Visual Language

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I tell stories through photographs. My imagination works better in pictures than it does in words, and for me, images capture the soul of my experiences. Throughout this trip I have been documenting the mundane and the extraordinary, people, places, and moments too precious not to capture. Although I am far away from thoroughly rummaging through all of my content from this trip, there are images that capture the spirit of my experience thus far.

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The Alhambra was a spectacle of history, craftsmanship, and transnational beauty. I love this picture being taken from below, representing how small the art and structure of the palace made me feel. The thousands of intricate carvings in the ceiling and walls felt divinely inspired, a kind or worship in their own right. God felt present in every crevice and brushstroke, and this picture captures the otherworldlyness of the rooms of the palace.

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Crossing the Straight of Gibraltar was one of the most dream like hours of my life. Watching Europe disappear behind me and the ferry slowly float towards a great unknown hidden in the fog felt like something out of my daydreams. I love this picture because it gives a sneak peak of Africa, without revealing anything at all. The sky and the sea seem to be one, representing the mysterious quality to the journey, not only because of the mystery of our destination, but the mystery of how many other millions had made the journey before me.

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My first few hours in Morocco are marked by this photo. These boys were playing soccer in a small alcove, and the composition of their game caught my eye. As I held my camera up, one of them saw me, and they all rushed over. In their talking to me I snagged this image, but the events that followed are what I remember clearly. They wanted a picture with me as well, so I huddled in a group with them, posed, and then I felt a hand grab my butt. Hard. I smacked it away, automatically feeling shame and guilt overwhelm me as I walked quickly back to the group. It was my first moment of feeling completely overwhelmed and outside of the familiar. My first moment of realizing I had crossed.

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This picture from Asilah strikes me, not only because I love the colors and composition of it, but because it was a total accident for the girl to enter the frame. I thought that the courtyard was lovely, and the moment that I held up my camera and clicked the shutter, I saw a flash of pink enter the center of my photo. I love that she is slightly out of focus and didn’t expect to be captured. It feels like a blink of a moment that rarely happens in photographs. However, I also think that it represents my coming into this place that is not my own, and the surprise of others to see me there.

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