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Explaining a few Photos from Bahrain

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If you have not seen my recent trip to Bahrain then here is the video. And if you don’t know where Bahrain is it is a small country in the Arabian Gulf, next to Saudi Arabia. It is literally an island not much bigger than the Isle of Wight. In fact, it’s a Kingdom with its own Royal Family and a beautiful peaceful and friendly place to visit.

I was there for 12 days and in that time I took many photographs using the Leica MP with a 50mm lens and film stock Kodak TMAX 400 ad Kentmere 400. I also took two digital cameras, a Leica Q2 Monochrome ad a Canon 6D.

Street Kids

This photograph was in an area called Zallaq. It is a small town. One side has a beautifully developed shopping area with restaurants and coffee shops ad the other side is a small local shopping area mostly resided by the Indian community. Not too far is a fishing area ad this derelict building where kids hang out. I took a bag of sweets into the area for the kids. In no way to entice them for photos. I intended to photograph the building but once the word was out that I had sweets about 20 kids came out of nowhere.

I was vlogging and taking pictures and these two kept following me about. I then took this photo. It was on the Leica MP with Kentmere 400 film and a 50mm lens. I wish I had a 28mm lens so I could get closer and still get the graffiti in. But why were these kids following me. I thought they were interested in what I was doing. Nope. I had a bottle of Pepsi in my hand. They wanted it. Once I gave it to them they left.

Bahraini Kids

Children are amazing to photograph. Unfortunately it’s all very questionable in the UK but these two children were with their Father helping him clean up his shop. I asked the Father if I could take the picture and he agreed. I sat the two kids on this step and took two photographs. Two Brothers helping their father.

The Iron

Striking whilst the iron is hot! This photograph was taken inside a small Laundry Shop in Zallaq. I was talking to this man who was ironing and I noticed the Iron he was using. Now this was a staged Photo. I asked the man to hold the Iron. I focused and took the shot. Leica MP 50mm lens. I was just amazed at the make shift wiring.

Kind Man

I was sitting down opposite this man changing film in a local Souke (Market Place) in Manama, which is the capital of Bahrain. I had been walking around for a couple of hours taking photos and must have looked tired as this man called over a guy from a coffee shop and offered me coffee. I accepted. Then they guy came over with a bottle of water. I went to pay and the guy pointed to this guy as if to say “He payed”. I thanked the man and took his Photograph. You will notice it is a bit punchy! It was taken with the Leica MP and a 50mm lens, however, I had the compensation set to two stops over exposed!! Thats why it looks heavy in the highlights. Still, these films can handle over exposure very well. I liked this one.

What a kind man!

Ahmed, my friend

This is Ahmed. He is my friend and was with my most of the time in Bahrain. This portrait of Ahmed was taken when I visited the Bahrain National Museum. It was taken on the Leica Q2 Monochrome with a 28mm lens. I saw this background with window light coming through so beautiful and with Ahmed dressed so smart in a Blue Thobe and White Gutra I took this Photo of him.


Another photograph from the Q2. This camera is amazing! Light, Portable and mirrorless. Not to get into gear and all but it does pull out some lovely tones. Pure Black & White.

I was walking the city of Manama and looking up I noticed a load of pigeons on a window ledge. It had looked like someone had put food out on the ledge. I knew I would get a good shot between the buildings if only I could get the birds to fly! Next to me was a small roof tile. I used that to throw at the ground to make a loud noise whilst holding the Q2 in one hand ready to snap the shot. I did get some odd looks from the locals but I got the shot I wanted.

And again with the Q2. This time with an Orange Filter to pop the sky.

Saudi Arabia

Leica MP and 50mm Lens. TMAX 400. We drove over the Bridge to visit Saudi Arabia where we had lunch and visited a Heritage Museum. This man gave us a tour around the museum and I asked if I could take his portrait. Another window light shot. Nice guy.

Derelict Street

Hasselblad 6×6. Kodak Tri-x 400.

I went to this derelict town to photograph the old houses and I noticed this lady approaching. I didn’t make a point of taking a photo of her. The wind was blowing a breeze through this street. I positioned the camera, which was on a tripod, and waited for her to walk past. She was well aware of me and the camera and would definitely not have wanted a photograph of her face. I hit the shutter as she walked into my frame.

Stray Cat

Around the Soukes there are plenty of Stray Cats. I followed a few around and caught this one. The cat was just about to jump off but I managed to capture it’s wariness and also the guy in the background. This was on the Leica Q2 with a 28mm lens.

Prayer Time

It’s Friday and the call to prayer came from the local mosques. Most of the shops closed and the keepers went to pray. The market went eerily quiet. I wasn’t sure if I was being disrespectful by taking a few photographs but I thought someone may tap me on the shoulder if I was. This scene you see the strong sunlight casting across the shoes. I took the shot and walked on to another scene.

Where I saw this man praying. You wouldn’t know it as I framed it so you couldn’t see the others behind him. And moved on to another scene.
You will notice this was on the same roll as the man that bought me a coffee. Two stops over exposed. This was at the end of the prayer. There are a couple of intrigued faces staring back at me.

If you have never been to the Middle East, or maybe you live in an area where there is a mosque, the call to prayer is quite beautiful to hear. Peaceful.

I love Bahrain. This was my second trip there and I found the people very humble, friendly and kind.

Hopefully, inshallah, (God Willing), I will return again.

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