Archive for the ‘Interesting Stuff’ Category

AUB Alumni Art Expo

February 19th, 2013

Last week, on 15th and 16th February, the American University of Beirut (AUB) held its first ever Alumni Art Expo. It brought together work by over 60 established and emerging artists - painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic and jewelry designers – from among AUB’s alums.

I was privileged to participate in the exhibition, with two of my two photographs being showcased. The two photos are below.

King Jimmy

 

This portrait was taken two years ago in a tiny village in Northern Spain, along the Camino de Santiago. It is of one of the people dearest to me. An extraordinary heart. And a man’s man. I captured this photograph some days after I’d first met him, when our friendship was still in its budding stages. There was just something about the way he stood, cigarette dangling, that seemed to call to the photographer in me. When I raised the camera to my eye and he looked up, it all just seemed to come together. Click.

The Little Light in the Dark

This photograph I’ve featured on my blog before, but here it is again anyway. This picture is special to me for many reasons (see here). Among them also is the sense of wonder I always get when I look at it. The clear blue of the water. The rising steam (the water was at a gloriously warm 40 degrees Celcius, while outside it was just 3 or 4). The light. The fact that my wonderful wife, all wrapped up in layer upon layer, had insisted on going out and exploring – on foot – the lake Myvatn area in Iceland, despite a raging fever…

Here is a review of the exhibition by lOrient-le-Jour newspaper (sorry guys, it’s in French). I’m particularly stunned and honored that the newspaper pointed to me as being one of two photographers it found of particular interest. 

You can find out more about the exhibition at AUB’s website here.

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World Future Energy Summit Exhibition

January 15th, 2012

Hey everyone!

2012 is starting with a bang!

Come check out my work at the World Future Energy Summit which will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi from 16-19 January.

The exhibition is hosted by Enviromena, one of the main suppliers of solar technology to Masdar, in association with Green Abu Dhabi, the arts initiative which aims to promote environmental awareness through art.

As in the last time I participated in a Green Abu Dhabi event, 30% of the proceeds from the exhibition will go to charity, including towards the Green Abu Dhabi Fund’s Mangrove Project, an initiative to help save the mangroves around Abu Dhabi.

The show will feature work by myself, Suhail Jashanmal and George Lewis.

Click the link to download the evite: Enviromena_Evite

Come check us out and support the cause if you can!

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Abu Dhabi Week

April 19th, 2011

Not strictly photography-related this post, but I thought I’d share.

This week I was lucky enough to be featured in the Your Abu Dhabi section of Abu Dhabi Week magazine. :)

Check it out here!

More coming soon!

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And Now For Something Completely Different. Again.

November 25th, 2010

The 2010 Formula 1 season came to a close with a dramatic sunset race in Abu Dhabi on the 14th of November, 2010.

Here are a few shots from that eventful day.

Above, a plane from Abu Dhabi Formula 1 sponsor Etihad Airways flies overhead before the start of the race.

Below is a shot of the aftermath of Schumacher’s terrible accident with Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi, mere moments after the race began. I was lucky enough to be seated in the North Grandstand with a spectacular view directly onto the spot where the accident occurred. You can find a short article in which Schumacher describes the experience here.

Thankfully, neither Schumacher nor Liuzzi was injured and both walked away fine, to cheering crowds. You can watch YouTube videos of the crash from different angles here and here.

Crew worked quite quickly to clear away the wreckage and debris, as the safety car led the remaining contenders on slow (for F1) laps around the circuit. The cars followed an alternate route avoiding the crash site until it was cleared.

Soon the race was under way again. Below is a shot from another location on the North Grandstand after the sun had set.

I didn’t take many pictures of the cars as they zipped by this race. I guess I must have gotten it out of my system during the first one.

I was more interested in taking different types of shots this time. Like the above view onto the race track with a man silhouetted and this silhouette of a woman sat alone while her companions went for drinks and food. It kinda looks like the entire race is stretched out only for her.

As you no doubt know, the race went to Red Bull Racing’s Vettel, who thereby secured the championship this year. Abu Dhabi seems to bring good luck to Red Bull Racing and to Sebastian Vettel in particular as this is the second time he’s won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I could I rephrase that in quite a few ways, and in doing so raise quite different connotations: Vettel has won every single Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to date. Vettel has won two Abu Dhabi Grand Prix races in a row. And so on…

On another note, check out the following:

Also, a quick note: If you’re in Kuwait, or planning to travel there, be aware that it seems Kuwaiti authorities have banned the use of DSLR cameras in public places. Check out the Kuwaiti Times article here. You might want to break out your EVIL cameras instead. ;)

More coming soon!

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Of Love and Padlocks

November 4th, 2010

On my recent trip to Florence, Italy to attend a wedding (of course) I discovered something completely new to me: love padlocks.

The custom basically has lovers affixing padlocks to railings and chain links along (generally) a pier or bridge and throwing the key into the water. This act is supposed to symbolise the unbreakable bond between the two sweethearts. Sometimes, one or other of the dewy-eyed pair will write their name(s), the date or even a small message on the padlock they affix. Or they may even paint the brass in pretty bright colours. It makes for quite a sight, these clumps of padlocks bristling like mad metal hedgehogs from the railings, or stretching out in heavy chains that look like they’ll soon collapse from the weight.

I was introduced to this curious phenomenon by a friend, with whom I took a lazy walk around the old part of town the morning after the wedding. I first spotted it by the little marvel that is the Ponte Vecchio and then again all along the Arno and on the other bridges.

It seems that the Fiorentine authorities tried to stamp out the practice back in 2006. Clearly, they failed.

A few shots below.

Shot on the wall along the Lungarno Archibustieri.

A never ending chain…

The above was shot from the Ponte Alle Grazie, with the Ponte Vecchio in the background.

On another note:

More coming soon!

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The Nobility of Time

November 2nd, 2010

Dali. The mad genius.

Regardless whether you love or hate his works, it cannot leave you unmoved. For my part, the effortless grace and simplicity in his madness speaks to me. And I enjoy how the meaning of his works to me has changed as I have grown older and the way I view the world has evolved.

I recently had the chance to shoot a sculpture by Dali  titled “The Nobility of Time” (yep, the real thing). Here are two pictures from that shoot.

For the above shot I added a quarter CTB (color temperature blue) gel to the background flash. It gave a slightly blue tint to the back of the sculpture, as well as to the white surface upon which it rested.

The second shot was made without the CTB gel.

I lit both shots with a studio flash firing through a softbox high to camera left, and another firing through my HiLite Background (I love that thing).

The Nobility of Time was described follows (I don’t remember where I got the text from, sorry):

Dali’s melted and crowned watch is both draped against and supported by the remains of a tree – the trunk sprouts new life and its roots entwine a stone. The terminology, “the crown of a watch” is assumed to mean a mechanical device that allows us to set the hands and wind the timepiece. Time, however, according to a Dalinian watch, has no internal power or motion. Given this watch’s lack of movement, the crown is interpreted as a royal crown adorning the watch, clearly identifying time’s mastery over human beings, rather than being an object of utility. His majesty is attended by two reoccurring, mystic Dalinian symbols: a pensive angel and a nude female figure elegantly draping herself in a long piece of cloth.

As the watch melts over the tree, it transforms into a human profile, underlining the interminable relationship between human beings and time. The unexpected softness of the watch also represents the psychological aspect whereby time, whilst considered to be a precise and fixed concept, can in fact vary significantly in human perception. The flow of time and its unusually irrational nature developed into an obsession for Dali; the image and symbolism of the melted watch thus reoccurred in many of his works.

On another note:

More coming soon!

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The Outcome of the Auction

October 27th, 2010

I am so very chuffed by the outcome of Green Abu Dhabi‘s Community Art Auction!

Thank you to all those who believed in the movement, came and supported Green Abu Dhabi, mingled and participated in the auction!

The results speak for themselves: pretty much everything – over 50 pictures and paintings (including 20 paintings done by the children from the Future Centre for Special Needs Children) – sold out!

It was a momentous occasion. So many people showed up. The place was buzzing. I certainly had a blast. And the support I got from my family, friends and colleagues was extraordinary. I am so very grateful to them all.

I’m also overjoyed by the response that my work received. And am very very happy to say that my 3 submissions – my first ever prints on show – were sold to for a total of AED 34,000/- (about USD 9,250/-)! Woo-hoo! All proceeds will of course go to the Future Centre. This donation was only made possible thanks to the generosity of spirit of two extraordinary people who believed in my work. I cannot thank them enough.

Some of my readers abroad have asked which were the pictures I finally opted to submit. One, titled “A Slow Dance”, I shared with you in yesterday’s post. Below are the other two pictures:

“Thought and Memory”

“Remains of the Day”

Each was a signed limited edition print of 1.

On another note, check out the following:

More coming soon!

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Community Art Auction – Green Abu Dhabi

October 25th, 2010

Alright!

Green Abu Dhabi’s Community Art Auction is here!

As you know, Green Abu Dhabi is a grass roots initiative – an art show focusing on the environment and sustainable development, the aim of which is to promote awareness of some of the issues facing the rapidly developing Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

I’ve had the honour of being selected as one of the contributing artists to the show’s Community Art Auction event which will take place tomorrow, 26/10/2010, at the Emirates Heritage Club in Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi at 7:30pm.

I will be auctioning off 3 photos (yep only 3 this time, unfortunately) to raise money for the Future Center for Special Needs Children in Abu Dhabi and the World Wildlife Fund’s Abu Dhabi initiatives.

Check out the feature on the Community Art Auction in the excellent Abu Dhabi Week magazine.

You can also check out Green Abu Dhabi’s website here and facebook page here.

Below is one of the three images I am submitting for the Community Art Auction tomorrow:

Come one, come all! Spread the word! Join us tomorrow, be merry, meet your friends, have fun – and bid, bid, bid! Is all for charity!

On another note:

More coming soon!

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Mother of Pearl

October 18th, 2010

This picture was part of a test of some new gear I got: a Lastolite HiLite Illuminated Background. And I have to say, I love the background. It’s easy to set up and dismantle and works beautifully. One of the best (read most fun) investments in gear I’ve made yet.

Pictured is one of a set of two chairs which come with a folding games (cards, chess and backgammon) table. They’re wood inlaid with mother-of-pearl and handmade in Syria, a country with a long tradition in, and famous for, the handcrafting of quality mosaic furniture.

More coming soon!

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Choose a Picture for Green Abu Dhabi

October 17th, 2010

Hello everyone!

Well, as you know, I’m to be showing a few pictures in the Community Artists section of Green Abu Dhabi. That section of the show is set to launch in the coming week or so (exact date to be confirmed).

This post is to ask you, my readers (all 2 of you) to select the picture or pictures (but please, no more than 3) from any of my main website or the blog that they would like to see exhibited and auctioned off at Green Abu Dhabi. Remember, all proceeds of the sale of my pictures will be going to charity!

To spice things up a bit for you, the person who ends up selecting a picture that I end up exhibiting will get a thank you for their contribution, in the form of their very own signed print!

Now the bad news: I have to ask you to hurry and give me your suggestions (either by email or in the comments section) by the 20th of October at the latest.

Cheers!

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