Apr 4, 2013

Pleasure to eyes: A Night At Nahr Ibrahim

*We Own The Light*, Courtesy of Night Collective
At first I thought there will only be 6,7, or 10 of us maximum. We were a convoy at that night.

Yes indeed, that was my first time out with the Night Collective team of photographers. They gather every now and then and spend the night somewhere for the sake of night photography. The wonderful part is wherever they go, their outcome is always fascinating. Having been constantly watching their trips, they surely raised the bar of night photography, well, to me at least.

"Night collective convoy", courtesy of Alain Khoury
More than 25 amazing photographers gathered at several meeting points along the road from Beirut to Nahr Ibrahim. We started out two cars from Beirut, Sin el Fil. The growing number of participating cars grabbed my attention; I knew we weren't a few, not at all. We were about 11 cars at least, according to Gaby, one of the event's organizers.

I threw my Tripod in the back of Rami's car and wore my jacket knowing how cold it would be when we drop off, especially with having a flowing river as your evening's companion.

Tarek Interviewing Antoine, Courtesy of Joseph Saadeh
The evening started with a quick brief to inform new participants of what to expect and with whom to talk to, just in case. Wanna know the funniest part though? It was actually the group photo. I really had a blast only to have a bunch of people knowing exactly how to behave in front of a long exposure shot. No wonder though, eventually they were all photographers :3

"The night scavenger", courtesy of Natheer Halawani
I admit I felt uncomfortable with my gear: All I had was my D7000 and two primes, a 50/1.4 and a 35/1.8, not wide enough to take landscapes, although the large aperture might have been a luring attraction. But, as I always believed, everything happens for a reason: That night was the night I had the chance to try the Rokinon fisheye lens for the first time, and meet a family member. The lens belonged to another Halawani I met there, who was so kind enough to lend me his 350$ lens for the night. Here's one of the best pics I took with the new wide angle lens. It felt like boss!

I was so glad to have been with these people. Meeting NC was the highlight of my week, something that I desperately needed. I personally learned so much that night. I now know what gear to bring next time I go to a night photography excursion. The basic essentials are a tripod (obviously), a laser light to help the camera focus, a headlight to be able to see, and a heavy-duty flashlight for light painting. A wide angle lens is a must, unless all you want to photograph was the flow of the river or a few night portraits.

An enormous shout-out goes out for the organizers, among which I remember Karim Bou Karim and Gaby Nehme. Being an organizer myself, I know how hectic it is to bring together this amount of people, choose a location (and most probably visiting it at least once a few days before), offering help and sacrificing their time for the sake of reaching out for those who need a hand. That was a gigantic effort being put there, and they really deserve the thank yous.

For more info about their activities, here's their Facebook group "Night Collective". As for me, I know I'll join them again and again whenever our plans meet.


  1. I've certainly enjoyed your words.

  2. was nice meeting u Nath :) and thx for the lovely words :) see u next events