Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mawahb 2...

Phew! What a week! Long and exhaustive but I've made it through finally. Thursday to Sunday, I was attending my booth (with my sister) for our crafts in Photography (me) and in knitting works (hers).
Despite the fact that I didn't sell a thing and I've realized that people look somehow cheap at what I do, but I've made some contacts and socialized a bit, and made some notifications (mental ones) about some printing aspects. It is all about learning.
There were amazing people with amazing talents in many fields. However, my focus was on photography and printing. Moreover, I'm trying to make plans for the future from what I gained and saw in the expo.

My humble booth

Because of the time limits and because of my lack of experience for such events, I didn't really become a match for the beautiful booths in the expo. Anyway, I think my biggest mistake was to choose a booth opened from two sides, which made my place like a tunnel of people coming in and out!

The Booths

In 4 days, I got to know some amazing people in this expo. I picked my camera and roamed the expo and catching snap shots. In fact, it was somehow a good experiment with my snapping skills (i.e. fast-rhyme photography if I can say), and some high-iso shots too. I like to greet them all, and I beg pardon from those whom I didn't get the chance to take a photo of their booths. يعطيكم ألف عافية شباب.
Here are the booths that I had the chance to photograph in alphabetical order:

A Touch
A florist with a gentle touch. I got intoxicated with the fine aroma in this booth!

Abdullah Jery Photography
Pioneering in HDR and printing. I really loved the optical keyboard there!

Al-Arbash Designer
Absolutely magnificent. I simply fell in love with the architectural designs he does.

A corner that stole my heart away. Not only because I love antiques too, but also it is all about the history of my dear homeland. Snap shots will follow later!

The booth that made all the action in the expo with disguises and make-up. Snap shots will follow later!

BPF - Bahaa Photo Friends
My teacher's booth and his group. My teacher is giving his back to the camera under the arrow (if you can see it!). Some more snap shots later!

Amazing action/portrait photographer. She pushed my confidence further when it comes to printing with noise grains. Some of her photos are so nice and you won't notice the ISO1000 noise until you approach the print at 30 cm or less!

Casual IT
I think she didn't take the address of this blog! Oh well, good luck!

A corner I loved so much too, with all the fantasy characters and sketches in it. I can imagine future games productions!

Creativity Photography and Design
Fancy wallpaper and photos with cool contrast. Good luck guys!

Pioneers in printing methods. I need to check their place often in the near future!

Extended Galaxy
My far neighbor. Amazing work; all done with spray paints only!

Fatma Al-Refaee
Nice photography and cool abstract shots. Opened my eyes with a new printing technique; the acrylic. Some of her photos are printed on a sheet of acrylic and lighted from behind. I'll try to investigate more on this technique!

Fatma Thuwaini
Provided me with lot of information about her techniques with the flashes and printing. Thanks a lot!

My immediate neighbor and one of the first booths to photograph. Gentle touch and also provided me with printing information. Thanks again!

Gina Arts
Quiet corner with huge artistic talent!

Hanan's Photos
Another gentle touch and some more information on printing methods and some techniques as well. Thanks!

Hawra' Boshehri
My immediate neighbor. She had her share of annoying people! We had some long discussions about arts and the mentality of people in general, and of those visiting the expo!

Hussain Dashti
An organizer and, then I've discovered, an artist too. Thanks for all the efforts!

A volunteering community composed, as I believe, mainly from people of special needs. The group is dedicated to the name of the late Amir of Kuwait, Sheik Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Subah. They made me write a dedication and sign as well. Good luck guys and always forward!

J&L Photography
Great photos, specially those in Black and White that I thought they were sketches first. The contrast in the images was astonishing!

Khaled Al-Sayegh
Fashion, arts, and energy prospects; all combined in one booth here!

Kuwait Creative Society for Culture & Arts for The Disabled
Pioneering group advocating people of special needs and their arts.

Modern Touch
A fellow student with me in my previous class with Mr Bahaa. The decorations and products are all made within a family circle as it seems. I loved the decoration and did take a simple panorama of the place for stitching (see below).

My World by Nouf Al-Khamees
Quite surprised me with her shells collection and also her unique artistic talent. She did combine photography with a touch of decoration making a 3D effect out of simple shots. Also provided me with some information about new locations of probable inspirations, for the future. Thanks!

Q8 Long Exposure
The name says it all. One of my favorites. I've been fond of long exposures for some time and this is just what I needed to see!

Q8 Old Cars Team
Yes, this car was inside, but the team has a wide set of cars parked outside as well, and gracefully they allowed me to take photographs of them. Snaps will follow later!

Amazing sketches of different styles. Simply, great catch!

Rasha Photo
Another fellow photographer. I did like a collection of some old photography tools in the booth!

Although I didn't meet the owner personally, but had a permission from her relative, yet it looks promising indeed. Some nice saturation and contrasts there!

Meet the creator of one of the most devastating piece in the expo! I can say, with all confidence, that every one passing by the booth thought that it is a photograph, but the fact is, it is a painting (and I guess she told me a pastel painting). She did not offer them for sale despite the many offers she received. Excellent job, excellent attitude!

Unique Art
When photography meets fashion, it is not always about a model and cameras around!

Yousef Al-Muhanna Photography and
One long booth that combined two dear items to my heart: Nice Photography, and unique Arabic calligraphy!

Zahra Naseeb
Together we share the artistic thoughts and our view of the beauty that lies within destroyed places and devastated atmosphere. Unfortunately, she had to put up with so much stress and pressure from comments coming from people who did not understand her style and didn't give a chance for her to explain, thinking that she is following some Gothic-like thoughts. It is a usual matter for any artist I guess. Also, she is a matron of iPhone photography!
Her booth was a subject for a panorama too (see below).


Around the expo there were some special moments and some special "tasks" that I had to do. Ideas sprung up as I roamed the hall. However, the earliest form of snapshots were taken outside, with the old cars parked and shown in front of the hall entrance. Luckily, the sun served me and my mind, immediately, went on designing how this can serve me with some HDR scenery.

I. Cars:

The HDR tone-mapping done here was extreme. I'm not constrained with limitations of submissions to the websites who require "regular" images, thus it was a chance to let it out and speak in HDR-ish.

As you can see, all the shots were taken with a fisheye lens (Rokinon 8mm), which I think plays well in such atmosphere, and thanks to the sun and the hazy weather that day!
The funny thing is, the team forgot to print out a business card for themselves, like me! However, I've been given lot of information and you can reach them if you like at: .

II. Antiques:

As I said before, this Antiques corner was a lovely one, and I couldn't hold myself from capturing more shots from the inside!

General view of the booth with many old stuff, even old Pepsi cans!

Mirwás. I just love the sound it makes.

Old American Kodak camera and... something beside it...

Old German Loewe radio.

III. Stage:

The stage, and continuously for 4 days, was full of activities at the evening shift. However, because I was busy roaming the hall and checking on the booths, I didn't get the chance to take some photos for some of the performers till it was the 3rd day. Compared to the lens that I saw by my teacher's (Mr Bahaa) hands, my lens (tamron 77-300 and x2 teleconveter) was merely a toy. It was an experiment however, and made me shape some ideas about the usage of the flash with relatively high shutter speeds (and also high ISO). 

Another Phil Collins?

The images generally suffered from severe chromatic aberration. Seems that the teleconverter makes the effect severer and even harder to remove. A major problem as well was using the manual focusing all the time since the autofocus function is slow with this lens combination. I think I got extra muscles in my fingers that day!


The life inside the expo was alive with visitors, and also exchanged visits between booth owners, but one main factor for this liveliness comes from BOFA, and her make-up and costumes.

Yeah. That was fun.

I remember he asked if he looked pretty. I answered with... "yes"...

Mario... without his mushrooms. My flash froze his movement.

Who's that?

Many fun times with these guys, even though they had such horrific costumes, but their ideas were revolutionary relative to the typical idea of an expo!

Thanks for all the fun guys!


The atmosphere was a busy one, and even, at times, busy with boredom. However, I guess everyone knows right now my love for the panoramas and the geometrical shapes that can be achieved from panoramas. Thus, I didn't like the idea of passing 4 days in such a place without doing something about it.
My first attack, was my teacher's booth. After gaining permission, I've came to the place as early as possible and started settling down with my tools for shooting.

BPF Booth from inside

The shoot went on with a single bracket (i.e. no HDR attended). I've done some simple metering on some white and black surfaces and then finally settled the exposure manually to about 1 second or more a bit. Before settling down with my tools I trained my eyes a little bit on the surfaces by standing in the middle of the booth and looking around in a circle and also going up and down with my body. I was trying to see how reflective the glossy prints might be. I was aiming at shooting a low-level panorama thinking it would be more interesting in looks, but I realized that at a low angle (less than 1 meter above the ground), the glossy prints will reflect too much light and shine, leaving the original image printed on them incomprehensible. For this reason, I neglected this idea and raised the camera more than one meter above the ground.
Frankly, I was afraid that the after-all look won't be nice and the exposure will be screwed up in some places, but I got away with a simple and well lightened panorama. Later on, Mr Bahaa asked for this panorama in a larger size with my name on it for future brochures or publications, thus I've made him a 20K pixels wide version of the same panorama, in TIFF 16-bit, with a simple QTVR (without zenith and nadir points because I didn't include them originally). The original TIFF file almost measured up to 1 GB.

Another panorama for the same booth was done manually for the outer wall. It was a simple handheld panorama done at around 20mm focal length, and it was done in a haste and at high ISO (400 if I remember correctly)...

BPF booth from outside

The lack of concentration at that moment made me lose the right hand side of the panorama. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this fact until I've came to prepare the images for this blog later. However, it was a panorama done in a haste and fast rhythm. Only 3 shots in landscape orientation, and done handheld.

The other interesting location for me was the first booth, Zahra Naseeb. What attracted me is the solid black wallpaper (with fine lines) and the location itself relative to the whole. Also, the lack of any decorations in the middle of the booth, made it an easy target for such a panorama.

Zahra Naseeb's Booth

The stitch here was made in a haste for this blog. The extra space was cropped showing only the booth itself. However, there is a problem with the central point which made the cropping process uneven. I think it is one of these panoramas where you HAVE to specify a vertical control point to adjust the orientation of the whole panorama properly and straighten the panorama vertically. 
The panorama was done in 3 rows and without zenith and nadir, just like with BPF booth, but I've realized that I might, later on, have a severe problem with the highlights because of the harsh lighting and the small space of the booth itself. Thus, the whole shooting was done in HDR brackets and tone-mapped manually in Photoshop instead of Photomatix, because I wanted to give a natural look as much as possible. The panorama is stitched in Mercator projection because it yielded a better, and not-so-flat, view of the booth itself.

The last of the panoramas was for the Modern Touch booth. This small panorama done in 3 rows but without a wide horizontal range, with around 5 angles only per row.

Modern Touch booth

The idea initially was to shoot the booth from the inside, but with the logo on the floor I've changed my mind and decided to shoot from the outside. This in fact even made it easier for me and less of a work. Metering the walls of the booth and the light areas on the items showed a wide gap, so I decided to resolve the matter with HDR shooting again. Also, the tone-mapping was done manually with some adjustment layers to fix some color casts.
The projection style here is Mercator as well but other projection styles were interesting too, specially the straight or "rectangular" projection which made the booth look flat with great depth, but unfortunately the title on the top would be severely blurred because of the stretches on the edges by this type of projection. I will experiment some more with these panoramas in the near future hopefully.


As I said before, I've met lot of people and exchanged contacts with a lot of people. Unfortunately, I didn't a card for my own use, but I've collected some cards. Maybe posting the cards here would be beneficial for other people to connect and sort things together. With all the talents I've seen in the expo, I can say that we can do a lot; more than we have imagined even...

Click to enlarge.

As for me now, it is time to have some rest and plan ahead. New ideas came to my mind and probably new ideas for marketing or so. But my mind is still tired for all the work done so far in these 4 days of the expo.
I would like to thank everyone who shared the information they got with me, and everyone reading through this blog at the moment and I hope you enjoyed this ride for the time being, and hope you will enjoy the upcoming rides as well.

يعطيكم العافية شباب وسامحونا على القصور وموفقين دائما إن شاء الله

"Imagination is more important than Knowledge" - Albert Einstein.


  1. i think this expo was a big source of ideas and new knowledge for you TJ. it's always great to get new experience plus I'm happy for you socialising :DDD Great car-pictures!

  2. Thanks Eve :)
    It was indeed fun, despite the tiresome times :)