Learning Your Lines

I have loved calligraphy since my early childhood and often toyed with letters using fountain pens bought by my mother because I ‘needed them for school’.  I never applied any rules to my writing, so it was more doodling than calligraphy, nor did I work on a specific script.  I always ensured my letters and lines…

Magnum Contact Sheets

This time last year, I was in a self-imposed study lock-down in London trying to catch up with my research.  One of my days off was a mild late December day just before Christmas; and throughout November I was inspired by a book that sat on our coffee table which I browsed through during breaks. If you’re a photographer,…

Julia Margaret Cameron at the V&A

In only eleven years, Julia Margaret Cameron managed to create her own style of photography; capturing beauty in a time when the process was more cumbersome than we can even begin to imagine today.  “I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me…” she wrote.  She received her camera at age 48 as…

Falling in Love

I landed into a very foggy London a couple of weeks ago.  The next morning offered me the opportunity to take some shots of our local park in west London, in the most beautiful time of year.  The peaceful tones of the autumn colours were serenely framed by the thick fog.  I hope you enjoy the…

It Never Rains in Lima

I arrived at night and nothing about my arrival was normal.  I had almost missed my flight on the last leg from Mexico City, and this was after nearly a two-day journey.  As soon as we landed, there was a separate queue for those attending the annual meetings, and we were chaperoned at every point by…

Bienvenido a Miami

It’s rare for many ingredients to come together like this, and it’s a real joy when they do.  Without any planning whatsoever, I ended up on the right flight in the right seat on the right day.  I had a fully charged phone, access to more than one window, the weather had just the right…

Five Thousand Types of Potatoes

These are my flights and destinations from the past fifteen years.  My next trip will take me somewhere completely new.  Peru  will mark my first visit to South America.  I’m attending the annual World Bank and IMF meetings in Lima later this week.  We will not have time to visit Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the…

Disney California Adventure

It took us a few years to manage the timing to work.  A few years ago the children were too young (or too short I should say) to enjoy all the rides.  With school terms, work, Ramadan and availability of flights and accommodation, we finally got our chance in the summer.  It became even more…

Illiterate Social Media

Blogging democratised published writing.  Your article no longer needed the approval of a newspaper editor.  You wrote, and published, and readers knew where and how to find you. Facebook came and made it easy for everyone to post photos and videos online, together with timed status updates which were instantly available to everyone.  It was another major change.  What…

Hipstamatic 300

This was probably my favourite shot using Hipstamatic (jane lens and uchitel film).  It produced a beautiful and timeless image of the Eiffel Tower on a wet July afternoon.  I haven’t used the app much since upgrading my phone and slowly forgot about it, which is a real surprise since it was my source of creativity when…