Posts Tagged ‘water’

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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The Blue Cave

November 10th, 2012

If you asked me whether there is a picture of which I was proudest, this one would probably be it. Why? Because it’s the first picture that turned out better than I had imagined when I set out to take it.

Whenever I plan a shot and picture it in my head, it rarely comes out as amazing as I thought it would. However, with this one, I beat the image I had in my mind’s eye.

Another thing making it so special to me is that it’s the very first shot I took where I had composed the shot and selected all the settings manually and got exactly the shot I wanted on the very first try (if you’re curious, setting were f8, iso 200, 30s shutter, at 24mm). I had just the right look and feel I sought.

Interestingly, this picture came about rather randomly. We were driving around the Lake Myvatn area in Iceland, when we decided to go off-road. Not long after, we happen to be driving parallel to a massive sloping ridge of solidified lava and we notice the entrance to a cave (picture of the entrance below). So we decide to investigate. Just within, we find this beautiful, extraordinary cave, filled with hot, steaming, crystal-clear water (at some 38 degrees centigrade, while it was about 3 degrees outside). Perfect for a dip.

Turned out the little cave had two entrances, each leading to one side of the pool. So my wife sat wrapped up warm at one edge, while I made my way to the other end, set up my tripod and camera, and voila!

The cave entrance. How random is that?

More coming soon!

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Anemones

October 25th, 2012

These days, I seem to be increasingly turning my focus to underwater photography. Something about it makes it just so very attractive to me. Perhaps it is the challenge of shooting in this difficult environment, or perhaps the sense of wonder brought on by the alienness of the landscape and the life. And it must be said, the coastal waters of the UAE and Oman offer many opportunities for the adventurous.

Few species of life appear as alien as do anemones. These animals are named after the colorful terrestrial flower. They are carnivorous polyps which sting their prey – any fish which stray too close to their tentacles – with a potent neurotoxin.

These two closeups were taken some four to five meters below the surface about 10 minutes apart, during the course of a snorkeling session.

The first is a closeup of a type of anemone which is commonly home to clownfish (which, especially if you have kids, appear to have now been renamed “Nemo fish”). I love the purple tips.

I’m assuming these are a type of anemone as well. Any confirmation of this is welcome. These grow in massive domes reaching a meter or more in diameter.

More coming soon!

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Seljalandsfoss

October 15th, 2012

Some moments resonate in our minds more than others. For me, this is one of them.

This shot was taken some time ago in Iceland, at the foot of Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The falls drop some 60 meters from the cliffs of what was formerly the southern coastline. It is among the most well-known waterfalls in Iceland and certainly one of the most beautiful.

One of the things which struck me in Iceland is the sheer quantity of waterfalls. In 12 days there, I daresay we saw more waterfalls than we did people.

But back to this moment. I perhaps have more beautiful shots of this waterfall, but this one remains my favourite. It was windy and raining. Certainly not the ideal conditions to shoot. It was our second day of driving around Iceland, and we’d been on the go since the morning, awestruck for the most part – Iceland has got to be one of the most beautiful, wondrous places on Earth.

A sense of wonder had been upon us since we landed at the airport, and a measure of peace had been gradually creeping upon us since. But I think I only realised how genuinely peaceful and happy I was the moment after I took this shot.

The person standing on the black sands in the foreground looking tiny beneath the waterfall, is my wife. When we first approached, she had rushed forwards and stood, arms spread, head lifted and smiling, in the spray at the foot of the falls.

Freedom.

More coming soon!

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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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Spotted Ray

October 5th, 2012

This shot was made off of Oman’s extraordinary Mussandam peninsula during my first ever night snorkel session.

We jumped off the boat and dropped about 5 meters below the surface of the calm waters. Almost the moment we hit bottom, the light of my torch illuminated this beautiful spotted ray.

We saw three more rays and many fish that night, but I am most proud of this shot.

More to come soon!

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The View from the Sea Plane

April 6th, 2011

As promised earlier, here are some pictures of the view from a sea plane made in that most extraordinary of countries, the Maldives. They were made in December of last year. I was pretty much glued to the window, in awe.

Above, taxiing by the quay before takeoff.

Above, the view onto the international airport in Male. It’s basically a single airstrip.

Above, islands, lagoons, and ships, as far as the eye can see.

Above, stunning coral reef-ringed lagoons.

Above, these lagoons are pretty big. That’s an oil tanker up in the right corner.

Above, one of the resort islands. You can see the U-shaped string of bungalows out on the shallower waters of the lagoon.

Above, a lone, remote and uninhabited island. Seen on the return leg to Male.

More coming soon.

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The Friendly Neighbourhood Hydromancer

January 31st, 2011

As promised, this is another photograph from The Saint’s photoshoot (his garb has, of course, *magically* changed from white to black).

Here he is seen scrying in a bowl of water.

I lit him with one studio strobe shooting through a softbox high to camera left, and another strobe firing through my Lastolite HiLite Background.

More coming soon!

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The Gull Guard

September 16th, 2010

Gulls standing to attention.

I made these frames in Hyde Park, London earlier this year, each in a different location.

Gulls: Hyde Park’s last line of defence against the evil dastardly … fish? … the massing forces of which threaten the peace and harmony of the park’s waterways.

Who’d have thunk it?

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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