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This is my first post without a photo and indeed my last on BuYousef.net.  I’ve been putting it off for sometime now, but this Eid holiday allowed me to give it some attention.  Photography is a huge part of my life and for a while now my portfolio images (without my write-ups) lived in a different virtual space to my blog.  I’m pleased to finally announce my new website: Utter Release.

I moved all the content of this blog to its new home, and will work on tidying up as I get comfortable moving in.  The last post, ‘Getting High’, gives an idea of how the new blog will be presented.  The size of the photos is larger which should push me to only include better images.

I am grateful to all my visitors and friends and I hope you join me there.  I want to add a special thanks to those who added me on their list of links, and hope you find the time to redirect them to the new website.

I know there are many linked stories to the content on this blog and I will keep it all online without change.  The only thing I had to do is to lock all the comments.

The link is utterrelease.com and if you want to go directly to the blog, it’s utterrelease.com/blog

Do please stay in touch.

Building projects of all sizes are exciting.  I love how the many small details fit into fewer larger ideas to come together in creating a solution, whether it’s a dwelling, a road, a bridge, or even a whole city.  Al Hamra, both as a project and a building, is in a class of its own.  Even if one is not interested in architecture or skyscrapers, this building is different.  It will (already has) change the skyline Kuwait City for ever. The design is simple, beautiful and unique; and it brings a new level of creativity and sophistication to our city.  If that’s not enough, it also happens to be the tallest carved building, and one of tallest skyscrapers in the world.

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I spent almost three hours photographing Kuwait City from Al Hamra Tower yesterday. This magnificent building took me to the highest point in Kuwait on the 74th floor – which I’m told is about 400m high.  I will go through the 300 photos I took with my Nikon over the next few days, and will post the full story with better quality images.  For now, please enjoy this time lapse attempt.  I used a Canon G11 and held it in place, on the scaffolding, using a Gorilla Pod.  The intervals were not regular and I know I missed some of the interesting bits, but I hope it gives you an idea of the elevation and views.  More images soon…

It’s that time of year when we take back our garden and own the outside space of our home.   We maintain our small garden to give us pleasure all year from the window looking out, but during autumn and spring it offers us a more tangeable pay-back.

This post is a collection of images taken in the past few days.  It’s a small space with many users.

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It’s not a major revelation to say that I travel… a lot.  Over the past ten years I have flown over a million kilometers, which is equivalent to flying twenty-five times around the globe, or to the moon and back (and halfway there again).  This happened over four-hundred flights with more than two months – day and night – up in the air.  I’ve been as far north as Iceland, down south to South Africa, east to Seoul and west to San Francisco.

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These are single-utility-devices.  The only ‘app’ is talk, which allows you to speak to another human from a long distance.  You can do this without having to resort to the obsolete technology of screaming, and having to occasionally throw things. Changes in our communication world have sent old phones to landfills.  These pieces however speak to me – excuse the pun – on a different level.  I lived in Denmark in the late nineties and since then I have even more appreciation and respect for all aspects of design.

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Over the course of ten days, these green-haired gremlins managed what many of my friends would dream of achieving in ten years.  I’m not one to talk myself; heading as I am to Baldsville, at bullet-speed, on the main road in.  My wife bought these for the children to enjoy and they sat in the dining room where I captured the progress every other morning.  The first photo, below, was taken on October 1st; and the last one on October 11th.

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One of my favourite apps for the iPad is Flipboard. It puts all your feeds into a nice magazine-look, making many of the images and links visible.  The app is still young and full of potential. I use it for leisure reading and to stay current with all my feeds from twitter and Facebook.   As well as their suggested content, it’s possible to split your subjects by your own twitter lists.   I therefore started adding to the many photographers I follow – something I’d been hesitating with recently as I couldn’t effectively read the many posts.  My content is now getting richer and richer by the day.

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The world is a funny place.  When I took these photos, I didn’t imagine that tomatoes would be the hot news topic in Kuwait!  During our stay in London, my wife’s best friend visited us and gave us a cherry-tomato plant.  My daughter, Noor, loves cherry tomatoes… Always has done.  We placed it in a shielded bright spot and tied the long branches to secure them.

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Three places outside Kuwait City have been secretly calling me for some time.  The Mutla’ ridge in the west, which I am still to visit, the station of Umm il Aish, which was unfortunately removed before I got my act together, and Doha.  I read BloggerMathai’s post and decided it was time.  My cameras were in London so it had to wait… or so I thought.

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عيدكم مبارك و تقبل الله طاعتكم

I wish you and your loved ones a Happy Eid.  May Allah’s blessings follow you always.

Smiles start with the young and extend to all generations in this city.  It’s when I witness moments like these that I wish my children join me on business trips.  They would have loved it.  Hundreds of kids playing in water puddles.  It looked liked so much fun and the weather was so sticky, I wanted to join in myself.

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Some of my readers were expecting photos of the Lake District (Cumbria) by now, but my holiday was deferred a week and I ended up in London instead.  The reason was an unplanned business trip for an urgent negotiation in Seoul.  Work-wise the trip didn’t go as well as we had hoped; but I was glad to use the opportunity to see the place. I only spent two days there, and they were enough to leave with a very positive impression of Seoul.

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One of the best ways to see a large city is on a bicycle.  For someone with my level of fitness, this means taking a bike onto a train then spending the day exploring, remembering of course to take regular breaks.  It was the last day before Ramadan so I had to take my chance despite the forecasted wet weather.

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