Monday
Nov122012

I Want to be a part of it...

I am not a difficult man to please when it comes to travel.  I have learned over the years to accept what comes from any opportunity no matter how bleak its potential.  I could be in a meeting somewhere in a small concrete town outside a boring city, and I would carry my camera in my briefcase.  There is always something interesting or different to what I'm used to, and I have learned that not carrying a camera will guarantee its appearance. With over a decade of regular travel and having been fortunate enough to explore many countries and cities - often repeatedly -  I am extremely difficult to impress.  

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Monday
Oct222012

Hipstamatrix

 

I cannot find the time for photography and blogging and I am seriously missing it.  I am therefore thankful that I am able to play with images, texture and lighting almost all the time using my iPhone - especially with Hipstamatic which I have mentioned on this blog before.  I recently got an iPhone5 and the camera is significantly better than my iPhone4 so I'm testing various combinations of films and lenses all over again.  I came across Marcus Bruce's presentation of 1456 combinations and wanted to share the link here for my fellow hipstas.  When I thought of the silly title for this post based on the matrix presentation, I found out it exists as a rather clever website.  It too is worth sharing.  Links are below:

Marcus Bruce's Combinations

Hipstamatrix

Monday
Sep102012

The Launderette

I noticed this place when we were driving to the shops in West London.  The last time I was in one of these Launderettes was back in 1993 before I moved into a flat that had a washing machine. Seeing this place reminded me how having something so basic at home transformed my weekends.  I could spend the whole weekend out and not worry about having nothing to wear during the following week.  This rather sad and pathetic planning of everything is not part of the lives of many Kuwaitis of the new generation - even those who study abroad.  I feel old writing this post... It's not the first time I've heard myself starting a sentence with: 'During my day...' recently.  Before long I'll start sounding like Uncle Albert.

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Monday
Aug202012

The Perfect Web Cam

I am never sure whether or not to carry my DSLR with me when I travel.  I would often pack everything, then reduce it to the essentials, only to leave the bag behind on my way out.  When I bought the Fujifilm X10, it felt like the decision to leave my 'real camera' behind became easier.  This week, I'm starting to see why.  Landscape and street photography are good enough with virtually any camera today.  Low-light photography and indeed macro are a little different.  I don't remember the last time I dialled in an ISO higher than 800.  In fact the only time was Noor's ballet performance, and that was in Kuwait (I should probably post a couple of shots).  Yesterday, I had a chance to test my X10 with these two spiders setting up homes in our back garden (In London... so no Nikon).  They are tiny! and the results were impressive.

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Friday
Aug102012

When Disney Met Starbucks

Creativity is hard to measure and more so to anticipate.  It seems to find us only during the busiest of times.  For me it's when I am busy with work, usually when travelling and often when reviewing research papers - all at the same time.  I would get an idea for a nice post, or a good use of an infrared camera for wall art.  When I was relatively free for the whole month May on the other hand, I did absolutely nothing.  My sister takes this relationship with creativity to a whole new level.  I would bump into her at Starbucks when she would be escaping being a mother, a wife and a doctor, to catch up with some studying.  She posted a picture of one of her coffee cups, where she had decorated the Starbucks siren, on Instagram.  I immediately asked for a photo shoot, and since I'm busy now and soon travelling, it felt right to try and fit it in. I should also mention that as my sister's study pressure dropped, so has her motivation to draw and paint. 

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Saturday
Jul142012

Instagram Wall

It's been a busy time for me with research and going back to work this week.  I've been neglecting my photography - at least with a proper camera.  In fact I'm still behind with a post or two but will hopefully catch up soon when I'm reunited with my laptop next weekend.  The wonderful thing about iPhone photography, however, is that I haven't stopped snapping even at the busiest of times.  Apps such as Hipstamatic just add to the fun and potential for creativity.

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Monday
Jun112012

Faisal Masjid

This was a must-see for us but unfortunately we only managed one brief visit - and not at prayer time.  The timing was not perfect for photography but I'm pleased we made the journey and walked around in the courtyard and grounds of what I recently discovered is the largest mosque in Pakistan.  It can accommodate 10,000 worshippers in the main hall.  We didn't have the time to visit the museum and library, but I don't think we've missed much given how young this mosque is. Completed in 1986 as a national mosque and paid for by Saudi Arabia, it was named after King Faisal after his assassination in 1975.  It's well maintained and surrounded by elegant gardens. 

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Monday
May282012

Show Me The Money

I will be running the British 10k run in London this July - or if I'm honest at the very best jogging it very slowly. It will be for a children's charity and I hope to inspire you to make a donation, big or small. This is a personal challenge to get fit especially after recently discovering that my blood pressure is on the high side. Until April 2012, and apart from playing football once in a blue moon, the longest distance I had ever run in my life was 400m.  I've walked and hiked longer distances but I've never run longer than my 400m relay back in high school. My biggest challenge is therefore getting my leg muscles to support me moving at speed - a term I use loosely. 

In order to build the necessary amount of guilt to ensure I continue exercising and actually turn up for the run, I registered with JustGiving.  I looked through many charities and although I don't know anyone at Hope for Children, I liked what I read about their work. They help orphaned, poor and exploited children world wide.   Please pile the pressure on by making donations... Please show me the money!

Donations: My JustGiving Page   The charity: Hope for Children   The Event: British 10k London 2012

Sunday
May202012

Grahn

The looks on the faces of these boys summarise the reception we had at the village.  It was a mix of intrigue by who we are and what we were doing there (from those who didn't know us), a shy face or two which chose to hide away in the background, and an overwhelming majority who offered unconditional, warm and welcoming smiles - all day, every day.  This place was as far off the beaten track as I have been for a while.  As a family this was as far from 'civilisation' as we ever got.  It is also a place where I saw true civilsation.

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Thursday
May172012

Teen

Our little fig tree has made a complete recovery with healthy leaves and even some fruit!  Quite exciting really as it was given to us by my mother from her garden when it started showing signs of new life after an ordeal that gave the impression of its final days late November.  

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