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.
My friend, Ali Al Rashed, was looking for any excuse to feed his new passion for photography. He kindly arranged for some Nikon cameras and lenses and offered his company for the shoot. It was in Ramadan, and the weather was extremely humid: not ideal conditions but we decided to do it! Sunset time was not really an option, so it had to start at night. We got together for a late suhoor and headed to Doha around 3am. By the time we set-up after dawn prayer, the light was starting to change. The clear uneventful sky did put on a beautiful change-of-light show, albeit an understated and slow-paced one.
The light was very low in the first thirty minutes. The only shots worth sharing are the ones with a little cheated colour. With the shutter left open, I used a flash light to highlight the wood on the closer dhow. I don’t know who owns these boats, but I wanted to take bits of the beautiful wood home. I can make a lovely gate for our house.
The last thing I expected to be shooting that day was a portrait. It was a perfect opportunity to shoot someone (yes I realise) with their work environment in the background. This man appeared out of nowhere from behind the fence. He was with a group of four servicing some of the boats in the other dock. He’s from India and has been in Kuwait, doing this job, for four years. In that time, he’s only been to Kuwait City three times!
We were lucky with the tide and managed to get away without muddy knees. With Um Kulthoom playing in the background, we composed and shot to our heart’s content. If you ignore the litter, most objects will tell a beautiful story. It’s like reading an intriguing novel, with a character in it who uses bad language out-of-place.
The humidity at this stage started to overwhelm our resistance to thirst. The sun was up so no more drinks! We had to leave before we ended up regretting the trip. It ended up being an uncomfortable day and we couldn’t wait for futoor time. It was however, as always, worth the effort.
I plan to come here again, without the weather and time restriction. If for nothing else, then at least to steal some of the fantastic aged wood on display… I may even bring a camera.