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Tag Archives: nikon

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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During a short trip to Cairo, I did two long drives for meetings in Suez and Alexandria.  We returned the same day on both occasions.  Last time, I managed to drive around Alexandria – to at least see it having done the drive.  This time, I had a chance to see the Suez Canal, for about ten minutes,  after our meeting.  Ships are kept at either end and released in groups.  We were lucky to arrive at a time when ships were sailing past.

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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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Yousef and I went to Bahrain over the weekend to watch my brother compete in the Middle East IKO Dojos Karate Tournament. I have a transparent belt in Karate, so I had no idea what to expect.  This was the first event of its kind in the region and participants were mainly from Bahrain and Kuwait.

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The last of my Scotland posts comes to you from Sumburgh.  It’s not a secret to anyone who knows me that I like birds.  In fact I love birds, always have done.  Puffins are a special case for me.  Ever since I was six years old, I saw a picture of one in a book and kept it for years.  Every time we visited a zoo, aviary, or if I came a cross a book, I would seek them.  I even bought a tacky Swarovski model of a pair of puffins – which I probably like a little too much.

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The world sometimes feels smaller to me than the small Shetland Islands, north of Scotland.  I live in Kuwait, I work for a Houston-based American company, with a head-office in Sens (in France), and I cover the Middle East and the UK.  Last week, I had a meeting at BP’s Sullom Voe Terminal. I later spent the late afternoon exploring the place including an hour of bird-watching.

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My wife and I visited Aberdeen a few years ago, and my limited memory of our visit is of a very grey city.  As my plane landed, I could see the long beach, the river, and grey!  Rows and rows of buildings and homes covered with local granite.

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With the brilliant blue skies draped over us these few days, it’s hard to stop thinking like a photographer.  Yesterday, I decided to capture a few shots of the water towers – something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now. I wasn’t prepared for how and where to get the best shots.  Even more so, I wasn’t prepared for the welcome and hospitality of the people there.

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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.

Last week I spent the morning enjoying two passions.  It’s no secret that I love photography, and I’ve loved birds for as long as I can remember.  My brother-in-law breeds zebra finches.  I should point out immediately that I’m not talking about the bird market in Rai.  These are the best of the best.  This is a private ‘collection’ and the guys match different pairs, in order to achieve wierd and wonderful colours with their off-spring.  It’s science and art – at the same time.

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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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