Category Archives: Photography

Review + Giveaway: Sony QX10 Lens-Camera A Great Smartphone Companion

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The black plastic cylinder shown above is not just a lens but a camera that features a 18.2 million pixel 1/2.3 inch sensor and a 10x optical zoom. The Sony QX10 doesn’t have a screen, mounts directly on your smartphone and is paired to Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app through WiFi. This pocket-friendly compact camera is meant to complement just about any smartphone and enables users to take high quality and more versatile photos and instantly share them on Facebook or Instagram.

I’ve been using the QX10 for 3 weeks now and I’m quite impressed by the ease of use, the image quality and the performance of the camera as a whole. The setup is quite easy, the camera options are simple and straight to the point yet the most appealing thing is the size and weight (around 100g) of the QX10 and the ability to place it anywhere you like and control it remotely. It’s something that you can really have fun experimenting with at gatherings, outdoor events, parties, street photography and I’m giving away one to one lucky reader :)

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I prepared a brief review of the QX10 to help you understand how to set it up, how it works, how good is the image quality and other useful information. Enjoy it and make sure to check the competition details at the end of the post:

Ease of Use, Performance & Battery Life:
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The QX10 is very easy to set up and start using. You will find in the box the lens camera, a detachable smartphone mount with an extending arm, a wrist strap, a battery pack and a micro-USB cable for charging and transferring images. You will only need to buy a microSD card but you can already start using the camera without it. The QX10 has three main controls, the power (on/off) button, a zoom and a shutter button. There’s also a small screen that shows you the battery life. I tried the small smartphone mount with an iPhone 5 and iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6, Galaxy Samsung Note 4 and LG G3 and it fit them all perfectly. Personally speaking, the ability to shoot without the lens attached to the smartphone is the QX10’s biggest advantage. You can hold it overhead, place it almost anywhere you like and take unique pictures. Moreover, and since the camera has a flat bottom surface (bottom also includes tripod socket), you can easily rest it for long exposures or videos.

Whether you wish to mount the lens on your smartphone or use it remotely, you will need to download the Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app to connect through WiFi to the camera. The application is also straightforward and gives you the option to automatically store pictures on your smartphone, which is very practical if you want to upload them right away on Instagram for example.

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In order to connect the camera to the app, you will need to turn the lens on, open the application from your smartphone and then wait around 5-6 seconds for the connection to be made between the two devices. If you don’t want to wait that long and wish to snap instant photos at a race or event, then you can always leave both devices on all the time but this will quickly drain the battery life of both the camera and the smartphone.

In terms of battery life, I’ve only recharged the camera 3 times in the past 3 weeks but I haven’t been using it heavily. From what I read, you can take up to 200 images before battery dies out, which is more than enough even for a full-day shoot. What you should worry about though is your smartphone’s battery as using the display for long hours will drain the battery even if you’re not using your smartphone’s camera, so keep a battery pack with you just in case.

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Week32: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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Hammana Hammana house by James al Achkar

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [here] if you like.

Harissa Overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral – by RiseAboveLebanon

Ehden A walk in Ehden – by GeorgioBassil

Ehden2 Gorgeous Ehden sunset – by Rayudi

Hasbaya Hasbaya – by TracyHelou

Taanayel Taanayel – by Nady83

Zahle Live Love Zahle – by Charbolography

beach Pearl Beach – by Giorgio

Week31: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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Taanayel Gorgeous Taanayel – by AntonioHab

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [here] if you like.

ananas Cheers to a great summer ahead – by Nathalieviel

Batroun Batroun underwater – by ChrisKabalan

Church Batroun St Stephan Church – Batroun – by Dany_111

fgreen The Cedars by Ryan

Kroom Ehden An escape from Beirut – Kroom Ehden by Buddcorp

Sail away Sail away – by Dany

Jounieh 2015 Fireworks In Pictures

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Jounieh we arelebanon via WeAreLebanon

The Jounieh fireworks were as impressive as every year yesterday and the traffic to Jounieh in the evening was even worse than last year unfortunately. I was enjoying last year’s fireworks from a prime location, on the rooftop of Monte Cassino but I couldn’t watch them this year so I regrouped some of the best pictures I saw online and on the Jounieh International Festival Facebook page.

I will keep updating the post with new pictures and videos once they come out. If you have any cool pics or vids, I will be more than glad to feature them. Here’s the full schedule for the Jounieh 2015 festivals that kicked off last night with 7 minutes of Synchronized Fireworks along the coastal of Jounieh bay.

Update: Here’s a 30 second time-lapse of the fireworks.

Saturday July 4
Magida El Roumi Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Monday July 6
The Voice Tour Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Wednesday July 8
Jamel Debbouze Stand Up Comedy Show at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Thursday July 9
Johnny Hallyday Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Friday July 10, Saturday July 11 & Sunday July 12
Kids & Family Day
• Street Show Parade, kids playground and special entertainment, bicycles, roller blades, skateboards, for all the family and youth along the coastal area of the city

Wednesday July 15
Jessy J Concert at Fouad Chehab Stadium

Haig1 via Haig Adventures

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10390051_10100144608820832_8883972551943793764_n via Bassam Karam

11692650_10100144608955562_4625178854343332181_n via Bassam Karam

And this is how the roads looked like yesterday.

10492318_10152851787067096_866265389576570606_n Thank you Sophie!

Week30: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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Jounieh Flying over Jounieh – by Sara el Dana

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [here] if you like.

Beirut Flying over the parliament – by Micho el Khoury

sunset Beautiful sunset – by F.Rostom

Ehden In love with Ehden – By Eli77

Dbayyeh Dbayyeh sunset – by JoseDaou

Cedars A walk in the Cedars forest – by Sacha el Aref

Busy From the sky – by Antoun Hayek

Ramadan In Tripoli Through The Lens Of Natheer Halawani

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D7K_4826-001 Another mass iftar held by a bunch of activists and well-doers in town. The iftar gathered people from both religions to share iftar on a same table in a one-of-a-kind event where everybody contributed to the table. Mosques and Churches announced Maghrib prayer, the time to break the fast, in an out of this world audio-visual scenery.

I was finalizing this post with my friend Natheer when I heard about the terrorist attacks in Kuwait, then in Tunisia and France as well. It’s quite tragic to hear about such unfortunate events during Ramadan and on a Friday, a holy day for Muslims, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families & friends.

These terrorist attacks unfortunately remind us of the two blasts that shook Tripoli back in 2013 killing over 40 innocent people, but Tripoli and its people defeated terrorism by promoting peace and bringing together its residents. One example is last year’s mass Iftar at Se7it el Nour where Mosques and Churches announced Maghrib prayer together and everybody took part in preparing the food.

Tripoli is a beautiful city, and Ramadan in Tripoli is a very special time of the year. That’s why I asked my talented friend and photographer Natheer Halawani, who happens to be from Tripoli, to share some of his best Ramadan pictures from the past couple of years. I hope you enjoy them and I wish all my friends in Tripoli and all over Lebanon a peaceful and blessed Ramadan month!

D7K_1496 A curious child busy exploring the tiny world at his feet instead of performing prayer as advised -most probably- by his father or whoever that brought him over to the mosque, during a mass prayer known as ‪Taraweeh‬, performed every Ramadan eve after the last of the 5 main daily prayers. Taken in Ash Shukr Mosque.

D7K_1276-002 Vivdly colorful ornamets are one of the most eye-catching Ramadan attractions, with warm lights and islamic symblos more than often. Taken in Mina.

D7K_1416 The Minarets of a newly-built mosque in Tripoli. Taken in Mina.

D7K_1595 Muslims grew a fond habit of listening to the Quran Reader of a the mosque prior or after any major prayer. Taken in Ash Shukr Mosque.

D7K_1606 Elder Muslim resting after a lengthy Taraweeh prayer, the Ramadan-exclusive prayer that could extend to an hour or two in some cases. Taken in Ash Shukr Mosque.

D7K_2575 Adult males wrapping yet another fasting day in the coziness of a local, yet very famous, roadside coffee shop playing cards and smoking shisha/arguileh. Shot in Mina, Roumiyyeh Cafe.

D7K_2682 (2) The inside a traditional Ka’ak and bread bakery in the old alleys of the town during the month of ‪Ramadan‬. Musims find a pleasure having Ka’ak filled with cheese and grilled by the bakery’s wood-lit over over Suhoor, the act of eating a snack before sunrise when fasting begins. Taken in Bab Al Ramel.

D7K_4545 Child praying by himself behind adult males in a mosque. Taken in Tawjeeh Street.

D7K_4581 Elderly man with the help of a younger male removing the post-Taraweeh praying mats that were spread out in the street, local mosque being not able to accommodate any more worshipers. Taken in Mina.

D7K_4768 Worshiper performing Isha’ prayer behind an Imam in one of Tripoli’s biggest mosques.

D7K_4783 The Grand mosque, otherly known as one of the town’s pillars and most renowned landmarks. The mosque’s court looking empty as worshipers are inside busy performing their night prayers.

The all-time-famous Saha w Hana iftar, the Mass Iftar event that closed down the main roundabout in town, the one that happens to be the city’s south entrance, for a very good cause. The iftar managed to bring together a lot of people, whether muslims or not, for an event that provided iftar for orphans and poor individuals and families from all over town.

D7K_4867-001 Shot taken from the roof of a 13-story building during the mass iftar held at the Groupy Roundabout in Mina. Attendants of both religions insisted on lighting candles in both shapes of a cross and a crescent, in an unplanned move by the organizers. This turned into an attraction through the night. Taken in Mina.

Week29: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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weekend Live Love Tyre – by PolSamuel

Spending a perfect Sunday during summer in Lebanon:
1- Wake up in the mountains to a breathtaking view.
2- Pick up delicious Saj manakish from the old lady in the village.
3- Head to the beach in Batroun or Tyre, go crazy with your friends and have few drinks.
4- End the night with a beautiful dinner at La Creperie overlooking the Jounieh bay.

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.

Sawfar View from Sawfar – by Lanaudi

saj2 Saj wou bass – by Souseye

underwater Underwater – by Dany_111

jump Jump! By Elias

Qannoubin Qannoubin – by SalibaCarla

Creperie Live Love Jounieh and summer nights at La Creperie

Week28: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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cedars The Majestic Cedars by Sacha el Aref

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.

Tyre2 Catch me if you can – by ChrisKabalan

Tyre Live Love Tyre – by Haig

La Marina yakht Sailing away – by Michaelmhayek

Jounieh night Jounieh bay by night – by George

Ehden A sky full of stars – Ehden by SebaChamoun

Week27: LiveLoveBeirut’s Best Pictures Of The Week

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Ammiqj Summer is back and Tawlit Ammiq as well – By PolSamuel

You can follow LiveLoveBeirut on Instagram on [Instagram]. I’m also on Instagram and you can follow me [Here] if you like.

Azadea Sanayeh garden was renovated one year ago – Photo by Saad

Beach1 Iris beach club – by Karim

Bekaa Beautiful Bekaa – by Sacha el Aref

Fishing Gone fishing – by Samer

tent Flying high – by Ahmad

Zahle Zahle Zahle Zahletna – by MishoRicha

Violence, Camouflaged: Powerful Portraits Of Lebanese Women

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Abillama01-1200 By Lebanese Photographer Lamia Maria Abillama

This is not a campaign to support the Lebanese Army, but a powerful series of portraits by Lebanese Photographer Lamia Maria Abillama entitled “Clashing Realities”. Several Lebanese civilian women, like May Chidiac, are shown in their homes wearing military uniforms “a symbolic representation of the encroachment of political violence into personal space”, or in other words to symbolize the violence that these women experienced at some point in their lives, whether it was the Lebanese civil war, an explosion or others …

Abillama’s work will be published later this month as part of a book series devoted to the work of Beirut-based female photographers. You can check out all the portraits in the [NewYorker] article.

Each of her subjects’ lives has been touched by violence, Abillama told me, although she has chosen not to include captions identifying their names or describing their traumas. Instead, it is their common identity, the burden they wear like a “second skin,” that she wants to call attention to. As the daughter of a storied political family whose life was shaped by Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war, Abillama grew to despise her country’s system of governance. And she knows that the second skin is not easily shed. “Even if you go to Paris or Milan or wherever, ultimately you carry within yourself always the spectre of war,” she told me.

Speaking of women and violence, Lebanese singer Elissa apparently released a new song called “Ya Merayti” to highlight violence against women and in support of the Lebanese NGO Kafa (While Haifa is still breathing you in). I won’t criticize Elissa’s clip as it has a powerful message but I am curious to know why she’s talking in English at the start.

[YouTube]