We arrived in Egypt to warm weather and a warm welcoming from the friendly locals. The difference in culture was comical to me and was something I expected. Our taxi driver loaded our bags and suitcases on the roof (securely apparently) and began to teach us some important vocabulary we might want to know. He also introduced us to his favourite Arabic music. As we drove to our hotel, it was late at night and obviously dark but there was plenty to see - interesting architecture that was impressively lit.
As much as I wanted to get my camera out, not taking photos on the first day allowed me to relax and get a feel for the place and people. I was also able to mentally record some different photos I wanted to get and could look into different trips to mountainous areas with a lot less light pollution (for photographing stars) and the pyramids!
Just a short walk from our hotel was an area with relatively hastle-free shopping so I had to document some of the local shop owners and craftsmen. Nothing really stood out to me from this experience, but I have to say that these men really know how to sell! Many of the products were relatively cheap in price so there wasn't anything stopping me from buying some souvenirs. Plus, this gave me the confidence to ask for the photos below. I would've liked to have some video footage but I didn't want to show off too much gear (just in case...).
Next on the agenda was a sunrise shoot at the hotel's private beach. I had my eye on a wooden jetty that was a bit more interesting than the floating, plastic jetties most hotels have. The tide was a little high but I'm very happy with the result. The next morning, I went to the other side of the beach because of the interesting rocks. These made for really interesting foregrounds. Watching the sunrise over Tiran Island was truly amazing. It was a really peaceful moment but quite unusual because of how little I was wearing.
The man that you can see in the photo below was very kind and friendly. He painted hieroglyphics on papyrus paper within the hotel. If you asked nicely, we would explain how the letters of your name could've been interpreted in ancient Egypt. He asked me to take his photo for his facebook profile and I was more than happy to do so. You can probably tell that there wasn't a lot of available light. In fact, the only light I was working with was coming from his small display light. I positioned him so he was being lit from the side and so I could still include some of his work behind him.
The GoPro accessories I had bought specifically for behind the scenes videos held up very well throughout the holiday. I am sure I will be talking about the chest strap in a future blog post because it will be getting a lot of use as it did in this trip. I also purchased a clamp/arm accessory that didn't get a lot of use, but was a crucial bit of kit when it did. Many of my days in Egypt were spent the scuba diving in the Red Sea. The GoPro pole/grip that I had was fantastic for getting the clips of sea life that you can see in the video at the top of this page. That being said, it did take a day of practise until I was producing video I was truly happy with.