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……



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.




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

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!





Weekly Photo Challenge, Peek…

On our travels, when I’m the passenger in the car, my camera is always ready on my lap, my head swivelling, checking out the surroundings, just in case there is a shot to be had.

On this occasion in October 2017, we were driving fairly slowly down the corniche at Khor Fakkan, UAE in the late afternoon. The corniche traffic is usually slow-moving at this time as families are heading to the cool, tree lined park bordering on the beach, often to picnic in the shade after another long, hot day of the middle eastern heat.

I saw a flash of colour in the sky through the foliage, peeked out of my window and just caught the para-gliders through the gap in the trees as we drove past.



Weekly Photo Challenge, Pedestrian, Kite Beach, Dubai…

My online dictionary (easier to copy & paste) tells me that, as a noun, Pedestrian is defined as a person walking rather than traveling in a vehicle. 

I was the noun, talking a walk down the back of Kite beach, Dubai, before the weather made it impossible.

Then I came across an event, which was the complete opposite of Pedestrian as defined when the word is an adjective lacking inspiration or excitement; dull.

Pedestrians having fun at a Kite festival, Kite beach, Dubai.

Anything but Pedestrian!

Weekly Photo Challenge, Windows…

Your inspiration this week is windows…..or of a landscape or piece of art that’s like a window to another world for you.

Windows of Mirbat.

A town in Southern Oman that is slowly crumbling away.

Wandering around the streets, there is a shot at every step, but it’s the windows that my lens points towards.

These little wooden, arched and shuttered Omani windows; I wonder at the lives led behind them in the days when old Mirbat was thriving.

Windows on another world…



Weekly Photo challenge: Layered…

In Oman, you get the chance to see how our Earth is layered and wonder how it happened all those millenniums ago… was it a swirling maelstrom of fire and upheaval? Was it a gradual happening?

Driving through the landscape you ask yourself a lot of questions…. a photo from the incredible road from Hasik to Ash Shuwaymiyyah in the Dhofar region of Southern Oman, layered with strata…



Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner…

On our road travels, I take a lot of photos from the car, sometimes they work, but many times they fail, blur, motion, an unexpected head intruding into the shot and so on… but, on occasions, there are some I keep, just because I like the effect and maybe I can work on it in the future.

This was one I kept.

Racing through Al Ain, in the UAE, trying to get to the border on a Thursday night to beat the weekend visa queue on the Oman border, I snapped out of the car window as we hurtled into the city.

I think it’s a stadium and now I can use this shot for this challenge, we were cornering at high speed!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction…

Sometimes, it’s just capturing the beauty of nature for a brief moment that gives me the greatest satisfaction…

Utetheisa pulchella (Linnaeus, 1758), photographed on the Akamas peninsula, Paphos district, Cyprus, June 2017.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual…

Before the storm, Zanzibar, June 207.

Living between the Middle East and Cyprus, it’s unusual to see skies such as this in both regions

More often than not, the Middle East’s skies are obscured by a layer of sand and haze is the norm. Cyprus has clear and gloriously blue skies for most of the year, wonderful sunsets during the summer, but when it comes to a storm the skies are usually overcast.

The dramatic African skies gave portent of the deluge to come and when the rain finally came, the results were torrential…





Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus…

I love photographing through the water. The refraction of the light combined with the movement of water gives an other-worldly feel and it’s even better when you find something special in the water.

Jellyfish, swimming through the water are not easy to catch in focus.

Neither are starfish under water.

And here’s the location, in focus. Beautiful Honda Bay, Palawan, The Philippines.



Weekly photo challenge: Friend…

This is Squint, my evil and (slightly adorable) feline occupant in my home, who decided to adopt my house as her luxury 5* place to be spoilt… We all jump to Squint’s squeals when she feels neglected, it’s easier to pander to Squint really…the yowls when you neglect her are just awful….suspect Squint is angling for a place in my will, she does do a wonderful foot-rub and I seem to have to won over on the pain of the nip/bite of my toes if I don’t place the toes just so… Such an angsty feline, but if she didn’t trot out of her waiting place when I park my car, I would be a tad worried….Bless her nasty little claws, I do love her to bits and, actually, I do worry if she doesn’t come home on time to give me miaow grief…


Weekly Photo challenge : Evanescent…

This week, WordPress weekly photo challenge asks us to show us a moment in time that holds meaning for you.

My photo was taken under the bridge that connects the mainland of Oman to Shannah port for the ferry to the island of Masirah.

I was using my new camera, a Fujifilm X-T20 and I had little idea of the settings when I took this, having been taught manual photography in the Nikon world. Each time you move, you have to understand the product-speak to relate to what you know..

( I am impatient, black mark) but a lesson to self, this is a camera that needs to be loved and cared for, the results are incredible

My past is in art and I see this shot in this way, even though the exposure is all wrong, the colours are intensified, it just gives a clue to what you can do to play with a picture…This shot is my played out and edited result…




Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage (1) …

Cyprus Heritage.

Woman with child, circa, 2000-1800 BC, terracotta.
I photographed this figurine in the wonderful British Museum, London on my visit in 2016.

The flattened form of these distinctive terracotta sculptures has led to the term “plank figurines”. They have been found in both graves and settlements, but their function is uncertain. They are usually interpreted as either a mother goddess or a woman with a child. Not all examples hold children however, and the sex of others is unclear. Nonetheless they are probably connected with fertility, childbirth and sexuality.

Isn’t this a beautiful heritage example from ancient times in Cyprus?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful…

There is something special about being out in the desert amidst the graceful sweep of the dunes, the fluid patterns of the sand and the differing delineations as the light changes during the day.

Shot in the sand dunes of the UAE, on the edge of the Empty Quarter, close to the Saudi Border…