Bay Square Instameet

Hello! I am back again. This is officially my first post for this year – YAAY!

I have been hosting some instameets in Dubai. My weekends are spent in discovering new spots with local based Instagrammers and sharing it through my social media platforms such as here, on Instagram and on Facebook. Here is the recent one we did in Bay Square. I would like to thank each and every Instagrammer who woke up so early and joined me in exploring this side of Dubai. Also, thank you to the guys in La Brioche for being a rockstar and a life saver and for serving us the best breakfast  ever 🙂

So if you are based in UAE or just visiting, join us in the next adventure.

Enjoy my photo story 🙂

 

 

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.

Armenia_2-6 Armenia_2-7 Armenia_2-8 Armenia_2-11 Armenia_2-12 Armenia_2-15 Armenia_2-16 Armenia_3-7 Armenia_3-14 Armenia_3-18 Armenia_3-35 Armenia_3-50 Armenia_3-52 Armenia_3-53 Armenia_3

 

Debbie F. On Apple World Gallery

Hello again!

I guess this time you are all aware of my inclusion in Apple World Gallery #ShotOniPhone6. Wherein they picked photographers (pro and amateur) to be a part of this award winning campaign and the largest mobile photography gallery ever assembled to be featured in 70 cities in 25 countries through billboards and magazines in subways, highways and airports. It is an honor to be a part of it and I am so lucky to have met some of the Apple World Gallery photographers on Twitter and Instagram. Helping each other to look out for our images. I cannot thank my friends in real life and my instafriends enough for their undying support in helping me find my Apple image/billboard while they are on their holidays.

I would like to share some of the photos they have sent me and some photos I have screenshot on Twitter. If ever you see my image anywhere in the world, please do not hesitate to take a shot of it and send it over to me at hello@debbiefortes.com. I appreciate each and every one’s help and support! Peace! 🙂

 

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, USA

Manhattan, New York Photo Credit: Brand Cities
Manhattan, New York
Photo Credit: Branded Cities
Manhattan,New York Photo credit: Brand Cities
Manhattan,New York
Photo credit: Branded Cities
Manhattan, New York Photo credit: Yasmine Ferdjani
Manhattan, New York
Photo credit: Yasmine Ferdjani
W 47th St. New York, NY Photo credit: Leslie Parrott
W 47th St. New York, NY
Photo credit: Leslie Parrott
W 47th St. New York, NY Photo credit: Leslie Parrott
W 47th St. New York, NY
Photo credit: Leslie Parrott
W 47th St. New York, NY Photo credit: Leslie Parrott
W 47th St. New York, NY
Photo credit: Leslie Parrott

 

BARCELONA, SPAIN

Barcelona, Spain Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal
Barcelona, Spain
Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal
Barcelona, Spain Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal
Barcelona, Spain
Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal
A street across from Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain Photo taken by: Rula El Kaliouby
A street across from Placa de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain
Photo taken by: Rula El Kaliouby

 

 

BERLIN, GERMANY

Berlin, Germany Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal
Berlin, Germany
Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal

 

Berlin, Germany Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal
Berlin, Germany
Photo credit: Ahmed El Gamal

 

HAMBURG, GERMANY

Hamburg Central Station, Germany Photo credit: Huda Bin Redha
Hamburg Central Station, Germany
Photo credit: Huda Bin Redha
Hamburg Central Station, Germany Photo credit: Huda Bin Redha
Hamburg Central Station, Germany
Photo credit: Huda Bin Redha
Hamburg Central Station, Germany Photo credit: Huda Bin Redha
Hamburg Central Station, Germany
Photo credit: Huda Bin Redha

 

FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Frankfurt Terminal 2, Germany Photo taken by: Ahmed El Gamal
Frankfurt Terminal 2, Germany
Photo taken by: Ahmed El Gamal
Frankfurt Terminal 2, Germany Photo taken by: Ahmed El Gamal
Frankfurt Terminal 2, Germany
Photo taken by: Ahmed El Gamal
Frankfurt Terminal 2, Germany Photo taken by: Ahmed El Gamal
Frankfurt Terminal 2, Germany
Photo taken by: Ahmed El Gamal

 

LONDON, UK

Camden Town station, London Photo credit: Hyku Desesto
Camden Town station, London
Photo credit: Hyku Desesto
Monument Station, London UK Photo credit: Hyku Desesto
Monument Station, London UK
Photo credit: Hyku Desesto
Monument Station, London UK Photo credit: Robbie
Monument Station, London UK
Photo credit: Robbie
Somewhere in London Photo credit: Karen McLean
Somewhere in London
Photo credit: Karen McLean
Waterloo Station, London, UK Photo credit: Hyku Desesto
Waterloo Station, London, UK
Photo credit: Hyku Desesto
Oxford Circus Station, London UK Photo credit: Jakub Mroz
Oxford Circus Station, London UK
Photo credit: Jakub Mroz
Oxford Circus Station, London UK Photo credit: Jakub Mroz
Oxford Circus Station, London UK
Photo credit: Jakub Mroz

 

PARIS, FRANCE

St. Lazare Station, Paris France Photo credit: Karen McLean
St. Lazare Station, Paris France
Photo credit: Karen McLean

 

ABU DHABI AND DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 1, Departure Photo taken by: Altamash Javed
Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 1, Departure
Photo taken by: Altamash Javed
Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 1, Departure Photo credit: Me
Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal 1, Departure
Photo credit: Me
Dubai Airport, Terminal 3, Arrivals Photo credit: Kriks Krikorian
Dubai Airport, Terminal 3, Arrivals
Photo credit: Kriks Krikorian

 

MUMBAI, INDIA

Mumbai, India Photo credit: Geet Rathi
Mumbai, India
Photo credit: Geet Rathi
Mumbai, India Photo credit: Internet
Mumbai, India
Photo credit: Internet

 

WASHINGTON, DC USA

Street Sense HQ Washington, DC USA Photo credit: Street Sense
Street Sense HQ
Washington, DC USA
Photo credit: Street Sense

 

AUSTRALIA

Men's Fitness Australia Photo taken by: Peter David
Men’s Fitness
Australia
Photo taken by: Peter David

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.. 🙂

Qasba_3 with watermark_debbiefortes
needlez and pinzz

Qasba with watermark_debbiefortes Qasba_2 with watermark

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

 

Shinta with borders -4 Shinta with borders-3 vanya_with_bordersbw

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..

 

galleriesnight galleriesnight-2 galleriesnight-3 galleriesnight-4 galleriesnight-5

#VPS2

Being a photographer, I guess one of the greatest achievements you will ever have is to be recognized in the field. By recognized, I don’t mean Selling Out like most photographers are, sadly! It may not always be winning a prize in a competition but also seeing your photos and works hanging on a wall in an exhibition.

I submitted my application form together with my 6 photos and photo story to Sharjah Art Foundation’s Open Call for this year’s Vantage Point Sharjah 2. I know its not good but I always send my submissions on the day of the deadline. Always. Not because am procrastinating but because I wanna make sure that I will submit my best capture and you know there’s no turning back once you submit it.

About a week or so after the deadline, I received an email from SAF informing me that six of my photos were selected. I was literally screaming my lungs out and jumping up and down. THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE! I have always imagined myself standing next to my photos in an exhibition talking and meeting art lovers, photo enthusiasts, co-photographers, family and friends. That day has come last August 30, 2014 at the opening reception of Vantage Point Sharjah 2. I am also fortunate enough to have my photos alongside 2 of the best Instagrammers in town, @manoshde and @b1ckey. I would like to thank my dear friends who supported and helped me in giving their two cents worth on my photos and photo story. It means a lot to me. 🙂

By the way, I fell in love with the Sharjah Heritage Area. I adore the mixture of old and new. The Art Spaces looked very futuristic as well. I think I left my heart in Sharjah haha! If you haven’t been to this area, please come and visit. The exhibition will run until December 3, 2014. It is located at SAF Art Spaces Building GH. Also, don’t forget to pass by their lovely urban garden. Peace and love! 🙂

 

vantagepoint-3

vantagepoint vantagepoint-6 vantagepoint-10 vantagepoint-11 vantagepoint-14

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 🙂

 

North Emirates Trip-7 North Emirates Trip-8 North Emirates Trip-3 North Emirates Trip-4 North Emirates Trip-9 North Emirates Trip-10 North Emirates Trip-11

Dubai Metro Meet

Herald Herrera, manIger of Instagrammer Dubai brilliantly organized another successful Instameet last Friday, August 9, 2015. What’s interesting is that we covered 5 Dubai Metro Stations. This is something different and something creative as the weather in Dubai is unbearable but we managed to go places by train and still enjoy and have a decent amount of good street photos.

We gathered at around 4pm at the BurJuman Metro Station, armed with red, green and white balloons resembling the UAE flag. By the way, you can check out more posts from the group using the hashtags #dubaimetromeet and #dubaimetroseries on Instagram.

Our first stop is at Al Ghubaiba Metro Station.

 

Fly Me to the Moon - Before the balloons were confiscated at the metro station
Fly Me to the Moon – Before the balloons were confiscated at the metro station

 

After a good round of photo shoots and talking to some people to pose for us at the Heritage Village, we head back to the metro station and stopped at Palm Deira Metro Station (Green line). We collectively marched toward the Fish Market. I am posting some of my favorite photos I took at the Fish Market.

 

Portrait of hard working men
Portrait of hard working men
this obscure mirror by the mosque
this obscure mirror by the mosque
I found him standing alone by the empty stalls in the fish market
I found him standing alone by the empty stalls in the fish market
Walk the line
Walk the line

Last stop, the Dubai Airport Terminal 3. I caught an amazing photo of the sunset and its reflection. Actually, I think I might go there again but alone. I wanna take at least one silhouette of a person and that sunset.

 

Sunset at Dubai Airport Terminal 3
Sunset at Dubai Airport Terminal 3

Finally, we did the #InstagrammerDown , @zurichvienna and @heraldherrera brilliant idea to do this and yours truly volunteered to lay down at the platform while they take photos from the second floor.

 

Photo courtesy of Herald Herrera.
Photo courtesy of Herald Herrera.

Ramadan 2014

Exactly a week before Eid al-Fitr, l came down to Jumeirah Mosque to participate with Fullframe Magazine and Photowalk Dubai to document and observe the rituals during Ramadan despite nearly 40 degrees Celsius of Dubai weather. I was literally braving the heat and humidity. It was with great pleasure to have been invited by the Imam to join and have Iftar with them later that afternoon. Indeed one of the most memorable experiences in my life.

Ya salam! Eid mubarak to all my Muslim brothers and sisters.

All photos are shot using Fujifilm X-E1.

 

At the Masjid
At the Masjid
Waiting for Iftar
Waiting for Iftar
Preparing Iftar
Preparing Iftar
A Volunteer
A Volunteer
Al wudhu
Al wudhu