Founded in around 300BCE, the Unesco World Heritage Site of Petra was the capital of the Nabataeans, later a city-state within the Roman Empire. It takes its name from the Latin word "petrae" or "rock" and came to importance because of its strategic importance to the spice trade.
Jordan – Photo Tip

It takes people to make a landscape photo

Photo by Ton Koene

Jordan – Photo Tip It takes people to make a landscape photo

There is one element that can improve almost any landscape image: a human being.

Ton Koene
Ton Koene Travel Photographer

I went to Jordan to do a story on child refugees fleeing Iraq and, after spending some time in Amman working on it, I hired a car to go to Petra. It is so famous, you have to see it a least once in your life. From a photography point of view, of course, its fame makes it very hard to get an original image, so I walked away from the crowds to look for inspiration in the landscape.

Any landscape, unless it is very dramatic, needs a human figure in it to come to life. So when I saw this man on a horse (below), I seized the opportunity. Without him, it would be a very dull image. I was lucky; if I had waited for someone, I might have been there for hours.

The same is also true of the family in front of their house (above). It may look posed but they were actually just standing there when I came past. I went to talk to them after I took their photo, and they were very welcoming. They invited me in to look at their home. Inside, it is just a one-room cave, nicely furnished like any other house, but very cold. Their hospitality could not have been warmer, though.

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Many of the Bdoul tribe of the Bedouin lived in caves at Petra until they were relocated into new homes at nearby Wadi Moussa in the 1980s. The distance from the tourism trade of Petra has caused hardship among those who formerly relied on it for a living and some are now trying to return. Photo by Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Canon EOS 5D

Aperture
ƒ/6.3
Exposure
1/160
ISO
400
Focal
16 mm

Many of the Bdoul tribe of the Bedouin lived in caves at Petra until they were relocated into new homes at nearby Wadi Moussa in the 1980s. The distance from the tourism trade of Petra has caused hardship among those who formerly relied on it for a living and some are now trying to return.

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