Bittersweet Christmas Eve

We’ve spent 4 and a half years in this house. For the past 2 months, we’ve been waiting to hear if we stayed or had to leave. The news came on the 24th: my contract isn’t renewed – and it ends on the 31st of december.

On Christmas day, I went in to work to plead for some decency, allowing us to turn around by giving us at least 2 month’s notice. We’ll see what happens.

Christmas eve 2014 was probably the worst I’ve ever had to endure. We had to announce to the kids that they wouldn’t be returning to school in January.

But I want to celebrate the joy and happiness of a Christmas with a family. We’re being given a new beginning. We’ll make of it what we can, but it will surely be great.

Shooting for the Moon – a David Alan Harvey lesson

Last March I took David Alan Harvey’s class at GPP. One of my fellow students chose to shoot Sheikh Zayed Mosque for his photo essay. It turned out pretty well, except for the ONE shot David kept asking him for: “get me the Moon and the Mosque together”.

It led to some memorable in-class exchanges – from which I learned 2 things: don’t argue with David and you should shoot a day before or after the full moon – it looks better.

Lesson 1 was actually pretty useful during the class. Arguing with DAH over the relative merit of ones pictures is pointless. It’s not, by any stretch of the imagination, a class based on objective criteria. It’s self-consciously and shamelessly subjective.

So if David tells you to go get the Moon over the Mosque – you go try to get the Moon over the Mosque (or in my case, the fishermen’s bedroom). If you do, great. If you don’t, chances are good that you’ll have learned something in the process anyway.

Lesson number 2 stayed with me for a while. I live right next to the Mosque, I see it every day – so much so that I sometimes forget it’s there. Until I read something about a Supermoon coming up, and I figured I’d get my ass in gear. A quick check of the “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” told me that I was in luck, full moon was in 2 days so the next morning (remember, a day before) I was in front of the Mosque, double parked on a highway, with my tripod perched on top of a pedestrian bridge.

And that’s where, a full 5 months after the class, DAH taught me something again: I’m really, really, really not a landscape photographer (and I get bored really, really, really easily) (also, even in the UAE and in June, it can be cold in the morning)

By the way: it is absolutely possible to get shots of the moon and the mosque. One of mine made “Photo of the Month” at GPP.

So thanks David, for some great butt-kicking and inspiration. See you next year.

Cavalia

Qasr Al Hosn Festival announced they had programmed an extra time for the Cavalia show … 2 hours before the show.

Wow.

They play Dubai in a few weeks – already planning to go there.

This pics were NOT taken with a professional camera, as that would be against the rules. They were taken with a simple point and shoot, my trusted Fuji X100s.

Snapshots, really.