A couple of weeks ago, a few friends of mine arranged a night photo shoot to have some fun with light painting and long exposure shots. We headed to this abandoned building in the middle of nowhere and a brave volunteer worked his magic with just some steel wool stuffed in a whisk and swung on a chain. Here’s what I got. I loved the results and can’t wait to do some more of this.
Here’s something I tried while I was playing around with the 2 axis head on the tripod. I set the exposure to around 10 seconds and then moved the camera on X and Y axis while focused on a string of street lights. This might make a good wallpaper for my mobile phone.
There was this structure that I lit up using a flashlight and managed to get the stars in the shot as well. The yellow haze is light reflected off clouds from the street lights and just above that the stars are visible.
Towards the end of the session we played around with one of those LED key-chains and got the following samples.
While I was editing the pictures I remembered that I’d taken some similar pictures of the Fire Dancers at this year’s Sand Sculpture expo so I figured those would fit into the theme of this post. So here are some shots from the event.
A couple of nights ago a colleague of mine and I were looking for a good chalet to rent during the Eid holidays. I came across two new websites but unfortunately most of the places we called were either too expensive, 500 KD upwards or fully booked for the whole week.
The sites are easy to navigate and have a gallery for each property so that you can get an idea of the available facilities. The contact phone numbers are also listed for each property. The chalet’s descriptions are in Arabic but we got around that by using Google Translate. If you’re using Chrome you can use the built-in translate feature. The best thing about the sites was that each location is also marked on a map so that you can take the coordinates and find your way there easily. Some even have a video presentation!
Our college alumni association recently organized a workshop on caricature drawing by Mr. John of John Arts. I used to draw and paint many years ago and it was great to have an opportunity to pick up pointers from a professional.
The workshop lasted 2 hours and we completed a whole sketch book in that time. Each caricature was carefully explained and he gave us tips on how to create a sketch in just a few pencil strokes. We sketched Indian politicians and celebrities and finally ended with some fun drawings based on number figures.
If you have the opportunity I’d highly recommend attending his classes. Here’s his professional profile.
During the long Eid holidays I tried my hand at making bread and after a couple of attempts I got a final product that met my expectations.
Searching online I found that our very own ‘Vah Chef’ had a recipe for milk rolls and I also found an Italian video for the same rolls but with a small difference in the finishing stages. I used both videos for reference but used my own flour combination to get the texture I wanted. If you look online you’ll find a lot of resources to help you make the perfect loaf but here I’ll list a few of the things that helped me to bake my perfect bread.
Flour choice: Most of the American recipes call for ‘bread flour’ which is a combination of refined flour and a small amount of whole wheat flour. I initially used 100% whole wheat but that ended up in bread that was too tough. My second attempt was with 100% all purpose flour but it was too pale and soft. I finally went with a 70/30 split of all purpose/whole wheat and got my desired texture.
Kneading/developing gluten: I initially used a food processor with the dough blade to Knead the dough but it wasn’t as good as doing it by hand so I applied some elbow grease and spent approximately 10 minutes Kneading and folding the dough. You’ll know the dough has reached the proper state when the dough can be stretched without breaking. This is when the gluten has formed in the dough and gives it the desired texture.
Proofing: Letting the dough rise is important for it to be soft and airy. The proofing can be done in two stages. After Kneading the dough leave it in a damp warm area to rise to at least double its size. I coated the dough ball with oil and then used cling wrap to prevent it from drying out. The second stage of proofing comes in when you’ve knocked the air out of it and cut, shape it to the required sizes. Leave it on the baking tray for a further hour.
Finishing: Right before slamming it into the oven, I brushed egg-wash and sprinkled sesame seeds over all the buns. They went into the oven heated at 175-180 degrees centigrade for 25 minutes. After the first 15 minutes I took them out and rotated the tray 180 degrees for uniform heat distribution. Once the bread was done I took them out and left them to cool for about 10 minutes.
I tried making sausage rolls, stuffed buns and burger buns and they were a lot better than I expected. My next challenge might be baking a proper cake for Christmas.
“A Photographic walk along the Arabian Gulf of Kuwait. All skill Levels of Photographers are invited. Classes and Demonstrations will be conducted along the route as well as designated Experienced Photographers will share their Knowledge on all aspects of Photography.
Bring an open mind, Camera Backpack with gear, Note taking materials, Small money for meals and snacks along the route. Sponsorship is welcome as well as all Photographic clubs are encouraged to attend.”
Last Saturday, my friend SP and I headed out to the tire graveyard in Amgara after seeing the interesting pictures posted by Mark. The place wasn’t too hard to locate and we followed the path on route 605 till the GPS pointed us towards the compound. We parked our car near the fence and found a opening where we quickly scrambled in. The view was just breathtaking, just millions of tires as far as you can see.
We had some trouble making our way through the tires as it was tricky getting a solid foothold. We weren’t sure if we were trespassing so we got out of there in 5 mins. I’m gonna visit this place again and hopefully get some better shots.
Some of the paths leading to the compound were really tricky and had a lot of loose sand but I managed to get through it with the transmission in 4-wheel lock mode. I’d suggest visiting this place in an off-roader so that you don’t get stuck in the sand.
I never really thought staying in Kabd would be a great experience. Up until a few weeks ago the mention of the place usually brought to my mind stories of women being kidnapped and taken there or street racers dying while attempting to breach the sound barrier in a rusty Datsun or Camry. Now that I think about it I had posted about the most dangerous places in Kuwait a couple of years ago and Kabd has the #5 spot.
Two friends of mine, VV and AKP, and I went scouting for a comfortable farmhouse for a weekend getaway and we were lucky to find the perfect spot. Rents in most of the places range from 70 KD a day to 100 KD but its up to you to bargain with the caretaker or the owner of the property. The place had all the amenities you’d find in a furnished apartment including water and gas connection and you just need to bring your own food and drinks supplies.
The farm houses are located on road 604 towards Sulaibiya and I’m surely going there again for another relaxing getaway.
I’m trying my best NOT to do anything for the next couple of days. I’m still recovering from a nasty cold virus so that gives me an excuse to pig out and glue my ass in front of the TV and recover my strength. Enjoy your break everyone! See you in a few days.
Last week Mark tweeted about some nice looking cookies in a blog so I thought I’d try them out during the weekend to see how they were. The original recipe can be found [here] and I made some changes to mine; left out the chocolate chips, substituted pecans for walnuts, used only Bounty and Dairy Milk(plain) and reduced the quantity by half.
The original is enough for 3 dozen but since I was experimenting I thought it would be safer to try with a smaller quantity. I goofed up slightly by pouring too much batter for each cookie and by the time it was fully baked I ended up with under a dozen giant sized cookies.