During our recent visit to Jordan, I was really captured by the harsh, unique, and dramatic landscape. I had so much fun taking photos in Jordan because on this trip I really wanted to push my landscape photography to the next level.
I decided to put together a little post of my favourite photos that I captured of the stunning Jordan landscape during our trip. I've also included the best Jordan photography locations that we found and a few little tips on capturing the best photos.
When is the Best Time to Visit Jordan?
We spent 10 days touring around Jordan at the end of September and the beginning of October. I felt this was the perfect time of year to visit Jordan! October is the beginning of the peak tourist season, so there were a lot of tourists at Petra, but other than that, we really didn’t feel like the place was overrun.
The weather was starting to warm up but was still very bearable compared to what I’d imagine it would be like in the peak of summer. Given that Jordan is a conservative country, the majority of my skin was fairly well covered most of the time. But in October, I wasn’t too hot.
During our Jordan trip we stayed in some of the most amazing luxury hotels and resort. Some of which were very reasonably priced for the 5-star rating. With the exception of Petra and the Dead Sea. These are Jordan’s most popular tourist hotspots, so hotel prices are much higher in these areas.
Great Locations to Capture the Jordan Landscape:
1. Amman – Jordan’s Underrated Capital
I was really quite captured by the beauty of Jordan’s capital city, Amman. Most people who visit Jordan seem to skip Amman and head straight for Petra. But I’d seen many images of Amman on Instagram and the signature beige buildings that seems to be the regulation colour scheme of the old city. I couldn’t wait to get my camera out and capture some photos of Amman.
One of the best places to capture Amman photos is from the old Citadel. This is one of the most well-known archaeological sites in the city featuring the spectacular Greco-Roman ruins; including the Temple of Hercules and Umayyad Mosque. The citadel stands on the top of a hill which has stunning views of the surrounding city.
The Citadel is the perfect place to capture some amazing photos of the unique Amman Cityscape!
Just a short walk from Amman Citadel is another few great spots for photos, the Roman Odeon (Roman Theatre), and the downtown area which has several busy souks, mosques, amazing falafel restaurants, and the iconic Umbrella Stairs.
2. The Ancient City of Jerash
Jerash is another well-known Jordan photography spot. I could have spent hours wandering around the ancient Roman ruins, located about 50 minutes’ drive from Amman. The ruins site is quite large, so I would highly recommend you allow at least half a day to wander around Jerash, especially if you’re into photography, or you’re a history buff.
3. The Lost City of Petra
Visiting the Lost City of Petra was one of the main reasons we wanted to visit Jordan. We timed our arrival at the lost city so that we could see the famous Petra by Night, where the Treasury is lit up with thousands of candles.
Petra by Night only runs a few times per week, so if you plan on seeing this, I would recommend timing your arrival around these nights.
The walk down the canyon inside Petra takes at least 45 minutes to get to the Treasury. There are many beautiful photo opportunities along the way, particularly when you get close to the Treasury and can see the majestic ruins peep through the canyon walls.
It’s easy to spend an entire day photographing inside Petra. We arrived at 9 am and didn’t leave until 5 pm. However, by 10 am which was when we arrived at the Treasury, there were hordes of tourists crowded around the ruins. This made it a little more challenging to capture photos inside Petra without hundreds of people in the foreground. We had to get a little creative!
I would highly recommend getting an early start and make your way inside Petra as soon as it opens!
Allow at least a few hours if you plan to walk up to the Monastery. It’s well worth it, as the Monastery is actually larger than the Treasury and can be seen from a distance. There are many caves inside Petra, with endless photography opportunities of the stunning Jordan landscape along the way. The walk to the Monastery will take you up thousands of steep, rocky stairs.
Please don’t be one of those tourists that rides a donkey up the steep steps to the Monastery or anywhere inside Petra. Some of the animals we saw were in very poor health and clearly not cared for very well. We made sure we had good walking shoes instead!
4. Staying in a Wadi Rum Luxury Desert Camp
Glamping in Wadi Rum was most definitely the highlight of our Jordan trip. We stayed in luxury Wadi Rum bubble tents at Sun City Camp. The tents looked like they were straight out of The Martian movie. In fact, the movie was actually filmed in various locations around Wadi Rum!
I would have liked to explore Wadi Rum a lot more at sunset. It was absolutely stunning. But instead we chose to enjoy some sundowners with a group from our tour, before having a traditional Bedouin-style dinner. This was the perfect way to spend golden hour after a day of taking photos of the Jordan desert landscape.
Wadi Rum photography opportunities were simply endless. We could have spent another few days in Jordan just to capture the lunar-like desert landscape, but unfortunately, we only booked one night. We'd really love to visit Jordan again, just to spend more time in Wadi Rum! Next time I'd like to photograph Little Bridge, Um Fruth Rock Bridge and Burdah Rock Bridge.
5. Floating in the Dead Sea
Photographing around the Dead Sea was a bit of challenge to say the least. We attempted to find some spots with beautiful salt formations, but many areas were heavily armed with guards and they would not allow you to access certain spots.
The Dead Sea resort area is very close to the border with Israel, so security is quite tight. Unfortunately, our hotel would not allow us to explore many areas outside the hotel grounds. Instead we opted to enjoy floating in the Dead Sea and drinking cocktails around the pool, while swatting flies – I’ve never seen so many in my life, and I’m from Australia!
6. Canyoning the Siq Trail in Wadi Majib
If you have a relatively good level of fitness, then canyoning in the Siq Trail is highly recommended. You’ll need some type of waterproof camera however, as you will come away completely drenched. We took our GoPro and managed to get some great shots of the Jordan landscape inside the canyon.
7. Aqaba and the Red Sea
I honestly think Aqaba is extremely underrated. It was one of the highlights of our Jordan trip. Many people who visit Jordan seem to completely skip this area. But if you’re into snorkeling, diving or underwater photography, you won’t be disappointed.
A stark contrast to the rest of the Jordan landscape, Aqaba is Jordan’s premier beach holiday area, offering the perfect mix of Arabic culture, beach party vibes, and watersports.
Additional Tips for Capturing the Beautiful Jordan Landscape
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- To get the best photos, I highly recommend taking a DSLR camera. I use an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with an M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle Zoom Lens. This is a professional camera, but a good entry-level camera for beginners is the Olympus OM-D E-M10. I started with the E-M10 before moving onto the E-M1.
- Having a telephoto lens is particularly helpful for capturing the Jordan landscape around Wadi Rum, due to the vast distances. I use the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 PRO Telephoto Zoom Lens.
- The midday light in Jordan is quite harsh, so to be able to capture great portraits or depth of field shots while avoiding overexposing your photos, you should use a variable Neutral Density filter.
- If you're into drone photography, leave your drone at home. I actually took mine and nearly got it confiscated at the border. I wasn't allowed to use it anywhere in Jordan.
- As with everywhere, Golden Hour is the most stunning time of day to capture photos in Jordan. Plan your outings and tours around sunset for the best photography opportunities.
- For underwater shots in the Red Sea, I used a GoPro HERO7 Black with an Aquadome housing (great for capturing half-half underwater shots).
- If you plan to do any night time photography and trust me, Wadi Rum is the perfect place to capture starry shots, you'll need to bring a tripod. You'll also need one to capture Petra by Night. I use this one made from carbon fiber, which makes it lightweight and portable – great for travelling!
- You'll want to transfer your Jordan photos onto an SSD or portable hard drive at the end of each day, so you don't risk losing any. I use this Samsung Portable T7 Touch 2TB Portable SSD for storing all my photos on the go.
- You'll need a lens cleaning kit to remove the sand that is likely to build up in your lens after photographing in the desert!
- Be aware of Jordan's customs and laws before you go. Taking photos of government and military buildings and guards in Jordan is strictly forbidden. Also, remember to be respectful when taking photos of the locals. The general rule is – don't do it without their consent!
Are you planning your own Jordan trip? We hope this guide helps you to find the best places to photograph the unique and amazing Jordan landscape! If you have any other recommendations or questions while planning your own Jordan trip, please leave them in the comments below.
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Planning a trip soon? Here is a list of the websites and resources we use for booking everything from flights, to accommodation, tours, and more:
- Skyscanner for booking the best flight deals
- Booking.com | Agoda | Hotels.com for booking the best hotel deals
- Airbnb | Stayz | VRBO for home rentals
- Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals
- Luxury Escapes for luxury package holiday deals and tours
- Get Your Guide for a great range of day tours
- Tourradar | Intrepid for multi-day experiential and adventure tours
- Priority Pass for airport lounge access in hundreds of locations around the world
- Skyroam to stay connected to WiFi everywhere I go
- iVisa for processing entry visas for many countries around the world
- Covermore for the best worldwide travel insurance coverage (Australians & New Zealanders only)
About the Author:
Amanda Twine is the founder and creator of Fly Stay Luxe – a luxury travel blog sharing informative travel guides, food guides, hotel reviews, itineraries and tips about how to make luxury travel more affordable.