Monthly Archives: November 2013

Family Meal

Family Dinner

 Meal time is family time…take some quality time off from your busy schedule and spend it sharing a meal with your loved ones. It helps build relationships and makes you feel a whole lot better for having taken the time to do so.

This was taken in Al Ain Zoo earlier this year. The other animals were just roaming about aimlessly (at least that was how it seemed to us), but all the giraffe’s got together, and decided to have their afternoon meal. It was quite interesting to see how just one of them would pick up some of the grass, and suddenly there would be 3-4 heads converging on the one that had collected the grass, and they would all pick small shares literally from the others mouth. What was more surprising was that the one that had collected the grass in the first place did not seem to mind at all that the others were taking the grass literally out of its mouth. Fortunately, different giraffe’s kept picking up the grass,while the others helped themselves to a mouthful.

We took a few pictures and then moved on. What we found interesting about the giraffe’s were that they did not seem to mind sharing the food at all; something quite contrary to what we understand about the wild..that its all about the survival of the fittest.

We found the photography interesting for a few reasons…firstly, the calm temperament of the animals, secondly, their color made a nice contrast against the sky, and thirdly, because of their height, it helped to eliminate the clutter/distraction on the ground and leave a clear background to frame the image in.

Beat of the Drums

Culture 5

Festivals in India take on a different dimension. There are lots of preparations that take place prior to the event, people and the entire community as a whole sets aside time for their participation in the festivals. Added to that is the fact that the events that take place happen in the open public areas, so everyone has access to it. In some areas (like the one pictured above), there was not enough open place for the celebration to take place, so it happened on the main road.

Traffic was diverted, the road was cordoned off, and the drummers and elephant, marched through the street. The drummers seemed to have endless amounts of energy, the beats kept rolling out in great rhythm, they kept swaying to the beat, much to the excitement of the crowd surrounding them. All in all a very festive and happy mood for everyone.

The drummers as well as the organizers of the festival were very receptive to the fact that we were taking pictures, however, being able to get good pictures was a bit of a challenge. It was late evening, almost sunset time, light was low…the drummers kept walking forward, swaying to the beat, and drumming, the crowds surrounding them were anxious to get the best view, so not too receptive to the photo making, there were people constantly walking in front of the drummers, and the road was not wide enough to accommodate all the activity happening on it. With a lot of moving around, coaxing of the viewers, making many apologies, we were able to get some good pictures of the event. Lesson learnt, talk to people, explain what you are trying to do, show them the images you are making, and they will help and accommodate you.

A Beautiful Beginning

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Stop lazing in bed, get up early, – really early, and take a drive down to the Fujeirah coast, and in all probability, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful spectacles of nature….watch magic happen as the sun rises, and another brilliant day unfolds!

Believe you me, the level of satisfaction and contentment that you get after having capturing this spectacle, more than makes up for all  the trouble you took to get up early and make the journey here.

This picture was taken on a day when there was no wind at all, but on the days when there is a wind, it does become a challenge. You need to weigh your tripod down, else the wind can blow your camera over, there are a lot of waves that come rushing in and beating on the rocks, so a slow shutter speed can give you the milky effect of the water, and add an element of dynamism to the image.

There are various points along the coast that you can shoot the sunrise from, lots of rocks, lots of mountains. Chose the point you favour the most, but remember to plan, and chose your spot in advance. Pre-dawn, the roads are dark and winding,  and it is difficult to find a spot in the dark. In lieu of the oncoming traffic (if any) as well, its advisable not to keep stopping along the highway in the dark, looking for a decent spot to make your pictures from.

A Time Gone By

Places 2

It was only after we took up photography as a hobby/passion, that we realized that there was so much about the United Arab Emirates that we knew nothing about.  We had read in some of the books on the UAE, that there were several tribes that had lived in the mountains in Ras Al Khaimah, but now that things had changed, most of them had migrated to the towns and cities around, and were leading normal modern day lives like all of us.

So after a lot of reading, studying maps, asking questions etc,  we decided to look for the Stone Houses that were somewhere in the mountains in Ras Al Khaimah. We spent most of the morning getting to the area, and then after lunch, we found the dirt track which would seemingly lead us to the Stone Houses. We followed it, and sure enough, there were the houses, or at least the remains of the houses ahead of us. Made with just stones, and in some places a modern looking window, these houses gave us a feeling of sadness…we could almost imagine the whole place as it might have been in its prime days, each house with its little compound (the boundry was a line of stones all around the house); a small community of people tucked away in the mountains….today there was only the ruins of these houses, broken down, dilapidated, and just memories of a time gone by.

We stayed for a while, took some great photographs, wandered around the place – all by ourselves. There was no other sign of human activity around, just a feeling that while the pair of us were all alone in the mountains, we were not really alone!