveal the colors and patterns of the operation.

Learn more: This site offers an overview of the many activities you can do in and around Fes:

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