Chai

Chai Cafe

I’ve started a mission. A very important mission. To find the best brunch spots in Bahrain!

Though we have many options in town but I always end up going to the same usual cafe for brunch. I thought of making a list to try out new or existing cafes that serve brunch. My good friend Reem Tawfiqi is helping me in this mission.

Our first destination was Chai Cafe located in Sanabis infront of Bahrain mall (Geant). I found the location easily and parking was ample.

chai Chai Cafe

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Guerrilla Lighting

Last year I decided to learn how to use artificial light. By the end of the year I wanted to play with more light not just any light.. it was guerrilla light!

From a complete n00b I learned the basic functions of using a flash off the camera with the one and only David Hobby. From there I was extremely happy that at least I knew how to operate a speedlite!

I wanted to take it further and learn other techniques manipulating light so I took a workshop with Louis Pang. It was the first time in my life dealing with models, being totally in charge of directing the model and setting up the lights. Confusion, lots of blank moments but a lot of fun.

I shot these photos last year and I also retouched them a bit also last year. My style has changed since then as it was just an experiment. I’m still experimenting with lights but now I know that I like. I’m more into subtle sweet light that almost look like ambient. Glamour photography isn’t made for me (At least that’s what I think at this moment!).

Love them or hate them here comes the guerrilla light experiments!

IMG 7372 Edit 320x480 Guerrilla Lighting

IMG 7343 Edit 2 Guerrilla Lighting

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After the workshop I did more experiments with my friend Reem Tawfiqi at bab al Bahrain. She continues to be my favorite model of all time!

IMG 7974 Edit Guerrilla Lighting

Book Review: The Passionate Photographer by Steve Simon

11872427 Book Review: The Passionate Photographer by Steve SimonThe Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great by Steven Simon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the best investment you can make as a photographer whether you just bought your first camera or you are already on your way to becoming a full time photographer. I was lucky enough to attend Steve Simon’s the passionate photographer workshop in Dubai and reading this book I could relate to Steve’s stories and advices. The book is written in a very clear language (no complicated stuff here!). Steve walks the readers through the 10 steps to becoming a great photographer. It just makes sense to follow those 10 steps as an exercise to develop your style. I made so many notes and I intend to read this book again when I feel uninspired and be back on track!



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Memories Recreated

Last June I was honored to be part of CanvasBH first photography exhibition “Memories Recreated” at AlRiwaq Art Space. Though I was travelling at the time and couldn’t attend the opening I managed to visit at the last day of the exhibition.

IMG 0293 Memories Recreated

I participated with two photographs that I took at Balata refugee camp in Nablus Palestine.

IMG 0001 Memories Recreated

This was my second participation at a photography exhibition this year after displaying my Sleeper Class series at “Inside India” photography exhibition in January.

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Book Review: Snow

824339 Book Review: SnowSnow by Orhan Pamuk

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this action filled novel about the unknown town of Kars and the people conflicts on religion extremism, atheism and the fight for power. Among all of those issues this novel also talks about love. I really like the way Orhan Pamuk writes so smoothly but in this novel I didn’t like how the authors made himself a character at the novel it was a bit confusing at times. The main character “Ka” not only is his name/nickname annoying but he is also annoyingly weak I just dislike such characters where a man acts like a child at the first sign of rejection, he also seems to admire and almost fall for every female character at the novel so what was that about! Overall I enjoyed reading it and I would recommend it.

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I’m a Nat Geo photographer exhibition

wpid 5404c18d133070.30627734 Im a Nat Geo photographer exhibition

As you might already know that I was part of Nat Geo Abu Dhabi reality TV competition “I’m a Nat Geo photographer”. The show aired in May 2014. Emilie Houwat won the first place (I left at the semifinals and came forth).
Emilie’s work is being displayed at a photography exhibition in Gulf Photo Plus. The exhibition will run till 9th September. Emilie is also showing some of her other personal work from previous trips to Nepal, Bosnia and her home town Beirut.

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Book Review: Out of Egypt

115161 Book Review: Out of EgyptOut of Egypt: A Memoir by André Aciman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started reading the book to get to know how Alexandria was like at its prime years. I was amazed by how modern life was back then. The story describes how the aristocrat foreign community lived so lavishly even if they didn’t have the money they had to have the servants, drivers and beach houses. Though I was impressed by the cosmopolitan society I was shocked how they hated and looked down at Arabs and anything related to Arabs! The first few chapters were slow up until the story got real when Andre described how his father met his deaf mother. I found the mother’s character very interesting and her struggle to communicate but also kept a normal lifestyle driving and even haggling with butchers a true Alexandrian as it was described. The complicated family is what made the story interesting. I can’t believe these people actually existed and lived together at one point! My favorite chapter was “Tuff Alnoor” when the war has just started.
As I reached the last few chapters I couldn’t put the book down. The mix of emotions, nostalgia and detailed description of Alexandria was just so beautiful it only made me want to go there again and revisit all the places mentioned at the book.

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VSCOcam

VSCO Grid

VSCO VSCO Grid 

I love VSCOcam app in my iPhone and VSCO film presets at lightroom. It is my favourite iOS photography app I use religiously and just love it. Since I started using VSCO I really think that my iPhone photography has changed. I now consider myself an artist than photographer. Don’t get me wrong I still believe in composition and exposure and all that stuff but I care less about sharpness and perfect composition (actually I started hating extra sharp images). Everyone can get a sharp photo and it can easily be replicated (I think!). Artists are unique they almost never produce the same work twice.

VSCO Grid℠ is a publishing platform for original content, a commonwealth of artists united in their love for photography. It belongs to “us” – the creatives, the dreamers, the fighters and those that see beauty in the boring. With the commitment of the creative community, VSCO Grid has grown into the finest living collection of original photography.

Also check out VSCO curated grid their selection is really inspiring. My photos have been featured at VSCO curated grid a number of times.

I didn’t mean to ramble, here is my VSCO grid

 

Grid black 48 VSCO Grid

Photo credit Mohammed Ismail

Keeping up with Rasha

2014 has been really a productive year to me. I’ve been very active and so was my airline miles counter.

 

Here is a recap of what I’ve been up to lately.

Jan

Sleeper Class 640x341 Keeping up with Rasha
Photo credit Mohammed Ismail

 

I exhibited my Sleeper Class series in a joint photography exhibition entitled “Inside India”. The exhibition was open for a month at Bin Mattar house Muharraq part of Sh. Ebrahim cultural center. Inside India was a success and received a lot of media coverage.

 

Feb

IMG 85581 Keeping up with Rasha

I was selected as one of 8 Arab photographers to be part of a reality TV photography competition called “I’m a Nat Geo Photographer” a production for National Geographic Abu Dhabi.

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Mecca through my iPhone

I was lucky enough to visit Mecca last December. I needed a getaway and there is no better way to recharge than a spiritual reconnection with Allah at the holy grounds of Mecca.

 

IMG 5147 Mecca through my iPhone

 

I haven’t been to Mecca for more than 4 years, things have change drastically there. Invasion of high-rise buildings, and massive construction everywhere. The old Mecca and ancient markets around it were mostly gone. I wasn’t fond of the clock tower (the highest building in Saudi Arabia) but I have to admit that it is visually stunning.

IMG 5092 Mecca through my iPhone

IMG 5094 Mecca through my iPhone

 

Since photography isn’t allowed inside the Holy Mosque in Mecca, I used my iPhone to document the atmosphere inside and around the holy mosque.

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Rasha Yousif photography blog

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