With classes back in session it’s time we put the teaching cap on. These two images are hands on demo’s for Skyler’s Advanced Photography 1 course. 1 was created using natural light with light modifiers, and the other with studio lighting. Can you tell which is which?
We had a fabulous weekend prop shop in the Muttrah Souq. Aside from the prices, we LOVE buying props from the souq because you never know what you will find. It’s like a treasure hunt for overgrown kids such as ourselves. Sky found this really pan and had an idea for this shot… love it. Both the photo and the food turned out top notch.
We have been working on this food photography promo all summer. It’s our first food photo promo, and it’s based on food that we cook for our daughter, which we hope to make into a mini book. It’s really taking a long time as we have set it aside for other projects and work half a dozen times. When we finally kick ourselves into gear and finish it, we will publish it here to share.
Pizza anyone? Sky spent the weekend on a pizza kick, he made several varieties and Ciela and I ate them all up as fast as he could snap the pics.
I have to be honest, we have really been slacking off on this project. It has been well over two months since we have worked on the project, but we are slowly picking back up. To start off, we ate at a place that we had eaten at once long ago, but always seem to overlook when we are attempting to come up with a dinner spot. Madinat Sultan Qaboos is a neighborhood in Muscat which boasts of the highest expatriate to Omani ratio when compared to most other neighborhoods. I was once told that it used to be referred to as little Britain 20 years ago due to the large number of British expatriates. In the center of MQ, as it is referred to, is a shopping center with lots of western conveniences. The little center has a Mexican Restaurant (which serves booze), 4 coffee shops, several other restaurants, a western-geared supermarket (with a pork room for non-Muslims) and 3 or 4 booze shops. You would have to look hard to spot them as booze shops, they are concealed as boring looking office buildings, and require a permit to enter or buy, which is only granted to foreigners. Among this western bubble are also two Arabic restaurants. The first is called Kargeen, and it is perhaps the most popular (among expats) traditional restaurant in town. The atmosphere and concept of the restaurant are very well thought out, and the food is delicious, the only down side is the price. Kargeen has both indoor and outdoor seating, and private Arabic style tents for those who want to experience an almost Disney, but fun version of Arabia. The tables are all made of old Omani wooden doors and the décor is over the top modern handicrafts meant to look traditional. It is a faux, traditional environment which serves some very authentic, traditional food.
Next door is another restaurant called Al Ziyara Coffee Shop, which mostly known as a sheesha hang out, but also serves food. The environment is a half attempt at being like Kargeen; they have a large outdoor seating area with plastic tables and chairs all covered in shabby cushions and faded tablecloths. We had thought for a minute before entering about going to Kargeen, but we stopped ourselves, knowing that it would have been the easiest route possible. We sat down outside and ordered starters off the top of our head, knowing that they would be on the menu. “We will take Hummus, Muttabel and Stuffed Vine Leaves (warak enab in Arabic) and two mint teas.” Stuffed Vine Leaves are a popular dish all over the Middle East and can be stuffed with many different things but traditionally are stuffed with lamb. Sure enough, all of the generic Arabic items we spouted off were on the actual menu. We ended up with a mix grill for the main, and as usual the food was brought to our table in the most random order. “Starters” is not taken literally in Oman. Before we started eating we started with our tea and sat back for a minute. “This place is kinda shabby, but the atmosphere is pretty nice” I said. We drank our tea and took in the aroma of various sheesha’s around us, apple strawberry, grape, the air is always fruity at a sheesha hang out.
I couldn’t have spoken any sooner when a group of medaling teenagers descended upon the restaurant like a plague of locust and began to… well be teenagers. The annoying presence of misguided youth all pretending to be cooler then the next literally spoiled our food. We tried to ignore them, and went on to eating. This restaurant has a couple of cool perks, for example they set your table with a few little extra’s like a bowl of Kalamata olives and crisped pitta bread in addition to the usual pitta bread. We tried to chat about those small details for a while but we were both really, really annoyed by the loud talking, laughing and horse play going on around us. One girl who couldn’t be older than 16 lit a cigarette at the next table, which made her cough profusely. For a minute I thought about leaning over and telling her that I know her mother and I would tell if she didn’t leave right away. Then I thought to myself how old I would sound if I said that, in a moment when I already felt vulnerably old. Not to mention there were swarms of them, so getting rid of 1 would do little good, there’s no way I could know all their mothers.
I looked at Sky and said, “you know when we met we were only a couple years older then these kids.” We kinda smiled, there is no way we could have been this annoying. We quickly chalked it up to expat teenagers being particularly annoying. “Yes they have no sense of their original culture and grow up in a bubble, that must be what makes them so annoying.” We quickly asked for a doggie bag and made our way out of the outdoor seating area when the scariest thought came over me, “you know it wont be that long until our 2 year old daughter is an annoying teenager.” Lunch was officially spoiled, and we were officially in bad moods.