Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wadi Naqab Trail hiking Ras al khaima UAE

Hiking : Wadi Naqab

Trail Hike Location : Ras Al Khaima, UAE

 Level : Beginner Recommended

Gears :
Hiking shoe / runners with good grip,
Water min 2 liters,

Recommended season : Winter.

Wadi Naqab is a fantastic off-road destination for a bit of everything. A classic (if rather short) wadi-bashing experience with different levels of challenge, great camping spots and viewpoints, this all-rounder also offers an abundance of opportunities to get up to elevation for rewarding hiking.

Ras Al Khaimah's impressive Hajar Mountains lean from Wadi Naqab towards the sea, showing their many colours and formations.

Reaching the starting point of the journey is bit tricky. If you have a 4 wheel drive you can cover most of the unpaved roads till the bottom of the mountain. If you don't have a 4 wheel drive you can use your driving skill on your sedan car to reach as close as possible. I insist not to try any risky drive in the morning itself. You could spoil your entire trip.

Once you find nice good parking area you can park your car and gear up. After the parking you will have to travel approximately one kilometer to 2 kilometer through big round gravels and rocks. These pictures will give you an idea about the view that you may expect in early morning around 9 o'clock.

You may still find some houses and farmlands nearby. You may also find some random goats and dogs. You don't have to wonder if you find any local people there. You may also find some other trekking groups travelling along the same road.

 The first 5km are through the wadi bed and up to a bat cave (with some scrambling you can go inside if you would like). After a short break and snacks we'll start up a managed path with beautiful cliff views to an old settlement where we will have lunch.

Be prepared for surreal views! you need a 4wd to reach the starting point. nice hike, not very technical but need good level of fitness. some steep uphill ascend, but the view and village at the top made it worthwhile. good hiking boots with ankle protection are recommended.

Showka pools - Ras Al khaima - UAE

A short 5 minute video of our Hiking trip to showka trails.
 Located in the Ras Al Khaima, UAE. It is one of the popular hiking trail near to Dubai and excellent place to warm up. There are many hiking trails and plenty of opportunity for exploration as well. 

Precautions & Rules:
 No littering, fine upto AED 2000
 No network coverage,

 Mandatory list of items:
 Water, Food,
 High energy snacks like chocolates,
 Sweater for winter season,
 extra socks as you are going to jump into water,
 proper hiking shoe,
 proper clothing,
 hat, sunscreen,
 light, knife, GPS / Offline map,
 extra battery

 Travel Description :
 Start early morning and try to get to the starting point before the sunrise. Remember this is a day trip. Even though we start little late. I would like to recommend a trip to start it early as possible. So it is highly recommended to reach the starting point before the sunlight hits. So if you want to start little early you should have packed your bag the day / night before. Hopefully this will make your life easy so that you need to only brush up and start the engine of the car. Make sure all the necessary stuffs are there in the back before starting up from the home.

All the items which I mentioned here are mandatory stuff. Life without those thing would probably will be difficult during the Hike. Given the list as a checklist for the beginners and if you forget something you can always buy on the way from any gas station or supermarket. Make sure you hit any gas station and fill the gas in your car if you're going to the station, because the roads are not set very well and you can get easily lost.

For beginners it is highly recommended to group up and travel in a group. Hike is a physically challenging activity and make sure you are physically fit for travelling few kilometres without any problem. Once you reach the destination as mark in the map, you may find a place to park your car. Remember always to travel in a group because in case of physical injury the other one will be able to support.

 If you are beginner respect to set your GPS and track your movement all the way up and down during the Hike cause you may get lost anytime and all the different look almost similar or different and you will not be able to distinguish the exact way you want to go back. For experience it was you know the things, you know the rules, just keep going straight up the trail. What's your time as it will be very difficult and very dark on sunset.

Asses your physical condition all the way up and down, and make sure to take risk only that is acceptable. Climbing up on top of the steep Hills and mountains for selfies are good but kind of risky. You will find lots of sports to take selfies. You may find smallpools of water bodies and some animals living nearby. Some pools are very deep so you may as before getting step into full.

 You can Hike as much as you want and as far as you can go but keep in mind that you will have to return all the way back. Assess your physical condition and your teams physical condition before keeping going forward. Keep some emergency lights with you, in case if you may fail to turn on time you'll end up in Pitch Black dark night.

 Hiking is risky, travelling in a group makes much less risky. Highly recommend it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

35mm or 50MM ?

When I started working on creating digital images, I had the basic kit lens with my DSLR. That is nothing but other than the 18-55mm lens. It was that time I had no Idea of the digital DSLRs. The only thing I knew was bigger the lens better you can Zoom. I never had any clue about the artistic side of the DSLRS other than taking pics of dogs, cats and peoples faces.

After spending two year's and clicking 50k pics and hanging out with like minded fellow image makers, doing research in Youtube and reading famous advertorials, l figured out the best ways of taking images. Thanks to Epyc In UAE for lntroducing me to those who are pioneers in this field.
Later on the run i realised the need of prime lens, because of the endless possibilities and wide ranges of creative scope. I am not a full time photographer or a full time artist. But I would like to spend my time on this photography as an enthusiast. At the same time experimenting and taking up small projects. The question was If I should have 24mm, 50mm, 35mm or 100 mm after realizing certain facts.
After going through 1000's of Images and comparing the prices of the lens, I found a cheap & best option. l found used 50mm from online and bought it for some trials.

The wide apreture was more than enough for Bokehs and the sharpness on the narrow focal length was pretty amazing. Everybody loved their portraits which was taken with that lens. It was perfect for portraits. l still wonder why people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars lf they can buy one of these tiny little smart ones. May be the small lens is not looking good for a pro photographer Carrying a DSLR . l have seen people carrying heavy 70-200mm multimillion dollar lens. ofcourse it looks cooler but Its heavy.

Alright,  after playing around for 5-6 months with that 50 mm, I wanted to see how other prime lens are doing and what lam missing. That curiosity lead me to rent a 24mm, 35 mm and 100mm.
l started trials with each of these. 24mm was perfect in the sense of wide angle. But what I will do with that wide angle and wide aperture ? lt is going to be the prefect lens for close portraits. At that wide apreture, This lens would be an advantage for shooting party at night. still the distortion would make the people face look like a beaten frog. And if we want to use that lens for taking cityscapes, we would be never using that wide apreture. i would rather use my kit lens 18 - 55 for those purposes. Probably we will need some smaller apreture to get those buildings and scapes in a very sharp edges. I decided to not to spend for that 24mm lens just because i can take awsome portarits with that.

The 100 mm f1.8 was absolutelyamazing lens for portraits. It will completly isolate the face of people from any dirty backgrounds and gives that wonder full blurry background. The only problem is that the minimum distance between the subject and the photographer is bit longer.  And this lens is suitable for those who are working in a controlled studio environment shooting prewedding and post wedding shoots. Price wise i would say if you have 50 mm better stay with it. I mean i dont mind getting little closer to the subject when shooting portraits and products.

The real change i felt was while using the 35 mm on this crop sensor DSLR. The angles were perfect as it shows the exact view of a first person perspective. Not too wide. Not too narrow. It will help you to picture the scene exactly as you are seeing it. If you are a traveller or normal guy who love to take pics of the life around you. 35 mm F1.8 would be the perfect choice of lens.

Apreture wide enough to get bokehlesious background with out killing the story of the image. You can see bits of story thats behind the subject which is in other way contributing to your travelouge or documentry. Take portraits with out much distortion of the subject, even you can take selfie with that angle. I would say its the best focal length if you want to tell a story. Its very small in size and lightweight as well. One point i would like to share that this pretty little small lense will not scare your subject while you are on the street capturing local scene. I have personally experienced that of you go to some ones face with that big bazookas, the chances of saying no from the people is very high.  At the same time with this small one,  people don't feel that much hostile.

The other advantage of this 35 mm focal length is while taking videos. We will get a touch of that real movies scenes. The quality and the vibrance as well. i would recommend you, if you have a DSLR, get a 35 mm prime lens.  Or a 50 mm. feel the difference. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Trip to Jabel Jais - Highest peak in UAE

jabel jais

Jabel Hafeet in Al ain is taking all the credits for the best mountain roads ever in UAE. Well that not true. you may need to reconsider the place called Jabel Jais, situated in the Ras al Khaima emirate near to the border of Oman, also another destination into your trip dairy.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dubai to Khasab,Mussandam by road

Khasab is the small capital city of mussandam peninsula, of Oman - has frequently been dubbed as the "Norway of Arabia" because of its extensive fjord-like craggy inlets and desolate mountainscapes. Its basically nothing but some barren lands and mountains with extremely amazing views and camping spots. If you are a resident of UAE then you can go there through border posts with out any problems in your own Vehicle.

I am writing this travelogue to help those who are planing to travel by roads to khasab from  UAE. Our plan was to start early in the morning, cover the long distance on road as soon as possible, pass the border and head for different maimum possible location in Khasab. A Pit stop at Ras al khaima, before the border for lunch and refueling and some shopping for filling up the trunk with food items and water. We had no intention to go for overnight camping. In fact some of our friends are there so they will be hanging out  with us later on all along the travel. 

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