First visit to the new National Museum of Qatar

It’s been awhile since my last posting. been so busy settling into a new project at my day-job as an architect. Amongst all of this, I was fortunate to visit the newly completed National Museum of Qatar recently, on a quiet Friday morning with nobody around. This architectural masterpiece by french architect Jean Nouvel was inspired by desert roses, crystallised sand that can be found in some desert regions, including Qatar. These are some of my first impressions, taken with my Leica Q.


One of the finer details that immediately struck me, is that the exterior paving is constructed from rough concrete with sand and small stones strewn over it. This closely resembles the Qatar desert floor. The sandy paving gradually transitions to cobble stones at the entrances to the building.


I’m looking forward to a few more visits, as well as (obviously) exploring the interior and displays on offer.


Low Summer is back!

There are a few real challenges being a photographer in Qatar. The most obvious is the harsh climate. It is virtually impossible to venture outside (let alone into the desert) during the roughly six months that we consider "high summer" due to temperatures that can routinely exceed 50 degrees Celsius. Thankfully "low summer" 2018/2019 has arrived, meaning desert exploration trips are again possible for the next few months.

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My Evolving Social Media Diet Plans

For a good while now I’ve been wondering what the true added value of various social media platforms are in support of my photography ambitions, and on my personal life as a whole. I’ve expressed some of my opinions on this matter before in a previous posting called Social Media is making us dumb. This continuing stock-taking effort is perhaps not entirely personal, as I notice many other photographers also expressing similar doubts and reservations online.

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Shooting Film again on a Rolleiflex

It was with almost childlike anticipation that I delivered my first roll of film for development in perhaps two-and-a-half decades. It's been long in the planning since I bought a few rolls of 120 film on impulse on a visit to Dubai a while back. At the time I didn't know which of my vintage cameras I'd be using, but I suspected 120 film should at least fit one of them. As I'd bought all my vintage cameras at bargain prices over time, I wasn't even sure which of them actually still works. 

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The Leica Q as a Travel Camera

Being a bit obsessed with travelling as lightly as possible, the Leica Q is a compact camera, but nowhere near as compact as the Fuji X100s. Even when the Fuji is adorned with an adapter lens, it is still more compact and lighter to carry around. Though I did start getting used to the feel of the Q in hand, I still find the Fuji to be more comfortable to carry around and hold for long periods while moving around. I prefer using a wrist strap, which works perfectly well on the Fuji.

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Dusting off the Rollei for Croatia

Apart from my current favorites, my Leica Q and Fuji X100s (no, still can't put it away), I'm also planning to try my hand at film photography again. I'll be taking along an old Rolleiflex I picked up in an antique shop in Aleppo (Syria) some years back. After consulting a few YouTube videos to understand how it works, as far as I can now tell, it is in some form of working order.

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SaPa Collection Revisited

I’ve spent the last few weeks working through my entire Vietnam archive, stretching from my first visit in 2007, through to 2011. More specifically though, I’ve reconsidered my images from a visit to the northern mountain region around SaPa and surroundings, a mountain village where a number of ethnic minorities reside and trade their cultural wares with tourists.

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Social Media is making us dumb

These are platforms where anything goes, where the good and the bad are hardly indistinguishable anymore. It seems like our brains are switching off when bombarded with a constant flow of information. This information is dished up in such a way that, once we've scrolled past it for that fleeting second, most of the information the posting contains become forgotten history.

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The Street Photography Dilemma Solved

Though many variations can be found, street photography is generally defined as a type of photography that features candid moments of subjects in public spaces. This I consider to be the most basic, purist definition, but it becomes more complicated when one extract further meaning from this simple statement. Let's consider the three key words making up this basic definition: "Subject", "Candid" and "Public".

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Five days in Tbilisi and Kazbegi

First impressions of the city were promising, especially while driving through the historic downtown area from Freedom Square down Rustaveli Avenue. This area contains many grand, historic European style buildings. Most of these buildings are well maintained and beautifully lit, which made an even better first impression while driving through the streets during a perfect blue hour. I was excited about the prospect of getting shooting out into the streets as soon as possible.

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Oh come on! Street Photography isn't dead!

It's become a bit of a trend over the last few years to (rightly) question where the genre of Street Photography is heading towards. With typical arguments decrying the facts that "everybody calls themselves photographers", "everybody carries a camera", "social media sites are flooded with bad and mediocre images", ""likes" have become more important than real skill", bla bla bla, together they stack up making a highly compelling case motivating the demise of Street Photography.

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My Street- and Travel Photography Genesis

I quickly realized that this very Jaipur trip was kind of my Street- and Travel Photography genesis, ground zero where it all started. Apart from a disturbing, unhealthy fascination with the "dutch angle" at the time, and shooting most images in a cinematic 16:9 ratio (even in portrait!) this set of images is the first one that showed some kind of promise.

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