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Tag Archives: mangaf

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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Two men, two meals, and two pastas – hence the silly title.  A few days ago, while shopping for football snacks with one of my brothers, we came across some fantastic king prawns.  We were sick of takeaways and decided to have a home-cooked meal for a change.  We added some fresh pasta to the basket and headed to the check-out.  I picked up some mince meat and penne for the following day.

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This has been sitting in my notebook for almost a year.  Soon after my short experiment with lightwriting,  I watched an episode of Scott Wittenburg’s photography podcast and the subject was ‘physiograms’.  It was the first time I ever heard the term, and as soon as I looked it up on flickr, I was captivated.

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I know it’s summer when I look around and see an empty house.  It feels strange to have the place to myself.  The garden is not used – even on nice afternoons, there is nothing fresh in the fridge, books are untouched, toys are neatly stacked and the dining table has not seen plates for days.  My brothers have been staying with me occasionally, watching football and movies.

This photo, taken back in May, is what makes a house a home.  One’s loved-ones surrounding one with joy and laughter.  I am truly blessed and I thank God whenever I remember.

Yousef was at a football-themed birthday party today.  His school’s last-day-party also has a football theme.  Football fever is everywhere I look.  Tonight is England’s first game.  I’ve supported England for as long as I remember and, in true fatherly fashion, I’m imposing this onto my children.

This is a great timetable which I came across on SomeContrast – please note the time difference means you add an hour to get Kuwait time.  Whoever you’re supporting, enjoy the World Cup!

This is my first attempt in a local photography competition.  I’ve tried a couple of times online (National Geographic and British Airways’ HighLife magazine) but this time I had to provide prints, which somehow made it feel more real.  I read about the competition on Mathai’s blog some time ago.  The deadline is tomorrow, so if you’re interested you will need to hurry up. Link.

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I’ve been meaning to test my new macro lens for a while now.  The dusty weather last week didn’t help with shooting flowers.  I want my first flower post to be from our garden.  I took a couple of test shots, of flower petals and an ugly fly, holding the camera by hand.  The results were fantastic.

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My wife has started training for a 10km run planned for July 11th in London. She’s raising money for War Child and her target is both modest and ambitious. My job involves no running… I get tired driving 10km! So I opted for the very important and extremely stressful task of PR. In fact I think I’m doing all the work here… This post is therefore a request for donations from you: my dear readers.

The minimum donation is £2 – which is presumably to cover the transaction costs.  Donating online is easy, safe and secure.  It should not take you more than 5 minutes.  All major credit cards are accepted – as well as PayPal.  Please give what you can.  Even tiny donations will help – please don’t hesitate.

Click here for more information, and indeed to make a donation. Good luck, Noreen, and thank you everyone.

Back when I was a student, I cooked three times a week, sometimes even more.  Later, when I started working, I cooked in weekends.  Then I got married.  It was hard to compete so I gave up… Now – a lifetime later – I cook to relax.  I do it now and then and I usually specialise in two things: Fish and Pasta.  This morning however, I couldn’t resist the meat I saw, and decided on a more basic dish.  I asked my wife to leave the cooking to me.  Time to sound the alarms and hide away the children.  I will probably have to pay our maid overtime for the extra washing-up. I was about to cook – life was good (for me).

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Three more shots from my few golden minutes in the garden yesterday.  These were taken outside, with natural light – no reflectors, no flash.  Apart from cropping and adjusting the shadows – I didn’t do any editing.

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I spent a few minutes in the garden this morning – smelling the roses.  Actually, we don’t have any roses but I wanted to get a couple of shots of the flowers on the Gardenia.  By the grace of God, this beautiful plant has survived four summers and has given it’s best bloom this spring.  I wasn’t taking the shots for the blog.  They’re for my garden log-book and are therefore less artistic and more practical.

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My last post had nothing but planned shots.  This image had almost zero planning.  It happens more often than we amateur photographers care to admit: That perfect accident when all the right ingredients jump into the baking tray, throw themselves into the oven, and instruct it on how long to cook them, and at what temperature.

A few weeks ago, I was taking shots of trucks and construction vehicles for my Mangaf blog.  This photo stood out from the rest.  It has that special feel to it – that differentiates an acceptable photo from an exceptional one.

Analysing it today, I can see why I like it.  The letters in the logo have a ‘used’ – almost abused – feel to them, which adds a rugged feel to the already-macho bulldozer.  The second half of the word is missing, but it’s such a well known brand that almost everyone will read the full thing in their mind.  The focal point is the letter ‘A’ which is also the place that Caterpillar place their emphasis via the little yellow triangle.  Finally, the way the photo is broken into the rule of thirds, both horizontally and vertically, creates an interesting result.

I did compose and take the above image.  I can’t, however, take credit for knowing any of these factors at the time of shooting.

Have a wonderful weekend.

хомяк, pronounced homyak, is Russian for Hamster.  Scabbers, pictured here, is in fact a Russian Hamster.  He lives in Yousef’s school during the week, and stays with different children during weekends.  We have the pleasure of keeping him here for the long weekend!

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Our public transport system is not much of a system, and design is not high on the agenda of city planners.  Yet like every aspect of life here, someone, somewhere, gets a ray of inspiration, and something wonderful is realised.  The simplicity and elegance of our old bus stops, is an example of this.  To me, they are the ‘red phone-boxes’ of Kuwait.  Form and function sculptured into an icon.

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These fruits are an exception to the rule.  Things that taste horrible are usually good for us, and vice versa.  With pomegranates we’re lucky enough to have taste-buds, and health, on the same side. These are Indian pomegranates and they tasted heavenly.  Buy some and enjoy.

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