EOS World community ambassador Kajan Madrasmail captured fifty shades of blue and more in his photo trip to the Blue Pearl of Morocco.

Morocco’s blue city, Chefchaouen, is famous for its blue hue. Established in 1471 when the Moorish and Jewish people fled here to escape the Reconquista of Spain, it is a town as rich in history, as it is in beauty and vibrancy.

As I always travel light, I carried my Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM,  EF24-70mm f/2.8 II USM and EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses as my travel and street photography gear.

For starters, I took a panoramic photo of the city of Chefchaouen against the horizon.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 100 | 0.3s

My first question to the locals was: why is the city in blue? According to them, blue is symbolic of the sky and heaven, which reminds them of God. Some say that the colour also acts as a repellent for mosquitoes!

EOS 5D Mark III | F/11 | ISO 100 | 2s

Chefchaouen’s ancient medina is ideal for travel and street photographers to explore. Medina simply means “the City” in the local language.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/640s

Blue on walls, blue on stairs and blue on everything else. It also happens to be my favourite colour.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/500s


In street photography, the challenge is to capture unique moments in a fraction of a second. To achieve this, I used my Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens combination for street shots as this excellently performs under different, dynamic lighting conditions. They helped me capture the “decisive moments”, like how the famous humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson would describe it.

Here, we see the old medina filled with photogenic alleys.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/11 | ISO 1600 | 1/1600s

Ornate doorways are abundant in the medina.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/640s

There are many small streets, narrow staircases and alleyways to discover.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/250s

It’s very common to see locals wearing clothes with colours that complement their surroundings.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/4000s

You can wander around blue streets for hours and still find plenty of beautiful scenes to photograph.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/8 | ISO 1600 | 1/1600s

EOS 5D Mark III | F/4 | ISO 1600 | 1/2500s

I wanted to include the lanterns hanging in the streets to show the authenticity of the environment.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/6.3 | ISO 1600 | 1/1250s

In the narrow streets, you can see the Berber people wearing their traditional Djellaba — a long, loose-fitting outer robe made of wool. Men wear the traditional tunic worn by most Moroccan men of Chefchaouen.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/5000s

Still, I couldn’t find the significance of the pointed hood.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/800s

People living in the city, mainly ladies, do not want their pictures taken. As a street photographer, it was my duty to respect their culture and to protect their privacy.

Certainly, it’s hard not to fall in love and not to relish street photography in places like Chefchaouen.

Discover how to capture detail-rich street photographs with a full-frame Canon DSLR camera. Check out our feature articles on full-frame photography at #showthefullpicture.

  • Ayush

    great article of this fascinating place. reminds me of Jodhpur, India.

    November 12, 2017 - 11:18 am

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