Instagramming Marrakech

Afternoon nap at the central post office, Marrakech. September 2014.

As I’ve mentioned before –no, I’m not dwelling on it– my mobile phone was stolen in Marrakech last September. It was the first time I’ve ever been pickpocketed and the first time I was robbed on the road since 1992.

Then, it was by a scamming American truck driver named Richard in Tapachula, Mexico, who stole my guidebook and bottle of Dr. Bronner’s, leaving me mapless and soapless on a long distance bus ride from the bottom to the top of Mexico. He was on the lam and honest about his dishonesty, so I kept my guard up. It could have worse.

In Marrakech, I let that guard down. I had my phone in an unsecured front pocket; on an extremely crowded street in the heart of the medina, pilfering it was a chore. That 22 years passed since I was last the victim of a heist didn’t make it any less dispiriting.

But even more disappointing was that I was separated from my Samsung Galaxy S3 just as I was finally getting the knack of snapping photos with a smartphone — learning its limitations and more importantly, how to push the boundaries of those limitations. Compared to a DSLR, you obviously give up lots of control, both technical and creative, but you can’t beat them for compactness, ease and convenience. Learning to get the most out of them is a no-brainer.

They’re always with you (hopefully in a secure pocket), they’re quiet, easy to turn on and much less conspicuous than any DSLR. With their proliferation these days, you actually blend in to many settings when snapping with a phone –simply because so many others are as well. It’s a trade-off worth exploring so long as you’re clear about the limitations that come with that compactness. And frankly, my Canon 60D, which isn’t even a massive DSLR, is becoming somewhat of a pain in the ass. (But no, I don’t intend to abandon it any time soon.)

Of course, for those of you who have used iPhones and Androids for a while now, this isn’t anything new. I’m just a bit slow and stubborn about these things. I didn’t get a mobile phone until 2004, and only finally got around to upgrading to a smartphone in October 2013. And I didn’t open an Instagram account until last May. Which is the long way of getting to what this post is about.

That robbery forced a ten-week Instagram hiatus. I finally got another in December –a slight upgrade to the Galaxy S4– and decided it would be fitting to pick up where I was so rudely interrupted, with mobile images from Marrakech*.

Below is a selection of 17 which includes among other things, my first Instragram cat picture. My apologies in advance, but I couldn’t resist snapping and sharing a shot of that evil feline smile. All but the last were taken with a Samsung S3; with the occasional exception, most of the images I’ll be posting to my feed will be taken with smartphones.

Enjoy, and if we’re not connected on Instagram, why not fix that right now? You can find me here. Leave a link to your account in the comments if you’d like.

 

Heads, #Marrakech 19-Sept-2014

A post shared by Bob Ramsak (@bobramsak) on

#Marrakech, #Morocco, 19-Sep-2014

A post shared by Bob Ramsak (@bobramsak) on

My first instagram #cat picture. My apologies. #Marrakech, September 2014.

A post shared by Bob Ramsak (@bobramsak) on

#Marrakech medina, 16-Sep-2014. #streetphotography #streettogs

A post shared by Bob Ramsak (@bobramsak) on

A beautiful door. #Marrakech

A post shared by Bob Ramsak (@bobramsak) on

 

* With an unidentified Moroccan pickpocket in mind, this was actually the first pic I posted when I returned to Instagram . 🙂

 

And for the record, the lead photo serves as Today’s Pic du Jour, the 356th (!!) straight.

 

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  1. Angeline Muñoz says

    My worst nightmare having my phone stolen. Your photos are great! I’ve just found you over on Instagram. I’m angeline.am there.

    1. Bob R says

      Thanks, Angeline. Will find you shortly.

  2. Cardinal Guzman says

    Looks like a nice place to photograph.

    1. Bob R says

      Yes, quite fun, but a bit of a challenge, too. Needed more time. Another time, I guess. 🙂

  3. Emiko says

    Oh no, that sucks! I was in Marrakech this fall myself and was worried about pick-pockets in the crowds. If only they had just stolen your soap again!

    I loved the pics, though. I just discovered Instagram myself this year, and now I’m addicted. Looking forward to following your Instagram:)

    1. Bob R says

      Yes, it was a drag, but it was my fault. I’m over it now. 🙂 And thanks for following, looking forward to yours as well. 🙂

  4. Kat Carter says

    Lovely photos, am thinking of heading to Marrakech in Feb. This has given me some inspiration 🙂

    1. Bob R says

      Excellent, enjoy. Be extra watchful in big public places. Marrakech has a certain nasty reputation for a reason. 🙂

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