Taj Coral Reef Resort. Since the island is small, rooms are pushed out into the sea, creating the much needed space inside. Hence denoting character and identity for this Indian owned resort. From the outside, though, while approaching from sea... proximity of these closely built rooms seem to dwarf the island. Once on the island, however, the overall ambiance is nice. I particularly like the contrast of red roofs against blue. (Usually roofs are palm thatched.) Oh, and the sparklingly clean white washed walls.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Hel Des pro says: "Always so much love and happiness coming out of your photo stream. I come by to visit regularly , your pictures quality always amazes me, and that is without talking about the place where you live... When I show Flickr to people that don't know about it I always show your stream and say:'See, it is a little like traveling.' "
Found here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ahmedzahid/256151999/#comment72157594305535250 Thanks Hélène.
What is this, a rebellion in the making? Children from a local primary school participate in a peaceful activity, denoting something. I don't remember exactly. Four years ago. But the lessons they taught everyone in the process... has had a profound effect. See my next pic. Nowadays it is so common to see rebellions of people on the streets, demanding among other things, basic human rights.
It is normal to see a line put out from the boat, whenever travelling is done. Trailing? Whether the trip is for trade, transport or for exploring, this line is always out... baiting a would be bonus. And whenever an unfortunate fish falls prey, boat is jolted to a halt and the fish is hauled in to the cheers of everyone. Food.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Situated adjacent to each other... these are the places to be,
when adventure is on your mind.
Markets from the Capital Island. Operates only during daytime, and is highly dynamic with busy activity.
Products are constantly changing and so are the prices. Goods are brought in from all over the Country by local tradesmen on small boats, where they are kept and supplied into the market as and when spaces are available.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Squeeeze. Street across the main market in Capital Island. Over here, in this island, spaces are calculated in square inches. With over a 100k living in cramp conditions... space is more or less of a scarcely limited quantity. And residents have come to accept this fact, by developing tolerance towards each other.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
... about me, I hear them out... with a certain amount of fondness.
I am happy, if my photos make people feel, the way they feel. It makes me feel good in return. Thanks Jeremiah, for featuring my work in your great blog. http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2006/09/26/need-a-vacation-just-visit-ahmeds-photo-paradise/
Photographing the Waterbungalow. Report from Nika Hotel.
Our initial idea of scaffolding (to climb up) on the sensitive reef was immediately scoffed at. But to isolate the bungalow from the crowded-ness of the island, and place it in tranquility of the lagoon... we needed to have an elevated point of view.
The structure itself was two stories high. So an approach from sea, by boat... was agreed upon.
This is the closest we could get to the reef from the Ocean. From here, the captain had to balance boat, between avoiding swelling reef waves and of not scratching the bottom from the protruding sharp corals. If that is not tricky enough, the 12ft ladder on the top deck of our boat provided the necessary adventure, for us to complete this shot.
There was more than One photographer, hence the term 'us'.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Flowers remind me of the buried dead. Cemetery at the overly over crowded Capital Island. Locals have resorted to the scary custom of burying the dead on top of one another. This island has simply run out of living space, and the only place to bury the newly dead is... over the old dead. Once the cemetery has been declared full, Authorities dump in fresh sand, at a convenient level... so burying can start over. Safely.
Local setting; foreign environment.
It is common to see this pleasant combination... of pale flowers and white walls, in many of the classy resorts. In their effort to localise the environment... they copy these traditional walls from islanders. White washing of unevenly plastered walls with limestone is an ancient local practice. Scene from Soneva Gili Resort, back entrance.
Every island is surrounded by crystal clear emerald green waters.
There is a misconception there. The water around some islands are surprisingly clear and unspoilt.
This scene is from Utheem, far north of Maldives. Even die hard travellers get shocked at the islands' beauty and clearness of the waters. During my visit to this island with a team of surveyors... one dominant complaint surfaced around much of the conversations. The islanders are not happy with just a beach. They want a modern harbour. Ahem. Consequences. Consequences.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Fruit seller at water melon market in the Capital Island. This fruit is highly popular during Muslim Ramadan season. It outnumbers all other fruits combined together. There are a few designated market spots around the island... and are almost always good places to see frenzied action, and colors... all day long.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Digital Photography School website is using my photos as examples of cool sunsets... in one of their feature articles. Isnt that cool? :-)) Thanks to Shing LA for letting me know about this. See it here, people. http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/how-to-photograph-sunrises-and-sunsets/
Elevated to suit needs..., when at war with pirates (high), or when at times of peace, low (as shown here)... this is the focal point of any island. Observatories are a practical necessity for the islanders. Because, it is here, that discussions take place, which leads to major decisions. (Not in the political island office... where it is usually a one man show.)
Call it a round-the-clock, multi-purpose post if you want.It is THE place to be... when you live life of the islands.
Here is a rundown of an itinerary... say, of a typical week day.
1. At dawn it is the elderly men who come to see off fishers.
2. In the mornings... from 9 onwards women folk take rest from the chores of house-wifery and congregate for a moment of gossip.
3. At midday its time for children and toddlers, after a day at reading class.
4. The mid-afternoons are for men (of all ages) to welcome back fishers.
5. Children dominate late afternoons until sunset, when it is prayer time and a major shift of duty takes place.
6. During evenings, by the moonlight... you guessed it, it is a lovers rendezvous.
Many many babies must have been conceived here.
The observatory is a small open hut built with coconut roofing and natural ventilation. It is used as a watch out post, for, it is strategically situated at the main entry point to the island. News can be relayed quickly to relevant points in the inside. The flooring is made of straight tree trunks... and may be slept on when there is a need.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me.. it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."
"This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too", he added.
The Grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied... "The one you feed."
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Its morning, and i am usually reluctant to get up this early. But i keep dreaming about a kitchen fridge while i am half asleep rolling on my bed. No bed today actually, folks. I was sleeping on the floor. My room has been converted into a printing factory, to prepare banners for decoration of the school.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Island hideaway resort, maldives.
This deep narrow channel in a seemingly vast ocean serves a noble purpose. Protection. When tired travellers needed breaks and required a natural harbor for stopover... they used this secret spot for a breather, for centuries. It is rare to find this type of deep trenches with natural protection from ocean currents and wind. And from other predative seafarers. There is a long local history regarding this place.
Recently however, authorities have also discovered this little secret, and devised a way to take advantage. The island has been converted to an exclusive top end resort... and, doubles as the only official yacht marina in maldives.
Photo from two years ago, taken during the making phase. Cant help noticing the ugly pock marks, cleared for construction of houses.
Maakandoodhoo, Name of a tree. Sad. Because this was one island (out of 100s) that i loved dearly. For its beauty and variety. From my 2 week visit, back in 2000... i remember counting some 8,000 photos taken from this island. Now abandoned. People have since been vacated to a nearby island, because of complaints regarding complications in boat berthing. Some of my most memorable photos from flickr are from this island. I will also remember another small fact. I used 3 cf cards in all, for the photos. Two 8mb and one 16mb.
I love this set... of elderly women from maakandoodhoo island. There is a sense of curiosity among them as i poke myself into their unsuspecting daily life. This kind of encounters must be new to them. I was accompanied by my guide friend, who was introducing me to his relatives and friends. Photo from 2000 with a Nikon D1. Did i mention (brag) about the superb dof qualities of the 50mm, 1:1.1 lens? Hmm.
Monday, September 18, 2006
From pink flowers to a shot of flashing fishers... i hope you noticed the f word. Hence the connection. It is common to see large herds of fish moving together in groups. I have written extensively about them in flickr. They are always on the run... from larger predators in the sea. Today however, they made a big mistake by taking a turn into the local boat harbor, thereby exciting bored locals, who turn up by the thousands.