> New Nike brand images

Nike seem to shift their brand creative at a rate even more frequent than I buy new gear… and that’s saying something!

Wouter Kingma Blog for Nike Running Middle East 05We took some amazing environmental shots last year to put Dubai on the map at Nike Global. And now, we’re working in an entirely fresh direction. After going through an extensive 77-page brief, we’ve brought together this new set of creative content, a set of strong, black & white images, guaranteed to make an impact.

This epitomises what I really love shooting, in terms of both subject and art direction. And the style reminds me of an industry piece I want to put together called RAW. Just that… RAW. Strategically strong yet unpolished, crafted images, seemingly un-staged, moody and easy to connect with, a bit of dirt perhaps but not dirty, a blend of motion & unfiltered energy.  Sure, the focus may be a little… Read the full post >>

> DXB/AIR exhibition

We’re super stoked to announce our next photo exhibition with DXB/AIR kicking off on Sunday 11th October. When I finished up shooting out the helicopter for my book ‘Dubai Aerial Tour’, I knew then that the content I’d amassed would lead to a grand exhibition. And here it is!

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What’s on show? Thirty of my own favourite aerial images, all shot from a helicopter… yes, the real McCoy! The result is a cool mix of tight abstract landscape details, hidden treats, unique and creative uses of lenses and an awesome variation of colour, form and texture covering all corners of Dubai.

We launch the exhibition at the super chic office and leisure destination, The Boulevard, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, where our big black columns will be on display bang in the middle of the atrium. What a prestigious location to start our two and a half months road show. On the 1st of November we shift the installation to Read the full post >>

> Announcement: Canon Middle East Brand Ambassador

I’m super stoked to break the news! This has been in the pipeline for a while, with a relationship that trails back to my first exhibited work in 2008. Canon was a great support of my ArtOnTheMove.me exhibition and I’ve done a few trade show presentations and workshops for fellow photographers.

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But now, I suppose it’s just a bit more official! I’ve taken on the exciting role of Canon Brand Ambassador for the Middle East region. Amongst a mix of deliverables, I’ll be feeding their social media channels with fresh content, throwing out crazy photography ideas, mishaps, large format printing experiences, creative injections and brain twisters… basically sharing what I do on a… Read the full post >>

> N_K_D Digested

N_K_D Pizza is a brand to watch out for. It’s an American franchise brand introduced to the region by Ian Ohan, a driven entrepreneur overflowing with energy and ideas. Love spending time with him! He brings so much to the scene, is always on a positive energy high. You see this carry through in how they run their business and in all their activities.

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Over the coming weeks, NKD will be giving away a chaffy Charger, together with presenters at Dubai92 and the Autodrome… a chance to burn some rubber through branded pizza boxes. Before you know it, there are multiple players with multiple messages. With a brief that read… Read the full post >>

> Trails & tales with The North Face

My very first experience with The North Face goes back to a purchase some 25+ years ago and over the years, I’ve trashed their packs, duffles, tents, tops, base layers and shoes at exciting places all over the world. They’re an awesome outdoor brand just crying out to be played with.

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So when the phone rang and Craig, their Middle East brand guy, asked if I wanted to do some trail running work with them, it was a no brainer. Their logo is on my ‘brands I would love to work for’ board so needless to say, I was eager to grab this opportunity.  I did some work with The North Face brand ambassador, Dean Karnazes in ’08 and ’09 with some extreme running in Chile and China and my… Read the full post >>

> 1% for the Planet. Our efforts continue…

It is a little over a year ago that I signed up to 1% for the Planet. The idea was to give back some of our revenue to support causes dedicated to preserving the natural environment. 1% for the Planet is a brilliant initiative and one that lies close to my heart. It’s nature after all, that fuels my creativity, enables me to reflect and brings me peace and clarity. In fact, most of my creative time is spent in the mountains as I’ve written about often in the past.

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I chose to dedicate last years donation to Wadi Wurayah National Park and am doing so again, this year. Sitting on the east coast of the UAE, the park is a unique project in this part of the world, managed by Emirates Wildlife Society in association with… Read the full post >>

> Bentley GT V8 S and stunning Oman

When it comes to beautiful landscapes, Oman never fails to deliver. And similarly, when it comes to beauty on wheels, nor does the Bentley GT. We had three days to create a set of regional images for Bentley’s latest model, the 521 bhp Bentley GT V8 S, three days to work magic with this stunning car.

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I’ve been commissioned by Bentley a number of times and it’s always proved to be sheer, exhilarating visual excitement. As it panned out, it was a pretty high performance gig, involving a fancy hotel, stunning road and these luxury wheels. I could get used to this… Read the full post >>

> Lone Survivor helps to refocus

I’ve just watched Lone Survivor on a flight to Amsterdam, an epic American war film, directed by Peter Berg. It was amazing. Based on a true story, the movie is simultaneously action packed, thrilling and touching.

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On the list of my 5CALLS is the desire to produce a book about the armed forces… to shed a light on their work, to collate and expose the work they do, to put these role models on a pedestal where they can be given the applause they deserve. Perhaps this goes back to my wanting to be in the army as a kid, I don’t know.. Read the full post >>

> Dubai Aerial Tour Book – launched

This book is about sharing visual stories of Dubai and celebrating the city from an aerial view. Dubai is truly unique, home to a distinctive heritage, culture and modernity and capturing these images proved to be a wonderful gig.

I believe that coffee table books are all about striking the right balance. On the photography side, you want to find harmony from different angles and this means careful consideration of lens choices, patterns and textures, isolating a subject or going for a mass of complexity and chaos. This was the first time I had used a fish-eye lens in my aerial work, which results in this crazy distorted… Read the full post >>

> Wings for Life Dubai

I’m so proud of my great buddy Chris for pulling off the Dubai chapter of the Wings for Life World Run.  Putting on the show was a bit of a spontaneous ad hoc decision which, by the very nature of organizing a running event, proved a little overwhelming with the sheer amount of work involved. Still, he pulled it off with aplomb… called the right people and connected with the community. Within a mere matter of weeks, some solid sponsors were confirmed and around 200 runners at the starting line. That’s our Chris!

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The Wings for Life World Run is a global movement, a 10k race run in aid of those who can’t.  At precisely 10 am UTC last Sunday, a global charity race saw … Read the full post >>

> 2014 Sahara Run

Where do I start? I left with a million memories, stories and impressions. I’ve been back just eight weeks but already, with my usual whirlwind pace of life, details are starting to escape me so I forced myself to sit down and record my recollections…

February 12th, I landed in Amman, Jordan for a gig I’ve long been passionate about. For a little over a week, I would be surrounded by some amazing athletes, both full-on pro’s and weekend warriors, all bound by some quest for discovery, all intimidated, nervous yet excited by the challenge that lay ahead. My history with the Racing the Planet / 4 Deserts goes back to 2007 when I shot their Sahara Run in Egypt, which was quickly followed by my covering their races in remote China and the salt flats in Chile. I just loved them. The growing understanding and … Read the full post >>

> Falcon project ongoing

I posted a few images from our falcon project on Facebook a while back. Work on this project continues full steam ahead and a couple of days ago, the client exhibited some of my first works for a selected group of VIP’s at Abu Dhabi’s Park Hyatt.

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This project is still very much a work in progress. Getting into the ‘inner circle’ has proven to be a bigger task than the actual shooting and we’ve had all hands on deck just to secure access and permissions. The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority is helping to open doors, which has got me into some private falcon stables as far out as Read the full post >>

> Sharing the love for car photography

In the years that lead up to my starting my own business, being involved in different training  workshops featured quite heavily in my life. I wrote various courses for Accor Academy and my time at the Land Rover / Jaguar regional office in Dubai had a 30% focus on training. ‘Dipped in Green’, in particular, developed into a memorable three days brand experience. To date, I still meet participants who refer to it with fond memories. At the end of last year, I also held a Canon photography workshop, and if all goes to plan, we’ll see more of them soon.

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So when Motoring Middle East called to see if I was interested in running a car specific photography workshop, I jumped at the idea. I’m always keen to share and help others take it to the next level… and when it comes to car photography, I’m sure I have a few… Read the full post >>

> Fresh of the press – UAE Ministry book

Putting together the official 2009-2013 UAE Ministry Achievement book in only three months brought with it great challenge in terms of turnaround time. Commissioned by the UAE Federal Government of Cabinet Affairs, we’ve produced a solid 250 page hardcover book about the UAE government’s achievements over the last four years.
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It has a fresh and modern looking design, with copy entirely in Arabic so we’ve had a bilingual team who have worked around the clock to bring all the artwork together.
The result is a beautiful looking book which was presented by his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum at the cabinets meeting last… Read the full post >>

> 5th Abu Dhabi Triathlon

The fifth event saw me back shooting for the fifth time. Always a fantastic gig to work on. I just love the atmosphere when you have a huge combination of athletes, some newbies to the sport, some going hard for a new PB and some pro’s racing insanely fast to grab that podium finish. The finish line ends up having no shortage of huge sweaty hugs and tears… 2,400 personal and powerful stories within a few short hours.

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From a photography point of view, the mission is avoid shooting the same old content year on year. Going through this year’s imagery, I’m pleased to see that I managed a few new monster shots, pushing on creativity and… Read the full post >>

> Extreme 3

Just recently, I completed Dubai’s Extreme 3, a three day ultra race covering local desert and mountain terrain across a grand total of 140 kilometres. If I could sum it up in one word, that word would be AWESOME. I just loved being on the other side of the lens and it was truly refreshing not having to worry about f-stops, iso settings or RAW conversions. Instead, my days were filled with clocking up mileage,  freeze dried meals and trailing pink flags.

The course was spectacular. I’ve been exploring the UAE for over years and I still find I’m constantly discovering new places. The route took us through farms where you could smell the local herbs, through exposed wadi gorges, interspersed with massive boulders and, of course, through its fair share of deep sand! The desert always looks stunning but after hours on foot.. Read the full post >>

> ADOR prepping for Volvo Ocean Race

I’m wondering what their out of office reply will be. “Got your email, thanks… but it’s unlikely I’ll reply anytime soon as I’m off sailing around the world for eight months with the Volvo Ocean Race.”

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The team Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is in town and I had the privilege of spending a few days with them. They’d just announced the new crew for the Volvo ocean race and this was the first time they were all together in Abu Dhabi.

Over the course of three days, the agenda was all about having… Read the full post >>

> Our responsibility to keep exploring

I recently came across a series of videos about exploration and adventure, which pumped me full of drive and energy. They immediately appealed to me, I guess because one of my mottos is this… ‘You’ve gotta do what you love to do’ and for me, that means from time to time, jumping on a plane and going somewhere new to explore. I’ve chosen to live my life this way, and surround myself with people who live along the same lines. We all trigger each other to constantly raise the bar and discover new boundaries.

The North Face is an awesome brand to follow, supporting and promoting adventure since 1968.Half my closet has their logo on it…

Nat Geo certainly needs no introduction. Their voice is all about echoing new places and amplifying those who venture off the beaten track. They’re an industry benchmark when it comes to documentary photography and their video puts a few in the spotlight. The NG-Adventurer extension will appeal to any adventurer and the filming is Read the full post >>

> 2014 Salomon Wadi Bih Run

Heading into the Hajar Mountains from the coastal town of Dibba never fails to bring back fond memories. I’ve been heading out to this area for over twelve years and it never fails to impress. Past trips have included endless camping adventures on the higher ridges, my introduction to trad climbing, a top three finish in the inaugural Jebel Qiwhi run, landing the winners trophy at the Arabian Quest, lot’s of long mountains runs, wadi floods (not recommended!) and last but not least, the witnessing of a super special wedding proposal by my best mate silhouetted against the moon. So when the phone rings and I’m asked if keen to cover the annual Wadi Bih run, my answer is always a resounding yes!

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Those who follow my blog will have read about the race before. It’s a 72k run through a dry river bed, up the mountain and back, completed solo or as a relay team of five. In previous years, Nike were key sponsors of the race and my brief was guideline heavy. This year, the brief was very open. I was simply to create a bank of images that connect with the race. For me, this meant roaming around the wadi and just shooting where the light was at it’s best. I really couldn’t have asked for it better! The race actually takes place in Read the full post >>

> Get out there

I recently took a magical two days off and headed out to the mountains. As many may know, I’m a big fan of mountain days… spending quality time immersed in nature and soaking up fresh mountain air can surely only lead to great things!

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This trip was no different. To get me into an inspirational mood, I downloaded a podcast from The School of Greatness to listen to on the drive down. I can’t recommend listening to these podcasts enough. Thanks to Google maps and a bit of exploring, I found a new dirt track leading deep into a wadi or billabong as the Aussies would call it. As I drove deeper into the valley, the track got rougher and rougher and I was into Read the full post >>

> Canon Trade Talks 1

I recently wrapped up a series of talks at the Sign & Graphics trade show in Dubai. It was great fun with lots of energy and a tip-top crowd.

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My talks was predominantly geared towards photographers and printing professionals… sharing real life experiences from the diverse productions and shoots we work on covering photography and (large format) printing. In a nutshell, my story ran as follows Read the full post >>

> 2013 – Recap of an awesome year

Each passing year seems to fly by more quickly and each seems to get better and better. Here’s a brief recap on how my 365 days in 2013 panned out… the stories, the highlights and the game changers.

A big slice of my 2013 pie was car work. I’d say a good third of my photography work is automotive related. I came to this realization when I visited the Dubai Motorshow last November and took this one picture. All the luxury brands came together and it dawned on me that I had recently worked for all of them. I hope to continue this trend and further extend our relationship over the years to come. It’s all about putting the Middle East on the map with… Read the full post >>

> Audi at the Autodrome

Here’s a quick visual wrap up of nine intensive days working back to back on a rack of beauty shots for Audi. It was all about speed and their top of the range RS models or to use their words, “Nothing comes closer to driving a true race car legally on the road,” so serious speed and stunning cars. Action, lifestyle and product…

Wouter Kingma Blog for Audi RS Dubai 08A big thanks to the Audi team, the Autodrome pros and my crew for making it work. Yes, we did stretch it at times, especially after a long day on the track. That extra 15 minutes to capture an awesome sunset easily turns into an hour and working with the morning light at its best called for early starts for the pro… Read the full post >>

> Al Ain Aerobatic Show

It was great to be back at the Al Ain Aerobatic Show, this year a celebration of their ten-year anniversary. The programme was cool and it’s always a pleasure to see so many familiar faces again.

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Having shot the show for the last four years, I’ve got a pretty good grip of what it entails and due to a packed shooting schedule in the lead up, I could only actually work the final day so by then the show was running like a well-oiled machine. Planes shot in from left, right and centre to an enthusiastic crowd and an… Read the full post >>

> Desert Stinker

It was great to have a racing bib attached to my shirt again. Last year I photographed the inaugural Desert Stinker race, an awesome race formula, organized by our good friends at Urban Ultra. During the shoot, I remember asking myself why I was on the wrong side of the camera. I should have been running!

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So this year I did. 20k at night through the desert on a designated race route. It was fabulous… so invigorating! The darkness, the outdoors, the bouncing head torches, nearly being knocked over by three… Read the full post >>

> Two strong ad’s to share

I just had to share the below two ad’s. It certainly isn’t some sort of top two list but something I recently came across in Wallpaper and New York Style mag. What I love about them is the way they share their message. Both hotel brands and both found a unique way of reaching out to their audience.

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Hotel brands typically use an image of their grandest room or the buildings exterior. You wonder how that can really resonate or connect with the reader. The have a bed, tick, a side table, tick, a huge bouquet of flowers, tick… they may be perfectly photographed but they also seem so obvious. In my opinion, if you book into a luxury hotel, a giant bed to trampoline on with crisp bed linen and soft, fluffy towels should come as standard so why… Read the full post >>

> The five phone calls to receive in 2014

A new year is just around the corner so let’s think about this for a moment. Whilst some see this time as a chance to party, others see it as an empty sheet of paper… a twelve-month opportunity to create magic, an opportunity to write down the things you’d love to do, a combo of pro-active thinking and trusting that stepping into the unknown will work out in your favor.

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The other day I was sitting in the car and it just struck me… if I could just summarise my full list into something short & sweet, what would it be. It’s good to reach for the stars, to constantly create ideas but it’s also about striking a balance between realistic deliverables and… Read the full post >>

> Red Bull Car Park Drift Dubai

What an awesome night! Sixteen mad drivers drifting, shifting, burning rubber and revving their engines like you wouldn’t believe. Yes the Red Bull Car Park Drift Finals hit Dubai with a vengeance!

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Working for Red Bull is great fun and they always get the mix just right. The scene looked awesome with lots of energy, music and liquids to give you wings. They’re very strong on their brand marketing generic viagra online canada and the ever-enthusiastic crew are always a joy to work with. Every image tends to have one big logo, occasionally two which… Read the full post >>

> Hitting the dunes with Lewis Hamilton

It’s always fascinating to see where new business comes from. Matt, a client who I did a lot of work with at the Abu Dhabi Tourism office, recently moved to the UK to work for a sports marketing agency. I’ve since gained the title of the desert photography expert at the office, which resulted in the epic opportunity to shoot golf legends Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer in the world’s largest dunes. (worth a read).

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Matt rang me recently to ask if I was keen to do some destination work with Lewis Hamilton and Blackberry in the desert. ‘Hell yeah‘ was my reply, not because he’s a celebrity but just because he’s a very cool guy! I worked with him briefly two years ago on a shoot for McLaren and despite his status, he remains refreshingly down to earth….

Read the full post >>