Featured Photographer 2: Dan Watanabe

Our trips offer photographers, both amateur and semi-professional, the opportunity to take amazing photographs! Over the next few weeks I will feature work from a few of our guests – I hope you like their pictures as much as I do.

This week we are featuring Dan Watanabe, who has give us this bio to share with you.

“I was born in the southwest in Germany in the early 1970’s. As I was a pre-teenager my grandfather, he was an enthusiastic photographer, gave me my first camera. I still remember it was a Yashica, an analogue camera, at that time a digital camera was something you would see in a science fiction film.

If you expect now that that this was the starting point for glamorous career as a photographer – I have to disappoint you. I hadn’t interests in photography and hardly shot a full film (the older readers might remember that are 36 images) per year.

Life went on and I developed plenty of interests as a student, not only such interests as the almost mandatory dedication to the big B’s like Beer, Bars and Burgers, but also sailing, scuba diving, and, and, and…. But still no photography.

As my student life ended and work started I had a better financial background for more travelling, ironically less time for it though. However, travelling started to get me interested in Photography. Additionally I read that about 20% of humans above 85 years of age suffer from Alzheimers*. So I simply wanted to catch some of these precious sights to look through on on my 85th birthday, as well as to share with my family and friends before that day of course.

My professional life as a naval architect and ship classification surveyor led me from Germany to China for 10 years and then to the UAE for the time being. These locations also influenced my main interests in photography, landscapes and cityscapes. The best time to shoot pictures for me are early morning, evening and night, as at other times the light can be too bright, hard and short shadow throwing daytime light.

Thank you for reading and may the light be with you!

Dan”

*Source Wikipedia (Germany)

Desert Trips

Marina’s trips

“Our family of three met Marina and her husband Neil at an outdoor exhibition in Dubai. We just moved to Dubai in the same year and were keen to go for overlanding and were looking for family friendly camping trips in the desert and mountains.

For our family Marina’s self-driving trip are just perfect! Due to her knowledge she leads her guests to places with stunning scenery, places which would be hard to find for someone without a guide. On top of that Marina’s trips include guiding the convoy safely through different terrains as well as food and water, help (by recovery) and introduction to offroading  for newbies. Her tours are very handy for a families with both parents working or camping / overlanding beginners.”

Flora and Fauna

Dogs

Dan and his family have joined one of our trips in 2016, when we had our two desert dogs in the UAE, then again in 2017 when we and our hounds had moved to Oman. He snapped some lovely photos of them (which Marina treasures, since her beautiful hound Rahaal died of cancer aged just 5 in 2019)

Dan uses a variety of cameras

Camera 1: Nikon D3S body

Preferred lenses: AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G ED and AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Camera 2: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Preferred lenses: Panasonic Lumix 8-18mm, f2.8-4.0 ASP, M. Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 and M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO

As additional toys:

GoPro Hero 6 and drone DJI Spark

Sunrises and Sunsets
Thank you Dan for capturing all these wonderful images on my trips!

PS

The pic below is one of my favourites – if ever there was a picture which said “happiness”, then this surely must be it!