Pigeons at rest

Pigeons at rest by (Id) Xposed Photography

This was taken on a short holiday in Rotterdam.

While walking around, I saw a huge amount of pigeons flying towards me & Paulien, so I traced them to where they were coming from and this is exactly how I saw them & the place they seem to be living in.

A pink & a white daisy

A pink & a white daisy by (Id) Xposed Photography

I was wandering in Rotterdam about 2 months ago spending my last days with my ex. We were exploring the city, neither of us had ever spent time in Rotterdam. I had been there before, but it was only on a transit ride with the train.

I had my camera as usual & Paulien had just bought one for herself. The tour was amazing, we were delighted by the beauty of Rotterdam. On our way through a shopping mall, my eyes caught hold of a huge flower pot with beautiful mauve and white flowers. I couldn't resist the temptation and got closer. I walked around it selected the best flower that was on the best spot & which I thought would make a good composition and this is what I ended up with.

Visit my Flickr album by clicking on the photo and share it with a loved one.

Can't get me!

Can't get me by (Id) Xposed Photography

This kid was just being curious watching, playing and talking with the water fountain.

I can dance like you

I can dance like you by (Id) Xposed Photography

Kids are fun if you let them be kids.

What's up with my mobile?

What's up with my mobile? by (Id) Xposed Photography

Technology is taking much of our attention these days but it's hard to think of a world without technology anymore.

Do I look like a ladybug?

Do I look like a ladybug? by (Id) Xposed Photography

These are exactly what kids around the world are supposed to do. Be a kid and do kids stuff.

Hope every kid lives a happy childhood life.

She has more balloons

She has more balloons by (Id) Xposed Photography

Take a look at this kids face, I think the expressions says it all.

Tell me what you think this beautiful little girl is thinking or feeling.

Girl in black is camera shy

Girl in black is camera shy by (Id) Xposed Photography

she's shy and pretty!

My niece doesn't like being photographed so I caught her by surprise. She might hate it more if she knows here photo is on the Internet, but I couldn't avoid showing everyone this particular photo.

Tell me what you think of it.

6 months in Lebanon & now in Angola

I left the Netherlands 6 months ago (end of January 2011) looking for a better financial future. My first destination was Lebanon were some of my family members are living. After being with them for a couple of months and taking care of a water refining company I handed the business over to my sister and left for Angola, where I have been living for 3 days.

While in Lebanon, I came across a nephew of mine that I hadn't seen for 15 years, we had a good conversation and he invited me to see the house he was building. We drove later around and he asked me what I was doing, I told him what I was doing and what my plans for the future were. He asked if I would like to go to Angola, I told him I would love to but I had no means to get a visa, he told me not to worry about that as he was going to send me an official invitation. I gave him a copy of my passport & received an invitation letter 2 weeks later.

I took the letter & traveled to the Netherlands where I applied for an Angolan visa, it took me 18 days of waiting to finally get the visa. After 2 days I returned to Lebanon to say goodbye to friends and family, I stayed there for 2 months and traveled on July 23, 2011 to Angola. I'm now here and need one more day to reach my final destination.

I will be meeting with a friend who is trying to get me a job and I hope all goes well. Keep tuned for more information about my next move.

Groningen Central Station

Groningen Central Station by (Id) Xposed Photography

Groningen railway station is the main railway station in Groningen, the Netherlands. In Groningen, the station is also called Hoofdstation.

The station opened on 1 June 1866 and is on the Staatslijn B (Harlingen - Nieuweschans). The first building was a temporarily structure outside the former stronghold. Later the station was connected on the Meppel–Groningen railway in 1870. In 1884 the Groningen - Delfzijl railway line opened, and in 1893 the connection to Roodeschool opened.

The station building that still stands today was completed in 1896. The station has nine platforms and behind the station is a stabling point for many trains. Groningen is now the furthest north Nederlandse Spoorwegen operate, with all services further north operated by Arriva. The drawings for the station are printed in Baranowskis ENCYCLOPEDIA of 19.c. ARCHITECTURE (in French, German and Russian). There is also a 19.c. photo.

You can now "Like" my blog using Facebook button or +1 by Google

I have added 2 "LIKE" buttons to my blog-page to make it easier for friends to keep track of what they "like" on my blog or to show others that they like my blog.

On the right hand side of this page is a Facebook "like" button, which any Facebook user can click to show their friends that they "like" my blog.

Also beneath every blog-post is a new "+1" colorful button created by Google. By clicking on it, you let others know which blog-post you like. These "Liked items" will appear on your Google profile page. Google also offers an option to hide these "likes" making it visible only to you. It's also a very good way to keep track of items you like on the web.

So why wait! Go ahead and try them out! Let the world know about my blog while you keep track of posts you like ;)

Looks like I'm much safer here

Looks like I'm much safer here by (Id) Xposed Photography

I was in Rotterdam, the Netherlands 2 weeks ago to apply for an Angolan visa & on my way back to the train station I saw this car hanging on top of a roof.

The sight was amazing and even though I was in a hurry, I decided to get closer and take a photo. I enhanced the photo to reveal the red color only. I think that made the car really pop out.

Rotterdam is a lovely city full of people from all parts of the wall, I believe there's at least one person, from every place on earth living in Rotterdam.

City house of Groningen

City house of Groningen by (Id) Xposed Photography

The city house of Groningen is at the heart of the city (grote markt) meaning; big market. It was designed bij architect Jacob Otten Husly.

The city house was built in the place of the middle age wine & town hall that was broken in 1775. The welfare of the city was supported through peat cultivation but did not last for long as they went into huge loss.

In 1792, Husly designed a retrenched design that was done in two fases respectively in 1793-1795 & 1802-1810.

Originally, the building had a U form architectural plan. In 1872 the city fully completed the west-side & the back-side.

In 1962 an extension was built designed by architect Jo Vegter (in Groningen and called the new city house).

City life!

City life by (Id) Xposed Photography

I started a new path in photography this week. My goal is to be able to walk around feeling comfortable while taking photos of my environment.

What I realized during my first session was that I had a lot of angst when it came to taking photos of people. I could not, for one moment ask anyone if I could take a photo of them so if you see people in my photos, then know that I took them without them seeing me.

I hope you will check my new set of photos called City life and sincerely comment on them. Please give me tips that would help improve my work. Say all you like as long as it's related to the photos (no hurt feelings). But please refrain from critique that are meant to hurt than help.

Thanks for being here!

Paulien the Pirate

Paulien the Pirate by (Id) Xposed Photography

Paulien is a huge fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. She's watched the first three episodes and was hoping to watch the 4th, unfortunately for her, she couldn't choose the normal movie, the only one playing that day was the 3D version.

This photo was taken in front of the Pathe cinema in Rotterdam.

Girl in pink

Girl in pink by (Id) Xposed Photography

She's my neighbors kid and she's adoring.

This kid is too small for her age and she doesn't speak yet. I think she's almost 3 but looks like 1/5 year. Medically you can say something is wrong with her, but luckily she's not sick and is very energetic.

This is the only kid in the world that loves me from afar. She likes looking at me all the time, smiles from afar and do funny stuff but I'm really not allowed close to her because she'll run away and hide under a desk in her parents shop, aw she's so cute.

There's also on thing, she's very greedy and would never share anything with anyone even her brother or parents ;) Another thing is that, if I call her and want to play with her, she'll refuse but if I say give me a kiss she would. Very funny and strange, never seen a kid that's like her in my entire life. I'm used to kids being around me all the time and not wanting to let go of me for a second, but this is a tough job.

Her mom says she used to be like her when she was a kid and that explains everything, I guess!

Here's my babe

Here's my babe by (Id) Xposed Photography

Her name changes every day and I'm not referring to my niece in the picture but to her lovely doll.

My niece will end up becoming an awesome mom in her future life! at least that's how I feel when I see her taking care of her doll. She does everything (bath, clothes washing, changing of clothes and diapers if any, feeding, cleaning, bed tucking etc..) one does for her own babe.

Sometimes she brings her over to me so we can talk about her and I always treat her doll as a real kid. I love making my niece laugh and try to get her into a good mood when she's down, maybe that's why she always say she loves me the most and why she always cry when I travel.

I miss her so much and hope to see her again soon.

Beauty in the distance

Far at the distance you'll see a mountain called Jabal El Sheikh, meaning; (Old Man's Mountain). It's one of those mountains where you'll always find snow on it and it's found in Lebanon.

This mountain can be seen from a lot of places in Lebanon and is one of the highest mountains of lebanon, the highest mountain is Qurna El Sawdat (The Black Peak) reaching approx. 4000 meters (13000 Ft). Thanks to Joseph for the details.

What I love most in Lebanon are the hills and beautiful sky it makes me relax and feel at home.

Caught while shooting

Everyone loves taking photos even if it's just to grab a hold of a camera.

I talked about my niece on my last blog post and here she is, looking into her eyes I can see the passion of a photographer, unfortunately, she has no intention to become one, all she cares about is just take photos whenever she's got a camera in her hands.

My motive behind this photo was to portray what a person looks like when they have a compact camera in their hands.

Gracious yellow Daisy

I almost didn't notice it because it was so tiny and the flower pot it was in was super huge.

I was busy taking some photos of my cousin and through the corner of my eyes I saw my niece taking photos of something on the other side of the road. I got curious and walked towards her to see what she was doing and suddenly noticed a beautiful daisy flower in a huge pot.

I got down on my knees to take a photo of it, my action made my niece laugh out loud saying that the flower was not worth a picture, I ignored her, took the photo and showed it to her. I could see the impression on her face as she shouted WOW "I didn't expect that, how did you do that" was her first question, I smiled and told her she has to have a passion for photography if she wants to know how I did it.

Later back home I talked with her a lot about my passion for photography and how I look at my subject. She looked interested and I hope I've shared a bit of my knowledge with her.

Tearing eyes

This is my boy and I'm so proud of him but sometimes looking into his eyes makes me sad.

He reminds me of my self and how unlucky I am in life, he looks a lot like his mom from the outside and more like me from the inside. He's a good boy but missed a lot in his life & I hope I can replace some of his losses in the near future.

He's the love of my life!

Loving that bird

On our way to Beirut's International Airport to collect my sister's daughter last month we stopped by a gas station to get some gas, that is when I saw these beautiful birds in a cage enjoying the sun. Did I say enjoying the sun? Well how can one enjoy the sun in prison, guess it's impossible, but that's my opinion. I'm totally against birds imprisonment.

Anyways, we had enough time so I went over and took a couple of shot, but what caught my eyes were these two birds that seemed very in love with each other. They remind me of how beautiful life is when one's in love.


I was sitting in my brothers shop helping him out with the bottling & selling of drinking water when I noticed one of the taps dripping. So, I went home and grabbed my camera to capture the beauty of it.

It took a couple of shots to get it right, but it was real fun & I learned a lot about the settings of my camera and how to focus on the right places.

Shoot without a camera

When I first read about taking photographs without a camera I thought it was a stupid idea especially because it would make me look like a crazy man in the eyes of the public. Though the idea sounded crazy I gave it a try & to be sincere it really paid off.

Here is how to put this technique into practice:

1. Think about something interesting, go to the area were it is found without taking a camera with you.

2. Walk around your subject looking at it from every angle possible. Stand on higher grounds, bend down on your knees or lie down on your stomach to get a much lower perspective. Make sure you study your subject from every angle & by doing that you'll realize that there's a lot you can do with a camera in hand.

3. You can also use this technique in your daily life, while at work or on the streets, you might look crazy but to become a top photographer one must have something to offer or sacrifice.

4. Another tip while studying your subject is to close one eye, because with both eyes open things look much better, because the human sees things in 2 or 3 dimensions (sorry not sure which is right). A camera has only one dimension & so your shot might end up different than you hoped for.

Don't hesitate to practice this way & tell me if you learned something from this technique also let me know what people thought about you ;)

Photography tip (34)

Practice makes perfect, shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot more. Keep on practicing and make changes to the settings on your camera plus the angles in which you normally take your photos from. The more variation, the better.

My first wedding photography experience

Unfortunately, there are no photos right now to show you, but on April 16, 2011, I was fortunate to be my best friends personal photographer.

My childhood friend Mohamed el Ali got married to his fiancée and asked me to be his personal photographer. He had already hired a professional photographer but wanted me to be there and capture the emotional moments only a good friend could see. We've been friends forever and know each other like we know ourselves.

I was a bit nervous, but got very relaxed when the wedding started. I tried to keep the photos to a minimum, selecting only the beautiful moments, those moments that spoke to me. I hope when I process them, they'll be a keeper and photos to cherish forever.

I hope I didn't mess up this one, because this is the wedding I'll never forget in my life. It's the wedding I've been waiting to see for a decade.

I wish him and his beautiful wife, all the best in life!

The photo's turned out just as we both wanted, but unfortunately, Mohammed didn't want to post them on the Internet, I'm really sorry, had to respect his wish.

Lots of photos, but no pc & Internet

Hi everyone, here's a short note to keep you updated about my adventure.

I left Holland a couple of months ago to start a new life abroad. My first destination was Lebanon and I'm still here. I'm trying to find myself a new job or a new way to earn my living. There are lots of plans at this moment, but nothing has stopped me from taking photographs.

I've taken a lot of photos, but I lack a laptop to process them and also a good Internet connection to upload them, so I'm saving them for the near future.

I'm leaving Lebanon for a new destination soon and will update you as soon as possible. Thanks for stopping by and please take your time to comment.

No chance to take a photo yet

I've been in Lebanon for almost 2 weeks and it might sound unbelievable, but I haven't taken a single photo since I left Holland on the Jan 23, 2011.

Firstly, I have a lot to do to secure my family's future (financially) and that is eating up all my time and energy, but no regrets. Secondly, I have to visit the nearest city to buy a laptop to process any photo I take, but no time for that too.. Thirdly, the Internet connection here (speed: 200 kb connection), makes uploading any photo a (Mission impossible).

Therefore: my choices are to take the above situations a step ts a time. While doing that, I'll try to update my blog to keep you informed about my life here in Lebanon.

Please don't give up on me! Have a wonderful day.

In search of greener pastures

Today's my last day in the Netherlands. I've decided to leave everything behind me and follow my dreams. I'm traveling this evening, my first destination is Lebanon were I will meet with friends and family. I'll be staying there for some months to rest and carefully plan my next move.

My dream is to become a professional photographer and hopefully have a successful photography company in the future. I'm in a hurry as I have to catch the train to the airport in 30 mins.

It might take sometime before you hear again from me, but please be patient and don't give up on my blog. I'll miss every single one of you. Be safe and have a wonderful day!

Photography tip (33)

You can do awesome things with longer exposures, check some photos with longer exposures. To achieve that one should use a TRIPOD or risk ending up with camera shake on their photo.

Who let the dogs out?

Sometimes you come into contact with your subject and become friends without planing it ahead of time.

It was March 4, 2010 and I was feeling tired an frustrated, I had just heard from the dutch immigration that I had to wait another three months to be able to apply for the dutch passport. So I decided to take my camera and go out for a walk. On my way through the park I came across a lovely girl and her cute little dog, it looked so sweet that I had no other option but to ask the girl for her permission to photograph this little beauty.

I had one shot to make it right because the girl was shy and a little bit impatient. This was that one shot.

These are the camera settings I used for this photo:

I used a faster exposure (shutter speed) 1/350 of a sec to freeze the shot because animals are very unpredictable. I also used a smaller aperture f9.0, to get everything in focus. My ISO was set to 200 which was just perfect for a light absorbent lens (50mm f1.4). Other lenses might have needed a higher ISO or some compensatory flash.

Antique lookalike!

I love antique designs. I find them more interesting that a lot of designs made these days. Recently, there has been a surge of antique clones. This box is one of them.

My brother in-law has tons of antique lookalike furnitures in his home and they add that extra touch of beauty to it. I like it there, because there's always something to photograph.

My choice of design for my home in the future, will be a combination of modern morph design & a touch of antique.

Why I chose the D7000, DX 10-24mm & DX 35mm f1.8 lens

This is a follow up of my other blog-post. You might want to read the other post first. It will help you understand this one better.

Everyone has a reason for doing things, that also goes for buying products. For me, buying a product, especially electronic products is the most frustrating thing to do in my entire life. Wondering why? Well, I'm never satisfied and always require more and more from each product I buy and because of that, I spend months reviewing a product before purchase. Also, with little or no money at all, my choices are very limited. So, mostly, I'll end up buying something with lesser features than I really wanted and regret buying it after some months.

Lets take for instance an example from 5 years ago, when I decided I to become a professional photographer. I started asking friends and photographers for their advice on which product I should buy. My first choice was the new Sony a100 camera, and I made my choice because it won the European award for the best startup DSLR camera of that year. Wrong choice, because no sooner I said that, people pounced on me saying that Sony camera's were new in the DSLR market and has very few lens choices on the market, even though every Minolta lens would work perfectly.

I had no other choice but to do a new research, the research took almost 2 years, and I finally decided to buy a Canon 450D, took it back after a week because I wanted more, I replaced it with the Canon 40D, which I returned a week later replacing it with the 50D. Very expensive, but it was affordable as I had a job. To be sincere, I was satisfied with it untill I lost my job two months later and had to sell the entire gear to pay my bills.

Now after 5 years and with a little bit of photography experience and no money at all, it was time to make a new purchase and work my way towards becoming what I've always wanted to become "A professional photographer". I started doing a research 18 months ago for my next purchase, and made a lot of final decisions on my way, but each decision turned out to be one of those shaky decisions I took in the past. Eventually, I decided to buy a Nikon d90 & a 18-200mm lens. I was certain those were exactly what I wanted till I heard that Nikon was bringing out the upgrade of the D90 a D7000, it would also cost +/- 25% more than the D90, but with tons of improvements & new features. Wow, tons of improvements and new features to a camera (D90) that was already one of Nikon's best camera's ever?! That sounded awesome and a good review confirmed that the D7000 was far more superior that it's predecessor, and it went further than that, it was also far more superior than the much expensive D300 & D300s, which are by the way Nikon's finest camera's in their category. So, reason enough to go for the D7000.

The AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm F3.5-4.5G ED lens is the widest angle lens ever produced by Nikon. That means, more of everything in one shot. It is perfect for users wanting to shoot scenes that require a wide angle perspective effect such as in a small room, or for shooting architecture and landscapes. Landscape, architecture, street photography & portraits are amongst the shortlist of things I'd like to specialize on. That list will get shorter till I discover where my passion lies. This is why I chose this particular lens.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G lens is the newest & one of the cheapest prime-time DX lens Nikon offers. This lens is made especially for camera's in Nikons DX category, like the D60, D80, D90, d7000 etc... It's the perfect replica of the 50mm f1.8 lens that was made for Nikon's FX camera. It has a very large aperture f1.8 (very good in low light) and is also well built. It's a great lens for portrait photography and has an awesome blur effect too.

Unboxing my new photography gear !!!

Another title might have better portrayed the excitement I'm feeling right now, but the enthusiasm left me with little or no creativity at all.

Finally, after more than a year of frustration & financial problems, I have managed to achieve one more thing that's on my photography goal & wish list. I bought the DSLR Camera & Lenses I've always wanted!!!

The gear consists of:

My thanks & gratitude goes to my girlfriend who helped finance the purchase. I have been looking for someone who could borrow me the money needed for this gear without wanting interest for it, but couldn't find anyone. Now that my girlfriend has a job, she was more than willing to lend a helping hand. She said it was her gift to me, but I told her I would only accept it if she would allow me to pay back the money when I get a job. So, that's our final bargain, at least from my point of view.

I haven't fully tested my gear yet. I did check them for faults & damages though, and luckily, they seem OK. I will try to take some photos tomorrow and find out what features this camera has to offer and what it's huge amount of buttons, knobs & wheels do. I've heard that one can program some of the buttons to their choice. If so, then that will be a real time-saver.

Ohhhhh, Can't wait till tomorrow!

Fading into the distance

oooohhhhhh!!!, I love photography!!! and so love being able to select a point of focus, but mostly, I adore the Nikon 50mm lens.

OK, enough of that. Now, let me tell you what I did to achieve this gradient fade-away shot.

I chose the "AV" aperture mode from the dial, turned on and selected my point of focus, boosted the ISO to 200 because I was shooting inside, then I chose a large aperture number f2.8 to achieve the blur, not the largest I can achieve with this lens though, I went for somewhere inbetween because I didn't want everything to fade away altogether. Last but not least I chose a shutter speed of 1/250 of a sec, fast enough to avoid shaking in the photo.

With a prime time lens, this settings was good enough, I guess any other lens with a higher f-number would have needed a faster shutter speed to avoid picture shake.

Photography tip (32)

When you photograph people in color, you capture the colors of their environment and dressing. But when you photograph people in black & white, you capture their inner-self, authenticity & souls.

Selective focus (Lilies)

A fascinating feature on digital camera's is the ability to select a point of focus and if done properly, delivers the best of pictures.

To achieve this kind of shot, I used a 50mm f1.4 lens and while on the (AV) mode, chose the largest aperture f1.4 and bumped the ISO to 200 to compensate for low lighting. I also chose a normal shutter speed 1/50 to avoid camera shake as I was not using the inbuilt flash.

In Lightroom, I converted the photo to black & white and added some extra sharpness to enhance the points of focus.

Yellow daffodils

Another photo taken with the amazing Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens.

It was cold and I was walking back home thinking about my shot of the day. I had no clue what it would be till I saw this beautiful daffodil flower in-front of a shoe store.

I knew immediately that it would end up becoming my shot of the day for March 11, 2010, and now it is my shot of the day for today too.

Horses! A reflection or not?!

I purchased a 50mm f1.4 lens for a Nikon D90 camera I was allowed to use for a couple of months last year and this is one of the first shots I took with it. As you can see in this photo, this lens has an amazing aperture (f1.4) and creates and awesome depth of field.

Unfortunately, I had to sell the lens a week after I bought it, because the camera got defect and I had no use for the lens. I have no regret though, because the lens was an FX lens and works better with a full frame Nikon camera and that is something I can't afford to buy now or in the near future.

I'm hoping to buy a new Nikon camera in the near future and I will try to purchase the Nikkor 35mm f1.8 lens with it. The 35mm lens is made specially for Nikon DX camera's like the; D90, d7000 etc... and it has the same focus range on a DX camera as the 50mm has on an FX camera.

Hyacinth beans

For some of you, this is an old photo, for other's it's totally new.

I took this photo in the past and posted it to one of my blogs and to my Flickr account, but neither that blog, nor the Flickr account exist anymore, as I decided a short time ago to start all over again, but this time with a goal in mind.

A friend told me that this is a Hyacinth flower, if she's wrong, please correct. If not, then please leave your comments on this photo and help me become a better photographer.