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Petra in Jordan: A Photographer's Guide

May 28
If you're a photographer searching for the perfect destination for your next shoot, look no further than Petra, Jordan. Dubbed one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World," Petra is a stunning ancient city carved into the rock, beckoning visitors from around the globe with its breathtaking beauty and rich cultural heritage. But with so many nooks and crannies to explore, deciding what to shoot and how to capture it can be overwhelming. So, whether you're a seasoned photographer or just starting, let's explore Petra together and discover how to make the most of this incredible location.

General Details of Petra by Night

Petra in Jordan is a must-visit tourist destination. One of the highlights of visiting Petra is the Petra by Night show. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and lasts until around 10:30 p.m., including the 30-minute travel time between the entrance and the Treasury. It is essential to note that the allowed time on the site is very short, so getting there early is a good idea. You might be allowed in earlier, depending on the staff. It is best to arrive at 8:00 p.m. to have enough time to set up and capture some photographs. The night show is a separate ticket from the entrance fee to Petra. Tea is provided during the show, which lasts about 20-30 minutes, equivalent to two songs and a short narrative.

The Petra by Night show is an opportunity you cannot afford to miss. From the entrance to the Treasury, the path is lit with candles and stretches 1.3 miles (2.1 km) long. It is a beautiful walk, but you can take a horse carriage to the treasury if you want to jump on other visitors. However, if you ride in and miss the walk, it is best to walk back, as it is a spectacular experience. The staff will light lanterns during the walk, a sight to behold.

During the night show, it is best to take your classic shots. As you enter the Treasury area, you will be asked to sit on the rugs they have set up in front of the Treasury. However, if a front-row seat is in the centre of the Treasury, take it. If not, opt to move around and photograph Petra by night from many positions around the Treasury. The show allows you to take photos without other people interfering. People will be walking through before and after the show, and there will be a lightning storm of flashes. The show is only two songs long; therefore, time is of the essence, particularly if you are using long-exposure photography techniques.

Setting your focus point before the show starts is essential. The face of the Treasury is dark, making it difficult for some cameras to get a sharp focus point. If you are using a wide-angle lens, it becomes even more challenging. Top-end cameras like the Nikon D5, Canon 1D X Mark II, or Sony A9 with better sensors will have an easier time with this. However, it is best to bring a strong flashlight and shine it on a column to set your autofocus. Your partner can assist you in setting the focus point by taking the flashlight close to the columns before the show starts. Remember not to use your flashlight during the show, as it may interfere with other people's photographs.

Finally, remember that Petra by Night is an unforgettable experience you will cherish for a long time. The staff will start chasing you out before 10:00 p.m. and keep you moving quickly back to the entrance as they close after the show. Therefore, take advantage of the opportunity to capture some stunning images during the show without people interfering. Remember to arrive early, take your classic shots during the show, and set your focus point before the show starts. These tips will help you to photograph Petra by night better. [1][2]


Length and Content of Petra Night Show

When visiting Petra, one of the highlights is the Petra Night Show. The show takes place from 8:30 pm to about 10:30 pm, which includes the 30-minute travel time to and from the entrance to the Petra Treasury. It's important to note that you'll have to leave the area around the Treasury just before 10:00 pm, leaving only one hour to photograph Petra at night. Tea is provided During the show, and it's about 20-30 minutes long, the length of two songs and a short narrative. The night show is a separate ticket from Petra's entrance fee, granting you access to the site after dark. From the entrance to the Treasury, there are lit candles to guide you along the 1.3-mile (2.1 km) path. It's officially open at 8:30 pm, but it's best to arrive earlier. You may be let in earlier, depending on the staff.

As a photographer, you'll want to take advantage of the limited time available at Petra Night Show. One of the best times to capture photos without the crowds is during the show. During the show, you'll enter the area of the Treasury and be asked to sit on the rugs they've set up in front of the Treasury. Take it if you can snag a front-row seat in the centre of the Treasury. Otherwise, opt not to sit and be free to move around and photograph Petra at night from many positions around the Treasury. It's essential to take your classic shots during the show, as before and after, people will be walking through, and flashes will go off everywhere. It's your opportunity to take photos without interference.

Setting your focus point before the show starts is crucial, as it's challenging to get a good sharp focus on the face of the Treasury. Although your eyes can make out the columns, they're too dark for many cameras to get a sharp focus point, especially when using a wide-angle lens. High-end cameras like the Canon 5D Mark IV or Sony a7R III, with better sensors, will have an easier time with this. Bringing a strong flashlight with you and shining it on a column to set your autofocus is best. Don't forget to switch your focus to manual after setting your focus point. If a partner visits, have them take the flashlight close to the columns before the show to help set the focus point.

Being early is crucial to get the best shots of the Treasury possible. It's important to be at the gates as early as possible since it can get crowded, and they don't limit the number of people they let in. Securing your place in the queue at the entrance is vital if you're after the signature shot with the Treasury lit up by candles and with no other people in it. The tour starts at 8:30 pm, and a guide will lead you through the Siq. It takes about 20-30 minutes to cover the 2km between the visitors centre and the Treasury of Petra, meaning you can effectively only spend one hour there. Plan accordingly and make the most of your time to capture the best shots of Petra at night. [3][4]

Separate Entrance Fee for Petra by Night

Are you planning on visiting Petra, the old rose and rock city in Jordan? As a photographer, capturing the magical essence of Petra by night might be on your bucket list. However, it's important to know that Petra by Night is a separate event with an entrance fee.

If you are interested in Petra by Night, you can buy tickets for 17 JD ($24 USD / £19 GBP / €21 EUR) at the kiosk inside the visitor centre. The show takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8:30 pm and lasts approximately 2 hours, but it's important to arrive at the Visitor Center at 8 pm to get a good spot.

During the Petra by Night experience, a guide leads visitors along the dark Siq, lit only by candles placed every few meters. Once you reach the Treasury, you'll be asked to sit and listen to a musician playing the rababa, an ancient instrument. A local Bedouin will then share stories and folklore about Petra. The entire show lasts for approximately 30 minutes.

It's worth noting that while Petra by Night sounds enchanting, the reality may differ. The walk through the Siq is supposed to be silent, but visitors often disrupt the atmosphere by talking and taking photos. It's also not easy to capture good photos of the Treasury at night unless you are an experienced photographer who knows how to use a camera. Flash flashes are forbidden until the guide permits it, which means that everyone will flash at the same time, creating a chaotic scene.

If you plan to visit Petra by day, you should know a few things about entrance fees. A standard one-day ticket to Petra costs 50 JD ($70 USD / £57 GBP / €67 EUR), but you can also buy multi-day tickets for 55 JD and 60 JD. These prices apply only to travellers who will spend at least one night in Jordan. If you're visiting Jordan for just a single day, then entry fees to Petra are priced at 90 JD (USD 127 / GBP 105 / EUR 120).

We recommend spending at least two days exploring Petra for a meaningful site experience. The two-day Petra ticket allows you to spread your time and gives you the most flexibility. Note that the multi-day Petra tickets must be used on consecutive days, and you don't have to wait in line at the ticket office if you've got your valid ticket from the previous day.

Petra by Night is a magical experience with a separate entrance fee. Entrance fees to Petra during the day vary depending on the duration of your stay. Plan your visit wisely and capture Petra's essence, whether by day or night. [5][6]

Path to Treasury and Recommended Time to Arrive

Are you planning to visit Petra in Jordan and capture the best photographs? Well, you have come to the right place! The Path to the Treasury is one of the most popular sites and an excellent spot for pictures. Walking through the Siq, the narrow canyon that leads to Petra, you will encounter various photo opportunities. The Siq is 1.2 kilometres long, with beautiful pink rock formations and ancient engravings. Keep your eyes open for chariots and horses since the Bedouins offer them as a means of transport. However, walking through the Siq is an experience you will not want to miss.

The Treasury is the most famous construction located in Petra. It is the first major site you will encounter after going through the Siq. The best time to visit the Treasury with fewer crowds is early morning, around sunrise, or towards the end of the day, just before closing time. During the middle of the day, the Treasury is often bustling with people, which may hinder you from taking the perfect picture. Remember that the Treasury's doorway is as far as you can go since visitors are not open. However, the Nabataeans, who carved the ancient city of Petra in the first century AD, have similar structures you can enter. Standing in the doorway of the Treasury gives you a sense of the massive scale of the towering temple.

If you have more time in Petra, we recommend exploring the city's longer paths. It is impossible to explore everything in Petra during a day trip; thus, planning an extended stay will give you the best experience. Furthermore, it is a good idea to prioritize the places that you want to photograph before starting your trip. Many photo opportunities exist in and around Petra, including Roman ruins, Bedouin cave homes, and natural sights. You are encouraged to explore as much as possible and take advantage of every photo opportunity.

Petra in Jordan is a photographer's paradise. Ensure that you take advantage of the path to the Treasury and the opportunity to capture the best photos. Walking through the Siq is an excellent experience, and renting a chariot or horse may hinder capturing the perfect shot. Plan and arrive at the Treasury early in the morning or towards the end of the day to avoid crowds. Lastly, prioritize the sites you want to visit, and do not hesitate to explore as much as possible. Petra offers many unique and breathtaking photo opportunities that you should not miss. [7][8]

Taking Classic Shots during Petra Night Show

Are you a travel photographer looking to capture stunning images of Petra by night? Look no further; we have got you covered! Here are some tips and tricks for taking classic shots during the Petra Night Show:

Firstly, it is important to note that the Petra Night Show starts at 8:30 p.m. and lasts for about two hours, including the 30-minute travel time to and from the site entrance. During the show, the area around the Treasury is lit with candles, providing a magical atmosphere for capturing beautiful photographs.

We recommend arriving at the entrance as early as possible to get the most out of your time at the site. Although the official opening time is 8:30 p.m., the staff may let you in earlier if you arrive early. This will give you more time to set up and capture your shots. Be aware that it can get quite crowded during the show, so getting an early start is crucial.

If you want to skip the walk to the Treasury, you can take a horse carriage instead. However, we recommend walking at least one way, as the lantern-lit path is simply breathtaking.

Once you arrive at the site, you will be asked to sit on the rugs in front of the Treasury. While this is optional, we suggest taking a front-row seat in the centre of the Treasury for the best view. If not, you can move around and experiment with different angles to find your perfect shot. Remember, time is limited, and you don't want to miss this opportunity.

Take classic shots during the show to ensure that other people's flashes do not ruin your photographs. The show is only about 20-30 minutes long, and people tend to walk through before and after, which can be quite distracting. This is the best time to capture Petra by night without any distractions.

One of the biggest challenges of photographing Petra at night is getting a sharp focus on the Treasury's face. The darkness can make it difficult for many cameras to focus sharply, especially if you're using a wide-angle lens. To overcome this, we recommend bringing a strong flashlight to assist in setting your autofocus point. After you set your focus point, switch to manual focus to maintain a sharp focus throughout the show.

By arriving early, taking classic shots during the show, and using a flashlight to set your focus point, you can capture stunning photographs of Petra by night. Don't forget to enjoy the magical atmosphere and take some time to appreciate the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Happy snapping! [9][10]