Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

Summer Sunset

October 20th, 2012

Clearly, I’m not yet entirely ready to let go of summer.

This young couple was deep in conversation, sat at the edge of the infinity pool, with the mountain range extending before them, bathed in the gorgeous light of the setting sun. What with the lighting (those colours!), the near-perfect symmetry of the scene (the wine glasses!), and the reflections in the mirror-like water, I couldn’t resist snapping away.

Seen at Montagnou, a great restaurant nestled high in the mountains of Lebanon, in the Ouyoun-el-Siman/Faraya area.

More coming soon!

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Laqlouq Snow Walk

June 15th, 2011

Summer seems to have come upon us quite heavily here in Abu Dhabi. Got me thinking about the cooler times, such as earlier this year in Lebanon, where I had the chance to go on a snow walk for the first time.

The weather was starting to warm up earlier than expected and the mountain snow was turning a little slushy around noon, making skiing an unattractive proposition.

We went to a place known as Laqlouq, in Lebanon. We got there early in the afternoon, parked the car by the side of the road, put on the snowshoes and took off up the slope.

Below are a few pictures from that wonderful day.

The snows were already beginning to melt. And to melt quite fast. Just a few short weeks before, the entire mountain side was covered with snow, but the rocks were starting to reach out to the skies again…

As were some of the thorny wild flowers…

We were aiming to get to the cross at the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, just meters from the top, I dropped my glasses! Had to watch them ski their way down the steeper slope of the  mountainside.

We headed down after them, and I ended up falling and sliding down a good distance myself. Got snow all over my lens… Halfway down we met two dogs, German shepherds, who eneded up following and playing with us all the way back to the car.

The light was fading fast as we headed back down to Beirut. The clouds hung low over the mountains, bringing fog as the air cooled and making for a spectacular sunset.

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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One Year Later

May 20th, 2011

I know it’s been a bit light of late, but well… Today marks the second of two very special first anniversaries this week.

On the 20th of May 2010, along with a small group of friends, I hit Fisterra (or Finisterre). My Camino was over. My 900km trek – spanning 36 days of walking and totaling some 39 days – had come to a close.

On the 16th of May 2010, my 33rd day of walking, I entered Santiago de Compostella.

So this week I’ve been remembering so many of my wonderful experiences on the Camino and thinking of the family I made along the way. Not that a day has gone by without my thinking of the people who made it so magical.

Above, our Camino Family. Or a small part of it, at any rate.

There are many ways to enter Santiago. You can enter it on horseback, shortly after dawn:

You can enter it by bike, like these three matching ladies and their matching bikes here:

Or you could enter it on foot, which is what I did.

However you enter the city, you will be overcome with emotion. You will stop, in awe or shock or both, in the square in front of the cathedral. Perhaps you will stand in silence. Perhaps you will cry, because you can’t believe it’s over and because it is.

However after those first few moments pass, and you start meeting up with people you’ve met on the Camino, they will make way for joy.

On the 18th of May I departed Santiago and began my Camino to Finisterre. I was lucky. I walked with friends. That first night, I came across this entry written by a friend in a diary at an albergue in the town of Negreira. Brought tears to my eyes.

In the distance to the left is Cape Finisterre. The End of the World:

Our little family of pilgrims made their way to our agreed meeting point at the cliffs at the end of the cape, where we prepared for sunset.

After the sun had set, we set fire to the wooden dummy, dressed up as a pilgrim in clothes abandoned by pilgrims. We each tossed something into the fire. A symbol of our lack of attachment to material things, or of a promise to abandon a habit… As many reasons as there were people.

We have all since scattered to the four corners of the globe. And though I am quite bad at staying in touch, I have not forgotten. I miss you all.

Tonight I will be thankful, and I will celebrate.

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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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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Sunset on a Train

October 22nd, 2010

I love train rides. Something inherently romantic about them. They immerse you in the landscape you pass through. And the gentle clack-clack of the rails and smooth ride make for so very relaxing an experience.

I snapped this earlier this year on a train ride back to Paris from Brussels. I was struck by the unusual colours – the soft shades of pink and purple and magenta.

For some awesome photos of a train ride through the Tea Mountains of Sri Lanka, click here.

More coming soon!

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An Island Sunset

September 14th, 2010

Last weekend an escape to one of the beautiful untouched island beaches was organised by some friends and I.

We spent the best part of the afternoon and evening relaxing on the beach and swimming in the clear emerald waters. And chatted away as the sun set a few degrees off the main island of Abu Dhabi some distance away.

We’ve been blessed here over the past few weeks. We’ve had some truly amazing sunsets. I had the chance to enjoy a few over the holy month of Ramadan as most every day at that time I was driving up or down the Corniche heading to some iftar or other.

But this time I had the chance to sit back, relax and give my attention to the sky. The typically cloudless Abu Dhabi sky was filled with a mix of wide streaks and thin wisps of clouds that shifted and changed during the period from sunset to twilight to dusk. And the dying sun’s rays hit them in such a way as to throw the dome of the sky into a riot of ever-changing vibrant oranges and deep reds.

Naturally, I ended up snapping off a few frames.

Here are a few of the results.

To camera left you can see the Abu Dhabi city skyline in the distance. I loved the gradual change of colour from deep orange to an arc of magenta to deep blue as you look away from the sun towards the top of the frame.

I waded waist-deep in the water to make this frame.

What’s a beach without beach sports? Supersportsman Alex catches a frisbee with the tips of his fingers.

That little speck in the water left of the center of the frame is not a dust spot. It’s one of my friends enjoying the water.

The new moon graced us with its company and its Cheshire Cat smile.

There’s nothing quite like being in the water as it changes colour to reflect the sky at dusk.

This is one of my favourite pictures from that series. It says it all, really. And yep, I was waist-deep in water for this one too.

More coming soon!

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The Farm House

November 30th, 2009

On my last trip to Lebanon, a friend gave me the chance to visit a 400-odd year old farm house which is currently being renovated in the hills above Batroun.

It’s a beautiful little structure that’s completely held together at the moment by wood beams and metal bars.

Take a tour below:

The Forest (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 200, 1/80sec + flash SB900)

Lights and Metal (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 200, 1/80sec + flash SB900)

It was like walking through a dark metal forest.

Looking Out From The Forest (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 200, 1/100sec + flash SB900)

The farmhouse is a single-story structure. The roof was accessible via a rickety ladder.

The Ladder (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 52mm, f4.5, ISO 200, 1/60sec)

This is the old oven:

The Oven (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f3.5, ISO 200, 1/100sec + flash SB900)

I had arrived to the farm land in late afternoon, just before sunset. Serendipitous really, as it allowed me to experiment a little with longer exposures and a flash.

Blue Door (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

They’re evidently quite serious about the renovation:

Twilight Construction (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

Propping up The Door (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

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

Bars in Twilight (D700, Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, f5.6, ISO 200, 1/60sec + flash SB900)

Before I leave you, I’d like to share something with you that completely blew me away: an experimental 360-degree panoramic music video. I could watch 360-degree panorama videos all day.

More pictures coming soon!

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Island Chilling

September 21st, 2009

Sunset Island

Eid Mubarak to one and all!

Well, Ramadan is over. And it’s back to a normal train of life. But meanwhile, there’s nothing like a boat trip to start off the Eid holiday on a good footing. I went out to one of the islands around Abu Dhabi (featured up top) with some friends. We snorkelled, walked among the mangroves, enjoyed the chattering of birds, the company of baby rays, went sea-shell hunting and stayed out rather late into the night, chatting by the fire, taking night swims and enjoying the fluorescence.

I took my camera with me, hoping to be able to capture something interesting.

Shooting from the speedboat while moving was difficult at best – too much shaking, and trying to zoom in/out through the ziplock bag I’d DIYed into a protective cover for the camera was an annoyance. To top it off, later when taking pictures of star trails I even managed to run out of juice, mid-picture. Dead battery. Should have checked it before hand. First time it happens to me – Nikon’s awesome batteries have tended to last and last and last… My bad.

Overall, fantastic day (and night) out in great company, but not a great picture-taking day.

That said, the two shots below made lugging the camera with me worthwhile.

The Mermaid

Sunset Olympics

All shots above were with a Nikon D700 with a Tamron 24mm-135mm F3.5-5.6 lens.

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