Star Trails and Light Painting Photography Workshop

Post by Mark

The Q8 Expats Photography Club is organizing a star trails photography workshop at the end of this month. Star trails photography involves long exposure shots of either the sky or landscapes where the movement of the stars in the sky form light trails in your shots.

If you bring an extra camera or if you get bored trying to capture star trails they will also be painting with light so you could participate in that.

Here is a list of gear you need to bring:

1. A DSLR
2. A tripod
3. Cable release or intervalometer (for star trailing shots)
4. Bring extra batteries or at least fully charge yours
5. A high capacity memory card
6. Torch/Lights/Flash (for light painting)

The gathering will take place in Al-Rai outside The Sultan Center right next to McDonalds on the 4th Ring Road. It’s opposite all the car dealerships. The meet up will be at 4:30PM on August 30th. For more information visit their website [Here]

Photo above taken by Saleh AlRashaid


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2013 Sea-Doo jetskis for rent

Post by Mark

zDistrict posted on twitter about a jetski rental company with a delivery option so I called them up to get more details. Turns out the company is called Xtreme and they had a website listing all the Sea-Doo jetskis they had available for rent along with the prices. Other than the fact you get to rent 2013 model year jetskis, I found it pretty cool that they also delivery the jetski to you. Check out their website [Here]


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Al-Maidan Cultural Centre

Post by Mark

Tonight I passed by the Al-Maidan Cultural Centre for a showcase of new Kuwaiti writing and directing talent. It was just a one night event and a friend of mine was taking part so I passed by with some friends to watch the performance. It was my first time at Al-Maidan Cultural Centre and I was surprised to find out that the place was located just a 2 minute drive down the street from my apartment in Salmiya. It has a very nice setup on the inside and there seem to be a lot of different events that take place there all year round.

If you want to check out some of the events and performances that take place at the Al-Maidan Cultural Centre then you should download their calendar from their website [Here]


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Grease by Kuwait Little Theatre

Post by Mark

I’m not really a musical fan, actually before tonight I don’t think I’ve ever been to a musical in my life. I’m still not a fan of musicals but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the performance tonight by the Kuwait Little Theatre. Right now they have Grease running and as of this post they still had one day left where tickets weren’t sold out.

If you’ve never been to a KLT show before you should, they have some really great performers and Grease was pretty fun to watch. If you want to book tickets visit their website [Here]

Note: You’ll probably wanna pass by Johnny Rockets when done.


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It’s wakeboarding season now, here’s what you need to know

Post by Mark

I already posted about wakeboarding late last year but since summer is here I figured I would repost about this for everyone that missed it.

The first time I went wakeboarding I wasn’t expecting it to be that difficult. For some reason I had the impression it would be fairly easy to stand on the board while pulled by a boat and performing all kind of stunts. Turns out it wasn’t easy and I spent the first 20 minutes just trying to get up out of the water and stay up before losing control and crashing into the water. It wouldn’t be that bad if it wasn’t for the fact every time I crashed I ended up swallowing so much water. After awhile you get the hang of getting up and standing on the board and then it becomes about how long can you stay up without losing balance. Once you get comfortable you start trying to change directions going left or right and the more comfortable you get the more things you end up trying to do. In my case by the second time I went wakeboarding I had pretty much gotten the hang of it.

While with jet skis you can just go out and rent one from a number of places on the Gulf Road, with wakeboarding it’s not that easy. Last year when I wanted to try wakeboarding I did a bit of research and found out about Q8 Balance who for a fixed hourly rate will take you or teach you wakeboarding out in Khiran City. Since then I’ve been only going out with them since I like them and haven’t really checked to see if there is any another group that provide a similar service. Q8 Balance charge KD35 for an hour so if you split it with a friend or two it becomes a fairly affordable and fun activity to do. Only issue I found with them is that they are pretty popular so you need to book a time slot way ahead of time.

So if you’re interested in wakeboarding here is the link to the Q8 Balance [Facebook Page]

If you know of another group that also offers wakeboarding please post it in the comments below with the details.


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Powered Paragliding in Kuwait

Post by Mark

I love it when people say there isn’t anything to do in Kuwait because it just makes me want to work harder trying to prove them wrong. This weekend I went paragliding in Kuwait and it’s just another one of many activities you can now add to your to do list.

Last week I called the Kuwait Aviation Club and booked a paragliding appointment for Friday afternoon. The meetup point was also the takeoff point and that was past Khiran City near exit 285 [Map]. Once I arrived I met with Sultan Alanizi who is the only certified paragliding instructor in Kuwait and the guy who would be piloting our flight. Since the wind was a bit strong we had to hang out a bit and wait for it to slow down. While waiting, two other paragliders joined us as well. Turns out it’s sort of a club and they usually go flying together whenever they can. After around 30 minutes of waiting the wind had slowed down and we were ready to take off.


[YouTube]

The setup is a sort of an open cage buggy with a large engine and fan connected at the back. The buggy has two seats, the one in the front is for the pilot while the one in the back is for the passenger. After doing some safety checks, I was asked to put on my helmet and strapped myself into the chair. A few moments later we took off.


[YouTube]

Right after take of we started gaining a lot of altitude very quickly and we ended up going pretty high up. It was close to sunset and it was also low tide so I ended up taking a lot of beautiful shots from the sky. We flew towards Khiran City and circled it a few times while changing altitude every now and then. It was very cool although it kinda became repetitive after circling the third time. Finally after 30 minutes we headed back to our original take off spot and landed.

If you’re interested in paragliding you can do so by calling Sultan on 66515855. The cost is KD30 for 30 minutes and you need to hurry up because once the weather gets warmer they stop flying.


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It’s Jet Ski season again, here’s what you need to know

Post by Mark

The weather this past week has been fantastic, it was sunny and the skies were a deep blue with very little wind. It’s really the best time for outdoor activities including jet skiing.

If you’ve never jet skied before it’s really very easy and not complicated at all. Jet ski has just two buttons and one leaver. The buttons are for starting and shutting down the engine while the lever is for accelerating. To slow down the jet ski you just let go of the lever. You don’t need to know how to balance a jet ski or anything of the sort, you just sit on it and pull the leaver and that’s pretty much it.

There are various locations on the Gulf Road where you can rent jet skis from and they all basically follow the same guidelines. You need to keep your Civil ID with them while the jet ski is out with you and you also have to sign a waiver/contract. Some locations offer lockers to put your stuff in others don’t. I would recommend you keep everything in the car anyway and then either leave your keys with them so they don’t get wet or get a small waterproof pouch to take with you. Some jet ski renters also give you a cheap Casio watch to wear so you know how much time you’ve been out for and when you need to be back by. Most also have a tap/shower to rinse off once you’re done.

The cost of renting a jet ski is KD10 for 30 minutes or KD15 for 1 hour. If you’re interested in renting one below are some Google Map links to various locations along the Gulf Road. If you’re planning to take pictures make sure your phone has a water poof case.

Location 1
Location 2
Location 3
Location 4


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The Shooting Range

Post by Mark

As a final leg of the Kuwait tour, me and my friend who’s visiting Kuwait decided to pass by the shooting range. I hadn’t been to the shooting range since they first opened around 9 years ago and all I remembered about the place was that it was pricey which is why I never went back again.

There are two different types of weapons you can fire, rifles and handguns. In each category you have different weapons to choose from and each with a different price. This is the list:

Handguns:
9mm – 20 rounds for KD6
38mm – 20 rounds for KD6 (revolver)
40mm – 20 rounds for KD6
45mm – 20 rounds for KD7

Rifles:
.22 Long Rifle – 10 rounds for KD5
9mm Assault Rifle – 20 rounds for KD6
.223 Assault Rifle – 10 rounds for KD7
7.62 Hunting Rifle – 10 rounds for KD8

We started with the handguns first and then moved to the rifles after that. If you’ve never fired a gun before it’s not an issue since there will be an expert with you the whole time who will briefly teach you about the weapon as well as how to load the bullets and aim properly. 20 rounds won’t really last long but they will last you longer than you’d expect them to since you will be taking your time and aiming properly before every shot. The magazine holds 8 bullets (I think) so you will also have to reload it half way through.

The rifle was pretty fun to fire as well and maybe even more fun than the handguns. They’re easier to aim with because they come with scopes but they’re tricky since any slight movement while pulling the trigger and you’re off target. The 10 rifle bullets lasted me longer than the 20 handgun bullets because you really take your time aiming accurately. If you’ve always wanted to be a sniper this is your chance.

The shooting range complex is located off the 6th Ring Road right behind the Hunting and Equestrian Club. Here is the location on [Google Maps]. Make sure you have some sort of ID with you since you won’t be able to fire a gun without one. There is also an ATM machine at the location and they accept credit cards and Knet.


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Star Trails Session IV

Post by Mark

Calling all photographers, if you’re interested in taking part in a group activity then this is a good one. Star trails photography involves long exposure shots of either the sky or landscapes where the movement of the stars in the sky form light trails in your shots (similar to the shot above). Not only will you end up with some interesting shots but its also a great way to meet new people.

Here is a list of gear you need to bring:
1. A DSLR
2. A tripod
3. Bring extra batteries or at least fully charge yours
4. A high capacity memory card
5. Shutter release
6. Food
7. Flashlights
8. Mat or chair to sit on

The meetup point will be the Mishref CO-OP parking lot on March 15th at 6PM. For more details check this [Link]

Photo above taken by Saleh AlRashaid

Thanks Kim


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Kuwait City Museums

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I decided to pass by three museums with a friend of mine. All three museums are located right next to each other so you could cover them all in under two hours. There’s actually a fourth museum right next to the Maritime Museum which you could visit as well, the Modern Art Museum, but they were closed when I passed by.

Maritime Museum
Our first stop was the Maritime Museum which is located opposite Souk Sharq. It’s easy to spot since they have to large wooden ships parked outside with a miniature light house [Google Maps]. The museum is pretty nicely designed on the inside, it’s two floors and pretty modern looking with a ship like structure being the main inspiration to the design. They have a lot of sea related items on display from old tools used to build the ships to fishermen gear. Really worth checking out.

Here is their visiting hours:

Monday to Saturday
8:30AM to 12:30PM and 4:30PM to 8:30PM

Friday
4:30PM to 8:30PM

Dickson House Cultural Centre
Further up the road was the Dickson House Cultural Centre. The Dickson House served as offices and residences for the British Political Agents in the early 1900’s. I didn’t like this place much since there wasn’t much to see inside and the whole interior was refurbished but not to the original state. The outdoor yard in the back on the other hand was nice and the Dickson House caretaker Fayez, whom one of my readers nicknamed the Tour Guide Nazi (in reference to Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi) was a really interesting character. I actually enjoyed sitting on the bench in the yard chatting with him more than the actual tour. [Google Maps]

Here is their visiting hours:

Monday to Saturday
8:30AM to 11:30AM and 4:30PM to 8:30PM

Friday
4:30PM to 8:30PM

Amricani Cultural Centre
The final destination was the Amricani Cultural Centre which is located across the street from the House of Parliament. The Amricani was originally the American Mission Hospital and just recently got renovated and opened to the public. Lectures and exhibitions take place there occasionally but when I passed by there wasn’t anything going on. They do have a 20 minute movie you can watch about the history of the hospital but personally I’d go there just to see their freaky looking display. It’s a small corner showing how the hospital used to look like when it first opened but it really looks like a scene from the movie SAW. Definitely worth checking out. They didn’t have opening hours displayed and I couldn’t find anything on their website but my guess it’s similar to the other two museums above. [Google Maps]

Monday to Saturday
8:30AM to 11:30AM and 4:30PM to 8:30PM

Friday
4:30PM to 8:30PM

All the museums above are free of charge to enter.


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