We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, step behind Raquel Weider’s (@rachelweider) camera and head to Morocco, Kenya, and Sri Lanka.
Morocco is my favorite escape. Its proximity to Spain (where I live) makes it easy to get there, and in a few hours you find yourself in another world. I try to visit at least once a year and discover this interesting country little by little.
In terms of photography, Morocco inspires me the most. The mixture of colors created by the variety of landscapes — desert meeting ocean or villages meeting mountains — makes it unique and special. The big cities are a must if it’s your first time in Morocco, but exploring more remote regions makes the experience more exciting.
But if there’s a really photogenic place in this country, it’s Chefchaouen, a small, old town located between two mountains whose streets are completely painted in blue. It’s the best place to wander and find tiny treasures, beautiful crafts, and nice people. I love waking up early for a walk around the city when I travel. I contemplate the place I am in and try to capture the morning light, colors, and essence of the city in relative solitude.
Wildlife in Kenya
Photographing wildlife in Kenya was quite a challenge. Despite being one of the most photogenic destinations of the world, I took less pictures on this trip than on any other. I felt so amazed by the fascinating landscape and the close encounters with animals that I wanted to enjoy the moment, not experience everything through my camera.
Yet I had to take advantage of where I was, but there were several obstacles to overcome in order to get good pictures. I don’t have a professional camera gear, everyone was taking the same pictures from almost the exact same perspective, and the driver stops only where he can so it’s difficult to get the shot you’re hoping for.
In my pictures I like to look for color combinations, contrasts, shapes, and neat compositions. For this occasion, I didn’t want to simply photograph the animal, but include the surrounding elements as well. The editing process is also important, as it helps you to make your photos stand out and, in my case, I opted to subtly modify the intensity and temperature of the colors to create a touch of vitality, while maintaining the natural and realistic look.
Doors to Everywhere
One of my obsessions is doors. Probably because of the monotony of urban buildings I see everyday, I love seeing how people in other parts of the world welcome others through their doors and colors. Morocco is really charming in this sense, as all doors tend to be painted or decorated, even in monuments or simple houses. Without doubt Moroccan doors are my favorite, although Mediterranean village facades are a close second.
Feeling the Sunrise
Sri Lankan beaches are wild and unspoiled. The southern part of the island is a coastline full of palm trees and great, noisy waves that create a misty landscape (especially during sunset). It is magical. As in most tropical places, life is simple and slow, so people take the time to feel every sunrise and sunset.
The Color of Africa
Before traveling to Kenya, a lot of friends told me the color of deep Africa is different than in other places. And so it was! Maybe it was the ground, or the landscapes, or the light, or the people, but the color palettes I found were dreamy.
It helped that the Masai tribe was almost more photogenic than the Big 5!