Hello Brandon and Steve,
My name is Willem Redelijkheid (a.k.a. Guillaume Raisonnable or William Reasonableness depending on the language you are more comfortable with ;-) ). I’m 42 years old, and I live in the Netherlands.
I started with photography somewhere in high school (in the late 80’s) with a Ricoh 500G <http://mattsclassiccameras.com/ricoh_500g.html>. For some reason the photography didn’t stick at the time, and for many years, the only photos I made were the average holiday photos.
That all changed when I went on a safari to Tanzania in 2004. At the time I could borrow the Nikon D100 with 2 lenses from my father. After the awesome holiday, he donated the camera and lenses to me (probably because the entire kit was a ‘bit’ dusty :-) ). The Nikon D100 was eventually replaced by a D200, and a D300 with numerous lenses.
3 years ago I bought the Leica M9 (back to the viewfinder experience), and I still ‘blame’ Steve ;-) . I sold the Nikon gear because I hardly touched it anymore. Earlier this year I bought the Fujifilm X-T1. Mainly for macro and those scenarios that would require a bit of auto-focus. Having the possibility to use my Leica lenses with an adapter was a nice feature.
So far a bit of my photographic history, and back to the inspiration part;
Two years ago we wanted to go on Holiday to Jordan, but because of al the problems in the Middle Eastern region we decided not to g. This year we decided it was time to go. The region is/was still volatile, but only in the countries surrounding Jordan (Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Israel/Palestine). Jordan was as safe as it was a couple of years ago.
The holiday consisted of visiting:
– Amman (Citadel)
– Jerash (Roman archeological site)
– Mount Nebo (nice view of the Jordanian Grand Canyon, Jericho, Dead Sea, etc)
– Petra (basically the main reason for visiting Jordan)
– Wadi Rum (desert with beautiful sunset and sunrise)
– Aqaba (the only port in Jordan where we could do some diving)
– Dead Sea (floating around without any effort is a strange experience)
During the trip it became evident that Jordan is as safe as the Netherlands (excluding traffic hazards). There’s not much police visible in the streets. The only military we saw was a small group on military exercise in the south. The people of Jordan are friendly and they speak both English and Arabic.
The only problem is that Jordan has a problem with the Syrian refugees and the violence in the region. Because of the violence IN THE REGION, tourism has dropped about 80% to 90%. This means a lot less income for a big part of the country. This problem is an advantage for those visiting the country, because with less tourists you don’t have to hurry to see everything. There are no lines for the tourist attractions. It’s quiet. There are even times that there are no people visible in front of the iconic monuments. Something I was a bit worries about before we got there. Last thing you want is hundreds of people in front of your camera.
So if you want to go to Jordan/Petra you should go. The county is beautiful, the people are friendly and (at the moment) it’s quiet.
We will definitely go back, but in a different season, to see a greener country, and hopefully with a lot more tourists. They deserve it.
The camera during the holiday was the Fuji X-T1 with the awesome 18-55mm kittens and a Samyang (Rokinon) 12mm f/2 X-mount. I left the M9 at home since I already had enough weight in my backpack.
Attached are 3 photos showing some of the iconic places with little or no tourists.
The photos contain EXIF information including GPS info, and the filename shows Subject, Camera, type, Shutter, F-stop and focal length.
More photos from Jordan can be found on my website: http://photos.redelijkheid.com/keyword/jordan/
A little blogpost about the holiday can be found at: http://www.redelijkheid.com/blog/2014/11/12/jordan-holiday
Keep up the good work on stevehuffphotos.com. One of the few photography related website that I keep coming back to.