sort of a diary...

Sharing A View

‘Written in Nov.2014’ 

Why did I choose to place two chairs instead of one? I never noticed it till right now...  I put two chairs because a scene and sunset as this one and the mood as I was in, plus the emotions rushing through me was calling on me to share this view. A moment and experience such as that one on that day called on me to be shared. And I honestly don’t remember if I was thinking of anyone in particular then or just of you, my audience in general, but six months later from capturing this image, I know that deep down in subconscious, that there was what I must have been feeling. A feeling of sharing. That’s the thing with my pictures and moments. I want to share where I am visually, provoke in you what I, the capturer, was feeling when I clicked the shutter. I want, no actually I need you, to mimic my emotion of sharing at that moment.

Who do you see sitting in those two chairs? Are you even in one of them? Is it the sunset view or would it be just about the company? Who do you want to share this moment with?

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Photograph was captured from the balcony of Father Fabian’s home, a priest caretaker of an old church in Mount Nebo, near the burial site of the prophet Moses, in Madaba, Jordan. May, 2014. 

Perspective in Seascapes

Nature. And eons of time. We stand beneath them as they tower over us and we admire in awe their majestic-ness. But in all our insecurity, as much as nature can crush us, we have developed technologies and determination to overcome it.... 

I want to write more about this picture however I can not find the poetic words that can satisfy how I wish to convey its awe-ness to me. I wished I could be standing with those three people and stare right up the rock structure and then turn right and see the sun setting and welcome it’s rays upon my face. 

But I got the next best thing. This picture. The opportunity to capture it and frame it and share it with you, my audience: this photograph is for the both of us. 

 Taken at the Roauche landmark off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon. 

Taken at the Roauche landmark off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon. 

Describe What A Late Sunset At The Dead Sea Looks Like

Like a radial gradient tone of one stroke and one tone so gently moved from one side to the other. You gaze at the serenity from top to bottom, but then, a break in symmetry, something unusual like everything in life, the two people are not symmetrical but again, life everything in life, it doesn’t fit but it works. You just imagine yourself where they are. You want to be in that corner because it feels like an escape; feels like some place if you could just get yourself to be there for two minutes you will get the calm you’ve been looking for. Go ahead. Jump in. You don’t need to wait...

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An infinity pool, friends and some drinks with a crisp clear sky and your classic orange sunset. 

Reflections in Strasbourg

Captured on a Canon 70D with a 30sec. exposure on March 9th, 2015 in Strasbourg, France. A free wallpaper for any of your devices and visual pleasure... Hope you enjoy it, thank you.

Compositing Fun with Photoshop

 Combined an adventure photograph from a Dubai trip and two Wadi Rum night sky shots. I've only done a 2000px wide version of this so apologies if it doesn't quite fit your device screen whatever it is. I'll be uploading, or re-uploading actually a lot of old stuff I've done as well so you can refresh your device screens with sexy-pixels.

Thank you and please share and show some love :)

This image below is a composite of a photograph taken at the Dead Sea during sunset and also a couple of Wadi Rum nights-sky shots with a lot of layer adjustments and added details in the sky. Click on the image for a 2000px version to use for your screens. Thank you again.

An Out-of-Comfort-Zone Self-Portrait

This is Dina Fawakhiri. A good friend of mine who is a talented artist and illustrator. The idea of this portrait came to me one day where I wanted to photograph an artist in the midst of doing a self-portrait of themselves. I called her up and proposed the idea and she was excited; for two reasons, she's never done a self-portrait before, especially at this size on a wall, and she's never used this kind of paint. So I basically said "Get out of your comfort-zone and let's make something". After 3 Tuesday evening sessions, the last one being yesterday Dec.16th, she'd been sketching with a pencil her outlines and erasing and then sketching again using a phone-pic of herself as a reference. In a spur of the moment kind of thing, she got fed-up with how meticulous she was becoming trying to make it perfect, or just right, or justifying and in an artistic instant, she threw away everything, picked up the brush and just painted. This is the final result... I didn't want my photograph to be technically or artistically connected as artist to art-piece, I just wanted to capture a meaningful moment of accomplishment and keep the focus on the artist and art itself.

Breaking The Sky

The majestic scene of a sun's rays breaking out from behind a cloud is one of the most mesmerising natural scenes I can encounter. You know it's just physics, and nature, or just pure coincidence, however you can't help but think and reflect that there's something much bigger than you out there to admire. I intentionally did my best to get the two people in the bottom left corner in the shot to showcase the difference in perspective between them and this majestic view of the sky. I personally prefer putting people in the foreground when taking landscapes as it gives me, the photographer, a sense of what I'm capturing size-wise. And also, more importantly, when I see a person in a landscape photography, it makes me believe I'm there. It gives me a realistic sense of appreciating the beauty as if I'm standing there.

Double Star-Bursts

Back to the pre-visualization thing. I was walking about the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi earlier this year and looking for The shot. Scouting angles and perspectives, I can upon this scene. There was no person initially. But I knew I wanted someone walking. The only way to make this shot captivating was to have one person in the scene. I framed the shot, fixed my settings, placed the sunset in the right position on the right... And waited. I waited. I waited a while. I didn't want to ask anyone or 'stage' it in any way. So I waited some more. I literally stood there with knees bent a little and my camera to my face and my finger on the shutter button waiting for someone to walk into the scene. And then the lady did... and to make sure I I was satisfied, I pressed the shutter over 10 times and this is the one I love. For the longest time I used to always photograph scenes with nobody in them. I thought having a person might ruin it or disrupt the beauty-ness of it, but recently I realised that no, it doesn't, it actually provides or acts as a bridge for the viewer to imagine themselves in the scene. It provides a sense of scale and now, I aim for every fine-art picture I take to have this human element in there.

 A scene from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi during sunset.

A scene from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi during sunset.

Flashing the Milky Way

Can you comprehend that you are looking at something in the past? That object is so massive, so bright and so far that its light has taken 25,000 years to reach our tiny eyes. And we have the technology to capture that light and store it in a little frame. Concepts of space and time has always humbled me in such a way that I can't explain. And to be able to document that and fuse it with my passion for imagery and visuals has been my type of meditation in a way. I captured this photo a few weeks ago while camping in Wadi Rum with some friends. It was a New Moon, clear skies with no clouds and a crisp view of the Milky Way. The flashlight I'm holding up was, to me, an extra element to the photography that allows the viewer to make a connection between me, the group around the fire and the galaxy. Without it, I felt the photograph would not be as compelling or 'connective'. As if I'm lighting up the sky in a way. What do you think? What emotion does this image convey to you?

 Camping under the Milky Way in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

Camping under the Milky Way in Wadi Rum, Jordan.

Religion & Nature

I love landscapes and travel type of photography. Gives me a chance to explore my hometown and region where I'm from. My mission is to literally showcase the beauty of the middle-east region as much as I can. And so from constantly researching inspiration from landscape photographers online, I'm always mesmerised by photographs from Iceland, the Grand Canyon and other exotic places on every photographer's bucket list. And as much as I am proud of all the images I've captured from my two home-towns of Jordan and Lebanon mainly, this one image, taken at the Baptism site near the Jordan River stands out from my recent landscape photos. I was walking along the pathway looking for an angle and as I came upon this I saw it. A beautiful sunset, a religious structure, a bending body of water and luscious greenery. All the elements needed for a landscape image. To me, from a technical standpoint, the river leads my eyes from the bottom left towards the centre ending at the church. If this were anywhere else, I think it would be 'just another landscape' shot maybe, but because of its context knowing its in the location where Jesus Christ was baptised, so much intense history is suddenly added to it and brings about so many questions. That's one of the reasons I love photography, of the answers and beauty it gives yet the questions it adds as well.

 Greek Orthodox Church by the Jordan River near the Baptism Site at the Dead Sea in Jordan

Greek Orthodox Church by the Jordan River near the Baptism Site at the Dead Sea in Jordan

Pre-Visualisation and Hunting

In terms of landscape and travel photography, my process doesn’t begin until I lay my eyes on the viewfinder. I don’t think or sketch out an idea in my head or anywhere. I’m in a scene, in a moment and literally my process begins when I lift up my camera towards my right eye. That’s when I start. Kind of like a hunter on the look-out for a kill. It’s basically like that. There’s a quote that goes “Photographers are hunters, not cooks”. Meaning we’re not concerned with the critique and opinion after the image is captured. As much as I believe myself so, I try to be the hunter and the chef afterwards as I do care and would like to know how my audience perceives my photographs. In this image it was just like that. I got into the pool wondering what my shot is going to be and for a brief moment I saw the final photograph in my eyes while I was lifting my camera. My brain was instantly calculating the shutter speed, ISO and all the settings to get this picture. My fingers pressed buttons and rotated dials and 1 second later, I yelled to my three friends to “Please can you guys not move for 1.5seconds”… and they did so without responding or looking back. I knew they heard me and a second later I pressed the shutter. I took my kill and into the Photoshop kitchen I went. Slight highlight adjustments and saturation and voila. My aesthetic meal is served. Enjoy the view.