Skywatch Friday…

Towards sundown, over Dubai Marina, atmospheric skies, 12/2/18…

Linking with Skywatch Friday

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Thursday Doors, Speed bump village, Oman,15/2/18…

On the long drives across Oman from Dubai, towards the ferry to Masirah island, for a large part of the journey, the places we pass through have no name or signpost.

We now tend to refer to landmarks during the journey to mark our passing as there are few mapped names to refer to, for example, Flare roundabout, P-bush (easy to guess), Crinoid plates (ancient fossil rocks), The Mother of all Sabhkas (huge wet sand area), P-rock (for the second part of the journey, there are no trees and bushes in this area) and so on…

Flare roundabout…

 

The few small, lonely villages en route are flashed through, but there is one, now known forever to us as “speedbump village” that lines the lonely road and has four of the most lethal speedbumps known to man.

I once hit one on the initial journey, driving at night, too fast and it was an “Oh my God moment” as we crashed down on the other side. The OH was shaken awake and I crawled through the rest of the village.  Lesson learned. Omani speedbumps are not to be trifled with, especially out in this lonely place, the nearest Mitsubishi dealer is in Muscat, a mere 6 hours drive…

This hamlet consists of a few brick houses, a coffee shop, a laundry, men’s tailoring and a mosque. Oh, yes, and a shop selling food. See the picture, it’s not quite a supermarket!

I cannot imagine what the livelihood is out in this remote place, possibly date, goat or camel farming, but as always, there are doors to be photographed, even here.

They might be old, rusty and have seen better days, but the traditional metal door and decoration tradition is here, much to my pleasure.

The Coffee-shop

 

The Mosque…

 

Selling food…

 

I love the heart doors, seen in the unlikeliest of places…

 

Shame about the modern one…

 

Love this bright blue amidst the gravel plain drabness…

 

An interesting wall, but the door behind makes up for it…

 

I just managed to get both doors in, they just fit out here in the middle of no-where…

 

This door design seems to be a variation on a symbol theme, but the pink wall adds to the green and rust hues…

 

And just so you don’t think I’m completely crazy for repeating this journey time after time, the view at the ferry port…

 

 

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norn Frampton. Pop on over to see some more doors today…

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge, Silence…

The Daily Post photo challenge this week asks us what Silence looks like in a photo.

This was the one for me.

A January trip up to the Troodos mountains in Cyprus, choosing a little used road, we came across a view point high up in the mountains with a perfectly placed bench looking across this view.

No sounds, remote from anyone else, this is my take on Silence.

The view from my seat was totally silent……

Silence

Weekly Photo Challenge, Weathered…

Well, for this challenge I could spend days in my photo archives of Oman creating a whole gallery of the weathered look, be it homes, people, geology, windows, doors, beached timbers, fossils and, so much more.

Oman is a weathered country.

From geology to every day living, the harsh climate of intense heat and along the coast, the pervading sea-salt in the winds leads to intense weathering.

I have so much to choose from, but for today, just a beautiful, traditional, weathered door from Mirbat, South Oman.

Weathered

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge, Growth…

This week we are asked to portray “Growth”. Hard in nature, clever time-lapse shots would be perfect for portrayal, but I don’t have any! So I had to think practically, what had I seen during 2017 that showed growth….

Well, Dubai is a prime example. It’s growing daily, but I really don’t think WordPress readers want to see the developments of motorways, roundabouts or building sites.

However the view from my little window in Dubai, to the left, through the small gap is quite impressive ( 35 floors up, this is not a window that allows you to even consider wriggling out much and who would want to at that height…not me! )

But it’s enough to poke a zoom lens through and my view to the left is of Dubai Marina, where the Al Ain Wheel is under construction, forecast to be the World’s biggest wheel ( of course, this is Dubai) and I have had an excellent opportunity for an eye on it’s development during 2017.

This is my take on growth…

December 2016, the base in situ…

December 2017, the wheel minus one section, plus a whole load of development behind…

It’s running a little overdue, but hopefully on my return late January I will see the completed version. Watch this space…

Growth

 

Weekly Photo Challenge, 2017 favourites…

I’m running a day late on this challenge, blaming the holiday period for a break away from the computer.

The challenge asked us to consider this …

“Instead of a specific theme or topic, we invite you to share your most meaningful photo from 2017. This isn’t necessarily the “best” photo you’ve taken this year — feel free to post your most technically accomplished photo of the year if you’d like, but we equally encourage you to think about other parameters.

From the photo that generated the most reactions on your blog to the one that has the deepest emotional pull on you, define “favorite” in whatever way works best for you.” 

I take thousands of photographs, my 2017 files are hardly touched for filing and editing, but I know in my mind what is pertinent and where to find what I need and when I saw this challenge I moved back in my head to my India trip last February. My images from the Pune visit are still not fully edited, but I knew which photograph, out of all of them, sang out to me. I will never forget that car shot and the pride I caught amidst such poverty.

We were taking a car tour around Pune’s historical sights with a wonderful guide. We were tired, having arrived at 7.30am and hit the tour at 9am, no time to waste on a three day visit. Between sights we turned a corner and there was a whole living environment in a field on the road side with virtually nothing. I was shocked, but politically dismissed by our guide at first as it being normal, but then on questioning, understanding that the gypsy families come into the city to work in charcoal, nowhere to live, the outcasts. The caste system, whilst banned, still exists…. They had no possessions, but what you see here. Nothing more, they lived in the field, with so little.What you see here is what they had…

I caught the shot from the car as we turned the corner and headed off to the privileged and safe comfort of our hotel.

I haven’t forgotten, her pride and stature amidst the squalor made a mark on me, brought home the divide and it’s the one shot from 2017 I will never forget…car shot, on the road…

2017 Favorites

Thursday Doors, 7/12/17. One shot from the road…

I’ve been on the road again, not much time to blog, too much coastline to cover and random wifi opportunities.

I’m sea-shell collecting around the Oman coastline, observing and enjoying the opportunities my camera finds.

This is one of them.

Just one door, all that is needed today, I’m off out for my birthday meal !

Linking with Thursday Doors…

Thursday doors, 23/11/17. Al Lou’aluo’ayyah…

Al Lou’aluo’ayyah is a small town and beach on the East coast of the UAE. It’s on our stop-off list on an East coast day out, as the tidal zone on the beach frequently throws up interesting and unusual shells.

The beach is long and rather beautiful…

Jelly-fish, my first Mitra mitra shell ( I was so pleased) and brittle starfish…

In the small streets behind the beach we had a little poke around and I discovered a whole load of new and slightly different doors. All from older built properties, I hesitiate to guess the era, my gut feel is early 90’s. Metal-work with embellishment, all in need of a good maintenance work-over, but I really like them. Especially the falcon designs, one of the six national symbols of the UAE.

This one is my favorite…

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over, hit the blue frog link and check out some more doors today…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental…

Once I have a camera in my hand, I move into an experimental mode. Finally I’m experimenting with my Fujifilm XT20.

Moving from Nikon manual to Fuji manual mode has been a step in understanding a different camera ( No M choice on the dial). I’m still grinding my way through it and “Oh, ok, I get it”  bulbs have satisfactorily been flashing in my head, but I keep heading out to experiment in different scenarios, as you do, when you have a love of the lens.

At the sunset end of a sandstorm the other night, sunset wasn’t anything special. Time to experiment with natural props. Fennel plants dry out in Cyprus during the winter, virtually whole. Roadsides are full of it. It wasn’t to difficult to find an attractive one to shoot the fading sun through.

Then I saw the challenge and thought ok, lets go and be experimental with processing. I often visit some of the online photo editing sites for a bit of fun, this time I went to iPiccy and after embossing, x-raying , choosing a bit of starry bokeh and several other masks produced this little experiment. Whether you like it or not, it’s amazing what you can produce by virtue of a few clicks and dragging sliders.

It whiled away my morning tea moment and I realised I have used the word or variation of Experiment 6 times in 237 words…over-use probably, but all a bit of fun!

Experimental