A R M E N I A

People asked me why travel in Armenia. The fact that there is a huge language barrier in Armenia, the people here are super sweet and extra nice and will definitely make sure to put an effort to communicate with you (thru Google Translate). They will pull over and let you cross the street. They will automatically bring you vase filled with water if you come in with a flower in a restaurant or cafe. I met some of the most beautiful and authentic people out here. They may look tough from the outside but they’re softies inside. Courteousness is definitely their thing, which a lot of countries lack nowadays. I can say that chivalry isn’t dead in Armenia.

We have been slaves of technology and social media but surprisingly, I didn’t see any single person on his phone anywhere on the streets of Yerevan. They prefer to talk face to face. And did I mention the weather? I could live here forever. I survived a negative temperature on top of a snowcapped mountain in Sevan. I maybe a city girl but I still long for simple things in life.

I would like to thank Ararat Hotel for taking good care of us all through out our stay in Yerevan. You guys rock our world!

Thank you Alibi Club for allowing us to celebrate our friend’s birthday, for the free drinks and for playing the dopest beats there is! You guys are the bomb!

Thank you Louis Charden for letting us in your Pinterest-like cafe even though it was super late and made sure we can have a glass of wine in celebration of our friend’s birthday!

We also enjoyed tasty home cooked Armenian meals in Garni – Geghard courtesy of Sergey’s Place.

We were all mesmerised by this magical place called El Garden located near the Genocide Museum in Yerevan.

ARMENIA – PLEASE ADOPT ME!!

By the way, all photos are shot with Fuji XT1 with XF 16-55 mm weather resistant, dust resistant, -10  degrees Celsius low-temparature operation lens. As you can see in the photos, it was all snows and rains but i was still able to take beautiful images. This camera and lens withstand the weather condition and I am just glad I brought them with me.

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a l d h a f r a c a m e l f e s t i v a l

Hello everyone! Before the year ends, I just want to wish you all a HAPPY and ABUNDANT 2016!

Indeed, this year has been an awesome year for me (and I hope for you too), from being selected to be a part of Apple World Gallery to being a full time professional photographer to taking over Instagram accounts to being a brand ambassador (I did a radio guesting too, yay :)) I have so many things to be thankful for and people to be grateful for (you know who you are :)).

I am hoping that this coming year will be more exciting for all of us. May it bring us peace, creativity, opportunities, adventures and success.

And for my last post for this year, I would like to share some of the photos I have took at Al Dhafra Camel Festival last week.

See you all next year!

xx Debbie
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QASBA

Recently Discover UAE, a project based Instagram account aiming to explore United Arab Emirates, held their first instameet/instawalk in Qasba located in the Emirate of Sharjah.

“Qasba – 10,0000-acre project including a 1 km-long man-made canal and 60m high observation wheel, it was made open for the public in 2005. It includes Masrah Al Qasba, a theatre, the Maraya Art Centre, the Multaqa Al Qasba meetings and conference centre and a children’s Fun Zone. The project, managed by the Al Qasba Development Authority (an affiliate of Shurooq) has an architectural design including pedestrian bridges, boats, and lagoons. It attracted two million visitors in 2011. (Source: Wikipedia)”

I am very happy to have returned and explored around this place again with other fellow Instagrammers/Instafriends.

Here are some of the photos I took of Qasba and its tunnel and gorgeous mirror like canal.

PS: i just learned how to create a watermark on photoshop hehe.. 🙂

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Catching up… Post the people!

I was kind of missing in action on here but is really active on my Instagram account (@debbiefortes). So many things have happened in the past few months since my last post. So many photos and so little time. By the way, March and April will be busy months for me as Dubai Art Season will be on again. It’s a month long season of arts activities, workshops and exhibitions. I cannot wait to cover this event and share it with you all. Also, some of my photos are up for sale very soon. Ill put up a button where you can buy it from my website.

So if you are interested to know what I was up, here are some of the photos.. and yes, I had my first prenup shoot too.  Very interesting but I had fun doing it though.

 

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Small Town Called Al Rams

We arrived at around 4 in the morning. It was 13 degrees Celsius. Too chilly for me and too early for the fishermen to start their day. The small village is called Al Rams, in Ras Al-Khaimah. As we waited patiently, my friends and I  scouted the whole place, looking for a good location to take photos. I have never been a landscape photographer but the place was screaming long exposure shots, lol! Good thing I brought my tripod. I checked my phone to see what time the sun will rise, it says 7AM. Soon enough, the fishermen started to come around to the fishing area one after the other.

We were greeted with warm smiles and offered us to have some Karak chai. Even the local men who are inhabiting the place are friendly and welcoming. What I like about the place was everything that I don’t usually see in Dubai. The simplicity of their daily lives and the calmness of their village made me realized that life is short not to appreciate these basic things around us.

Slow down, breathe and start again.

Here are some of my captured moments in Al Rams. Hope you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Here’s to another year of photography 🙂

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#WWIM10_Dubai

Community members of Instagrammers Dubai and Peeta Planet team actively participated the 10th Worldwide Instameet held last October 5th. The theme was “Chasing Sunrise”. The members gathered at the Creek Metro Station at dawn. During this time, each members were given some Instagram freebies such as stickers, badges and pens.

First, we covered Saif Mohd Belqaizi Shipbuilding Yard which is located just a few steps away from the Creek Metro Station. The place may be an unlikely place to have an Instameet but I was fortunate that I woke up at 5am and witness a hidden gem behind those high walls of Jadaf. I am truly amazed at the ships being built and according to a shipbuilder one ship can take 5-10 years to be finished.

Here are some of my photos taken at the #WWIM10_Dubai. I was trying to mute the colors and decided to go B&W this time.

And oh by the way, Instagram just made me their SUGGESTED USER follow me if you haven’t @needlez_and_pinzz

Peace and love x

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My First Pre-natal Photoshoot

On a lighter side of photography, I was invited by an Indonesian friend of mine to help and assist her with her first (yes her first too) pre-natal photoshoot last week. Due to lack of light, we made some improvisation. We didn’t use any soft box or beauty dish or what not. With the help of her lamp light and the ambient light, coming from the window as our light source.

Here are some of the photos I took during the photo shoot session. Also, I learned something in Photoshop. I now know how to add borders, watermark and some 3D effect which I’ll use very soon in my future photos 🙂

Peace and love x

Camera: Fuji XE1

Lens: Fujinon 18-55mm

 

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#MyDubaiTrip part 1

One fine Saturday. I woke up at 5am. Made sure my camera batteries were fully charged. As usual, I wore black and my vans sneakers. I know we will be out all day and I don’t know what to expect at the camel racetrack. All set for what seemed to be a whole day activity with some of the best Dubai based  and International Igers 🙂

First stop at the Al Marmoum Camel Racetrack along Al Ain – Dubai Road. Here are some of my photos.

Camera: Fujifilm XE1

Lens: 18 -55 mm

 

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Galleries Night at Alserkal Avenue

Sept 15, 2014 – We went to the opening of Galleries Night at AlSerkal Avenue in Al Quoz.

I came from a family of artists. Little did anyone know, I have an uncle who was a mixed media artist and was based in Australia. My mum always helped me with my school projects and she herself is an amazing sketcher too. I have always been amazed on how she blends the colors. It somehow influenced me to be an art enthusiast.

I feel lucky that Dubai and the UAE is actively encouraging artists to showcase their skills and talent by having events like Galleries Night. The event was a success. I have met with some of the Instagrammers and did a mini Instameet.

Here are some of the photos I took..

 

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Solo

We always have reasons to avoid the things we love the most. We lack finding ways to overcome our laziness. We procrastinate. Often times, we blame the weather or our “artist block”. We lack inspiration. We want to discover and explore but for some, transportation is always an issue. There will always be millions of reasons out there believe me. Because I have used those excuses as well, lool! But I hate myself for not seizing the moment and taking as much photos as I could. So armed with my Fuji XE1 cam, I strutted my way to the streets of Dubai.

I was actually inspired to do a solo photo walk last Sunday after work when I came across an article about a Hong Kong based Filipina nanny/street photographer. Like her, sometimes I drag my feet to go to streets and shoot. She takes compelling photos in B&W. Whole day I was daydreaming of sitting in front of Maze Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road and wait for that perfect shot. One way or another you will fall in love with the skyscrapers if you are living in Dubai. I wanna try aerial shots as well. According to Beno, you see a whole lot of different perspective when you’re high above the sky.

I am posting some of my street photos from my solo photo walk project. Oh by the way, I am pleased to inform you all that 6 of my photos were selected by Sharjah Art Foundation through their Open Call of Vantage Point Sharjah 2. Please come and join us for the opening reception on August 30, 2014, 6:30pm in Building GH SAF Art Spaces, Al Mureijah, Heritage Area in Sharjah. Exhibition will run until December 3, 2014. I cannot wait to see my photos being exhibited for the first time! Will take lots of photos again during the exhibit and will post it on here. See you all there. 🙂

Just go shoot!

 

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North Emirates Roadtrip

I have been meaning to update my blog for days now. But i was down with a flu and am just beginning to recover from it. I wanna thank Sia’s song Chandelier and Kiesza’s Hideaway which is on repeat and helped me get pumped while i was editing some photos from my last photowalk.  (I listen to some mainstream songs once in a while, sorry not sorry!) I think i have never mentioned before that I don’t know how to use Photoshop. My workflow is currently on Lighroom. I did some attempts to learn PS, by the way. My friends/colleagues who has been very supportive and offer their help. Thanks for their undying support and love! But one thing that is taking me aback is probably not having a proper laptop. Its a bit of a challenge, knowing that I need to post process millions of photos. So every other week i try to bring home my office lappy (I know am not supposed to) to edit some photos and update my blog.

About last week, 5 of us Instagrammers based in Dubai and Sharjah planned a road trip to Umm Al Quwain. Originally, we planned go to Umm Al Quwain and we ended up going to @amran.abdulla favorite spot at the Gulf of Oman. It is basically an ocean between UAE and Oman. The hidden spot is in Fujairah, Al Aqqa Beach to be exact. The beach was a breath of fresh air especially after a very long drive and occasional stops along the way (very humid at that time, mind you). Here are some of my photos taken on Al Dhaid-Sharjah Highway and Al Aqqa Beach. Enjoy! Ciao 🙂

 

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