With a slightly better understanding of the focusing capability on my camera, I was able to achieve the above shot. It was a best of twenty which is a significant improvement especially considering the motion of the horse – both the obvious rotation and the not-so-obvious up-and-down movement.
Our day started with a tube journey into Central London, followed by a walk by the Thames. Then we watched street performers near the Shell building (one named Richard was particularly good), and went on to see London through her Eye. For lunch, we took the bus to Wigmore Street’s Wagamama (it’s bigger than the Picadilly one) – and had ice cream (99) just prior to taking the tube home.
The day was very much like this mary go round. Nothing particularly new, nothing original, but loads of fun.
I have around ten books about photography, a couple of which I’ve read at least three times. The basic information is the same and starts to become repetitive – but it’s good to understand the basics. I took an online ‘course’ in 2006 but that didn’t really offer anything more than the books. I decided the best way forward was to play… and play I very much did. I have around thirty thousand images to sort as a result!
I looked around for a suitable course, both in Kuwait and London, and I found a polarised choice. It was either the very basic training, which one can get from a good book, or specialised training in disciplines such as Lighting, Product Photography, Sport Photography etc. General courses are either aimed at a level for people who need to be told how to press a button (sometimes twice!), or are run by artists who encourage you to break the rules and work outside the norms. It would help if they described these norms – but I honestly don’t think they know them.
I finally decided the best way forward is to continue to ‘play’ but to do it in style. I signed up for a Nikon course designed specifically for my camera. They cover functionalities, capabilities, tricks, shortcuts and a general familiarisation with this weapon of mass distraction.
Today was day one of two. The above cheerful boy cycled past Nikon’s Head Office in Kingston when we were taking some practice shots outside.
Dubai is awake again. Whilst it’s still not to the Dubai I knew before the recession, there are plenty of positive signs. I used the Sheikh Zayed road to measure the activity level on a previous trip. This time I was actually stuck in traffic on a few occasions. There are still unfinished buildings with no obvious signs of any work in progress; but roads, shops and restaurants are reasonably busy. With the summer heat, malls feel busier and I’m told hotels are taking more and more bookings for the summer.
Work-wise, some of the projects previously on hold have been dusted off and are taking shape – even if only on paper. In all my meetings, I sensed a readiness to do business again.
I hope this continues and I wish Dubai all the best.
Last week, I found out that the first Friday of every May is International Female Ride Day. The BMW Motorcycle Club organised Kuwait’s – actually – the Middle East’s first participation in this annual world-wide synchronised campaign. It promotes female motor cyclists and started in Canada in 2007. I found this out because I was kindly invited. I was however on four wheels – and the only wind I felt through my hair was through the sunroof. I closed that too after a while.
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If like me you’ve never understood the attraction of being off road but on only two wheels, then spend one afternoon watching a MotoCross race. The power, the noise, the speed, the mud, the flying and of course the competition (both against yourself and others); all add up to make a fun race and a great sport. The racers are crazy to say the least.
The last race of the season was yesterday. Adrenaline posted about MotoCross some time back; and about this race, he posted again last week. It’s a nicely organised event – and screems in the face of anyone who claims there isn’t much to do in Kuwait. The hospitality was wonderful, the location convenient, and the atmosphere very relaxed and welcoming. I will take the family next time. I had planned to but my daughter, Noor, was very poorly yesterday and is recovering today.
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Ok… This is the last Spring related post for the week. With us spending more time outside, and Sandy getting used to her new home (and garden), she now speeds around us whenever she’s excited. I don’t know how many times I have exhausted everyone in my family by asking them to run and to try to get her to chase them. All this to get the perfect shot of her running.
Well, after 387 shots, this is unfortunately the best one I can offer. It’s not perfect, but it does reflect her passion when running.
I’m not sure who started this “tradition” nor when it all began, but it has become part of our celebrations. Friends and family have mixed views, but it seems fathers of young children are in agreement. Seriousness aside, we had a blast. Noor cried a little when she was “attacked” by a future pick-up driver and both her and Yousef kept reminding me to lock our doors
The story was somewhat different when we parked and got out. It was revenge time…
It’s freezing, it’s raining, it’s dark and it’s a week-night. Let’s have a party!
I think all we need is an excuse and they’ve found a few and put them together at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. This usually forgotten part of London during winter – especially at night time – came alive. Lots of fun for children aged 1 to 80… Lights, skating, rides (including a roller coaster) and many little novelty shops. The food and drink places looked good too – but we didn’t try any.
If you’re in the area, I recommend a visit.
This is my view from the hotel which I captured during my February visit. I’m staying at the same room again.
The smiles were many and genuine. People here are very friendly. I will come back one day. Inshallah.