I had posted on an expatriate networking website about my ‘Man and his Machine’ photo project. Within hours Mr Hazem wrote to me that he wanted to participate! I took his eagerness seriously and decided to photograph him. He owns a Ducati Monster and an Audi TT. The shoot was scheduled the same weekend. Then he called me to tell me that he would be leaving Doha and returning to Perth Australia, where he hails from.
He had sold his Audi TT and will be selling his Ducati within the next few days! I quickly shuffled my shoot programs, informed others about the postponement and decided to shoot Hazem first. Wednesday 29th February 2012. I chose the Corniche (Doha’s 7km palm-fringed waterfront promenade) and a few shots against the Amiri Diwan as the background – so Hazem could take good memories of Doha with him. The Amiri Diwan government complex consists of the offices of the Amir (the ruler), the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, as well as the Council of Ministers’ buildings. The complex is the symbolic, ceremonial and administrative centre of the State.
The shoot was scheduled for the wee hours of the morning, hoping to catch some dawn light. We met at 4am. Funny that we are meeting for the first time then, and within 2 minutes I had to commence the shoot. I had brought along a brick so Haz could take his bike over the curb, without much effort. He rolled his bike over to the edge of the jogging track. We were cautious of the police as no bikes and bicycles were allowed there. We prepared ourself mentally on how to handle the police, and immediately put it behind out head to concentrate on the shoot. Shoot took place in two locations. The second location was Al Riwaq in Corniche, Doha’s warehouse-style art space by the Islamic Art Museum, showing Takashi Murakami Ego’s famed art works.
Hazem had to get back home by 7 am and I had less than 2 hours to get the best out of the situation. No police. No dawn’s first light. But we made best use of available light, and my off-camera flash. No doubt the images could have been much better if I had more time in hand. Overall not bad, I would say. That evening Hazem sold his bike.
The Monster (informally called Il Mostro in Italian) is a motorcycle designed by Miguel Angel Galluzzi and produced by Ducati Motor Holding in Bologna, Italy since 1993. It is a ‘naked bike’ characterized by an exposed engine and frame. Ducati’s official website has this to say about the newer models of Monster: “The ‘less-is-more’ philosophy that made the Monster a motorcycling icon is now further enhanced to redefine your naked expectations”. The deliberate use of the trellis frame in the Ducati monster is an integral part of the motorcycle’s design allowing for both aesthetic appeal and for structural efficiency. Ducati motorcycles use almost exclusively 90° V-twin engines, which they call L-twins. In 2005, Monster sales accounted for over half of Ducati’s worldwide sales.