Posts Tagged ‘emirate’

Nudibranchs

October 15th, 2012

Until a perfectly normal wreck dive off the coast of Abu Dhabi I had never heard of, nor seen, any nudibranchs. Suddenly there they were: all over the sunken barge. Nudibranchs are a type of soft sea slug which are apparently among “some of the most colourful creatures on earth“. Absolutely beautiful creatures.

The bright colouring is a form of defense, indicating it would make either a very bitter or extremely toxic meal for the passing fish.

While there were two types of nudibranchs on the barge, there exist thousands of species.

While some species can grow to up to 60 cm in length, the specimens seen here only measured some 5 to 10 cm. As you can easily see from this shot below of a fellow diver taking a picture of one. If you look closely, you can make out three specimens along the bottom of the image, to center-left.

More coming soon!

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Qasr Sunset

June 5th, 2011

Sunset over the beautiful Qasr Al Sarab resort deep in the desert of Liwa, home of the rolling, flowing hundred-meter dunes and situated in the Southern UAE at the of the Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter).

I spent the weekend there earlier this year to attend a wedding.

It’s an absolutely fantastic place. The setting is one of those few places which are larger than life, reminiscent of the old Hollywood master epics from the sixties. Like something you could have found in Lawrence of Arabia, or Cleopatra, or something…

More coming soon!

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Sunset in the Desert

April 3rd, 2011

These photographs were made in Liwa at sunset, from the top of the massive dune featured previously on my blog here.

There’s nothing quite like a sunset in the desert. The view from the top of that dune onto the changing sands below… Well, the peace it instills in you adds years to your life.

More coming soon.

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Posted in People, Travel/Urban | Comments (1)

Dune Walk

March 9th, 2011

This photo was made in Liwa, UAE, as I was making my way up this massive (perhaps hundred-meter) dune some way behind these people. I think what hit me was the sense of family that they evoked, seeing them walking together hand in hand.

More coming soon!

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Sweihan Desert Bash in the Rain

March 4th, 2011

Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to go dune bashing with a group of friends in the Sweihan area.

The sky that day was overcast and every now and then the heavens would open, but that didn’t stop our intrepid group of adventurers. And I must say, it was an absolutely awesome experience riding the dunes in the rain.

Here are a few pictures from that day.

Of course, some of us would occasionally get stuck (and *cough* some more than others). The rain added to the complications of driving on sand, creating a very shallow layer of harder sand over the soft and loose sand underneath.

The shot below was made at the lip of The Bowl, this extraordinary and deep bowl-shaped space between adjoining sand dunes, the steep sides of which make for some impressive adrenalin-pumping driving as vehicles struggle to go at speed in circles around the wall of the bowl, without sliding down into the bottom of it.

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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Posted in Interesting Stuff, News | Comments (2)

The Fort & Palace

August 22nd, 2010

Some time back, I offered up my two cents on the HDR debate, featuring shots from the Al Jahili Fort and the late Sheikh Zayed’s Palace in Al Ain.

Today, I wish to share with you two more shots from those two places (minus debate, this time).

Above is a shot of the main tower of the fort. Below is one of one of the wings of the Palace.

More coming soon!

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A Traditional Dance

June 15th, 2010

These shots were taken on a day trip to Al Ain at the late Sheikh Zayed’s Palace, which is now a museum and open to the public.

I’d been wandering around the old oasis in the centre of town for a while, and every so often I would dimly hear traditional Emirati music and song. My first thought was that there must be a wedding some place nearby.

Once I had my fill of the oasis, I chose to visit the Palace before I made my way home. When I arrived and walked into the courtyard I realised that the music and song had been coming from here.

This was a rare privilege for me – it’s not every day you get to enjoy one of these beautiful traditional Emirati dances. To my chagrin, I only caught the last minutes of the very last performance before the traditional singers, musicians and dancers disbanded for the day.

It was a treat to watch as the musicians danced in time to the beat of the drums, jumping and twirling as they went, and the wall of singers on either side of the musicians swung their canes in unison to and fro as they sang, swaying.

It was a challenge to shoot as the light was fading fast. I ended up shooting at the widest aperture my lens would allow (3.5 at 24mm and 5.6 at 135mm), increasing ISO (to 640 from 200 as the light faded) and slowing the shutter speed as much as I could without losing (too much) sharpness (to 1/60sec). The low shutter speed also allowed me to get some movement blur as the musicians danced and beat their drums, and the singers swung their canes. These pictures are some of the shots I took in those few short minutes.

More coming soon!

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Hatta Rock Pools

June 5th, 2010

The UAE holds quite a few natural wonders for an adventurous spirit to explore. One of them is that of the rock pools in Hatta, an enclave of Dubai.

The remote Hajar mountains make for a lovely setting to enjoy a walk, a picnic and possibly even a swim in the cool waters of the pools.

Here are a few pictures of my last venture out there, early in January of this year.

I was impressed at the number of people out visiting the area despite it being a weekday. Also at the variety of nationalities. French, English, Emirati and other Arab nationals were all out enjoying the day in the sun.

More pictures soon!

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National Day Celebrations

December 4th, 2009

So on December 2nd – UAE National Day – I was invited by a friend to her house for a cosy party with a view. A view on to the madness on the streets below and (eventually) the fireworks.

The party was a giant success. Seen from the outside, as one of my good friends who was there mentioned, it likely would have seemed somewhat odd – It was a party which: was organised by Italian-speaking Lebanese; for Italians; who were served traditional homemade Lebanese food; and all in celebration of the 38th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. Hehe.

Anyway, pictures.

Evidently, I took my camera and gear. Now while my friend’s apartment has a great view onto the Corniche, it has no balcony, and the windows wouldn’t open beyond a 5 degree angle. I tried the roof, but it was entirely walled around, with tiny arches affording limited views onto the street below through metal grating. Not so great for taking pictures.

So at around the time the fireworks were set to start, I grabbed my camera gear (and one of my fellow guests), and hurried down to brave the madness of the crowds.

Everybody and their grandmother seemed to be out on the Corniche. All nationalities, all social circles. Everybody. The streets overflowed with humanity out to celebrate with the Emiratis and have a good time. Entire families were out picnicking  on the grass by the side of the road. Party hats and flags and foam spray cans were all over the place.

Every year, I find myself surprised by how quickly a nation – this nation – was built. How quickly Emiratis built a sense of national identity and pride. And I was proud to be out among them in this country that’s given me everything to celebrate with them.

Right. Pictures.

I was in a rush to get to get to the beach at the Hiltonia before the fireworks started and so didn’t really spend as much time shooting on the streets as I’d otherwise would have liked.

Nevertheless, here are a few shots from the streets:

As always, it was particularly fascinating to see the overdecorated cars making the rounds at snails pace, music blaring.

The Decked-Out Car (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 640, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

We even spotted horses and riders!

Horses! (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 60mm, f8, ISO 200, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

Mad Hatter (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 6400, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

Even bikes were decked out!

Decked Out Bikes (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 640, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

This Jeep just halted in the middle of the road:

Halt I Say! (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, f11, ISO 200, 6secs)

The Policeman At The Crossing (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 90mm, f14, ISO 200, 6secs)

Stalled Party Goers (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 200, 1/4sec)

I managed to get to the beach front and set up just in time to catch the very first of the fireworks.

I was particularly excited as I’d never shot fireworks before and was looking to try my hand and experiment. I’m still sorting through the shots I’ve taken – haven’t seen them all yet – but here is a small selection.

Fireworks 1 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 85mm, f8, ISO 200, 1sec)

Fireworks 2 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 135mm, f8, ISO 200, 1sec)

Fireworks 3 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 112mm, f8, ISO 200, 1.3sec)

Fireworks 4 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 82mm, f8, ISO 200, 2secs)

Fireworks 5 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 82mm, f8, ISO 200, 2secs)

Fireworks 6 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 82mm, f8, ISO 200, 2secs)

Fireworks 7 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 82mm, f8, ISO 200, 2secs)

Fireworks 8 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 95mm, f8, ISO 200, 2secs)

Fireworks 9 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 112mm, f8, ISO 200, 1.3secs)

Fireworks 10 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 56mm, f8, ISO 200, 1.3secs)

Fireworks 11 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 50mm, f8, ISO 200, 1sec)

Fireworks 12 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 82mm, f8, ISO 200, 1sec)

Fireworks 13 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 82mm, f8, ISO 200, 2secs)

Fireworks 14 (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 95mm, f8, ISO 200, 1/2sec)

Here’s a shot from a place I’d been meaning to shoot for a long time now and never got around to: the tunnel leading from the Hilton to the Hiltonia beach across the road. This young woman came walking down the tunnel alone and the whole scene came together like a charm.

Girl & Tunnel (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 200, 1/13sec)

More pictures coming soon!

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