Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

My 2012: Photographic Year-End Review

December 30, 2012 3 comments

It’s been a good year, again. A lot of travel (43 cities, 12 countries, 100K+ kilometers), a lot of laughs, a lot of good food. A promotion and the largest deal we’ve ever done closed at work. And, most importantly, a kind young lady agreed to marry me. I end 2012 feeling very fortunate.

NOTE If you are reading this in a news reader such as Google Reader, or inside Facebook on a tablet, you might want to open this in a dedicated browser window as the photo layout may work better.

In January I returned to Scotland in winter, this time to the Isle of Skye, accompanied by my good friend (and accomplished photographer) Corin Dimoupolous and guided by local expert landscape photographer David Langan. We spent a long weekend exploring the island, and, weather permitting, shooting a few landscapes.



The coldest month saw us on a mini-break to an even colder place: Berlin. Despite icy temperatures we had a great time exploring both the historic and modern aspects of this vibrant city. We ate well and drank better.



These months were fairly quiet, at least in terms of photography for me, as they consisted mostly of a series of work trips which didn’t allow much time for quality snapping. Must do better.

However, I did manage a few shots around London in the downtime.

John Terry, Frank Lampard, Meirelles and Bosingwa - Champions of Europe

Farringdon Approach



June saw another personal trip to France for a wedding in the Dordogne – but first stop was a few days in Paris. (More Paris shots can be found in the original blog post.)

Eiffel Tower from the Palais de Chaillot, by night

Sunset at the Louvre

After Paris we moved to the Dordogne and Limousin region for our friends’ wedding. This was a lovely few days in rural southern France, touring the medieval fortress towns along the river, and eating as much duck, pate, and Limousin beef as we could manage. Again, for more photos go and check out the original blog post.


Canalside door, Brantome



In the late summer, London was host to the 2012 Olympics and we were lucky enough to visit the Olympic Park as well as going to see the Men’s Hockey and the Men’s Basketball Final. It was a magical time in London, and I will always remember what it was like to be here in the thick of it.


In late August I went back to Paris for the first of a series of work trips there, and I managed to catch a perfect summer’s day along the banks of the Seine.

Boules on the Paris Plage

Sunset in Paris



We began September with a lovely late-summer break to the Cyclades: a two-part trip to Mykonos, famed for its maze-like streets and raucous nightlife, and Santorini, land of a million postcard views. More photos can be found in the original blog post.


The morning after I returned from Santorini, I boarded another flight to Bangkok for work. Fortunately I allowed myself an extra day there to get reacquainted with this city, and to sample some of the myriad food delights on offer in its street stalls and markets…



Early October saw me on yet another work trip, this time to Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey, where I was fortunate enough to have a few free hours to myself here and there to wander the old town and the nightlife district of Beyoglu. It’s always good to return to Istanbul.



November and December were all about our trip to Japan and Hong Kong. Though I am only about a third of the way through processing the photos from that trip, what I have gone through thus far is encouraging and more photo reports from this trip will be gracing this blog over the course of January. Of course, this is the trip that hosted the aforementioned proposal, so it has a special place in my heart.

First up: Tokyo


And, of course, the rural beauty of Hakone and Nara:


That’s about all for 2012, photo-wise at least. I am happy that we’ve had a fulfilling year. Here’s to 2013 being bigger and better!

Happy New Year
Luke Robinson

My 2011 Photographic Year-End Review

December 26, 2011 1 comment

It’s been a good year for me. Not only have I got a new and exciting job with lots of travel, but I also moved in with my girlfriend and we’ve had the good fortune to have a couple of great holidays (to Vietnam and South Africa) and a couple more mini-break trips to boot.

It’s been an eventful year for me travel-wise. According to my profile on, in 2011 I have had 14 trips abroad totalling 100 days, racking up 147,596km of travel to 32 cities in 12 countries. Phew.

Apologies for the length of this post – I am having a hard time whittling down my favourite photos of the year!

In early January I was still getting to grips with my latest acquisition, a Canon 7D. I took it out on an crisp winter’s day and put it through its paces around West London:

Sunset Horse Riders, Hyde Park

Ice Skaters, Natural History Museum

I also made a brief business trip to Saudi Arabia. One of the stopovers was a coastal town called Yanbu, which like many Saudi cities has an “Al Balad”, an old town, which has often been left to rot, due to lack of a tourist trade and lack of interest in anything that isn’t shiny and new…
Al Balad ("Old Town"), Yanbu

Read more…

Dubai Desert Safari

October 16, 2011 7 comments

I realised that I haven’t posted anything new on here (or Flickr) in about a month. Unforgiveable, I know. So here is a little bit of a photo-taster before some upcoming trips which are sure to result in a deluge of photographic main courses….

In any event, last Thursday I followed tens of thousands of tourists into the deserts outside Dubai.

Desert Safari - Dune Bashing Panorama

A small set of other photos from this expedition can be found over on Flickr.

More to come as I have trips upcoming to Turkey (on business), South Africa (business and pleasure) and New York (pleasure)….

Kuwait, March 2011

Souk al-Mubarakiya Market, Kuwait CityKuwait Towers, DuskAl-Waqf Tower, Kuwait City, DuskCrescent Marina, Kuwait City, by NightSouk al-Mubarakiya Market, Kuwait CityKuwait City Growing, by Night
Kuwait City Panorama

Kuwait, March 2011, a set on Flickr.

Last week I made a short trip to Kuwait for business. Naturally, I packed my Canon S90.

Al Balad (“The Old Town”), Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

January 27, 2011 1 comment

Earlier this month I was on a short business trip to Saudi Arabia. In four previous visits I have had mixed photographic success in the Kingdom, primarily because I have been there on business and usually not in control of my own itinerary nor free to explore either on foot or by vehicle as I might do in most places I travel. Also, Saudi is not a place that's particularly used to people just photographing for the sake of it, as I found out to my detriment back in 2008 when I was detained by the police in Jeddah for inadvertently taking a picture of a royal building that was occasionally used by the intelligence service. Well, how was I supposed to know when it looked just like every other hotel on the seafront? The upshot of it is, a large percentage of my Saudi shots have tended to be taken on enthusiast compacts like the Canon G9 / S90 out the side of moving cars. Not the best recipe for photo success. 

But this photo was a rare time when we were able to slow down and take things leisurely; we were visiting the seaside town of Yanbu, which despite being by the seaside is, let's be honest, a bit of a hole. Sorry, Yanbu-ians. As is typical of the bizarro world of Saudi, the seaside is almost completely ignored except for one nice empty park, but otherwise surrounded by empty lots and vast fenced off tracts of abandoned private property. The only bit of "history" around is the Old Town, a clump of old-style wooden clapboard buildings in what was the centre of the old town. In most other countries (or at least places with tourism economies) these would have been preserved and there would have been a thriving set of restaurants and shops drawing the tourists in. Alas, there are no tourists, and no reason to keep the buildings maintained. So, they crumble, ignored, except by the poor souls who call them home. Never let it be said that the Saudis are nostalgic, at least when it comes to architecture….

Istanbul Photo Report

A couple of weekends back we traipsed over to Istanbul for a bit of a long weekend, unexpectedly prolonged by the impending BA strike – so, happily, we ended up with 4 nights there instead of 3. It gave us a vital extra half-day to explore, and to cover off all of my checklist: no, not the sights. Those were great, but I am talking restaurants. Istanbul is a bit of a culinary grand tour, more than just “meat on a stick” as pointed out by Anthony Bourdain. Of course, on the way to those restaurants, kebapcis, pide salonus, and lahmacun joints there were many sights to behold. 

As usual my trip consisted of a fine mix of photography and hedonism. I can’t share too much of the hedonism with you (aside from saying that the Istanbullus are not shy of a party – tens of thousands of people in the streets of Beyoglu) – but I will of couse share some photos. So without further ado, here are some quite randomly-chosen favourite photos from the ones I kept. You can find these and the other 80-odd photos at my Flickr set: Istanbul – May 2010.