12 03, 2019

Old Gazelle Club Demolished

2019-03-12T10:06:14+03:00Mar 12, 2019|10 Comments

Not sure when this happened, but the Gazelle Club Facebook group yesterday shared photos of where Gazelle Club used to be located and the buildings have now all been demolished and cleared. They did leave the pier on the other hand which is pictured above.

Gazelle Club was a very popular beach resort in Kuwait back in the 60s and up until the 1990 Gulf War. During the Gulf War the resort was badly damaged and it was never rebuilt again. I’ve posted and shared photos before and after photos on the blog before and you can check those out [Here]

But, I just realized while writing this post that there are a few photos of the club which I had acquired from the KOC Archive which I never shared before. So, I’m also sharing those photos below.

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2 12, 2018

Kuwait City in the Fog

2018-12-03T11:35:04+03:00Dec 2, 2018|10 Comments

The beautiful picture above was shot by photographer Fahad Al Enezi over the weekend. The photo made me realize now that the weather is great I really should take out my drone for a shoot although I wish my DJI Spark had a better camera on it . Anyway, check out Fahad’s instagram for more photos [Here]

via @kuwaitup2date

28 10, 2018

Peak Design Camera Gear in Kuwait

2018-10-28T15:38:41+03:00Oct 28, 2018|11 Comments

Earlier this year I sold all my camera gear, and by all I mean everything from my DSLR and lenses, down to accessories like tripods and carrying bags. I wasn’t using my camera gear much cuz everything was so bulky and so got rid of them. Then last month I realized that I actually did need a camera, I just didn’t want something big so I ended up getting the new Sony A7 III mirrorless camera which I have been loving. I’ve also been slowly rebuilding my camera gear again from scratch and one of the first things I needed to do was get a camera strap and bag.

After doing a lot of research, I ended up with Peak Design for both the strap and bag. Peak Design is a pretty popular brand in the photography world, but I only recently found out about them because of their camera strap. Nearly all the Sony A7 review videos I watched had the circular red anchors (pictured above) and I didn’t understand what they were until I saw one of the reviewers snap his camera strap to it. That’s when I knew I needed that camera strap in my life. With my previous cameras, it was pretty unpractical to keep removing and putting the strap on so I always left it off, but with the Peak Design strap, it’s super easy. I shot the video below to show you how quick it is to snap the strap on and off.

I was going to order the strap online but decided to check and see if it was available locally and turned out AAB World had them. I ended up getting the Peak Design Leash Strap which is one of their thinner ones and while picking it up I also checked out the Peak Design bags.

When I was researching bags one of the things I was looking for was a bag that was at least half decent looking and the Peak Design looked pretty good online but I wasn’t convinced until I saw them in person and tried them out at AAB. I decided to go with their Everyday Sling model since I liked the way the bag looked and the way it’s worn. The Everyday Sling comes in two sizes, the 5L which I thought would be perfect for using when I travel, and the 10L size which I thought would be perfect to use locally when I needed to carry all my camera gear.

Full disclosure, AAB ended up giving me the 10L bag for free so I could review it. I had the choice to choose any of their bags but figured I’d have them give me the 10L so I could then buy the cheaper 5L version myself.

I picked up the bag a few weeks ago but waited to get my camera lenses before I could do a proper write-up, and now that I have most of my lenses, I’m kinda concerned the bag isn’t big enough and maybe I should be looking at their backpacks instead. The biggest issue is with my large 100-400mm lens which is a pretty tight fit heightwise. If you watch the video below you’ll see that I do manage to squeeze in all my lenses including the 100-400mm into the bag. But once I put my MacBook into the bag, then it becomes pretty difficult to zip up. I guess the easy fix is just not to carry my MacBook, but I really wanted a bag I could shove everything into and not worry about space.

One thing I was surprised with was how light the bag felt even though I had all my gear in it. I think that has to do with the way the bag is worn. Unlike a regular messenger bag which presses down on a small point on your shoulder with the weight of the bag being on your side, with the Sling, the weight of the bag is spread over a larger portion of your shoulder with most of the weight carried with the help of your back like a backpack. It’s a hybrid of a backpack and messenger bag and I found it easier to carry the gear without my shoulders starting to hurt. I also think the bag looks great and is really practical. You really should watch the video on the Peak Design website to find out about all the cool features of it since they do a great job of showing them. For example, I can carry my tripod with the Everyday Sling by strapping it to the bottom of the back or I can stack lenses inside the bag by using their “FlexFold” dividers. Peak Design really do think of everything which is why they’re loved by so many photographers.

If you’re interested in Peak Design gear, AAB are the local dealers and their prices are similar to if you order it yourself from the Peak Design website. The Leash strap cost me around KD14 while the Everyday Sling 10L bag sells for KD45. They’re both available on the AAB website [Here]

27 09, 2018

New NBK Tower Caught Fire

2018-09-27T16:44:00+03:00Sep 27, 2018|13 Comments

If you saw the large cloud of black smoke coming out of the city today, it was from the new under construction NBK tower which caught fire earlier today.

I was watching it from my office window before realizing my car was parked in their lot next door so I went to make sure my car was safe. When I got to my car I remembered I had my new Sony A7 III in the car so I ended up snapping some shots and also posted a bunch of videos on my instagram story.

I think all the workers came out safe and there were some who stayed behind to help the firefighters out by using the emergency fire hoses in the parking lot next door.

23 09, 2018

No Cameras Allowed on Green Island

2018-09-23T12:11:30+03:00Sep 23, 2018|18 Comments

A few days ago I went to Green Island with my new camera to take some pictures and was stopped on the way in. I had already purchased my entry ticket (1KD btw) and as I was walking in they spotted my camera and told me I couldn’t bring it in. I told them I had a camera on my phone as well but they were ok with that, but that I just couldn’t bring my camera in. I was like ok fine, I went back to the ticket window to return my ticket and get a refund, but I guess that would have been too much of a hassle for the guy because he asked me if I just wanted to take pictures? I told him yes so he then let me in with my camera.

I have no idea why they would be anti-photography, Green Island is a desolate place that has nothing going for it other than it being an interesting place to take some photos. So weird.

16 09, 2018

Hello Sony A7 III!

2018-09-16T15:46:26+03:00Sep 16, 2018|11 Comments

Earlier this year I sold all my Nikon photography gear because I wasn’t really using them. They were large and heavy so I spent more time using my iPhone and compact but full-frame Sony RX1 camera instead. That setup turned out to be fine for 80% of my needs, but over the past few months, I realized how much of a handicap it was by not owning a DSLR with changeable lenses. So I started looking at compact mirrorless cameras, specifically the Sony A7 series and the newly announced Nikon Z and Canon R series. Mirrorless cameras had similar capabilities as much larger DSLR’s, but they’re a lot more compact. I was kinda leaning towards the Nikon Z mirrorless camera, until I found out that AAB World had recently become official Sony camera dealers. That news made my decision easier, I was getting the Sony A7 III.

Full disclosure, I have a long-standing relationship with AAB World. They’ve been very active with me and the blog over the years and they’ve lent me lenses and camera gear to review whenever I wanted and also hooked me up with discounts. I’m a huge fan.

I’ve had the Sony A7 III for around two weeks and I love it so far. My aim with the A7 III was for it to play two roles, I needed it to be compact when I needed something small and portable, but I also needed a full frame camera I could attach various lenses too˙. The A7 III has fulfilled both those requirements. First thing I did after buying the camera was to get the compact Sony 35mm F/2.8 prime lens for the A7 III. With the 35mm lens, the A7 III was not that much larger than my RX1 (check the picture above).

The second lens I picked up was the Sony 12-24mm F/4 lens and now I’m planning to get the Sony 24-105mm F/4 and Sony 70-200mm F/4 lenses. I’m going with F/4 lenses and not brighter F/2.8 lenses because the F/4 versions are lighter, smaller, cheaper and nearly as good for my needs.

The A7 III feels really great in my hands and I’m loving all its features and capabilities. I can understand why many are calling it the best camera of 2018. I’ll be posting a more comprehensive review after I get the rest of the lenses and shoot some more with the camera. But first impressions, the A7 III is great, it’s so good that I’ve actually decided to sell my Sony RX1, something I told myself I wouldn’t do.

If you’re interested in the A7 III, AAB World are currently out of stock but they should getting another shipment soon. Here are their preorder links on their website:

Sony A7 III (Body only) – KD679
Sony A7 III (Kit including lens) – KD749

2 09, 2018

Stairway to the Desert

2018-09-02T11:29:40+03:00Sep 2, 2018|12 Comments

Over the weekend I posted the photo above on my story and got a lot of messages asking me what it was and where it was taken. So I decided I’d share the location on the blog in case anybody wants to head to it for a photo shoot.

The stairs to nowhere are located on the side of the highway that leads to Boubyan island. It’s adjacent to a large metal structure which I believe was used for a military parade a few years ago. Because of the metal structure, the stairs are pretty easy to find, if the metal structure is on your right, the stairs are right after it.

If you’re interested in heading out there, here is the location on [Google Maps]

7 03, 2018

Kuwait in the 1930s by Alan Villiers

2018-03-07T12:50:50+03:00Mar 7, 2018|15 Comments

Alan Villiers (spot him above) was an Australian adventurer who came to Kuwait in the 1930s. He ended up joining the crew of the Kuwaiti dhow ‘Triumph of Righteousness’ and set sail with them, passing through numerous East African and Arabian ports documenting his experience with words and pictures. He eventually published the book “Sons of Sindbad” as well as “Sons of Sindbad: The Photographs”. I only found out about Alan a couple of days ago and was really intrigued by his story especially since I hadn’t heard of him before.

You can find both his books on Amazon [Here] and [Here] but, you can also find some great photos of Kuwait taken by him in the 1930s similar to the ones in this post. The photos are from the National Maritime Museum (Greenwich) and are available to purchase. So if you want to check out Alan’s photos of Kuwait, click [Here]

Supposedly there are still thousands of photos taken by him of Kuwait that need to be digitized.

Update: Supposedly both books are available for sale at the Al Hashemi Marine Museum.