Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk, Abu Dhabi

Traditional fishing boats in Abu Dhabi, in the early morning light

Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk has been running for 11 years. It is held on the first Saturday of October each year when photographers around the world meet up to socialise and take photos of their surroundings. It really is a worldwide phenomenon, as the walks happen annually in nearly 1,000 cities around the world. The walk also supports the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage, an organisation that feeds, houses, educates and empowers young orphans, so they can grow up to not just survive, but to succeed.

This year I was lucky enough to join two walks in Abu Dhabi, one beginning at 5:30 am, and the other at 4:30 pm. For both walks, my leader was Marvin Nuto (philosopher, fine artist, professional photographer, educator, and public speaker).

The first walk was around the Al Meena Fish Market. Located on Port Zayed, an important international port for trade. Al Meena Fish Market is one of the few remaining historical areas of Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, the day was hot, humid, and very foggy, but we persevered.

Marvin photographing one of the iconic fish restaurants near the fish market

We walked down the harbourside, where we saw fishermen constructing traditional fishing nets.

These nets are towed behind the fishing boats to trap the fish

We left the quayside and entered the fish market. As we entered through a small door, I was amazed at the size of the place, and how busy it was. Workers were fully engaged in wheeling in and loading the fish onto slabs, ready for sale.

The fish looked and smelled really fresh

This man was delighted to show us the size of this Kingfish

The evening walk started on Manarat Al Saadiyat. This is a purpose-built art and culture centre with many galleries housing collections from both international and local artists. They also hold a number of different exhibits and concerts throughout the year.

There was a really interesting photography exhibition, with wonderful
images by local photographers

The entrance to Manarat Al Saadiyat.

From there we went to the Louvre, Abu Dhabi, in the hopes of capturing some interesting sunset shots. Unfortunately, because of the high temperatures and humidity, we weren’t as successful as we hoped, but we did get some interesting shots.

I like this one of the restaurant in the evening light. What do you think?

Lights gradually coming on inside the museum, as daylight fades

Scot Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk is a great way to explore a city and take home great memories. Thank you Scot Kelby, and my leader on these walks, Marvin Nuto.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Finding Motivation in Unexpected Places

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This was an article of mine that was published by Great Escape Publishing in their Breakfast Stock Club Newsletter.

Finding Motivation in Unexpected Places
By Elizabeth Coughlan

I sometimes think procrastination is my middle name. I seem to be busy all and every day, but really have little to show for all my endeavours. I’m always saying, “I must get around to it.", and then go off on a tangent finding other things to do.

No more! I recently had two wakeup calls that have finally spurred me into action. The first was from Lori Allen at Great Escape Publishing, who started a recent newsletter with:

“Dear Elizabeth,Why are you here?Is it freedom you’re after?  Is it creativity?  Is it income?”

And then went on to say, “Some just want a quiet income and a pat on the back every once in a while, from friends who say behind your back: “Elizabeth takes really great photos.”

I gasped, “Oh, no, that’s me all over.”

I’m happy with just making a little something from my stock images, but I could really do much better. While I was mulling this over, I looked at my horoscope for the month. I couldn’t believe what I read. It said:

“This is the perfect time to take stock and figure out where you want to go... Time to realign with your purpose, Elizabeth, and set new energies into motion!”

Now anyone who knows me is aware I am a stock photographer, but the online muse didn’t know, and was obviously referring to something else.

Hilarious or what?

But I took it as a sign to get moving. So I’m now going into overdrive with my submissions, with great results. In fact, I have amazed myself with my recent sales. Here are some shots I recently took in Australia, that have been selling well:

They illustrate the terrible drought they have been having recently.

I am processing and uploading every day, instead of just occasionally when I get around to it, and instead of my year’s target of 500 stock images in my portfolios, I have doubled that figure to 1,000 to achieve by the end of the year.

So thanks for the motivation Great Escape Publishing, and to whoever writes those horoscopes.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Chocolate Master Class, Southern Sun, Abu Dhabi

Our Chocolate masterclass attendees

The Expat Women’s group, here in Abu Dhabi, organized a Chocolate Master Class at the Southern Sun Hotel, followed by high tea. We had a fun afternoon learning about how chocolate delicacies are made, by Don Munasinghe, the Executive Pastry Chef at the hotel.

 Don described the contents of the various types of chocolate

 Don’s assistant was Sameera

They showed us an assortment of chocolate and fillings
which we couldn’t resist tasting

Don had prepared some empty chocolate bases and showed us how to add the filling

Then we had to try it for ourselves

Our efforts were a little less than pristine

I must confess to making the most mess trying to squirt the blueberry filling into the bases. Whereas Don’s fillings were exact with no added mess, mine, especially, definitely missed the mark on occasions.

Rolling dark chocolate truffle

While our filled trays were cooling in the fridge, Don showed us how to roll Dark Truffle Chocolate into balls, and then cover them in chocolate powder. His were perfectly spherical and all the same, while ours were a little oddly shaped, and different sizes. Obviously needs more practice.

Our chocolate master showing us how to make the chocolate bases

At each step, Don explained about the equipment that was best to use, and also how important it is to get the temperature of the chocolate right at each stage. Once the chocolate has melted, it has to be cooled to between 28 and 30 degrees before it is put into a mould. Then it must be quickly processed before it becomes too hard.

Some of the ladies did very well

I decided not to try this, as I was sure mine would end up all over the floor. I am not renowned for my culinary skills. Unfortunately, because I so obviously hung back, I was pushed forward when Don demonstrated how to wrap a cake in chocolate.

Can you tell which is mine and which is the one Don made?
The clue might be in the chocolatey fingerprints I managed to leave. 

Don mixed white and dark chocolate…

…smoothed them together, and pushed out stems…

…and then petals, to the amazement of us all.

 Our Master Chocolatier with our final masterpieces

After the class, it was time for tea. Here are some of the delights.



This was such a fun activity, and everyone enjoyed it immensely. If ever you get the chance to attend a Chocolate Master Class at the Southern Sun Hotel, don’t hesitate. No one minds if you make a mess, there’s absolutely no pressure. I am smiling now just thinking about it.

Elizabeth coughlan


Reflecting on Architecture in Abu Dhabi, UAE

I often find myself gazing at buildings in Abu Dhabi, as it has such amazing architecture; but one thing I absolutely love is when I see a building reflected on another building. I find the patterns fascinating.

This morning, I was down at the pool for my morning swim, and, as I completed my lengths, I couldn’t help noticing the patterns surrounding me. So here is a selection of what I could see this morning.

Turquoise reflections in windows

 Orange and blue

Reflection in a window

Reflection of a tall tower

 Glass tower in a glass tower

 Wiggly lines in blue

 Reflections in the pool where I swim

 Patterns all over

The weather is heating up here in Abu Dhabi, but I really need to take my camera and walk around the city to photograph all those amazing reflections before it becomes unbearably hot. Abu Dhabi is amazing!
Elizabeth Coughlan

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I couldn't resist this one!