Frequent commenter Daggero asked for photos of clouds and rain to help him get through the long hot days of Ramadan in Kuwait. Yesterday I published cloud photos; today we had a downpour, so here are some rain photos:
First thing I learned is that it’s not that easy to shoot rain drops. You have to shoot them against a darker background, and you have to shoot them at a slower speed, else you don’t see them at all.
This was great exercise. Now I want to go to Paris in November for more practice. Paris gets lots of rain in November, fewer tourists, it’s more the real Paris. It would also be great for shooting in black and white, people holding umbrellas, bent against the wind-driven rain, great architectural and textured backgrounds . . .
Every now and then, the perfect night comes along. We weren’t the only ones out taking photos – it was that kind of night.
There are still pockets of serenity; one of the older fishing boats moored in Doha:
This isn’t a great shot, shooting through the windshield while at a stop-light, but this is the Barzan Towers. It used to be one of my very favorite buildings in town; I loved the way it incorporated some of the old Gulf themes into it’s modern day structure. Now, it is dwarfed by taller buildings, some of which also incorporate traditional details, most of which don’t. You really have to look for it to see it now.
It’s not photoshopped, or any kind of shopped – it’s the “light haze” that makes this rising sun appear so gigantic. I can’t even focus as I try to shoot it, there is so much refracted light. I just have to trust, as I snap the shutter, that the camera can figure out how to manage it. Once again, I focused on the reflection; it was the only line the camera could focus on; the rest is just a blur. I am using my smaller Lumix, it doesn’t have a viewfinder, so it is much harder to see what you are shooting.
It’s going to be HOT today. For me, anyway, anything above 22°C / 72°F is getting a little heated up.
Have a great day, Kuwait.
While you are getting all dressed up in your Eid clothing, and preparing to visit one another, I am still in my nightgown, blogging away, and snapping photos, trying to capture the vastness of the fishing blockade off the coastline. It is too much for my mind to comprehend, and there is too little I can do to get a good photo.
Here is a section of the flotilla – just a section; there are so many fishing boats!
Here is a close up, using the extended zoom (it’s so pixellated that I think extended zoom is not always such a good thing)
And so I asked my photo program – iPhoto – to see what it could do, just clicked “enhance” and this is what my photo program thought would be a better photo:
At 0700 this morning, it is only 81°F / 27°C. What a change! No steamed up windows, the humidity is also down.
I love October in Kuwait, when the temperatures swing dramatically into the comfortable zone, and we can even start eating outside at night. We are yearning to go back to the Souk Mubarakiyya after church on Fridays, or on a relaxed Saturday night. Or Paul’s in the Fehaheel Al Kout Mall, out by the fountains. For six months, Kuwait is a delightful place to be. While my fellow Americans – or at least those not stationed in Kuwait or Iraq or Qatar – are slogging their way through the rain and wind and snow, we are basking in a sweet mostly-warm climate, our reward for the brutality of the summers here.
Although – there ARE people who love the heat! I even notice that I am not so uncomfortable in the summers as I once was. Unless it is humid, I don’t even break a sweat when I am out, or else it is so hot that it is just evaporating off me and I don’t even know it.
Yesterday, when I got up, it was too late to catch the sunrise, but what I did catch was lovely – a whole fleet of boats out fishing. Thanks to Enviro Girl telling me about the enhanced zoom capability on my camera, I was able to get some fairly clear shots, even at a distance:
Here, they’re hauling in something for dinner!
If you want to see all the photos from the Souk Mubarakiyya, just do a search in the search box to the right and it will show you all the articles and photos I have taken there.
I meant to post this one with the others and I forgot.
My two sisters and I all have the same camera, and my niece, and my son and his wife, so we all share information. Like on our trip, EnviroGirl explained that if you made the picture size smaller, it extends the optical zoom, so if you don’t need a really vast photo, you can focus on something and get this huge telephoto. I had no idea until she explained it. Like yes, it is in the book, and I even read the book, but there is SO MUCH in the book.
My sister Sparkle told us about using a feature called Fireworks. She tried it for fireworks – it works! It also works on moon shots, although there is another feature called Starry Nights for that.
One thing totally cracks me up. There used to be a Simple Mode indicated with a heart, it was simple and automatic, and no one liked to use it. The newer models have something called Intelligent Automatic, and we all use that mode because it gets the best photos. We would never dream of using something called “simple” but “intelligent!” That’s very different!
Mariner Man, Sparkle’s husband, doesn’t use the same camera but he showed us a new technique he says is working for him, getting interesting and new photos: put your camera really near the ground or on the ground.
Good tip, Mariner Man!
So I’m kind of waiting for sunset, and photo ops just keep happening. There are wonderful kids flying kites, and I wait, and I get the shot I want – what joy!
And then, as the sun continues setting, along come a couple surfers.
This isn’t such a great shot, but it is the only shot I got of one of them up on his board. He wasn’t up for very long.
This hasn’t happened to me for a long time – my memory card is full. I have to quickly go through and delete anything excessive to have room for the sunset. And then – the sun goes into a fog bank. I had thought it would shine through, but no – the fog EATS the sun! And, just at that moment, the surfers decide to go home and I get my last shot:
You take a winding road, up hill and down, with steep drops on the ocean side, to get to Indian Beach – but it is worth the effort. There is a great view, restrooms, and you can visit the tidal pools. I loved all the wet suits lined up to dry on the fence here. Families were brewing coffee, making sandwiches, surfers were out waiting for a good wave to come along, and it was a fabulous location:
We had reservationsin Nkwali, the jumping off place for most of the Robin Pope Safaris, but we had to change the reservations by a couple weeks, and that meant a total reversal of the reservation. We started off in Tena Tena, then we went to Nsefu, then we ended up in Nkwali. We have always loved Nkwali, loved the cabins there, but this time we were happier than happy – they put us in Robin’s House.
Robin’s House is where Robin and Jo Pope lived before they built a gorgeous house on the other side of the camp.
It is perfect for two couples, or two couples and children. It is perfect in so many ways that I had to make a list of all the things I loved about being there.
* Space – spacious bedrooms, spacious, private bathrooms on each side of the house with a spacious common living/sitting/dining room in the center.
* Indoor/ outdoor living – the windows have screens on them to keep out critters, but indoors or outdoors, it all feels a part of a whole.
* Wrap around windows – a view anywhere you look
* Huge walk in shower, with animal prints molded into the painted cement floor. Love the whimsy.
* High, airy ceilings, with ceiling fans
* natural materials, canvas colored curtains, a neutral palette with beam accents
* great big soft fluffy bath towels
* all our favorite drinks stocked in the refrigerator, and a liquor bar, which we barely touched, that had Amarula, which I love.
* electricity! We could recharge our own camera batteries without going to the camp itself
* being taken care of by a hostess, a cook, a dedicated guide and Thomas and Amos, who took care of us without over-taking-care of us – they gave us plenty of privacy when we needed it, and were there when we needed them.
* variety of seating for people of different heights
* Tribal Textiles accents – pillows, covers, etc – in rooms
* a book case! With books! and games!
* multiple views of hippos, and hippo sounds at night
* grand, comfy beds with good sheets, good pillows and good mattresses
* kikoys provided for our use
* shaded porch with a variety of seating options
* a hammock with a view
* insect repellant – with a good smell and nice texture, and it really seemed to work
* ditto shower gel and shampoo and conditioner provided
* a drying rack for swimming towels, washed clothes, etc.
Our last day there, LawAndOrder Man and EnviroGirl had to leave for their 32 hour return to the USA, flying Mfuwe – Lusaka – Johannisburg – Dakar – Atlanta – Pensacola – imagine. And they had to work the next day. It was such a sad parting, and we were all glad to have had the last days together in this beautiful, very private location.
You know, the little Alaska girl is still alive and well inside me, and I am always fascinated with fishing techniques. This was right across the river from Robin’s House, and they caught quite a few fish.
Robin and Jo Pope have expertise, and also VISION. Problems, to them, are opportunities. Need to get tourists to the camps? Invest in an airline. Need to get them to the national park across a river? Build your own pontoon bridge – it gives Zambia additional park revenue, provides additional employment, and gives tourists a thrilling experience. When they solve a problem, everyone wins.
We crossed several times on this boat, and once, in pitch dark, got caught on a tree snagging us from under the water. It took about 15 minutes to maneuver us off, and to get across, but it is not like this ferry is on a schedule. It goes back and forth when vehicles are going into or coming out of the park.