Doha after the rain

Here are some shots of Doha, Qatar after it rained for over 10 hours. Check the Doha Album on flickr.

Mirrored in the rain

Stop! or not.

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Remembering the brutality of SCAF’s army

In the honor of a woman who may have been uncovered from cloths, yet she uncovered all masks on all the killers in the SCAF‘s army. She has been truly an inspiration for millions. To you, set el banat.

All photos of the Occupy Cabinet clashes can be found here.

It’s been almost a year, since I’ve seen and photographed how sick my country’s army can be, against peaceful protesters, just because it’s their orders. I hate that word “Orders”. Millions have been killed because of it.

It’s been a year, remembering another sad event. The army is killing the people, again.

The fight is in mohammed mahmoud street between the protesters and the police in its second day. The tear gas smell was strong, people are very upset of the police’s brutality, every one is looking at that street, while the army is preparing for its next move. It’s dirty move, sneaking up to the protesters from the side, they won’t see it coming, they won’t know what hit’em. Which is what exactly happened.

That sneaky attack caught the protesters by surprise, it attacked the back line, which had many people who most probably didn’t want to join the fight inside mohammed mahmoud. It caused a lot of panic, fear, which empowered them, even though the soldiers were fewer in numbers, and they only had sticks! But as I said, those people didn’t want blood at the first place. But they were dragged for yet another fight.

The Egyptian Army beating people in #Tahrir

Army Soldiers attacking protesters who were trapped in a bottle neck near Mohammed Mahmoud St.

Less than a month later. Protesters are still angry, beaten up, many of them got injured, lost their eyes, or their friends lost their lives. They want reforms, they need change, but they get another fight with the army instead.

Protesters were at a street in downtown cairo, between the cabinet’s building and the parliament building, while the candidates are actually running their campaigns. one night of the few weeks old sit-in, army had enough of them. So they kidnapped a teenages from the sit-in and sent him back after torturing him, injuring him severely.

It was getting intense, and the protesters were very angry, and suddenly the army starting throwing rocks at the protesters, who had nothing to use as cover, and nothing to throw back or a way to defend themselves. One sad moment, that protesters had memorial coffins for the martyrs who just died less than a month ago, and those coffins where used as protection.

2 protesters were taking cover from the rocks that were thrown on them by Army

Two protesters taking cover in memorial coffins from the rocks that were being thrown on them by army soldiers

The fights keeps going till the morning, Army inside the parliament building, throwing rocks and whatever they find inside the building at the protesters outside, from a 9 stores building.

Getting the use of many “civilians” on the ground as their troops, and they are doing what they can from above.

While there is a sign that says “Democracy is giving the Power to the people”. And the army is just proving that they don’t care, they will kill the people if they have to. They don’t mind pissing on them.

Army Soldier with a dirty gesture on top the Parliament building

Army Soldier didn’t hesitate to show his “private parts” to the crowd to insult them. This is the SCAF’s army.

One more time, the army sneaks in to the ground, this time with support from the parliament building, soldiers throwing rocks and chairs from the building at the prosters. One hit, and you are most probably gone. This time, the soldiers are angry, and they run after protesters. The anger is huge, as if they are fighting their worst enemy and they finally have a chance to kill them.

Army Raids Tahrir

Running to capture their worst enemy.

They ran after us, one of them tried to capture me, but I got saved by another protester. They were brutal, whoever they capture is instantly tortured, not even arrested, just beaten up, with anyone who’s around, it could take 5- 10 soldiers to take rounds on getting their energy and anger on you, with sticks, or kicks or punchs.

The officers were masked! for the first time, since we photographers exposed many police or army officers who took part of many violations. Instead of stopping them, they decided to cover their face. And make more crimes.

Army Officer points a gun at a fallen protester

Army Soldier terrorizing peaceful protester and aiming his gun at him before beating him! He didn’t eventually shoot him.

There was no tear gas, no smoke, it was very early in the morning, you can see clearly. They can see clearly. They have guns, and we have cameras. They shoot, and so do we.

They have gone rogue ! They are attacking anything that moves. A Taxi passing by the square, after the army’s crackdown was attacked by the soldiers. All of them – 30 soldiers or more – attacking one car, driven by one man, for no reason! Are they crazy?

Army Soldiers attacking a taxi passing by

Attacking the Taxi

Taxi got attacked by Army Soldiers

The taxi running away from the mob

Protest like Egyptians

Protest like Egyptians, with arms wide open

The army is heading for chaos, and we are watching and completely amazed by what’s going on.

Time to resist, with all possible ways. People won’t give up now. Almost a year after the revolution, how in the world would they give up?

The people fought back, to stand their ground, they fought back with arms wide open. Welcoming Heaven, as they believe who dies now, is a martyr, and will follow the jan25 martyrs to heaven. No one holds back. It’s time to win this fight.

Bullets and blood

They mix quite well

The army thought it’s time to kill us. They started using live ammunition. Killing peaceful protesters. Killing a dream, a young man who had a hope and a dream for a better country, killing a young man who maybe could’ve been one of the country’s next geniuses. Maybe that young man with this amount of passion, could’ve solved the country’s economical problems. Why give them a chance? instead, kill them.

And that’s exactly what they did. Very late at night, right before dusk, you can hear gunshots. We were only tens of protesters, but many have been shot. Live ammo, shooting to kill, in the head, stomach and who was lucky, got shot in the leg.

That’s the army that is supposed to protect the country, killing their own people.

SCAF has brainwashed their soldiers, and now they think they are fighting “The Enemy” not knowing that the actual enemy has never been happier after seeing this.

They SCAF’s army has terrorized peaceful Egyptian, they injured dozens, killed over 40 people in a month, with the help of the police!

We will never forget, we will never forgive.

The blood of the martyr who got shot in the head

Blood of a fellow Egyptian. People tried to save him and got him to the hospital. but he didn’t make it

The Martyr | الشهيد

The Martyr

How to get your photography seen by thousands

Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR

Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR (Photo credit: camknows)

You are a photographer and you took a picture, it looks great, in your head you will have hundreds maybe thousands of views, but you end up having few? You must be doing something wrong! Your photo is fine, the problem is not with your photography, the problem is how you market it.

Here are few tips, I used and it got me over half a million views on my photography.

Caption

Caption, Caption, Caption. I can’t stress enough on how this is the most important aspect in publishing your photos. Captions complete the story. Caption to photography, is like sound to film, essential. So what do you write? Simple, don’t state the obvious. if it’s a bird, don’t just say, “A bird” , you will get a “Duh!!” Rise up to the intelligence of your audience.
Write something in context but adds emotions, completes the scene, add a feeling to the photo. Use sarcasm, innuendo, or quotes. Be artistic and make it short.

Do and don’t for captions

Sharable Material

If you use flickr, there is an option to allow your photos to be sharable in your settings. This way the sharing options on top of the photos are activated. It helps your photos to be shared in just one click.

if you use other platforms, make sure your content is sharable in one click, 2 at most, and make the option visible.

Photography Groups

This is mainly for flickr users, share your photos on groups, find a group that interests you. If you do portraits , then find portraits groups, or if you do politics, find that. When you do, look at the photos, learn from them and share yours. You will get many feedback and views.

Social Media

You are sharing your stuff now, you’ve done all this, have a great photo with a great caption, over doing the sharing can ruin it though. Here is how I’d do it (how I actually do it, this was a secrete)

First thing is Time. When do you share your photography? There are different studies suggest different timing of the day that would cause you the highest exposure. I personally seen that the timing from 6-9 PM is the best. However the audience from 1-4 are totally different people. So my advice is share your stuff twice.

Twitter

Everyone uses hashtags for twitter, to reach more audience, but does that really work? I personally believe hashtags are made so your followers or whoever sees the tweet knows what it’s talking about. So if a tweet has 10 hashtags, WTF is it talking about?
Pointing that out, what I do is use #Photography hashtag, so people know it’s a photography related tweet, then if needed one more about the photo it self, #Egypt , #Tahrir , #Portrait , etc.
I use the same caption as the tweet it self. However, sometimes you need to reshare the same photo (if you really like it) and sharing it in the same exact tweet is kinda silly, and people might ignore it. So I reshare it with different caption, and maybe different hashtag.

Facebook

Well, the only bad part is, if you just share a link, the chances that people click on it is at its minimal. You can always do that, but the better way is, share your best photo of the new photoset you just uploaded, then add in that photo’s description, to see more photos, go here : “Link to your photoset/portfolio”

reddit

You may or may not know this website, but it’s brilliant. People share a lot of things on it, and your stuff is any good ( or funny ) it could get viral. Share your stuff there, they have some kind of subjects, so add yours under photography unless you think it should be under another classification.
Don’t spam them, cause they hate that (been there) share other people’s stuff too. Share that riddit link on your other social media, the more thumbs up, the more views you get.

Blog

Having a blog is great for your professional life. You can add your experience, or your photos with stories about them.
If you’re using flickr, you can reshare your photos from flickr on your blog, by clicking on share on flickr, coping the html code (choose the size first below, medium is good) then add that to your “text” in your blog. This way when someone clicks on the photo, it actually goes to your flickr, so it gets more views.

The other way to do it, is to upload the photo to your blog and make it a link that goes to your portfloio.
Share and reshare your post with different lines on social media as well.

Share your photography to your friends, who are influential. Ask for feedback, and don’t spam them or your timeline.
The most important thing is, you shoot for the love of photography, not for fame, views or anything, those things will come later.
And if you’re doing it for the money, you should sell your camera then, that will get you money.

Rain

It rained in Qatar, In the start of December. Rain is always beautiful…. Welcome back Winter.

Rain, Rain

Rain, Welcome back, Winter

Rain has a weird mix of happiness and sorrow. Can’t describe it, but it always brings back different memories.

Rain, Rain

Rain, and its memories

Which Canon to Choose

UPDATE: Newer versions of Cameras are added to this post.

If you are reading this then you want to buy a DSLR. Here is how you would choose one.

I don’t like Nikons, so I’ll only talk about Canons.

Few things to consider while buying a DSLR, and they are,

  1. Your budget,
  2. Why do you want to use it, some features you may or may not need in the camera
  3. The toys (lenses and accessories)

First, budget, how much are you willing to spend on a DSLR. Below I’m talking about new cameras, you can always get a used one for a good deal.

If you want to spend $500 or less, then you can get a Canon 1100D, it’s a simple stater camera, with enough features to do the job.

if you want to spend more than $500, then we should talk more about why do you need it and if you care about some features.

Will you use it for video? I guess having a camera with adjustable screen would be a plus. You have two options, one is more expensive than the other, both with adjustable screens. A $700+ Canon 700D  (Older version is Canon 600D) and the Canon 70D (Older version is Canon 60D) which is more powerful, a bit bigger DSLR that costs over $900. Both camera are great and they are great with photography as well.  You can see the comparisons here

Only photography? then maybe the adjustable screen wouldn’t matter. The options are much more, and we will start from the least expensive to the most.

The best one to start with and learn photography on would be the Canon 550D (I did) almost same price as the 600D of $700, but without the adjustable screen. Compare between both here.

Now those were the less than $1000 DSLRs. The next category is over $1000. If money is not a problem and you want something for a specific reason with the best quality then those are for you.

If shutter speed is essential and you want to take many photos in a short amount of time, for events like sports, then the Canon 7D is the best option for you. It was over $1500 and now it’s around $1000 or less. The newer version was released late 2014, Canon 7D MK II which costs around $2000.

If you’re into Astronomy and taking pictures of our lovely galaxy, then you would want to get the $1500 Canon 6Da and spend way more than that on the lenses you want.

Another good option is the Canon 6D, a great full frame camera with a similar price of the 7D Mark II. Here is a comparison between them.

Now, here is the best camera group and photographers dream, the Canon 5D. There are three main types of the 5D, The Mark I, Mark II and Mark III. The Mark III is the latest. I don’t think you can find a new Mark I these days, you can go old school on a $500 budget with this beast, but it’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t have video.

The two other marks are amazing, they start from $2000 and go up to $3000 or more. Here is a comparison between those two giants.

They recently published two other giants, and this time, i’m talking 51 megapixels type of giants.

The Canon 5DS and the Canon 5DS R The only difference between the models is that the ‘S’ has an optical low-pass filter, while the ‘S R’ has a self-canceling filter. Here we are talking about +$3500

And if you really want the best and you are very rich and maybe want to show off, you can get one of many versions of the Canon 1D, any mark wouldn’t really matter (If you can afford this, go get a Leica or something)
That’s basically it, there are many other cameras, I just mentioned the most common ones and easy to buy, use, find lenses for it and fix it if needed.

Portraits, photos of people I will never forget

These are collection of photos I took trying to capture a portrait of each one of them.

I don’t take the photo right away, I wait till the person is in his normal look, I try to make it less fake and hope it works. Everyone of them touched my life some how, in a small or big way. Some of them I never saw again, some I saw again by chance and remembered them and some are my friends.

Every photo is close to my heart.

Ahmed Diab

Ahmed Diab, Great friend of mine. This photo is special because it was my first portrait I ever took.

Mohammed Abdel Hamid - @MohAbdelhamid

One of my best friends, He draged me deeper into the revolution and we are both been struggling since.
Always been there for me, what a best friend would do.

عم خيري | Khairy

A’am Khaily , he is just a simple Egyptian. I met him outside the parliament on their first assembly. He was very excited, but when I met him he was just relaxed, sitting on the floor eating.
We talked and I was touched by his kindness.

Smile for the future, candle for the martyrs and Egypt stands strong

A fellow Egyptian, never met him before, never met him again. But every time I look at this photo I smile.
His smile here is genuine, which makes it one of my favorite portraits.

Ahmed Aggour and Mohammed Tawakol in Tahrir

My comrades, two of my revolutionary friends, we’ve been through some bad days weeks before this, November and december clashes and Ahmed on the left was shot then. How they smile, makes you optimistic about the future. Never lose that smile.

Revolutionary kid

Kids should be playing far away from harm or danger. This kid was in the middle of clashes, he is living in the street near tahrir. He said people treat them nice there, and police used to beat him and his brother. He was a young, strong man, who loved to be part of the revolution.

Mona Seif @Monasosh

Mona Seif, a beautiful soul. A soft, kind, patriotic Egyptian. If there is a nice, soft side of revolutions, then she is the Egyptian Revolution’s soft side.

a Revolutionary with a Police belt taken from an officer in the clashes

This man I see every protest with something different on his head. He expresses his anger with art! The belt on his head is a policeman’s belt, showing that policemen were stripped in the resistance movement during the revolution. He is kinda old, yet he is always in every protest, with his political debates and kind comments.

Noor Ayman - @noornoor1

Noor Ayman, a gentleman, pure Egyptian. I have known this man for few months, but you know a man by his actions and principles, and this man is really a kind person, with good heart.

Silent Stand in font of the GUC

Hesham, GUC student, who’s representing how the students were tied, with no politics in their university, no student union and no freedom of speech.
They were just few students and within weeks the movement reached hundreds of thousands around the country and the world. GUCstrike.

Ahmed Aggour - @Psypherize

Ahmed Aggour, If I have a war friend, then that’s him. We’ve been through every clash with police or army since June 2011 !! I’ve taken pics of him bleeding, running, smiling and soon crying 🙂
A brave soldier of the cause, whom I respect and admire.

Human Shield to stop the clashes

Look clearly, you feel like you can clearly see inside that man. The dirt, the looks, he is tired. The clashes has been going on for 4 days then. He wants it to stop, but he is staying no matter what.

Revolutionary singer Ramy Essam

Ramy Essam, a singer and front line fighter. Usually singers have different interest other than almost getting them selves killed, but this man is different.
He was just back from the front line, tear gased and tired, with his police armor, sitting with the kids who recognized him and chatting with him. That was 100 meters away from deadly clashes.

May Farrag - One of hunger strikers

May Farrag, Student, Woman with huge passion. On that day she was in her 5th day of hunger strike in support to the GUC strike. She is a believer by all means. She is a woman to admire.

Amr Adel - @AmrAde

Amr Adel, Philosopher. A person that you can talk to and enjoy the discussion. Person with unique character.
This is him in the GUC strike, freezing, to support the case with his tent behind him, which was the first tent in the 18days sit-in and started the whole thing.

These are just some of the portraits I took, many of them in the flickr page. Every one of them is also special to me, this was just a sample.

More portraits can be found here.