Friday, 4 December 2009

Filing system, Sensor Loupe & Champagne on the Beach in Egypt.

I have this week started a new filing system with my images that I hope will prove to be a good and long lasting system. Cross your fingers please! For a photographer the number one thing is to have a good filing system where you easily can search and find your images quickly your income can depend on it. Since if you can’t deliver quickly I bet there is another photographer out there that can. So you can loose potential income if you do not have a good one. Now I am of course assuming that you already can take great photographs ;-)
Creative people in general are not people with order around them with paperwork etc. chaos seam to be more the norm and that is why it is so important with a good filing system and a Back UP System! Where maybe the latter is maybe the most important part in the soft copy era we live in.
Which reminds me I have to buy more external storage space! I'll have to put it on my purchase list together with some Dust Aid. I only have one strip left and they are so very good. So will have to stock up while I can. I do not know if they sell them here at all in Egypt so have to get some when I travel in a few weeks.
 I am also thinking of maybe getting a Visible Dust Loupe any of you that are using one and can tell me if you like it? Think it might be the thing I need to be able to see the dust specs easier on the sensor so that I easier can take them off. I just did a quick google search and found another brand Ohnar Loupe that also does the same thing it is slightly cheaper though. Wonder if it is just as good?
"Isn't it strange? We spend 
hundreds, maybe thousands, on a camera lens to achieve the ultimate sarpness. Then, when it comes to assessing the results, we're quite likely to use a £10 loupe with a plastic lens. The loupe is probably the most overlooked accessory in the photographer's armoury.
A loupe is a lens. You wouldn't expect much from a camera lens with just one or two elements, nor should you expect much from a similarly constructed loupe.
Achieving decent resolving power requires several elements or groups of elements, just as it does in a camera lens. And this costs money."

I read this in a magazine and I believe its very true. I know I was thinking the same thing wow a loupe is expensive when I found out the prices of them..
Champagne Brunch on the beach!
This image is from yesterdays morning photo shoot. I was up early again taking pictures the sun was right off to my right side giving the champagne glasses a nice sparkle in them. I had to keep on swirling the glasses though to keep the Champagne bubbling  LOL. After the shoot I was lucky enough to get to drink what was in the glasses!!! Unfortunately it was only 7 Up with extra lemon so it was actually quite sweet and probably full of sand in them, it was quite windy even it doesn't look it on the images.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Sinai Mountain Range

This morning I put on my trekking boots and headed for the Sinai Mountains.
The start of the trek was quite steep then it eased out for a while and for the last bit it was a bit scary steep again going up went ok partly maybe to my new walking style that I adapted. I had my photo gear in a backpack so I was therefore slightly back-heavy so for the really steep parts I started walking more like an Orangutan (nothing against them) with my hands forward almost touching the ground so that I would not involuntarily fall backwards but forwards in case I was about to fall at all. I was more scared though walking down the steep hill with the slippery rocks, my new Orangutan walk was not of any help then more the opposite it would have made my trip down a lot quicker that is for sure and I am not sure in what shape I would arrive to the bottom at.
The Sinai Mountain Range does not consist of solid rock it consists in part of red granite and volcanic rock, so very porous. Which can make the walk a bit slippery in places so you always need to be careful of where you put our feet.
On my way up I of course stopped several times to take photographs. My goal with the trek was to get some nice images of the Taba Heights Golf Course from a high vantage point and not for the exercise itself that I got for free. The day was very nice for such a trek because the sun was hidden a bit behind a thin layer of clouds so it made the walk more bearable and not too hot and also helped with the images of course since harsh sun light very rarely help an image. I have attached a few of the images I took from this morning.

Beduin Camp.

I walked all the way up to the top!

Hyatt Regency Taba Heights.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Diving images

I went diving with a friend of mine last week and I took some underwater images while I was down there and I must take my hat of to all underwater photographers because it is not as easy as it looks to take a photograph underwater. As photographers you are taught to hold your breath at the time of pressing your shutter to eliminate camera shake and that does not help you underwater then exhale is a better option for you. Because when you hold your breath underwater you will slowly start to float up and then you get away from your camera vantage point that you had decided was best for the shot. So needless to say I will keep taking my photographs above water where I can move elements in and out of the  scene  be it things or people. Try telling a fish to stay still!
I have posted a few of my efforts here for you to view just for fun. But I can assure you underwater photography is nothing I will try to pursue anytime soon. I need to get a few more dives in me…

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Get your photography to the next level through Photography Forums

A friend of mine asked me the other day to help her critique her photography she would really want to take her photography forward to a higher level. It got me thinking that the same way helped me when I started out and that maybe some of my fellow followers might be interested in the same.

To have someone else take a close look and critique your photographs is one of the best ways for you as a photographer to excel. Yes, it can also be a bit daunting in the beginning to have someone else look at your pictures. But you need to keep in mind that everything is someone else’s opinion and there rarely is anything right and wrong. Even if you are not adhering to the rules of thirds in your photographs it does not mean its wrong if you do it deliberately. You should always be aware of when you are breaking photography rules, when you do it on purpose to give that little extra to your photograph its ok. Remember to take the critique constructively as I am sure it is meant. Also if you are trying to help another photographer you have to always give a reason why you think this and that not only say I don’t like it its no good since that will never help any photographer to get better. You might think that oh well I am not good enough to give critique and I must stay that is wrong you do learn a lot when you are critiquing someone else’s photographs since you will have to really look and think of what did the photographer try to do here etc. So join a photo forum and also try to give advice to others as well and not only try go get advice.

If you do not have a photographer that you can ask to critique your photographs I can recommend being part of a Photography Forum. There you can post your photographs and have other photographers or photo enthusiasts give their thoughts about your picture.

I started with this Photo forum, since they were part of the community where I lived at the time. We had monthly meetings where we met to discuss photography. Many brought with them their own printed photographs that we could give our feed back on. I also organized Photo Walk Tours where we all met early morning and went to a pre-organized place and took loads of photographs. Then we all usually had breakfast together and chatted about our photography.
Later that day you could start to see the other photographers pictures appear on the forum from the morning shoot we had together.

I am now part of a few different photo websites where I check in on from time to time. If you are a bit scared in the beginning to post your photographs to a forum you shouldn’t be. Everyone needs to start somewhere, and you can always be part of one more or less anonymously since you can choose your own user name that will be displayed next to your photographs.

There are also several photography workshops with hands on training and on-line workshops that can be beneficial for you as well. When you are in a class or workshop you will meet likeminded people that can be helpful after the class you can meet up and chat about similar difficulties that you might face.
There are also many photo workshops abroad that you can try. I have myself been on the PTO ( Photo Training Overseas I thought it was very well organized and helpful. Most of the people attending was professional photographers some abiding amateurs as well looking into taking the next step of their photography and photography business. It was great to meet and be with fellow photographers for a whole week.

I have pasted in a few photography forums that you can have a look at and see which one that might fit your category/nish of photography.

Of course you can always type in a search in Google and you will very likely come up with a few photo forums that will be beneficial for you. I personally like the idea of having a photo community that is close by where I live so that I have the possibility to meet the fellow photographers but that is not always feasible of course depending on where you live. So take a look and see what will work for you.

Photo Forums

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Season is Changing from Summer to Winter.

The season is changing from summer to winter here in the Sinai, that means that right now we have more cloud formations than we usually have during the year.

I have taken advantage of this opportunity to photograph the sky, with the different formation the clouds are taking, cumulous, cirrus clouds etc.

I will now file these sky photographs that I have taken under Sky_clouds. So that I can use them later on when I have a photograph with a boring looking sky where a sky with clouds would take the photograph to a different level of just being an ok picture to become a great one.

Remember when you are adding a sky you need to make sure that the light conditions and its direction fits in with your picture otherwise it will look fake and that is not the look we are after.

You can apply this idea to different elements of your pictures some pictures look better if you for instance add a moon, it could be full moon or a crescent etc. So you can also go and build a library with different moon shapes. If you choose a crescent remember to apply the moon the right way up depending on where the photograph is taken. Since the moon crescent looks different if you are here in Egypt compared to England etc. Since I grew up in Sweden to me the crescent moon here in Egypt looks like it is upside down.

They key with adding elements to your photographs is that they always need to look natural/real and seamless.

When making your own library of photographs that you need to use later you need to have a fool proof filing system. Something that works for you and is simple. Don’t try to make things more complicated than they have to be is something I always try to live by. Since these are photographs that I will be using over and over again I will save them as a TIFF file instead of a JPG file, to make sure that over time the photographs still have all their pixels intact. Every time you open a JPG file it looses quality.

This morning I played a bit with motion blur. You can be quite creative with it. The problem I have with this picture of the car is that it does not have a driver so either it is a very futuristic BMW that can drive itself or its just a picture that is unrealistic, I would have to opt for the second choice unfortunately but it proves my point above that when you are changing a photograph make sure you think of all the elements, you want the finished photograph to look realistic otherwise you will only annoy the viewer.

If you need help with your Photoshop skills I can recommend a magazine that comes out every month in the UK called Digital Photo. Every issue also comes with a CD with video lessons of how to use different Photoshop skills and other photo tricks. It is very useful they also always have a gear tests that can make interesting reading, if you are looking for something new to add to your photo arsenal.

Monday, 26 October 2009

A big soft box and the latest news!

The other day it was like walking into a studio when I stepped outside my house. It was a very nice thin layer of clouds covering the whole sky, well at least all I could see that is. The light outside was perfect for portraiture. Unfortunately I didn't do any that day but it would have been nice to have the weather on my side for a change compared to harsh sunlight glaring down which we normally have here in Egypt.

Latest news:
Yesterday I sent 9 photographs for printing they will be ready for me to pick up in a few days, they will then be hanging in a hotel as part of a  Photography Exhibition. I am very excited to see what kind of response my pictures will get.

Yesterday I delivered a new DVD Presentation to a company. Its a promotional presentation that promotes their various activities. You should never underestimate the value a TV has in any public space. Most people do not stand or sit and deliberately watch it but when they are waiting for something they do or in passing so you should always make sure that you are showing what ever it is that you have a service or a product in its best light. Potential customers are all around you either they or you know it or not. If you do not have a shop space where you can show case your products I would recommend that you team up with a company that caters for the same clientele but are not a competitor but the both of you rather complement each other so you both see the benefit of the venture so that it is not one sided.

You should always try to find a uniqueness in what you do its always easier to succeed if you have a nish rather than go mainstream where you have to battle with so many others trying to do the same thing.
For instance if you are a child photographer team up with your local baby or kids clothing store. I bet they would love to have great photographs of their new stock in their windows. You take the photographs for them and in turn you get perfect exposure in their windows with your photographs and get to keep marketing flyers in their shop, since they already have a steady clientele coming in you take advantage of their clientele data base. You can even go as far as to do night events together well since this example was for a kids store I'm guessing it would actually be a coffee morning or something similar when the mum's can attend, nights they will be busy tucking their kids into bed. But I hope you understand the idea I am getting at. The possibilities are endless once you brainstorming. Figure out who in your nearest proximity that can benefit from your talent or products that you think can help you in return.

I am also currently working on advertisement for Taba Heights Golf Resort. They have asked me to produce a poster for them. I have already gotten the layout ready in my head I just need to get it down on paper, or should I say in Photoshop... anyway once I sit down it should not take too long for me to finish it.

Last friday I went to El Wekala Street Festival and took photographs of the festivities. I have a client that are looking for photographs of Taba Heights Night Life and its not much happening in Taba Heights in general so when the Street Festival is on its best to be there. But I think I will need to gather some friends to model for me in one of the bars to use as Night Life shots as well.

The other week I received a Thank You card from a wedding that I went to earlier this summer and the couples photograh gave me an idea that I think will work very well for me here in Taba Heights. The photograph is the same size as a normal postcard (15x10cm) it is printed on normal fuji photo paper the same kind that I can print on here in Sharm. The photographer had added a white border and had her signature on it and looked very elegant. Since they are so small they do not cost much to print and therefore does not have to be so expensive for the client to purchase them. So rather than going for a limited edition type then go for quantity but still of course quality you should never cut corners when it comes to quality and photographs it will come and bite you in the but sooner or later. Since you as a photographer will always be relying the most on word of mouth and peoples experience with you. So a bad experience with a print or anything can harm you long term.
An artist friend of mine that often has gallery exhibitions said that his best seller of any exhibition he did was always the post card photographs of his work. They are more affordable for the clients to purchase almost everyone feels obliged to buy one when they go to an exhibition and through selling many he gets his name out there and still makes money on the post cards still of course he wants to sell his larger paintings but at least he is selling and his reach to more potential clients are a lot larger thanks to his postcards. So it is definitively something I will look into to maybe do something similar myself.. we'll see I'll keep you posted of how it turns out.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Retouch an image in Photoshop.

Final image ready for delivery to Client.
As a Photographer you get commissioned to take photographs according to the clients needs. What the client often forget or do not think about is that the dates that you are booked to do their photo shoot the weather might not be to the photographers advantage to take the particular photographs that you are assigned to do.  I have below made some or maybe some of you would say a lot of changes to the original picture. But to be honest it does not necessarily have to take to long to do as long as you know what you are doing and that you have the photographs that you might need available. Here I have added another photograph to the picture that I was assigned to take. I have added a photograph with clouds on to make the sky a bit more interesting. I have also warmed up the picture a bit as well to make it look like the sun is shining through the clouds on a sunny afternoon.
When you do something like this to a photograph for a client you do have to remember that it does take you longer to make and deliver the final image and that you need to incorporate that time into your pricing so that you do not end up working and not getting paid for all the work that you have done. But I can guarantee that you do get a happier and more satisfied client because of that little extra time that you took making it. So if you do not feel that you have enough Photoshop skills to make changes like these I would suggest that you find out because it will pay you back in the end tenfold. 
The original image.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Twitchers on the prowl...

A King Fisher.

This week I was inspired by a couple of twitchers that was walking around here where I live. I had seen them around for a week and spoken to them a few times, their enthusiasm for birds were a bit contagious. They spoke so passionately about the different kinds that they had seen and I on occasion could add a few birds that I had seen through out the year that are not here at the moment like the beautiful eagles that we have had here all summer that sadly now have moved away. But I must admit that I am very novice when it comes to bids and their names. So I was very keen on learning a few new ones from the twitchers. It was a couple that was here solemnly to bird watch! They were staying here for two weeks. They did think that the weather was a bit hot and I can imagine that it was for them since they were out in the sun all day walking around and sitting still waiting for the birds to come to them. They had proper twitcher gear so they did come prepared with tripod, binoculars, camera with a proper zoom for those far away birds, and of course a bird book so that they could double check what it was that they saw at every turn. They showed me some beautiful photographs that they had taken throughout their weeks here and it got me inspired to go out and take some of my own.

So I geared up one afternoon with my camera and my 70-200mm IS f.2.8 and headed to hole 3 that has a fresh water lake. While playing golf I have seen that birds are there feeding I had also seen the twitchers there a few times earlier in the week so it should be a good place I thought. I had before in the week also been thinking whiles driving by in my car that, ah that would make a great photograph. But of course I never had my camera with me at the time.
What I had seen was several swallows sitting on a rope all in one long row. So I headed towards this rope and sure enough there were several swallows sitting on that rope and also sure enough once I got close they all flew away! I was not too surprised and thought if I scout out a good vantage point for me to take my photograph and then I just sit down and wait till they feel secure again with me there to come back. I sit down on the grass and wait after what feels like a life time, I get bored and start to think that this is not for me I do not have the patience. As if the birds felt that I was about to go they started to come back and my boredom was gone in an instance and I started to shot frame after frame. The swallows came and went a few times while I was there so I got a few different shots I was even brave enough to change vantage point a few times. After a while my new twitchers friends arrived to the same lake. I was happy because I was just about to go I had had enough, the birds were not to overly exciting they came and went a few times and all I saw was swallows so not too exotic really but still very beautiful in their own right. I walked over and joined them and from where they were they showed me both a king fisher, hawk and herons that are all the birds that I remember the names of I am quite sure they mentioned a few more that I had not heard of before. I must say without them showing me these different kinds of birds I would never have been able to take a picture of them because I could not see them. I guess you have won half the battle when you know what you are looking for and at. My first pictures of the swallows I took only because I could see that it would look very nice esthetically and I was not thinking at all of what kind of bird it actually was in the picture only at that they were sitting in a row on a rope with many different lead in lines going in the picture.
I must admit that even I did not think it was for me taking pictures of birds since I do not really have the patience but I thoroughly enjoyed it but I also think half of it was the company that I had it was great to listen to their knowledge of the different kinds of birds.
Here you can see some of my bird photographs, keep in mind this are the first bird photographs I have taken. I must say that from viewing them in the office later I have learned a lot so for next time I will take a slightly different approach towards which aperture to use while photographing birds especially several in a row. Who knows maybe I will start to take more bird photographs… well I am not promising anything but it is definitively not impossible that you might see more bird photographs here so stay tuned to see my progress.
Part from my dabbling as a twitcher this week I have also taken pictures at ahHotel and sent some photographs to a local magazine that should go to print some time in Nov.
A Heron.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Adding extra vegetation in photoshop

This morning I have been busy with adding more vegetation to an image to be exact I have added bushes. If you remember a recent blog I said it was cheating adding fore and backgrounds if they were not there from the start. I still believe that is true when it comes to getting the real image of what a place looks like. But to my own defense here the picture where I have added the bushes to is one year old and if I would take that same picture today I would have the bushes there. So yes I could go and take another picture from the same vantage point today and get a similar picture but I would not get the same lighting circumstances as I had last year. It is very rare for us here to get that kind of lighting with clouds and the sun therefore I have added the today larger bushes from another picture that I took the other day  to the old picture.  If you look closely at the old picture the before picture you will see that the bushes were planted last year but not big like they are now.

When you do something like this you of course need to be careful to make sure that the bushes have the right size for the scale of picture that you have and that the lighting is similar or that you can create a similar lighting. The picture where I have copied and pasted the bushes from I had taken from a totally different vantage point and they were therefore too large in comparison to the other vegetation in the photograph to make it all look real so I had to make them a lot smaller. The resolution on these pictures below are quite small so it might be hard to see the difference. In the second photograph I have circled where the bushes are so that you know where to look at least.
All these changes are quite easily done in photoshop if you know how of course but that is how it is with everything once you have mastered it nothing is really too hard to do. Don't you agree?
The final picture

The before picture

The picture that I took the bushes from

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Changing the composition of a photograph

Sometimes when you are on a photo shoot you are presented with photo opportunities that you just cant miss but if you had planned it you would have changed a few things like in the photograph below we had the scene set up for two golfers putting on the green. But before we had started to shoot that scene a camel rider came by. I took a few pictures of them walking by. Now when you look at the composition of the golf bag I was wishing that it was facing inwards the photograph and not out so that the viewers eyes are not drawn out of the picture but rather in towards the camel rider.  So since this shot was not planned the golf bag is facing the wrong direction if I would do it again I would turn the bag and also direct the camel rider into a different position in the photograph. But a quick fix of a photograph like this is to copy and mirror the part of the image you want to turn in photoshop. Which I did here, below I have posted both pictures so that you can see the before and after of what I did. I could also have changed the position of the camel rider in photoshop but to me this time it was not necessary for this picture to work. But it is definitively doable with not too much effort if you are familiar with photoshop.
Picture above is of the final image after I have changed the position of the golf bag.
This is the before picture.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Is it cheating when changing an image in PS?

It has been very busy times since I got back from my New York trip.
I am working with a travel agent that wants new images for their image gallery on their website and their brochures. Now when you get a project like that and you have a deadline its not always the weather is on your side. So is it then cheating to add interesting foreground and backgrounds to an image in PS? Well, Yes if the picture is supposed to reflect what the place has to offer it is cheating. But adding a bit of interesting sky such as a nice cloud here and there I do not consider it cheating that is to me in my book ok to do. But then you need to calculate in all the extra hours that you need to actually make it happen. That kind of editing I do in Photoshop but all my photographs starts out in Aperture and get a bit of work done on them there first.
I have also been busy working on an advert for a local hotel. But that is all done and printed and posted on location already. Sometimes Egypt surprises you with its efficiency. Or does it have to do with the people that are executing it….. hum probably.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

How to market yourself.

With my background in marketing I often get the question how do you market yourself when you don't have a product but a service to offer?
- Well simply put I do have a product the service ends up in a product!
But anyway I thought I would try to give you a few tips here anyway. I have just written down something that you can start out with, the list can otherwise be very long regarding marketing strategies and activities that you can do for yourself or your company.

When it comes to marketing yourself / your company there are not really any right or wrong answers. It most of the time comes down to how much time and money you have to spend on your own marketing. You can get a long way on a budget longer than I think a lot of people realize.

It is very much up to you and your imagination to come up with ideas that are suitable for you. The ideas do not need to be unique you can very easily check other companies that are working in your particular area of expertise/service or have a similar product and see what are they doing and does it seam to work for them? If they are doing something that is not working then you don't have to try to fail at the same thing it will be a total waist of time.

A few tricks that I have up my sleeve is the following:
+ Write Press-releases! This is the most effective way of getting published in an objective way in magazines/newspapers that are relevant to your market and your potential target clients. Remember do not write them as an advert with slogans and other catchy sales talk it will not work because the journalists working for the magazine will through your letter straight into the rubbish bin. Once you have mastered writing a good press-release (or hired a ghost writer) and gotten a good relationship with the editors at the magazines that you have picked out are
your target then its just to keep sending them regular news about what you are up to that are of interest to them. There is no point sending a press-release to a magazine that will not have any interest in you or your product it's a waist of your time and theirs. Always remember to leave your contact details so that they can contact you for more information and pictures that they want to use together with their article that they are creating out of your press-release.
+ There are also several websites on the Internet where you can submit your press-release where journalists go and look for new material to write about or just to get something newsworthy for their magazine. So submit your press-release to as many as you can as well.

+ You can also make videos and add them to different Internet websites such as youTube and other similar sites. You have then a good coverage of potential clients viewing your video. Make sure to write relevant tags and a good description of your video so that people can easily find it when they are searching for videos.

Below are two examples of my videos that I have uploaded to youTube just to give you an idea of what you can do. These videos are actually a collection of photographs that I have made a video of.

These are just two simple activities out of several marketing activities that you can do to help yourself get more noticed.

If you have any questions or thoughts regarding this do not hesitate to contact me.

Good luck. H
This is not a press-release that I have posted but a poster that you can put up in areas where your clientele mingle about, notice boards etc.

Getting supplies in Egypt...

One of my frustrations of living in Egypt and the remote place of Taba Heights is finding good places to print, frame and get good office supplies and in my case being a photographer I need DVD casings and such things to make the packaging look nice for clients. All these small things that I need I am having a hard time finding and if I do find something its not really up to the standard I am expecting and that my clients are expecting things that you in other parts of the world easily get at your local department store. These small annoying things also slows you down because you are always in need of someone else to source /find it for you and it all takes way too long for my patience sometimes. If I could do everything myself I bet that I would finish in half the time... ;-)
Just the fact that you never get your mail by post here on time or at all is another thing that for obvious reason makes you not being able to purchase online and get orders delivered to your door step. How convenient wouldn't that have been?
It's a good thing that Egypt has a few things that are great about the place to try to make up for the frustrating days that come along. The fact that the sun is always shining makes it easier to get out of bed... I'm sure there are more reasons than that but I will leave it for another discussion another time.
Right now one of my dilemmas are that I have an exhibition due to start, I have the pictures printed (I did them in Sweden while I was there on holiday) but it was too much weight to also buy frames for all the photographs and bring them over, I did bring two but more than that was not really feasible. Now I cant start the exhibition without the pictures in frames now can I. I am asking around for somewhere to get them made, so far all I have gotten are diffuse directions into the heart of Cairo I place where you cant really drive around randomly without knowing where you are going... The saga continues, we'll see what happens and when.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Landscape pictures

Yesterday I was busy working on pictures that are part of a project that have continuously been going on for almost a year now, the reason for this to go on for such a long time is to get landscape pictures of the  during different seasons.  Since I am doing this project in Egypt the changes are not as drastic as it would have been in lets say Sweden for instance but they do also have changes in which flowers that bloom and how many of them etc more subtle changes but still changes. You can play with weather changes such as cloud formation and wind, but you always need to remember what the client wants and what they will use the pictures for. Since a picture with lots of dark clouds might not attract too many tourists to the area because they might think it will be bad weather. But as a photographer it is more fun to take a more dramatic picture than one where the sky is blue and the sun is shining.
Never forget why you are taking the picture if it is for your own amusement or if it is for a client. If you can get those two factors to coincide that is always great, but it does not always work out that way.
All the pictures below are from the same area but obviously at different days.

Saturday, 11 July 2009


Here are two portraits that I took of a mother and her two sons while I was in Sweden. I had scouted the location prior to the photo shoot we had to wait almost two weeks to do the portraits because the weather conditions were not great for portraits outside. It was raining everyday then finally there was a dry morning and we hurried outside to do the shoot it was still not very warm it was an early morning shoot with the sun on its way up. One of the sons, not the one on the picture above kept on complaining that the grass was making his feet cold and I agree it was nto the warmest of days even if it was summer. But the little guy above didn't complain much at all as long mommy was near by. He did start sticking his tung out on lots of pictures and it wasn't much I could do about it lucky for him he is so little and cute and can therefore get away with it on a picture. His parents will still hang the picture on the wall and think its adorable. I have done a soft focus filter retouching in photoshop on both these pictures.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

A leisurely business trip is there such a thing?

Wow, so much have happened since I wrote to you last... I hardly know where to start.
Ok here I go, by the end of May I went on a long trip to Sweden that included both some leisure time and some hard work. I promise that as soon as I am finished with polishing the pictures I will post a few for you to take a peak at. To give you a preview of what is to come I can tell you that I went to a horse-race the kind of horse-race when the horses trot not gallop. It was great fun and I got some cool pictures form it as well. It was my fist time to this kind of horse-race I have previously only been to horse-racing where the jockey is sitting on the horse not in a wagon behind the horse, you know like they do at The Ascot Horse Race when all the ladies dress up very posh and wear large fancy hats well this was totally different I can tell you that. I was for one thing not wearing a fancy hat! I did bring my umbrella though that I needed to use. I also got a peek behind the scenes in the stables which was very educating and interesting. I also saw lots of famous Swedish Jockeys but I would not have known this unless they were pointed out to me since their names alone did not ring any bells in my head at all. So as you can understand I was a very novice first timer to this kind of horse-race but that did not stop me from gambling a bit.... All and all I had a great time.

I also had time to take quite a few nature shots, pictures of old houses (I just can't resist its something with things that look old that appeals to me...), family portraits, weddings, family reunions, landscape views of Stockholm and probably lots more that I cant remember right now. But I promise I will show you some of it later on. The thing with having been away either its on business or for leisure you always have lots to catch up on once you are back again. I have today written a To Do list for myself and it is rather long so I guess I better get cracking on it.
Over and out for now and I will chat with you some more soon.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Busy with projects.

Wow time really goes by quickly when you are busy, it felt like I wrote to you just yesterday. I am right now working on a new project, a Photography Book. It is not as easy as I originally thought to choose which pictures to use and which you are better off leaving out. My plan was also to have not only pictures but some information about the destination topic that I have chosen so needless to say I need to sit down and figure out what is worth mentioning and not. I will let you know how it turned out once I am finished with it. I really put pressure on myself now to get it finished didn't I :-) Maybe just what I need though.  

I have also updated my website so please have a look at it when you have time

My hubby and I have recently booked our honeymoon trip to New York so I am right now making a very long list of Photography Equipment that I want to purchase while we are there. Here in Egypt you can not get any good photography gear that is worth spending your money on. For those of you who don't know it already I can tell you I like gadgets so its a bit hard for me to only read about all the new exciting stuff that comes out and not have the oportunity to go and test it and buy it in the shops. 

I just finished reading the May issue of Travel Trade Gazette Middle East & North Africa (I received both the April and May issue today?! Egyptian post..) where I saw one of my pictures published, its always nice to see your photographs in print.  I am quite sure I have posted the same picture on this blog earlier this year in February. It was a picture of the Kempisnki Hotel Soma Bay that they had used, unfortunately for me there was no credit line for yours-truly.
Here is a picture that I took recently of one of the Resorts in Taba Heights.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Group Photo Assignment part 2

Ok I have now been out scouting for a location where I can fit 100 people and where I can be on a higher spot then they are and where the lighting is good.
My conclusion is that my original though will not work, because this hotel where I will be doing the photo-shoot does not have the same looking guard towers. Theirs are a lot lower in height so I will not get up high enough to capture the staff the way I had planned. But what this hotel do have is a mountain so I am now thinking that I will walk up on the mountain with my tripod and take a picture of them from the mountain. Regarding time of photo-shoot I think 18.00 will be a good time the sun is setting so the light will not be too harsh I am not sure the location will be in the shade already or not. I still have to go there at 18.00 and have a look. We have had a few cloudy days which would have been great but you cant count that you will have is cloudy on the day when you decide to take the picture. I will keep you in the loop of what will come of my group photo-shoot

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

New Group Photo Assignment

Yesterday I was asked to take a group photo, I thought to myself  sure why not I can do that. Then they told me its of approximately 100 pax that in itself is not that big of a deal. The tricks comes when you need to find a location that will be sufficiently large enough for about 100 people and at the same time have good lighting. I was pondering this morning about it while I was out o my morning walk. The light was very nice just before 08.00 I was thinking this could be a good time but then I do not think the people that I need to take a picture of will be very happy about a early morning photo shoot. I think they are more of a mid lunch to an afternoon kind of crowed, so I need to keep that in mind as well. My thoughts now in order to be able to take a photograph of all of them in one frame is to gather them on the beach and I will climb up in a beach guard tower or a ladder but it wont be to safe to place on the beach. I will go down to the beach today and scout out a location. 
Since I have not taken the picture yet I cant post it for you I will post it later though as soon as I have done it. In the mean time you can have a look at this picture that was taken earlier on the same beach stretch of a guard tower. So you can visualize me standing on top of it. I wonder if it will be high enough?

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Red Flowers

Some flowers that I saw after lunch yesterday they make great wall art printed on canvas!  I have added a sort of water colour effect to them. Hum I can see now that you cant really see that I have made a water colour effect on the flowers in such a low resolution picture below.... 

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Hotel Photo Shoot

I received a photo assignment the other day for a local magazine here in Egypt. As most assignments they needed the pictures very soon I had two days which is not any problem for me, but I was not very fortunate with the local weather… The weather here is just about to turn from winter to summer and that makes the weather very hazy and a bit humid. All other 363 days of the year we have clear blue sky’s, which is not preferred either but I could have worked around that easier. It is a good thing I am a wizard when it comes to Photoshop! A lot of tweaking was needed on the pictures.

On my last morning before the due date I woke up early as usual and I saw some hope there was a bit of blue showing through in the sky. On my way down to my photo location I met a local Bedouin selling home made jewellery, I stopped and spoke a bit to him his name was Shalim and his sister had made the jewellery. He gave me a nice bracelet I felt bad since I did not have any money with me at all to give him so I took a few pictures of him instead. 

Marriott Hotel Taba Heights

Saturday, 11 April 2009


If you haven't yet had a look at our website I suggest you do it. I have this week updated it with new pictures and added  our new company logo as well as a link to this blog. Near by to where I live there is at times a festival, I ventured out to it the other night with my camera at hand and took some fun pictures of the hustle and bustle. Well mainly of the Tanour and Belly Dancer that was up on stage. At least this week there was no power cut, last week there was a power cut everything went pitch black you could hardly see the hand in front of you and then came the screams of all the kids and women that was scared. But it thankfully for the organisers and everyone attending did not last long. Last night the moon was out big and bright so even if there had been a power cut I think we would have been ok. I am still working on the pictures but I have posted a few for you to have a peek at here.

Bedouin Tent

Tanour Dancers

Belly Dancer

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


I did a portrait session with a guest at the Sofitel Hotel Taba Heights recently. After a cup of coffee discussing what kind of pictures she would like to bring home from our photo shoot, we came up with a some what arabic theme. Hence the scarf she is wearing but we still wanted the pictures to be a bit glamourous and sexy therefore  I took the pictures so that it looks like she is not wearing anything beneath the scarf. But I can assure you she was fully dressed we took the pictures in one of the walkways at the hotel so we had a few people walking by wondering what we were up to. But Maria was doing great she didn't mind at all. 
We started the photo shoot with a few traditional portraits so that she has that with her in her portfolio home as well, when we were finished with that we became more creative and did quite a few more fun and crazy pictures. Since we had done the traditional ones we could get away with putting the scarf on and take our arabic theme pictures because after you take the scarf off you have to remember that the models hair will not look the same. So when you take a series of photos with a client or friend you always need to have a plan in your head so that you take the pictures in the "right" order. So you don't end up spending too much time on styling after every "photo theme" you take.

Otherwise I have been very busy making a promotional DVD of my photography that will be playing at the Taba Heights Golf Clubhouse. I am also working on a DVD with pictures of every golf hole on the golf course that will be for sale in the Taba Heights Golf Resort Clubhouse.

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Before any photo shoot that you do you always need to ask your clients what kind of pictures they are looking for so that you can plan what location and what you want to do with them. It is always good for you to be able to visualise the pictures you are planning on taking before the event as part of your preparation. The pictures I did with this bride, model below at a PTO- workshop not every bride would be interested in doing. As a photographer you can be very creative and do loads of different pictures there are really no limits for the creative person. Only your client depending on what they actually want to hang on their wall. A lot of the time the client doesn't know what they want and therefore you need to listen to them and get a sense for what you think they will like and look good doing at the same time. You also get the couples that say they want the traditional portraits and at the end of the shoot you do something that might not be so traditional just for fun and those are the pictures the clients ends up buying. So even if your clients think they know what they want they might not. But you need to keep in mind when taking pictures like the ones below you need to have taken all the other pictures first because the brides dress might become dirty. Bringing a towel is always a good idea for the bride and groom to sit/lie on but you can still not guarantee the dress will stay clean since you are after all on a stair case as in the picture below.