One of the things I like to do is take pictures of the night sky whenever I have the chance, While in Mongolia I snapped some pictures at night outside my tent at Lake Khoton, Tavan Bogd camp and somewhere in between along the drive. The only disadvantage about taking these images is standing in the middle of the night in the bitter cold and half asleep. On top of that, the sounds of howling wolves from the forest over looking lake Khoton made me try to speed up the 30 second exposure as I stood in the dark. With that said, it was worth every minute. Enjoy!
Yesterday I decided to go on an urban hike at night to play around with street lights. It definitely has a different feeling than day light photography. You get to capture the serenity of the night and you get to appreciate all spectrum of light from red , which has the longest wave length to blue, which has the shortest wave length. I truly recommend it!
Meet my two schnauzers. Iber, the Giant Schnauzer, age 4 and Teton, the Standard Schnauzer, age 1.4. Having two black dogs in Kuwait is not easy. Having two black dogs with beards is even more of a hassle. Some people think Iber is a horse or a goat. The heat also plays a big factor but luckily they both like to swim. Those two make me active and outdoors most of the time, even in the summer. I have discovered so many places with them. They give me unconditional love and always happy to see me no matter what. Some studies show that playing with dogs for half an hour can increase oxytocin level which is a chemical responsible for happiness. I love those two and you will see more of them in this blog.
It is very exciting to watch the stars let alone produce still images of them. The whole process from getting your camera ready to loading your photos and stacking them up to get one full image. This is my first attempt on star trail photography, this was taken within a short span, an hour only, and 251 images later, stacked using a software for mac called StarStax. I can’t wait to do this again! Thank you Q8geek
Last October 2012, I attended the first “Dignity” protest, which was the first of a series of 7 protests in Kuwait during a period of sustained political unrest. For me, it was an opportunity to express my thoughts and be part of change and activism and most of all, documenting the event. My experience of the first protest was surreal. I saw the diversity of my fellow citizens, from different clans and varying sects of society and witnessed the blind obedience of the special forces to a dictatorial authority. Each individual was there to express himself or herself in a collective way, with the majority of attendees protesting against the Amir’s involvement in the parliament and certain amendments made. For others, they wanted to raise awareness about the prisoners in Guantanamo, as for myself, I wanted to push the ideas of separation of state and religion, the introduction of science and technology and freedom of speech (censorship). I believe these are the main issues that need to be brought to the forefront, not just to catch up with the rest of the world, but to truly take Kuwait of 2013 out of the dark ages. I got positive and negative feedback, which was expected, but most of all I felt the sense of freedom to speak my mind publicly, and oh how it felt so good. Some people argue that “Now is not the right time to talk about secularism and censorship, they have bad connotations, people are not ready”. I disagree with them, because there will never be a perfect time to speak. The protests were the perfect ground to raise awareness and interact with people of diverse backgrounds. I believe peaceful protests are the best way to communicate a mass idea. Now, the present, is the only now we have.
“You only live once.”
I also wrote about my experience and shared some of my photos on Egyptindependent.com
We live in a wonderful universe made up of billions of stars and planets. The best way to see them is by being away from the city lights and pollution. It is hard to find a clear spot in the desert, especially during the camping season, but if you drive far enough into the Saudi border you can get clearer skies. This weekend I went to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way in the sky. Thanks to q8geek for organizing a trip like this, I truly recommend it. These are some of the photos I captured.
Words cannot describe how I felt, after chasing the lights for many years. The best way to share this experience and to describe the Northern Lights is through photography. It wasn’t easy taking the pictures, as you have to deal with many factors: 1.The excitement 2. The freezing cold temperatures 3. Staying awake from midnight to sunrise 4. Keeping warm 5. The technical equipment 6. The long drive and securing location. During our stay in Tromso, Norway it was raining and snowing the whole time except for our last night, where we joined the excellent Arctic Explorers, who led us all the way into Finland and its dry night and clear skies for a chance to find the aurora borealis. Finally we saw them, and here I’ll let the photos describe my emotions. Technical note: when you have your shutter open for as long as 30 seconds, all forms of light will get into the picture. In one photo, you will see a red light, this was from the brake lights of our van.
One of many ways to connect to your surroundings and enjoy the outdoors is by walking. We remember more on our legs. I find it exciting to walk between buildings, parks, markets, trails, highways and among the people. Urban Hikes is a series of many more to come, exploring my surroundings. This hike, my friend and I parked our car at the Alhamra building and walked to Souq Al-Mubarakiya. Throughout and for only 200 fils, we even threw in a bus ride just to experience our seldom used public transport. We had lunch at the old market of Mubarakiya and enjoyed our conversations with retired gentlemen who now hang out at the old coffee shops. We talked openly about politics, life and hobbies. These are some of the photos and people we met.