أرشيف الوسم: leica

Ordinary Night – ليلة عادية

Ordinary Night (in Birmingham) from Moayad Hassan on Vimeo.


The scenes of this film were shot on an ordinary January night in Birmingham, UK. There is nothing special about them, no special event happening, no special beauty to show, no special people doing special things. Just people ending their day on the streets of ordinary Birmingham City Centre.

I’ve shot many films of Birmingham during the 7 years I spent living in it, you can find them here, but this film is kind of special to me because I can relate to those ordinary nights, there is a personal bond to the places and people appearing in it.

Shot with a hand held Black Magic Pocket with Leica Summicron 50mm f/2. It’s my first edit with Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015, and marks my comeback to Premiere after some long many years of working with Final Cut Pro. I kind of pushed the ProRes 422 codec to the limits with the colour grading of some scenes, but the results are not bad in my opinion, although a faster lens (and a monopod) could’ve helped a bit.


مشاهد هذا الفلم صورت بليلة عادية من ليالي الشتاء في مدينة بيرمينجهام، لا شيء غير مألوف ولا فائق الجمال فيها، فقط أناس عاديون ينهون يومهم في شوارع هذه المدينة العادية.مدينة بيرمينجهام البريطانية هي مدينتي التي عشت فيها ٧ سنين عندما كنت أدرس في جامعتها، هي أقرب لكونها وطن ثان لي. عندما أسير في شوارعها فلا أحس إطلاقا بأني غريب أو سائح… حتى بعد أن مضت ما تقارب الثلاث سنوات على مغادرتي لها وعودتي إلى الكويت. هي مدينة بالفعل ليس بها غريب، فإن تأملت في وجوه سكانها الذين تشاهدهم في هذا الفلم ستجد فيهم تنوعا منسجما من البشر، من مختلف الأشكال والألوان والأنواع. هي مدينة تفتح ذراعيها للكل، تحترم الكل، تقدر الكل، وتعطي للكل فرصة. فلا غرابة إذن أن اعتبرها وطن لي، فهي وطن لكل الغرباء… بها يجدون انتماء ويمارسون حرية إن تخلت عنهم وقمعتهم أوطانهم.


ordinary night

Quffal (photo project)

Quffal: The celebration of the end of the pearling season and the return of the pearl divers.

View the full set.

Short History

In the old days in Kuwait, before the discovery of oil, pearling (or pearl hunting) was one of the main incomes of the Kuwaiti economy. The diving season usually take place in the summer and lasts for approximately four months. Most of the harvested pearls gets sold by the Kuwaiti merchants to the Indian jewellers of Mumbai, from where they import other goods such as wood, gold, spices, textiles and others.

The craft of pearling lost its importance in the 1930s, and that is due to the discovery of cultured pearls, which devalued natural pearls. Another factor that affected pearling in Kuwait was the discovery and exportation of the Kuwaiti oil in the late 1930’s which offered alternative easier fields of work to Kuwaitis.

In the 1980’s Kuwait Sea Sports Club, with the patronage of the late Emir of Kuwait Sheik Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, revived the old tradition of pearl diving by organising a new yearly journeys in a similar manner to the classical ones, but shorter in period (one week).

The Photos

The photos of this project were taken during the Quffal festival of this year, in 30 August 2012. I was not prepared for this project as I knew about it the same morning. So before the evening I just grabbed my Leica, wore my shorts and went to the KSSC.

The M7 had a black and white Lomography Lady Grey 400 film inside it, which was great because it gave the pictures that grainy classical look. The lens used was a LEICA 50mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M.


مجموعة صور لاحتفال “القفال” بمناسبة انتهاء رحلة الغوص السنوية التي ينظمها النادي البحري الرياضي الكويتي سنويا.

لمشاهدة المجموعة كاملة

Snow Bleached (photo project)

The temperature was about -2, which with the winds on top of Waseley Hills felt like -8 or even less. Heavily overcast, as can be seen clearly in the pictures. The lack of direct light, along with the snow covered horizon, made the scene almost monotone, depraved from colour and contrast.

It was a rather short photo journey, fun, regardless of the extreme weather. Shot with the Leica D-Lux 4 in RAW mode. This is practically the first time I use the RAW mode of the Leica since Aperture didn’t support it until the release of version 3, and I must say that I loved this little camera even more all over again 🙂

Photographed by Athoob.com

In snowy conditions the camera may get fooled and over expose the shots in order to bring the details of what it thinks is the subject of the picture, so I underexposed by 1/3 stop and used the snow profile on the camera (I don’t know if the last step matters since I’m shooting RAW anyway). In Aperture I increased the exposure as desired and pushed the dynamic range of the pictures by brightening the shadows a bit. I decreased the saturation to and increased the vibrancy in order to get rid of the blueish cast, and that gave me an even more bleached feeling to the already pale scene.

Click here to see the full set.

Bring the fun back

It’s been a long time since I photographed just for pure fun, without thinking about getting a good picture… or even a correct one. What ignited all that fun was our new baby camera 🙂

It might be a baby sized one, but it definitely not for babies! It’s a beast inside a small body 😀

What I liked about the D-Lux 4 is the fact that it is…. small, obviously, and very smart. The 5D has always been a burden to carry around, and an attention magnet… and I don’t mean that in the good way. Even when I decide to take the 5D out with me sometimes I find it hard to even get it out of the bag in the first place, and even when I do… it’s -literarily- a pain in the nick to carry around for a long time, especially when I’m not motivated enough.

With a compact camera you have no obligations. You don’t have to feel guilty if you carry it and never use it… because it’s just there, ready when you are, and most likely you will use it anyway. Psychologically, because the camera is small and feels like a toy you don’t feel obliged to take the perfect picture, you just.. take pictures! Pictures like these:

In-car reading material.

I think these mugs are still there! I’ve
been looking for them!

It’s been a long time since since I took
a picture of a tumble dryer

..or a button!

Not bad, is it? 🙂

Could you take fun pictures like these with a big DSLR? Sure, but not as easily. Most compact cameras, and the D-Lux 4 in particular, are very smart. Most DSLRs lack smart features like face recognition, smart scene selection or even live view. Yes, new DSLRs have live view, but who use it anyway? With a smart compact camera you don’t have to worry about the white balance or even the ISO you are using, the camera is smart (and limited) enough to use the most suitable settings.

Feeling creative? Not a problem. You can have full manual control of every single setting. You can preset your ISO, WB, A, T, ±, MM and Focus, you can even use a (real) flash and tripod or shoot RAW if you want, but why? 🙂

The big question now, will a compact camera replace my 5D?

Not in this life time!

The picture quality of the D-Lux 4 -although great- is still not as good as the quality of the full frame 5D, it’s not as sharp… and lets not talk about the colours! I still have not used the D-Lux in RAW mode, but I’m sure it will make me change my mind a little bit about the statement above when i do. Would I take a compact camera with me to a photography trip with other photographers? … they will laugh at me! And most of all, I can’t use my beautiful 70-200 mm with the D-Lux, can I?

Speaking of beautiful things, here are more fun and lovely pictures: 😀

china town birmingham arcadian
Full Auto mode. All I did was minimal exposure
and saturation adjustments. I could’ve set the
camera to do that for me though.

Lift (elevator) shots are always tricky, but not
with a compact.

Black and White modes (with an “s”) are very
useful.. and fun.

I usually get this stuff from a T-max.

The pinhole mode is also fun.. and lovely.