Archive for May, 2012

Election day

Went to see a polling station near my house today and the queues were surprisingly small. By 9:30am the sun was scorching. Some women bought along their colourful umbrellas that provided them some shade whilst they waited to cast their vote.


Pre election news

Watched a classic Woody Allen film yesterday called Bananas, which is more of a comedy. Yet with all woody Allen films this one was about relationships with his trademark humour, that only he can get away with.

So Egyptian elections are being held tomorrow and thursday, and the atmosphere is rife with talk about who people think should win. You can’t go anywhere without someone asking for your opinion. I’m not Egyptian so how would I know? Why ask an expat, what is best for Egypt? I must admit that I’ve not been following the election trail until recently and even then I couldn’t give an opinion on who is best for the country. All I can comment on is the fact that all the candidates are past their sell by date.

Lets see what’s being said out there…

Ed Husain has some interesting opinions, even if I don’t necessarily agree with him on most occasions

and my favourite one of his..

Journalist Evan Hill


Election photo story

The Guardian 

Egypt election: nationalist Hamdeen Sabahy offers third way

Muslim Brotherhood stages show of strength on eve of Egyptian election

A Cairo Minute

Check out mine and my partners pictures from our project A Cairo Minute, on the photo journalist website Renounce/Reverb

Election colours

So elections in two days, but as usual life goes on. People still getting on with their daily routine. Today I bought some vegetables and fresh fruit. Pretty mundane, but that’s life moving on.

Saw a massive Abd al Fatooh rally in a park in Zamalek on friday, with jubilant supporters waving vibrant orange flags with his face embedded on them. Orange the colour that has come to symbolise his campaign. Orange the colour that is associated with joy and represents enthusiasm, creativity, determination, attraction and success.

Abu Al Fatooh. Picture taken from the internet

So what colours are the other candidates using?

Amr Mousa

Amr Mousa strikes a dignified pose. Picture taken from internet

Amr Mousa looks relaxed, without a tie, his top shirt button undone and his hands placed in his pocket. Image taken from the internet

His Election posters are reminiscent of hollywood movies with the camera angled from below to make him appear tall and powerful. He is looking into the distance, contemplating the future of Egypt, and looks serious and in control. Exactly what egypt needs right now. His posters also feature mosques and churches in the background, telling us that he supports all people no matter what faith and also that his supporters are people from every background.

His second poster shows a more relaxed looking candidate, one who isn’t afraid to let loose, take off his tie and smile showing his perfectly whitened teeth. Its very unusual for a candidate to smile open mouthed, so I was shocked to see this, but I think it works well. Even though he’s 76 the relax manner gives him a certain youth like quality.

His posters feature the colour blue. Blue is calming for the mind and body, but symbolises piety and sincerity and is linked to consciousness and intellect. It is also a strong masculine colour.

Muhammad Morsee

Muhammad Morsee. Image taken from the internet

Morsee’s election poster is not about gimmicks. Theres no fancy Hollywood graphics . Here he just looks straight at the voters and says politely “Vote for me”. The colour red on his poster is associated with fire and blood and also love, energy, vitality, power, passion and determination. He wants the people to know that he’s the one to bring a change to Egypt.

Ahmed Shafiq

Ahmed Shafiq means business. His poster says “Action, not just talk” Image taken from the internet

His poster shows a faintly smiling Shafiq who wants your votes. Plain and simple. The blue symbolises knowledge, integrity and seriousness.

So an election poster isn’t just a poster but a vital tool in controlling how a person casts their vote. Colours affect us more than we realise and maybe when we decide who we will vote for, we determine our choices based on the poster, without even realising it. So next time you see one of these campaigns, stop and think about the colours, images and the tag lines.

For more information on what colours represent check this website out

Smaller camera vs an SLR

Recently we decided to purchase a new camera and were debating the merits of an SLR over a smaller camera e.g a Leica. Then I came across a blog post by Eric Kim on the merits of using a smaller camera. It’s given me something to think about, and I would recommend it if your having trouble just like me, in deciding.

Printing workshop

Yesterday I had opportunity to go to a printing workshop in Giza, Cairo, located just near the famous toblerone shaped pyramids. It was fascinating to see the process of printing leaflets, and how books are made from every stage starting from the printing, gluing, and cutting to create a perfect product. There was various machines in charge of different tasks, with my  favourite being one that resembles a wheel. All the pages of a book are slotted into the compartment and the wheel spins round where glue is attached to the spine by another part of the machine, the cover pushed onto the glued, and then the final process is the machine closing the book together. Genius.

This particular workshop prints leaflets, posters (most recently election posters), school text books and packaging for pharmaceutical companies.

Printing plates

Checking plates for dust and then wetting it before putting into machine to start the printing process

Checking sample plate for mistakes in colour and print

Finished product

Andreas Gursky

Shopping in the beast that is Carrefour yesterday, I was reminded of the genius photographer Andreas Gursky who did a whole series of pictures set in a discount store in the U.S. I admire the composition of the shots and the colourful nature, along with the serious message of over consumption. It makes you view your surroundings in a totally different way.

Check out this site for more of his wonderful work