Sometimes the best photo opportunities catch you by surprise. But you need to be prepared for the unexpected or it’s a gift squandered.
While in Morocco last June I spent part of the time in Essaouira. Located on the Atlantic Coast, Essaouira is a beautiful laid back ancient port city. It was part of the hippie trail in the 1960s and 1970s and is popular with tourists. Its signature colors are white and cobalt blue painted on the buildings in the medina, or old walled city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
My trip coincided with the Gnaoua World Music Festival. The festival doesn’t start for a few more hours and I decide to head out of the old city to photograph the beach. It’s late in the day and shadows have descended on the narrow lanes of the Medina. I turn a corner and there is a mini parade, Mardi Gras style, of musicians and giant puppets. I’m already in the middle of the lane and the procession, surrounded by hundreds of spectators being pushed to the side by police, is rapidly coming straight towards me. I have about 20 seconds to make the most of it.
The photograph of the musician above was the last one taken before I jumped into a doorway where a shopkeeper subsequently offers refuge so I don’t get crushed by the crowd.