Photoessay: Blue gulf

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Flying in and out of Doha is pretty spectacular – not just because of the flight path around Doha itself, but the route taken up the Arab Gulf thanks to Qatar’s…’issues’ with its neighbours. The  intense blue and cyan colors of the sea contrast spectacularly with the desert sand; made even more intense by sunshine unblocked by clouds. The amount of terraforming and reclamation that’s happened in the whole area is an impressive testament to the money flowing out of the ground – and modern engineering. Oddly enough, it reminded me of the set I shot over the Sunset Coast of Western Australia. I always try to fly this route simply because the view is spectacular and occupies at least an hour of the flight; fortunately this time I lucked out with a plane with windows that were both new/clean and didn’t have that annoying dimmable LED shade that looks clear, but actually is completely impossible to shoot through. MT

This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S and my custom SOOC JPEG profiles.

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Prints from this series are available on request.


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved


  1. Ming, i really enjoyed these, but i was even more blown away by the photos of yours from Australia you linked to…hard not to conclude, after looking at these, that there is a god, and that he/she is an avid impressionist painter. Craig

    • Thanks. The difference is I had a chartered plane for ‘Over Australia’ and both the ability to direct the pilot and fly at 1,500ft altitude; you can’t really do that on commercial flights 😉

      Could it be the other way around? We are impressionist painters as a consequence of seeing things briefly from further away, and in reality the entire world can be interpreted in such a fashion?

  2. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I hope they’re aware of the risk of rising sea levels, with global warming!
    We usually fly Qatar – great airline – we were actually booked for a trip through Czechoslovakia, Austria and Hungary when the pandemic broke and we had to cancel. Leaving Qatar at Praha (AKA Prague) and rejoining them at Budapest, at the end of our trip.

    • I suspect the tides etc. change even more rapidly with the shifting of underlying sandbanks; would like to think their engineers took taht into account too for the immediate term…

      Qatar is also my favorite airline for both service quality and network reach…they probably have the most intelligently done scheduling of any of the airlines I’ve flown, with never more than a 2-3 hour layover in Doha regardless of where you’re connecting to. And the Qsuites are something else entirely…

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