Monday, 23 April 2012

Taking Photo's in Saudi

I needed a new camera because I love taking photo's in Saudi, capturing it's uniqueness on film (even though I have a digital camera, but you get the picture).  There is so much to see in Saudi.  Not that I'm much good with a camera.  Considering good angles is not my thing.  I'm more of a point and shoot amateur.

Of course, pointing and shooting should be done with care.  Although taking photo's in public places has been allowed since 2006, there are still a few issues such as:
- not eveybody knows the new rules
- there are those who don't care about the new rules.
- local ladies, covered or otherwise, should be avoided on film if possible.
- it's just polite to ask everybody else
- royal palaces and other property considered private require permission to take pics. 
- military types are on the 'best to avoid' list as are government buildings with signs stating 'no photography', or something similar.

Everything else is yours to click away at.

My old camera was a, ummmm......... not very flash.  So a shopping trip was in order.   We decided to go to Xtra, mainly because we couldn't think where there was any other camera shop in Riyadh.  The criteria for a new camera wasn't terribly complex - take nice photos that can be uploaded to blogs, has a good zoom function for still and video but most importantly, fits into my little handbag.

That last criteria did limit my options a little.

It was also the criteria the sales guy had issues with.  He kept showing me camera's that needed their own carry cases even after repeating v-e-r-y  slowly that I wanted a camera that can be easily carried in my handbag.

He can't be blamed for mis-understanding my request.  Most women in Riyadh have king size handbags.   Usually designer label - Coach, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Prada, Fendi, Gucci, Marc Jacobs.  You name it, it's here.

Googling 'Handbags' brought up this picture.
My large bag, the one usually lugged around on my shoulders, is not designer label.  It was made for me by my mate Penny.  All manner of things are stuffed into my large bag including my rather dated camera.

This particular night, the night I went camera shopping, I was carrying my little hand bag.  It was brought along specifically to ensure any camera under consideration would fit easily into it.  Often times the occasions I attend require the use of a smart, tidy, trendy little handbag and I like to take my camera to capture whatever may go down.  Hence my criteria that a new camera fit into this handbag. 

It wasn't until I showed Mr Salesman said handbag that he stopped his enthusiastic salesman pitch and paid attention to what I was requesting.  He was also slightly taken back.
'That's your handbag?'
Oh! he says, raising his eyebrows and appraising my handbag with the practised scrutiny of one who knows a thing or two about handbags.

Men with opinions on handbags isn't it?

As he was raising an eyebrow at my handbag, I was raising my own while looking at him with an 'Is there a problem?' look.   He 'tsks' with the air of one who has resigned himself to the fact that an expensive sale is not pending and points out a camera that will fit in my handbag describing, with slightly less enthusiasm than previously, it's benefits.

Hubster returns from his wander through the range of stereo speakers (even though we don't have a stereo but looking at stereo speakers while in a shop that stocks them is a man thing), has a look at the camera I've selected and nods his approval because, not only does it fit in my handbag, it's not so small it gets lost in his hands and he can't manage the dials and buttons easily because every now and then he likes to snap a few pictures too.

So, I can take photo's in Saudi, or anywhere else I may travel to, with my new camera though a few lessons on photography are definitely still required.

Ka Kite,

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