Review: Eye-Fi, Wireless Memory Card

Posted by Mark

I was looking for ways to breathe new life into my digital camera and while looking at some new lenses for it I realized one great thing I could add to the camera would be WiFi. Memory cards with WiFi built in have been around for some time now but I never saw a need for one until now. Although my iPhone takes some great photos, on more than one occasion I’ve struggled with it and in most cases its because I probably was indoors and the lighting was horrible. By having a digital camera with WiFi, I would be able to take shots with a more capable camera and then send it to my phone wirelessly on the spot so I could upload it onto Instagram.

I checked all the local online stores and found that Blink had two models, one was out of stock while the other available for KD19. It was for only 8GB but I decided to go for it anyway since I was picking up the Mercedes G63 to review that same day and wanted to try out the card while shooting it.

The way the card works is pretty straight forward. You download the Eye-Fi application from the Apple or Android store, and then run it and follow the onscreen instructions. The whole setup process takes a minute and when you’re done you just stick the memory card into the camera and take a photo. While the camera is still on, launch the Eye-Fi app and it will start downloading all the photos from the memory card onto your phone immediately. It works really well and I was able to capture the photo I wanted, send it to my phone, apply my filter and then upload it to Instagram without a hitch.

The memory card I got is an 8GB capacity with a Class 10 read and write speed. The only extra feature it has over regular memory cards is WiFi. It costs KD13 on Amazon without shipping but if you’re in a rush Blink have it for KD19.


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Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Posted by Mark

Before I arrived to Abu Dhabi I was given a bunch of activities to choose from and one of the available options was a tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Ever since I watched the video of the 3D mapped projections on the mosque two years ago I’ve been fascinated by the mosque. I hadn’t seen or heard of the mosque before that video and after watching it I thought that place looked really beautiful.

I was put up at the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi which was located practically across the street from the mosque and as I drove by on my way to the hotel I realized the place was as big as I imagined it would be. On the second day of my visit I was taken on a private tour of the mosque and I loved it. While still outside the mosque the first thing you’ll realize is that you can see the courtyard inside since the sides of the mosque are open and overlook a pool of water giving the place a very open feel. Once you walk through the main entrance the first area you get to see is the large courtyard. The sky was a nice blue and the mosque was crystal white so I was able to get some beautiful shots of the courtyard before we were led to the other end where we had to take off our shoes before being taken inside the mosque. Once inside I just couldn’t focus anymore, there was so much to see all around with one of the largest chandeliers in the world hanging above my head to the worlds largest carpet below my feet. The walls and ceilings were all intricately designed and I was just wandering around with my jaw dropped while the guide was explaining everything. It’s such a beautiful place and like nothing else I had ever seen before.

If you’re in Abu Dhabi and want a tour of the mosque they do offer public tours a number of times a day. You can find out more about that on the mosques website along with more information [Here]

Since I knew before hand I was going to visit the mosque I ended up borrowing the super wide angle Sigma 12-24mm lens from AAB World. If it wasn’t for this lens I wouldn’t have been able to capture the mosque in the way I did in the photographs above. Especially once I was inside the mosque since a normal lens wouldn’t have been able to fit so much detail and architecture all into one shot. I was planning to have a stand alone review for this lens but while I was getting all the photos ready for this post I realized sharing these photos would be the best review I could give it. It’s definitely not a day to day lens but on occasions like this I wouldn’t want to be stuck without this lens.


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Star Trails Session 8

Posted by Mark

Calling all photographers, if you’re interested in taking part in a group activity then this is for you. 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 meet up point will be the exterior 360 Mall parking lot [Map] this Friday November 1st at 4PM. For more informations and to sign up check this [Link]

Photo above taken by Saleh AlRashaid


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Kuwait 1969

Posted by Mark

A combination sand and rain storm batters a lone automobile in Kuwait, May 1969.
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID CUPP, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

The cool and eerie photograph above was featured today on the National Geographic Tumblr, Found. [Link]


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Review: Sigma Lens 24-70mm f/2.8

Posted by Mark

When I travel I don’t usually take my DSLR but instead either take my compact Panasonic GX1 or no camera at all and just use my iPhone which honestly is more than enough 95% of the time. But, since I was going to be in Europe over Eid for 20 days I figured I might as well take my Nikon D800 and make good use of it while I was there. Problem is I have 3 lenses, a 24mm, 50mm and a 80-200mm. I didn’t have one lens that was versatile enough to carry around. Since I had a great experience with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 previously, I decided to email my contact at AAB World (the Sigma dealers) and see what other full frame lenses they had which I could borrow and review for the blog and I was given the following options:

Sigma Lens 50MM F1.4
Sigma Lens 70-200MM F2.8
Sigma Lens 70MM 2.8 MACRO
Sigma Lens 85MM F1.4
Sigma Lens 8MM F3.5
Sigma Lens 12-24MM F4.5-5.6 MACRO
Sigma Lens 24-70MM 2.8

I decided to go with the 24-70mm since it was basically a combination of my 24mm and 50mm lens in addition to going further up to 70mm. It was also a bright lens at f/2.8 which meant I’d be able to use it in low light situations or blur out the background in portrait shots.

When I picked up the lens my biggest worry was that it would be large in size. The reason I am a fan of my 24mm and 50mm lenses is because they’re really compact and light which helps keep the weight down and also allows me to shove my camera into any one of my small messenger bags. A big lens would mean I needed to carry a larger bag which I didn’t want to. Luckily the Sigma 24-70mm turned out to be compact albeit a bit heavy since it’s a very solid lens with a full metal body and large glass. I really used to not like Sigma lenses since I always associated them with being poor build and of low quality but this is the second time I take out one of their new lenses and I’m really falling in love with them.

Using the lens was very practical and the zoom range with the fixed f/2.8 aperture didn’t make me miss my lighter prime lenses. The lens was fast to focus and near silent when doing so and I was able to use it for landscape shots as well as portrait ones because of the zoom range. My only wish because I’m greedy like that is if it was able to zoom even more like up to 120mm. But of course I want that while keeping the lens the same size and still keep the f/2.8 aperture which wouldn’t be possible.

The lens is available for both Canon and Nikon and AAB World are selling it for KD265 which is around KD30 higher than Amazon. For the size and the lens aperture You can check out their website for store locations [Here].


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Man on phone – 1964

Posted by Mark

I spotted this photo at the Bait Al-Othman Museum and posted it on my Instagram account last week. I don’t know who the original photographer is but if you want a higher resolution version of it click [Here]


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Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah featured on Instagram

Posted by Mark

The Instagram blog and official account featured the account of Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah a few days ago. Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah who was the person behind Villa Moda has been taking photos of household objects on stark white backgrounds which has proven to be popular with his followers.

I’m not aware of any other Kuwaiti account that has been featured on Instagram before. The photo they featured has already received over 300,000 likes while the article on the blog has received over 1,000 notes. You can check out his account by following him on @majedalsabahkuwait and you can also check out the feature on him [Here]

Thanks @geekinkuwait


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Excavator on Roof

Posted by Mark

This never ceases to amaze me. [Large Photo]


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Amazing shots of Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Yesterday I posted a beautiful shot of the Dubai nightscape and a commenter made me aware that the photos were taken by Daniel Cheong who happened to also take some beautiful shots of Kuwait. I’ve posted two of my favorite shots here but you can check out all his photos on his Facebook page [Here]


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Amazing shot of Dubai at night

Posted by Mark

via sjiles8

Update: Photo by Daniel Cheong


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