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Monthly Archives: March 2010
Cold, fog, and rain greeted us in Jordan, but the atmosphere was warm and welcoming at dinner the first evening. These musicians did a lot to warm up the reception when they broke into a traditional dance, complete with flourishing cutlasses (I’m glad they liked us).
The next day, though, was clear and sunny and most of our group headed off to the magnificent Petra. Having seen it before, I opted to go out to Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum looks for all the world like the Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah…..except that it has camels and bedouins. like these guys below, serenading us with music and song in their tent while we took a break from the midday sun.
For a couple more pix and a quick discussion of the flash technique for the top picture, hit the jump. Continue reading
We spent some time in Luxor, Egypt, seeing the great sites there, but then headed way out into the Sahara to a crossroads called Siwa Oasis, where we stayed at an amazing place, Adrere Amellal. It’s like a Saharan village with no electricity but tons of amenities for the traveler.
I made the above shot at twilght, and painted the adobes with my little flashlight to open them up a bit.
We had a spectacular tour of the dunes of the Sahara via land rover, and I’d love to post more pictures, but my internet connection is sooooooo slow here that I’m lucky to get these two up. Below is the bar….a necessary place for any water hole or oasis!
Next stop, Jordan!
Greetings from Jordan! Where the weather is wet and foggy and internet is GLACIAL.
I’m just preparing a blog entry about our visit to Egypt and the remote Siwa Oasis, but I wanted to share this video that Rich Kennedy, of the Doylestown Intelligencer, did about my little local portrait project.
Rich is an extremely generous photographer, and donated two full days of his time (on a weekend, on his days off) to run the computer end of the weekend of pro bono family portraits we did of area families serving in the armed forces.
I didn’t even have to ask Rich….once he heard about the project, he wanted to contribute.
Not only did he run the computer so that the 50 families could walk out from the session with a USB drive of JPEGs from their shoot, he also quietly saved my bacon with posing ideas when he saw me running into some creative brick walls (like fitting a family of 13 onto a backdrop).
If you ever wanted a guy to cover your back on a big shoot, you couldn’t do better than Rich Kennedy.
My long odyssey is starting with a bang with a quick (hey, everything is going to be quick) visit to Mali in Western Africa. We visited Djenne and its spectacular mud walled mosque. Loved walking through the streets grabbing street scenes with the 16-85mm.
The street vendors were ambitious, but not obnoxious. People were cool about being photographed, by and large. If they didn’t want it, they good naturedly wave a finger. But there’s so much to shoot, you don’t even feel a pang of regret if you have to walk away from a great photo. There’s another one around the corner.
I’m guessing the reason the vendors are not as aggressive as some other places I’ve been is because not that many tourists make it out here. It’s, as they say, hell and gone from everywhere.
This evening, we enjoyed a performance of Dogon dancers in a hotel courtyard. Perfect place to practice slow synch flash, or shake and bake, or strobe and burn, or whatever you call the technique of panning with a slowish shutter speed and firing the flash.
It’s onto Luxor and a desert oasis from here! I’ll keep you posted.
It was a glorious St. Patty’s Day in NYC this week….I, for one, had no idea that that many bagpipes and kilts existed on the whole planet, let alone on a forty block stretch of Fifth Avenue.
It was a lovely sunny day, creating killer contrast for shooters to deal with (look for the shade, look for the backlight!), but nothing but good vibes and comfortable marching conditions for the hundreds, maybe thousands (I swear, it felt that way), of marching bands.
The parade is as much about New York’s Finest and New York’s Bravest—-the police and the fireman—as it is about a Celtic saint. There’s a lot of heritage intertwined there, and if you think it’s been diluted over the years, well, just show up on Fifth Avenue any given March 17th and see for yourself.
The NYPD is so totally cool and professional handling these things and even near the end of the day, when a scuffle broke out among some young bucks in the low 40′s who enjoyed a bit too much of the green suds, they handled the situation with efficiency and aplomb.
It all happened behind me as I was photographing, but I felt it before I saw it, because I got winged with a bottle tossed by one of the scuffling celebrants. Thankfully, it was a full plastic bottle of Poland Springs mineral water, and not a fifth of Jamesons or Bushmills, so I’m upright and here to tell you about it.
I’m glad the lads had the good sense to toss the mixer, but keep the good stuff close at hand. Otherwise, I might have been in the ER instead of ready to leave on my six week odyssey.
Oh, and I spotted at least one shooter who was totally in the moment, and using the right brand camera to boot!
I’ll be back at you from Africa in a few days.