Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Gulf For Good Charity Trek Challenge to Palestine, Day 1 (26th April 2013)

As the title suggests, I signed up with the "Gulf For Good" Charity to trek across Palestine in the Footsteps of Ibrahim Challenge !!!

The first day had an early start .... I left home at 3:30 am, to meet up with the other 16 challengers at Dubai airport at 5:00 am, and we then caught the Royal Jordanian flight at 7:30 am to Amman, arriving 3 hours later. We were then met by our local guide, and although it took over 3,5 hours to clear immigration from Jordan into Palestine ....

.... we were soon at sea level and dropping down to the lowest city on earth, Jericho.

At 5:00 pm, we reached the Samaritan Museum at Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, where we were given a very informative talk by Husney W. Cohen, who is one of the 700 remaining Good Samaritans and a direct descendant from Adam, Noah, Abraham and Jacob.


Sunday, 10 March 2013

Bought another Mustang !!!

I miss the 'Stangs that I sold almost two years ago when I was preparing to move from Germany to Dubai, and have been looking for a nice Mustang here for over a year .... before finally deciding to buy this one ....

.... a 2001 Saleen Mustang convertible, with the very rare tangerine orange paintwork and matching interior trim and seats, and a tuned 302 (5.0 litre) engine and automatic gearbox :-)

(photos to follow soon ....)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Boxes arrived !!!

 My boxes (all 49 of them) from Germany (via England) were delivered to my flat in Dubai today !!!

Now I just have to find space to put everything away, before I can use my portrait photo studio again  :-)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Gulf Photo Plus Training Week, Day 2

Gulf Photo Plus arranged a session this evening to explain the advantages of an iPad for any Photographer. Luckily, I bought my iPad 2 last year, so I will only need to purchase a few more apps. now :-)

Friday, 1 March 2013

Gulf Photo Plus Training Week, Day 1

Wow, it is the beginning of March already, so the annual Gulf Photo Plus training week in Dubai has begun again.

I attended four tremendous lectures today, the first of which easily convinced me that I desperately need Adobe Lightroom 4, so I have now purchased that :-)

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Luxury Car Show, Dubai Festival City

I went to the Luxury Car Show (over 300 vehicles) at Dubai Festival City today. 

Unfortunately, as the sun was setting, I realised that I was going to need my tripod and external flashgun, but had left these in my car. By the time I had walked for 15 minutes to get there and back, I would have missed these shots, so improvised with the integral pop-up flashgun .....

Four of the promoters on one of the used car dealer stands.

I could not get these ladies to understand that I wanted them to stand in that place but facing each other, instead of both facing the same way, so gave up and took this photo instead !!!

 Yes, that's better, but slightly further apart so that I can see the ferris wheel between you .... oh,never mind !!!

luxury-car-show-dubai-bentley-9089 by David Butcher Photography

luxury-car-show-dubai-corvette-9068 by David Butcher Photography

luxury-car-show-dubai-mclaren-9075 by David Butcher Photography

(more photos to follow soon ....)

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Yet another car accident !!!

Just 7 months and 3 days have passed since the last person smashed into my car(s) .... and this run of good luck was broken this evening, when a man in a Toyota Camry was driving too fast and too close to the car in front of him. When that car suddenly braked, he swerved left into the next lane to avoid hitting the rear of the car in front of him.

 Unfortunately, I was alongside him at that moment, so the front left wing of his car ....

.... smashed into the passenger side front and rear doors of my Subaru Legacy.

Luckily no-one was injured, and his insurance will pay for the repairs to my car, but once again I have the hassle of getting a quote for the repairs, and will lose the car for about a week whilst it is being repaired.

Sorry to anyone who was held up in the traffic jam behind us, but that is part of the joys of driving in the UAE. If motorists could learn to drive properly and with due care, there would be a lot fewer "accidents".

Monday, 18 February 2013

David Coulthard at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

There are days in most jobs where it doesn't seem like work for a few moments. Since I moved from part-time to full-time Photography, these moments are becoming increasingly more common to me and now dominate most of my days. However, some days stand out even further than others ....

.... such as today, at the IBM Software Day 2013 held in the Media Centre at Yas Marina Motor Racing Circuit, near Abu Dhabi ....

.... when I got the priviledge of photographing, then meeting and chatting with both Jason Silva (who gave a very fast-paced motivational speech on the history of technology, and the imminent developments that will revolutionise all of our lives) ....

.... and one of my heros, David Coulthard (appropriately, the first ever Formula 1 driver to drive around the new race circuit right outside this conference room at Yas Marina), who also gave an excellent and very humorous motivational speech. Both Jason and David stayed on for dinner and afterwards to answer questions, sign autographs and be truly great guys :-)

Not very interesting after Jason and David, but there was a racing car parked up outside the Media Centre with the IBM Software Day 2013 branding stickers all over it ....

.... and the Conference Room inside the Media Centre is one of the largest in the world, and was filled to capacity by the participants of the IBM Software 2013 Day.

(more photos to follow soon ....)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Dubai Jazz Garden Concert

 The Dubai Jazz Garden Concert was sponsored by Toyota .... thank you very much, gents .... 
and I love the appropriate graphics on this GT86 :-)

(Fuji Finepix HS10 : 4.2 mm : ISO 800 : f2.8 :  1/30": 16.02.2013, 19:58:34)

 Unfortunately, digital SLR cameras were not allowed into this event (the organisers obviously didn't have any confidence in the official photographer that they appointed, and wanted to try to prevent other people taking better photographs) .... so I took all of these with my point-and-shoot Fuji HS10 camera.

 (Fuji Finepix HS10 : 8.3 mm : ISO 800 : f3.6 :  1/27": 16.02.2013, 20:03:00)

 (Fuji Finepix HS10 : 29.1 mm : ISO 1600 : f5 :  1/50": 16.02.2013, 20:23:20)

 (Fuji Finepix HS10 : 41.4 mm : ISO 1600 : f5 :  1/50": 16.02.2013, 20:30:07)

 (Fuji Finepix HS10 : 20.4 mm : ISO 1600 : f4.5 :  1/100": 16.02.2013, 20:48:13)

(Fuji Finepix HS10 : 35.4 mm : ISO 1600 : f5 :  1/80": 16.02.2013, 21:48:42)

  (more photos to follow ....)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Sharjah Light Festival 2013

I went to the opening ceremony on the first day of this year's Sharjah Light Festival this evening ....

(pictures to follow soon)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fun shoots whilst killing time in Dubai

Between meetings, I ended up with a few hours to kill today, so I took a few shots for fun .... 

 This was taken on Jumeirah Public Beach without any filters ....

(Nikon D700 : Nikkor 28-300mm VR f3.5-5.6 : f16 : 1/500" : 55mm : ISO 400: 20.01.2013 16:18:43)

..... and this was taken with 3x neutral density filters, giving a total reduction of 32 stops of light.
Not quite the effect I was after, and there is some flare on the horizon at the right, so I need to make up a sunshield for the filter holder and try again :-)

(Nikon D700 : Nikkor 28-300mm VR f3.5-5.6 : f32 : 30" : 105mm : ISO 200: 20.01.2013 13:48:59)

 Here is a pirate on the roof of a restaurant in Dubai Marina at sunset :-)

(Nikon D700 : Nikkor 28-300mm VR f3.5-5.6 : f5 : 1/15" : 85mm : ISO 1600: 20.01.2013 18:05:31)

Friday, 18 January 2013

Fire, Light & Water Show at Dubai Festival City

There was a spectacular 13 minute long display with synchronised laser lights, water fountains, flame throwers and fireworks set to music at the Dubai Festival City Centre this evening.

First of all, just the water fountains illuminated by coloured lights and lasers .... 

(Nikon D700 : Nikkor 12-24mm f2.8 : f16 : 4" : 14mm : ISO 200: 18.01.2013 22:31:11)

.... then some fireworks ....

(Nikon D700 : Nikkor 12-24mm f2.8 : f16 : 4" : 14mm : ISO 200: 18.01.2013 22:32:42)


.... then the water fountains, lights, lasers, flame throwers and fireworks.

(Nikon D700 : Nikkor 12-24mm f2.8 : f16 : 4" : 14mm : ISO 200: 18.01.2013 22:41:19)

I love the way that the main fireworks look like palm trees :-)

(Nikon D700 : Nikkor 12-24mm f2.8 : f16 : 4" : 14mm : ISO 200: 18.01.2013 22:42:11)

There will be another display on Friday 25th January and February 1st at 10:30 pm.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Studio Portrait Session with Scarlett

Another fun shoot in my studio today, this time with a beautiful lady from Hungary called Scarlette ....

Friday, 11 January 2013

Dunlop 24 Hours GT Race, Dubai

I spent a few hours taking photographs at the Dunlop 24 Hours GT car races in Dubai Autodrome (just 10 minutes from my flat) this afternoon and evening .... cheering on the Mercedes AMG SLSs and Aston Martin Vantages

(photos to follow soon)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Stuck Indoors

I caught a severe dose of man flue from a guy that spent the entire flight from London to Dubai coughing and sneezing all over everyone within a 2 metre radius, including myself .... thank you so much, whoever you were. An added bonus is my shoulder and neck, which has almost locked solid, making it almost impossible to take off or put on a shirt, or drive the car .... so I have been pottering around and haven't been outside my front door since Saturday midday, whilst my list of things to do is expanding even faster than normal.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Back in Dubai

After a nice relaxing week in England with my mother, I flew back on the overnight Emirates A380 flight from Heathrow to Dubai .... and am now enjoying the 23°C and sunshine days again :-)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Being a tourist in London

I had a fun day being a tourist in London today, and took the Original Big Bus Tour around the sights ....

(pictures to follow soon)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Airbus A380 flight

I flew for the first time ever today on an Airbus A380 with Emirates from Dubai to London, to spend Christmas with my mother in England. 

 This was the only view of the A380 that I could get from the boarding gate at Dubai airport.

 The A380 is very quiet and there is a lot more legroom in Economy class than any other aircraft that I have flown in .... very impressive :-) 
Seated in row 73, there were hundreds of people in front ....

.... and hundreds more behind !!!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Camel Festival and sand dunes

We spent today taking friends across on holiday from San Francisco around again .... this time to the Camel Festival at Al Dhafra (about 1,5 hours drive south of Abu Dhabi) and the spectacular sand dunes around Liwa (another 45 minutes drive south).

 This is the grandstand alongside the main camel race track at Al Dhafra.

The camels used to be ridden by small children, but after this was made illegal, the camels are fitted with a small robot that comprises of a motor to rotate the whip to speed up the camels ....

 .... and this motor is remotely controlled from the cars driving alongside the camels !!!

Sitting in the main VIP grandstand, being served arabian coffee, whilst watching the camel beauty parade.

Some of the contestants in the camel beauty competition .... the features that the judges look for is the height of the camel, the length of the neck and the size of the lips (in all cases, bigger is better) .... also the hump should be as far back as possible. 

A camel is paraded in front of the judges .... black camels are rarer, so are worth more than white ones .... the black camels are used for milking, and only the white camels are ridden. Last year's beauty compettion winner is worth Dhs. 50 million (Euro 10 million / US $ 13,7 million / GBP 8,4 million).

Just 30 minutes drive south of Al Dhafra (and on the outskirts of Liwa), there are the most spectacular sand dune formations.