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A trip to Jordan

I went on holiday to Jordan with 3 analogue cameras. When I was planning a trip to Jordan last October, I knew that I wanted to take photos on film. I imagined that the sandy hue colors of the desert and stone would look warm and inviting. I was not disappointed and found both those things true of the landscape and of the people. It was the first trip away for my Lomography Sprocket Rocket and I was excited and trepidatious to see what it might produce. I picked an expired but refrigerated film, with a film speed 400 ISO, recommended because of the Sprocket Rocket’s plastic lens, and off I went. I also took my 35mm Minolta Dynax, plus a disposable for good measure, ‘in case’ something happened to either…

Arriving in Amman in the dead of night, it was difficult to get a sense of what to expect when the sun came up, but when it did what I encountered of the city was a bustling array of people, cars and heady aromas. I had an overwhelming desire to sample as much food as possible on my first day so the first stop for me and my boyfriend was the somewhat famous Hashem Restaurant. There’s no menu there but with some guidance from everyone’s best travel food friend Mark Wiens, we were prepared to order a feast of authentic, local, super affordable, 100% veggie food (sorry bf) - falafel, hummus, mutabal… delicious, and a meal that was difficult to top for the rest of the trip, despite trying some wonderful food throughout! And bf got his meat. It’s worth noting the halloumi McMuffin… was a delicious surprise.

Amman, 2018 Minolta Dynax 4 35mm

Ajloun, 2008 Simple Use Disposable Camera (lomography)

Ajloun, 2008

Minolta Dynax 4 35mm

After a few days in Amman we hired a car and drove south to Petra. Admittedly I was apprehensive about driving, what would the roads be like? But overall the roads were safe and easy to drive on, some steep steep hills to climb but even in our economy tin-can like car we managed and it was fun - radio on, police check points here and there and the odd camel.

I had such high expectations of Petra, being one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, but it did not disappoint. Before I went it was difficult to comprehend how big the site actually is…. Something which I tried to capture with my eyes and camera. Petra is an overwhelming place in scale, beauty and history. My top tip for people going would be – don’t over estimate how much water you’ll need, and yes, it is worth the walk to The Monetary, AND the trail to the high view point, all worth the hike.

The Sprocket Rocket did a great job on some wonderful panoramic mashups.

When I thought that Jordan couldn’t get any more beautiful we headed farther south to Wadi Rum, for a day and night in the desert. We were well looked after by our guide Mohammed, who treated us to endless amounts of good tea and hospitality, plus some pretty fun 4X4 desert driving telling us, “if I can tell you are fun, then we are fun but we can also do serious”. I think he told me this to calm my nerves after another one of our group was invited to sit and ride on top of the 4X4 as it hurtled along endless sand dunes, whilst his Uncle, in his own 4X4 was close behind…approximately 2 inches from the back bumper. I’m not too sure if this is everyone’s typical experience here, but I was totally in awe of the phenomenal landscapes that stretched untouched for what seemed like infinity. Deep red sand and rock formations that make you feel like you’re on Mars. At the time I wasn’t sure how or if my camera was going to be able to capture the scale and texture of the landscape, but I was pretty pleased at how the shots turned out, rich reds against the brilliant blue sky whilst the sun cast down. The bright hot day was followed by a cool and starry night, something which I wish I’d been able to capture on film, maybe next time.

Wadi Rum, 2018

Minola Dynax 4 35mm

Wadi Rum, 2018

Lomography Sprocket Rocket Panoramic 35mm

Wadi Rum, 2018

Simple Use Disposable Camera

After our journey south we now began to curl back round, via Aqaba and along the Israeli border to the Dead Sea. The landscape remained stunningly beautiful and seemingly unchanged for hours. It made me feel like I was driving in a beautiful postcard. We continued the longggg drive via the Dana Biosphere Reserve, and down to Wadi Al Mujib, neighbouring the dead sea. It was then, after a slightly terrifying walk up a canyon, that I spent 3 glorious nights with the Dead Sea as my neighbour, the main itinerary being coating myself in dead sea mud, floating, eating and repeat. A perfect way to end a beautiful trip.

Dana Bioshere Reserve, 2018

Simple Use Disposable Camera

Near Wadi Rum, 2018

Simple Use Disposable Camera

Upon returning I was very keen, to see the results from the photos. As you can see with the Sprocket Rocket the key is to be able to show the sprocket holes. My local lab was unable to scan leaving the holes exposed or couldn’t understand what I was going on about so… after much thought I decided to get a negative scanner, which I’m pretty pleased with. I’m still getting to grips with it as I haven’t scanned my own negatives since University, so I feel a bit rusty with settings but so far I’m quite pleased with the results and I’m looking forward to more freedom with with how my images are developed in the future, and for more trips away to test it out!

If you’re planning a trip to Jordan, or have any questions about my images, cameras or new-found love of scanning please get in touch with me via Instagram.

You can take a look at more of my photos here.

Keep snapping, with lots of love

Clare x

Digital Image

Myself with Sprocket Rocket in Wadi Rum