The Abu Dhabi Triathlon was once again packed full with some of the world’s strongest athletes. I’ve been shooting this race since the inaugural event in 2009. It’s always fun, full of energy and fairly unique in that some seriously big names rub shoulders with hundreds of local weekend warriors.
In a little over eight hours, I shot more than 7,000 frames, a handful of which have gone to press. My strongest images, I’ve crafted into something different this time … an inspiring piece of art. Here’s a taster of what our new Read the full post >>
Now that the embargo has finally been lifted, I was keen to share this image. It’s so unusual after all to get soaked through in Abu Dhabi … first clouds and then the rain! Here we are with Abu Dhabi brand ambassador and upcoming golf legend Matteo Manasero, building a commercial portfolio of imagery with a view to portraying the city as a sun seekers idea of complete luxury.
Luxurious it was, but hardly the norm in this part of the world to see this weather. An extra dose of luxury came from Ralph Lauren as they provided their latest wardrobe for the shoot … a cool mix of casuals and formals.
We had a jam packed itinerary with some stunning locations like the Helipad on the new Capital Hyatt Hotel, Jumeirah’s observation deck, the St Regis resort and golf course, the Abu Dhabi Golf Course and at dusk, the Shangri-La for sundowners. In all honestly Read the full post >>
I found a gap during a three-day Ferrari gig to browse the Yas Hotel library. When it comes to hotels, there’s one side of the scale that serves lousy coffee and caters to the masses, determined to pile their buffet plates sky high and wolfing it down accompanied by crap music and useless tabloid media (you can tell I just checked out of one…)
And then there’s the other side, the side where the Yas Viceroy sits. Hovering over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix circuit, the iconic Yas Viceroy embodies 5 star luxury with class, sophistication and a great selection of books in their Read the full post >>
This post I hope will plant a seed in other businesses in the Middle East and encourage further participation. In July last year, we signed up to 1% for the Planet with the idea of giving some of our revenue back to support causes dedicated to preserving the natural environment. It’s a brilliant initiative and one close to my heart. It’s nature after all, that I rely on for creativity, reflection, calmness and fresh, crisp air. In fact, most of my creative time is spent in the mountains as I’ve blogged about in the past in my posts never enough mountain days and mountains & mindmaps.
For this reason, I’m delighted to announce that our 2012 donation will go towards the Wadi Wurayah National Park on the east coast of the UAE, a unique project managed by Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF).
Wadi Wurayah became the UAE’s first mountain protected area in 2009. Since then, great conservation work has been done in protecting the area’s rich ecosystems. The wadi’s fragile and unique ecosystem is one of the few Read the full post >>
“Daddy, can I be a Formula One driver?” will be a question one of my little boys is going to ask sooner or later. I don’t wanna kill your dreams boy, but the reality if that you’re about double the height of an average F1 driver. It’s like being a jockey. You’ve gotta be tiny and lean to enjoy horsepower at its maximum. My boys would be better preparing themselves for a lifetime of being asked whether they’re basketball players instead …
Saying that, if you can find something you love doing and work out how to make money doing it, you’ve arrived. Perhaps buy your own F1 team and race the world best Grand Prix circuits? Or join the elite class of Ferrari Corse Clienti, where ex F1 cars are transformed into customer driving experiences. Of course, I’d be happy to come and take pictures of you flying around the track, similar to what Ferrari kept me Read the full post >>
Walking the streets of Old Dubai was my core objective … a few of days of culture, exploration, reflection and probably a bit of soul searching. My outline Foot Journey of old Dubai post explains the full reason behind my decision to take time off in a city I’ve already been living in for eleven years. In a nutshell, I wanted to experience Old Dubai, especially the historical parts, in the same way a five year old kid might do … eyes wide open, eager to absorb the energy of real street life. And so I did, for three magical days.
I booked myself into the Barjeel Guest House in the Shindagha Heritage area, located bang on the creek. It’s a newly built guesthouse that follows the traditional lodging style, and as it turned out a great place with a cool atmosphere and the perfect positioning in the heart of the anticipated action. Breakfast was served on the rooftop overlooking the creek promenade and it was a joy to experience a city come alive in the early morning hours … people from all walks of life taking early Read the full post >>
“Love to run, run and run.” Cath is one of the unsung heroes when it comes to ultra distance running. She’s run over a dozen 100 milers in different parts of the world and this summer, she’s gearing up for a second bash at a sub-30 hours Badwater, one of the worlds toughest foot races entailing 135 miles out in the brutal heat of Death Valley. Hats off to her!
How did we get together? I’ve known Cath for a few years. I shot her a couple of times during the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge and we’ve been talking on and off for a while about doing some personal work, both photography and video. As for what got the ball rolling was her idea to Read the full post >>
My life is centered round new Dubai, with its luxurious and fashionable expat family lifestyle. I’m certainly very content here … there isn’t a single reason not to be … but I’d love to explore my world like a 5 year old would experience a new city, absorbing the energy, soaking up the vibes, eyes wide open.
I’ve been in Dubai nearly eleven years and would love to take on the old parts of town I call home. Yes I’ve been there on occasions, but normally on the fly, running behind my camera, completing the creek half marathon or with family on a wild tourist dash. I’ve never experienced the old town at the pace it used to have Read the full post >>
“Who sold that idea?” These were the final words of Ian Haworth on day two of the Dubai Lynx Awards. There holds so much meaning in these four short words and they remain circling in my mind.
One such meaning is the generation of ideas … creating and crafting them. Whether based on a brief or a non-brief, aka personal work, strong ideas create movement and movement is what we like to see. Our team is getting more and more involved in the creative process. Planting seeds and nurturing shoots. Mood boards, sketches, brand sheets … it’s an interesting industry and we love having our brains Read the full post >>
After a chilled sleep at the trendy W hotel in Doha, I made a point of getting up early to be first in the breakfast room at 6am. Walking through the lobby I eyed a book on display, perfect for a browse over breakfast and it turns out, some real inspiration thanks to the work United Design has done around the world.
The stunning layout aside, I thought it a really nice summary, portraying 15 years of achievements. I loved the simply concept of thinking in reverse, Read the full post >>
We’re wrapping up the final stages of the Oxy Oman coffee table book and hope to share our work once the embargo is lifted. Closing the gap on the photography required, I just returned from a mad dash around Oman trying to shoot all the executives within their own working environment.
Lot’s of portraits were shot, all on location and often put together in a short piece of time. Times like this and my Profoto gear comes into its own. Read the full post >>
Seventy-two kilometers of gorgeous off-road running in the Hajar Mountains on the edge of Musandam. Taking place for the 21st year running, this event has become iconic on the UAE’s running scene and is the only real off-road race.
My key focus from the photography angle was two Nike-sponsored running teams from the ‘MAKE business hub’ crew. I wanted to follow their journey, starting with their urban-based training runs in the lead up to the race day itself. I hoped to record their Read the full post >>
I hoped to jot down a brief summary of a magical 2012 … what worked, best practices, my highlights etc … Realised that there’s actually quite a lot of scribbling to do. Yet another tremendous year that has flown by like crazy.
I can only start by generously thanking a fantastic and ever-returning client base for keeping us busy. Without your support, this would be a very short post.
A big shout out also to working with some awesome new brands, in particular on the automotive side with McLaren and Bentley. On the sports scene Read the full post >>
The only ultra run you will find in Arabia. The next Wadi Bih Run is coming up, with a beautiful 72km of pristine off-road trail running. A few solo running enthusiasts will join around 200 relay teams of five competing for the coveted title. Over the years, I’ve photographed it a few times (read my ’12 post). We’ve camped high up in the mountains on more than one occasion, witnessed a very special marriage proposal and this very wadi is my favourite spot for hill training. It takes a couple of hours to get there but the effort it takes is so worthwhile.
These days, Nike is pretty actively involved in Wadi Bih and it’s great to see the race get even bolder. They’re bringing me down this year, so guys, make sure you’re running your best because I’ll be popping up Read the full post >>
I’ve been working closely with Canon for a good few years now yet still, it was an immense privilege to be the first photographer in the Middle East to get to play with the EOS 1Dx, Canon’s new flagship camera. No sooner than the question was raised, I replied in great haste with a resounding ‘YES!’
It arrived brand spanking new, untouched and with zero clicks to its name. Two weeks later, I had managed to click a total of 8,820 frames. Not bad for a fortnights work … and even though it shoots at a speed of twelve frames per second, luckily I managed to play with it for a lot more than the 12 minutes that this could have equated too. Damn, this machine is fast! I was thrilled to see that the speedy clicks go hand in hand with a fast Read the full post >>
Ready to break some sweat? How about a mad dash of soft sand running in and amongst some amazing desert dunes? Recently I witnessed the inaugural Desert Stinker desert run, shooting for my great friends at Urban Ultra who organised the race to raise funds for two amazing charities. It was a night run followed by an early morning sunrise run … two runs back-to-back covering either 20 or 40kms.
Being out in the dunes gave me race envy … gosh I would have loved to have been running. The conditions were perfect, the scenery amazing and the crowd inspiring … I can’t imagine a better racing cocktail. Read the full post >>
So here I am sitting in the back of a chauffeur driven Bentley, a Flying Spur to be precise, immersed in the world of the wealthy and surrounded by deep pile carpet, super soft leather and a massaging seat. There’s no shortage of space for my lengthy legs and my MacBook sits on my lap as I get on with some post editing and client calls. In the name of work, I occasionally look out the window to keep an eye out for dramatic backdrops.
“Say Henry,” aka Austin my pro driver, “can we catch up with the convoy please and take lead position. I’d love to take a few photographs here.” “Certainly Sir” he replies and puts his foot down in our 600bhp beast. Here we are doing Read the full post >>
From my trusty old Land Rover Defender to the fastest road car Bentley has ever produced … from one marked world to another! Having a job where playing around with gorgeous cars is all part and parcel makes me pretty lucky.
This luxury set was handed over to me along with a sign-my-life-away disclaimer marked full of exclusions …no drifting, road rallies, speed tests and such like. The simple brief, however, asked only Read the full post >>
I recently spent a fantastic couple of days out at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve experiencing the great research work being done by Biosphere Expeditions. Biosphere has brought in a crew of everyday people to help out on research of the Gordon's Wildcat and Arabian Oryx.
They’ve attracted an incredibly interesting crowd of people from all walks of life and all four corners, brought together by a willingness to dedicate their spare time towards conservation work. A non-profit wildlife organization, they also run Read the full post >>
If there is indeed a heaven on earth, it has to be an idyllic weekend cabin, a place to escape, a place to journal about past and future adventures, somewhere wild and unique. The Adventure Journal has them nicely listed. Such places bring with
them a bursting desire to explore and discover yet at the same time, bring peace and serenity. Certainly beats any kind of five-star luxury resort.
We stayed at La Fleur Bleue in the French Alps last summer and enjoyed self-made breakfasts under the tree’s, hills in the backyard for long runs and a log fire to accompany a few bottles of Read the full post >>
Fresh mountain air stimulates creativity … my justification for getting up early and hitting the Hajar Mountains for some much needed vision and reflection. In the perfect world, I would love to do this one day per month but in reality it happens just a few priceless days a year. I tend to hit different valleys and discover new mountain roads so a sign like this one inevitably drew me in.
Roads like these always lead to interesting places. High up in these mountains is a peaceful valley where in the past I’ve done some trail running and adventure racing but that was long before this new road replaced Read the full post >>
In my two weeks with the Canon 1Dx, the majority of shooting had so far been action and sports-oriented so I sent a quick email to the team at The Fridge to find out if they needed any portfolio shoots for their new musicians. They always have a steady flow of newcomers and the confirmed assignment quickly followed.
I’ve work with Amir in the past. He’s a great guitarist, now expanding his
portfolio with a flamenco dancer and second guitarist. We set-up base in the big Read the full post >>
A good buddy of mine, Chris, public speaker, successful business chap and wheelchair athlete is stepping up a gear by being an inspirational voice via his website and blog with his NoXcuse initiative. My shout out for personal work with the new 1Dx resulted in spending some quality time together. Creating a set of images is so much more about what you CAN do rather than what you CAN’T do … an almost identical message to that which Chris is trying to convey, whether you wheel or walk.
Our first stop was the Sheikh Hamdan Swimming complex. For those not familiar with the building, imagine a massive blue mushroom placed in the middle of the desert. Inside, the facilities are world-class. Inside action photography is always a challenge …
Read the full post >>
You gotta love personal work and I’m a big advocate of just getting out there and playing around with new ideas. Personal work gives my creativity free rein and with the lovely Canon 1Dx still to hand, I simply had to test the waters by shooting Queenax at Engine Health & Fitness,
Dubai’s latest health and fitness offering. My first introduction to Queenax was a few weeks ago when I did some advertising work at the club. It’s basically a fitness system that turns the space around you into a tool … it gave me a real feel of cage fighting but in reality Read the full post >>
I’m writing this post from mOre’s very first international branch down in Muscat Oman. With all their global expansion plans, I’m not sure if I can keep up visiting all their outlets but on this occasion, I happened to be in lovely Oman for some more Oxy work, closing the gaps of their celebration coffee table book.
Back to Dubai and the mOre outlet in Al Marooj is what this post’s imagery is all about. I’ve been shooting the mOre brand for a number of years and seeing them grow gives me great satisfaction. From a single outlet to three of their Read the full post >>
This was a last minute gig, a common occurrence at this time of year. We were talking about creating a set of intimate portraits of the client’s CEO when the question was raised. “Do you also shoot tennis?” A quick look at my previous work with a handful of tennis superstars on the Burj Al Arab helipad, the Mubadala Tennis Championship and a library build for Tennis Emirates and the job was secured.
The 15th Habtoor Tennis Championship is the only pure ladies tournament in the Middle East with some of the best players from the world coming to Dubai to compete for the trophy. It proved an intimate tournament with a great Read the full post >>
I recently did some behind the scene shots with P&G’s beauty brand ambassadors Pat McGrath, Eugene
Souleiman and Josh Wood. I’m always open to exploring new themes.
I’ve stepped in and out of fashion and beauty work in the past with shoots like Graciella and the occasional fashion show and it would be fair to say that I’d never shy away from a big campaign shoot by the likes of G-star RAW or Diesel … Read the full post >>
Following my shooting the Nike Night Run, I found myself at Yas Marina Circuit, just two weeks after it hosted the ionic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I’ve worked at Yas Circuit often … on the ground and in the air … but this was the first time with Ducati Motorbikes, or as some would say Ferrari’s on two wheels. Their latest 1199 Panigale was the star of the show and saw a group of their pro drivers taking it to some serious speeds.
I shot during the transition from day to night, grabbing some of that sweet end of day light and then moving onto more photo-challenging terrain as ambient light dips. Having said that, the floodlights at Yas Read the full post >>
Canon Middle East had kindly lent me their very first EOS 1Dx to play with for a couple of weeks. These series of posts reflect my working with it … my stories straight from the field.
My first gig with this fantastic toy was shooting the Nike We Run Dubai event, a race that attracted over 5,000 runners across either 5k or 10k.
When Nike coach Tom took to the stage for a grand warm up, the pre-race energy was live and kicking. I sneaked up from behind to grab a shot … seeing the crowd bounce to the tunes was a thrilling experience. Nike did a grand job in Read the full post >>
Finally, I’m so happy to share the latest on the Uganda Charity many of you so generously supported as part of my previous Gobi March run. Yes, there have been a few delays but all for good reason. Charity entrepreneur, Anne Peterson, has been working hard with the local organisation to get their plans in place.
‘No plan; no cash’ was her motto and so together they worked on devising a clearly phased delivery plan. The first phase has now started with the foundations of a two-story library. Anne recently visited the project and these were her words, “I am thrilled with the progress that has been made to date. Read the full post >>