I will be the first to admit that I'm not a photographer. However, I do try to put some thought in my pictures. Sometimes the results are interesting... Inspired by very kind comments from +Anne Mette Agerholm and other people in G+, I'll start sharing 'interesting' photos from my albums. Not only will it give me more material to post, but it'll also give me a chance to share with others some of the unique things I've seen and experienced.
Around July 2009 I left my job at Qatar University after growing frustrated with my career and life. I wanted to pursue writing, but had doubts and so many unanswered questions. Family and friends hassled me with questions about what my next step will be. I had no answer, but felt the need for space and to lose myself into something different. That 'something different' turned out to be an eight-month long journey across eastern Europe. I flew to Lithuania in September 2009, headed southward until I hit Montenegro, then made sort of a u-turn and traveled back north until I got to Ukraine where I ended my trip in May 2010. Almost two years later, have things become clearer for me? Yes - well, somewhat. The experience of that journey still has not fully sunken in - I have a hard time believing that it actually happened. If anything, the journey was very adventurous and profound.
This photo was taken from my bed & breakfast room in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. It rained so heavily on that day that, through my window, the world outside looked blurry! Read post in Google+
The fact that this kind of sloppy parking is tolerated really frustrates me (the truck is parked over two places).
Every morning I go to a specific Starbucks branch to work on my writing. The staff there all know me - they call me 'The Writer'. I sit at a table tucked away in the back, near the loo. On my chair is carved the number 187 (see picture). It's kind of disturbing: 187 is a slang term for the crime of murder (it refers to Section 187 of the California Penal Code, which defines the crime of murder). It also happens to be the title of a film starring Samuel L Jackson released in 1997 about gangs in high school.
It's very random. And I get a laugh at imagining some skinny chump carving up the numbers, thinking he's all cool being gangsta'
Here are few pics taken today of the camel market in Kuwait. It's about a 30 min drive from the city, in a very dodgy part of the country (especially at night - all sorts of crimes happen there). The area is mostly desert and not far from the post apocalyptic world of Mad Max 2! Read post in Google+
Here's a picture I've taken of the display window of a clothes store in Zurich, Switzerland. The mannequins you see, can you name the people they are modeled after? Read post in Google+
[Kuwait and New Year Celebrations]
Usually this time of year newspapers remind us that all celebrations for the new year are banned (because it's a non-Muslim event). People in Kuwait never really pay attention to these headlines and usually organize private parties. However, things are different this year. But in a weird way. The article below (taken from the Al-Qabas newspaper) states that public celebrations for the new year are permitted and are to be held at the ice rink on December 30th!!! How random... Read post in Google+
I've been away for a while, so I haven't been able to post much on my stream. Now that I'm back I've finally completed the task of preparing the album of photos I've taken on my trip to the Ukraine - the last album on my journey across eastern Europe.
I had to cut my Ukraine trip short because I was mentally exhausted from living off of my back pack for 8 months straight. The bulk of my pictures are from the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. Lviv is one of the big surprises of my trip. It's a charming city rich in history and filled with beautiful buildings designed in the Viennese architecture. I hope you'll see what I mean from my pictures.
If you'd like to see more photos of my trip, then please feel free to go to my profile and look into the Photos tab. There you should see the albums for: Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro/Bosnia/Serbia/Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania.
[Photography: Robert Doisneau (1912-1994) - Pictures of street life in Paris]
I recently learned that Robert Doisneau is the author of this iconic picture (Le Baiser de l'Hote de Ville, Kiss by the Hotel de Ville).
According to The Encyclopaedia of Photography (1984):
"Robert Doisneau, one of France's most popular and prolific reportage photographers, is known for his modest, playful, and ironic images of amusing juxtapositions, mingling social classes, and eccentrics in contemporary Paris streets and cafes."
The story behind this picture (taken in 1950) is interesting. Doisneau was a street photographer and, for the longest time, people thought that the kiss was a random scene that Doisneau was lucky enough to capture. In 1992 it was revealed that it was actually posed. The photographer noticed the couple, found them charming and asked them to pose at three different locations. Doisneau had this amusing statement to say about his picture:
"I would never have dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate. — Robert Doisneau, 1992" (report on the auction of ''Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville''". BBC News. 2005-04-25. Retrieved 2011-08-12.)
Interestingly, years ago I watched a short black and white film that created a fictionalized account of the back story for this picture, ending with the iconic kiss. It was very well done, but I don't remember the name of the film. This is a long shot, but has anyone seen that short film?
Doisneau has taken incredible pictures of street life. From what little I've seen, I'd highly recommend looking at these pictures: The Factory, Sidelong Glance, Pipi Pigeon, Picasso, Cellist, Luxembourg Gardens Read post in Google+
I nearly got into a car accident a couple of days ago. I was on the left lane and about to turn at a traffic signal when some f'n idiot on the lane to my right made a u-turn in front of me. Our cars didn't collide but I was furious and let out some serious road rage. The other car just drove off like nothing happened.
Car accidents in Kuwait are a part of daily life. Driving on any of the highways, you come across cars totalled beyond recognition. They're left on the shoulder like an exhibit on reckless driving. It makes no difference - people still drive like they don't care for their life or that of others around them.
Below is a picture of a campaign against reckless driving. Officials thought it'd be a good idea to put a totalled car on a pedestal facing one of the more busiest streets in the country. On top of the car is a speedometer with the dial pointing to 160. In front of the car is a stand with a sign that reads 'Be careful'.
I doubt how effective this display is. Well, at least someone had the bright idea to start a campaign... Read post in Google+
[Film Poster - Expendables 2]
Although I'm more into independent and foreign films I have a very soft spot for action stars from the 80's. The Expendables was dreadful. I knew it was going to be awful (a big reason is because Stallone directed it - the man is a terrible director in my opinion) but I still went to its premier in Paris and got to see Sly, Lundgren and the Stath present the film.
Here's the poster for Expendables 2. This time it's directed by Simon West (director of 'Con Air') and stars: Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, Statham, Lundgren, Van Dammage and Chuck Norris! Read post in Google+
I was hoping I could post this album earlier in the day, but I unfortunately got busy. Tomorrow may also be a busy day...
I went to two cities in Switzerland: St Gallen and Zurich. St Gallen is a pretty small city with a small 'old-town' that is famous for its monastery complex (a UNESCO world heritage site). Zurich is a bigger city (not to mention the most expensive city in the world, according to a recent article I've read on Radio France International) and is very historical, going back to Roman times.
In the album you'll find a few photos of the hotel Greulich - the boutique hotel I stayed at in Zurich. I played around with angles and reflections and was lucky enough to get some interesting shots. The picture of the wine glass on a table is an interesting one. Check out the table - it's completely covered with wine labels!
It was early afternoon when I came across this bakery. The small sign in the middle says: 'will return at 16:30'! Got to love France. Where else in the world can someone choose to close up shop in the middle of a working day (assuming that Sunday is a working day for this baker)?? Read post in Google+