Friday, July 17, 2009

Liwa Date Festival

Dates in Baskets
This will not be one of my typical blog entries.  This will be light on describing the photography and heavy on the photographs.
Arabic Tea
Today (17 July, 2009) I went to the Liwa Date Festival in Liwa, UAE with a van full of friends intent on taking in as much of the local culture as we can find.  Liwa is located in the southwestern area of the UAE near the border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  It is a real pleasure to have friends who enjoy engaging the local culture as much as I do.
Booths at the Souk
As the name implies, the Liwa date festival celebrates the harvest of dates.  I like dates, and this was a real treat.  What I came to learn was the tremendous variety of dates and the similarly vast range of flavors and colors.  At various locations throughout the venue were posters showing the multitude of varieties and their names.
Dates - Yum
All of the shots in this post were taken with a Canon 5D set at an ISO of 400, and my lens selection of a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS.  The event was held in a series of tents meaning I was challenged with relatively low light conditions.  Because of the low light, I used the fastest lens I brought on the trip, the 70-200 f/2.8.
Dates in Baskets-2
All of the shots were taken without flash – using only the available light.  To work with these light conditions, all the shots were taken at the widest possible aperture of f/2.8, meaning a shallow depth of field.
Traditional Date Baskets-2
Because I am in a bit of a rush to get this entry posted, the remaining shots will go without comment.  For those of you who have kept up with this blog, you are sure to recognize the composition techniques and post processing routines I have written about in past entries.  I hope you enjoy.
VIP Vistors to the Date Festival-2
VIP Vistors to the Date Festival-3
Weaving Baskets-2
Weaving Baskets-4
Weaving Baskets-5
I must now get back to watching the British Open golf tournament.
Go make some great photography!

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