US Tankers Refuel for IS Fight – AP VIDEO

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The AP team spent a couple of days at Al-Udeid Base in Qatar on assignment. This massive facility in the middle of the desert is the hub for more than 50 US refuelling planes now active in the region and Operation Inherent Resolve would not be possible without them.

The 340th Expeditionary Air Refuelling Squadron is the largest combat flying squadron in the Air Force, which has conducted over 14,800 aircraft refuellings related to the campaign in Syria and Iraq in 2015 alone.

We spent 7 hours circling the Persian Gulf and Northern Iraq with the squadron as they refueled US and coalition war planes in a KC-135 stratotanker.

Breaking cultural Taboos at Egypt’s First Tattoo Convention


I had the privilege of spending around three weeks in Cairo last December working on the editorial desk and helping to plan television output for the day. It was the first time I was bound to a desk-job and I absolutely loved it, but I made a promise to myself to spend my weekends wisely figuring out places and people to photograph.

During my time there, tattoo artists in Egypt decided to meet and host the first Egyptian tattoo convention. In a country where tattoos are still quite taboo, surprisingly the parlors are quite loosely regulated. Tatoo artists have been operating since before the revolution, but now took the opportunity to bring the art form out into the open.

Many Muslims consider tattoos to be forbidden under Islamic law. Coptic Christians meanwhile, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population, have long had an association with the art.

Around 100 people turned out for the event, less than what the organizers had hoped for, although many saw it as a small step to raising awareness about the art form in a largely conservative society.

2013 – Year in Pictures

The mad scramble during assignment days leaves very little room for reflection and introspection. I’ve therefore decided to take a little bit of time in the past week to curate a gallery of the quieter photographic moments that have occurred in 2013. These photographs don’t necessarily represent the most exciting assignments in the past year, but these people’s stories have continued to resonate with me well past my allocated time with them. Nonetheless it’s important as a photographer to visualise tangible underlying photographic patterns in my work, especially when it’s displayed in an online gallery in chronological order. Here’s to 2014 – it’s time to push narrative and technical boundaries even further – Happy New Year.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The National recently sent me on assignment with Dubai Cares and UNICEF to document the launch of their latest Early Childhood Education program in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a pretty packed few days, but I tried to take the time to photograph as much as I could in the few hours we had free. Here are just some snippets from Sarajevo and the villages of Visoko and Mahoje. To read more about the Dubai Cares and UNICEF initiative click here.

A Lomokino Experiment

I took the Lomokino for a first trial on a news assignment to document one of the last working traditional potters in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Film was ISO 100 35MM Earl Gray Lomography Film. The aperture range of the Lomokino is restricted from 5.6-11. I didn’t expect the potter to be working indoors, but nonetheless here are the first results. I haven’t made any alterations to the digital file, this is straight out of the scans from Lomography. It’s definitely promising, looks like there’s potential for loads of analogue fun and experimentation to be had with this camera.

Eid Camping in Dibba

Dibba, a quaint little town on the eastern coast, attracts hundreds of visitors, mostly families, during Eid and National Day celebrations.

For many years UAE residents and Emiratis used to pitch their tents along the beach, waking up to salty fresh ocean air mixed with the familiar scents of cardamom, saffron and coffee brewing in tents.  In recent years, however, Dibba Municipality has banned tents on the beach because of excessive litter, and suggested that visitors camp instead in the open space near by.

Despite this new regulation, hundreds of local families flocked to the area for Eid, among them Yaqoub Al Jasmi, his wife Zahra Al Balooshi and their extended family. For the past three years the 16-strong family and six of their domestic staff have driven down from Dubai to mark celebratory occasions in the open air. There is ample room to roam, run and drive their dune buggies yet still maintain their privacy within the confines of their campsite, which is no doubt why this place retains its popularity year after year.

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Building a Headboard

Join Misi Overturf through her creative process in designing and building a headboard in the garage of her home in Woodstock, Capetown. To learn the step-by-step process, visit to purchase her upcoming DIY book, REDD.

Shot on a 5D MKII with a Canon EF 50mm 1.2 lens
Editing: FCP
Color Correcting: Magic Bullet Looks 2
Music: Fever Fever – Beautiful Dream Instrumental

Cinematography: Antonie Robertson
Production and Editing: Razan Alzayani


Our little fishing boat turned a corner and the village of Kumzar revealed itself to us in the most cinematic manner. Only a few hours from Dubai’s metropolis and I was approaching a tiny village hugged by mountains, peppered and preceded by modest blue fishing boats anchored along the bay. Hundreds of small fluttering Omani flags hung from red ropes that, when I squinted, created red, green and white lines that connected the rooftops to one another.

Other than processing the initial time-warp feeling as I began to walk around, what struck me the most was the oddity of knowing I was in Oman yet hearing a language spoken around me that wasn’t Arabic. I had never heard anything like it and found it difficult to isolate the Arabic words in their sentences. But the locals were quick to welcome us, and spoke to us so proudly of their heritage and their unique language. Although almost all residents have access to internet and satellite television, this town has no paved roads, and most Kumzaris seemed to prefer to relax by the water or outside their homes to socialise with their neighbors in their free time. The children had also made toys and instruments created out of left-over scraps of wood or buckets – tangible testaments that this would not be a playstation generation.

Having partially grown up in the Gulf my aim was to capture that nostalgic 1950′s Arabian Gulf era that I personally felt still existed in the village. More importantly, as a photographer and observer of cultures, I truly cherished the trust and accessibility the Kumzari women unquestionably gave me, knowing that they would probably never see the photos unless I made the long journey back there to show them.

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Dubai’s Hoop Dreams

I came across the Jafiliya Basketball Court and its community entirely by accident whilst walking around the Satwa area shooting one evening. Two Filipino guys decked out in bright purple and yellow basketball jerseys – not the usual Satwa attire – casually walked out of their apartment building, they caught my eye and I followed them to the court. “You should come on Saturday night,” they said, and so I did, actually I went for the next 5 or 6 Saturdays after that too.

The Jafiliya Basketball Court is the fulcrum of Kababayan social activity in the Satwa area. It is a place where men come to shed the stresses of the daily grind of working in Dubai, shoot some hoops and participate in a team sport, where girlfriends, wives and fiancees cheer on their significant others and where expat children absorb musings on Tagalog slang and culture they otherwise wouldn’t learn in their everyday UAE school environment.  Tournaments are organized every few months, with designated coaches and players, printed out jerseys, referees and volunteers manning the logistics of the games. Games take place usually after work hours, so everyone in the community has a chance to come down, hang out and watch. They call this “Tambayan” in Tagalog meaning a place to hang out and not necessarily do anything.

The people that visited the courts almost every night came to know me quite well, they welcomed me with open arms, shared their stories with me and were happy that someone was not only photographing the winning team but also the strongly-built community they were so fondly proud of.