Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Big News!

August 26th, 2010

Hello everyone!

I’m very happy to announce that my brand spanking new website is up and running!

The new website looks way cooler, runs more smoothly, contains a number of new pictures, changes to the galleries and even has a shiny new feature – a password accessible client area. :)

My thanks to the excellent team at Creative Motion Design for the web design and their help (I’m useless at all this tech stuff) in the smooth transition.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank you all so very much for your continued support. As of the time of writing this I’ve hit 11,173 individual visitors to my website and blog! :)

Cheers!

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Posted in Interesting Stuff, News, Updates | Comments (2)

A Full Revolution (Around the Sun)

July 17th, 2010

This is a special day. Today marks the one-year anniversary of my website and blog!

One full revolution around the sun completed!

In that time, some 9,000 individual visitors have checked out my website and blog. :)

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over this last year. I’ve learnt much in that time.

Today I want to share with you photographs by a master whose work I’ve recently gotten introduced to and fallen in love with. Those of Yousef Karsh (December 23, 1908 – July 13, 2002).

That shot of Churchill glowering at the camera? His. Taken just after Karsh had plucked Churchill’s ever-present cigar from his mouth.

Another of my favourites is his portrait of Pablo Casals.

You can check out Yousef Karsh’s official website here. :)

Thank you again for all your support. Stay safe. And check in often. There’ll be much more coming soon!

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Posted in Interesting Stuff, News | Comments (3)

The HDR Debate

April 10th, 2010

Before I disappeared, a debate seemed to be raging online regarding the value of HDR imaging and techniques (or lack thereof, depending on which side of the debate you stand on).

It started with Dave Cross’s post called “The Debate Over HDR” and was soon followed by a response to one of the comments on that post by Scott Kelby (here’s the link to Kelby’s post). The various views and commentary were very interesting to me and led me to re-examine the reasons why I now enjoy HDR imagery.

The debate may have died down since the above-mentioned posts were published, but I thought I would share my two cents with you anyway.

Some time ago I really disliked the idea of HDR. I felt, like some commentators, that HDR was perhaps a way of rendering an otherwise uninteresting image interesting. In some cases I still say it may serve that way. However on the whole, as I’ve come to learn to use the effect and it’s uses and limitations, I’ve come around to changing my views. My friend Dan and his work gave the first push that got me on the way to converting. He was a big proponent of HDR way before I ever was.

I now sometimes do shoot something with the express purpose of creating an HDR image. And I occasionally even feel that some images work better in HDR; Sometimes, there’s no way to light a scene the way I would like to capture the image I have in my mind, and HDR is often of help to me there. In those cases particularly, it may give me a certain flexibility that could only be rivalled by an army of assistants and an inconceivable (for me) collection of speedlights and gels. That last is perhaps not a very practical option. Especially considering I’m mostly a shooter out on his own, with (maybe) one speedlight (and at most two) and no assistants.

That said, HDR and other tools at the disposal of the modern photographer are methods of expressing a certain vision of the world around us. So, is HDR less challenging? Yes, almost certainly. But does that make HDR less worthy? In this photographer’s eye – not always. Scott Kelby put it very nicely “HDR is an effect like any other effect”.

My two cents now spent, I propose to share with you images of two different subjects. Each subject has both an HDR image (created from 7 different exposures) and a “standard” variant. The aim being to showcase the large difference between the two styles as I’ve experienced them (and the different visions of a same subject that can thus be expressed).

The first two images below are of a tower of the Hili Fort in Al Ain. I prefer the subtler tones and shades of the “standard” photograph, but enjoy the striking quality the tone mapping has given the clouds in the HDR image, as well as the detail brought out in the walls of the tower. Those friends of mine I’ve asked have come back fairly equally divided as to their preference on this one.

The second set of images below is of one of the towers at the late Sheikh Zayed’s Palace, also in Al Ain.

In the “standard” photograph, to achieve the effect you see here I exposed for the sky and lit the foreground with an SB900 speedlight. Some of the light bounced onto the wall of the palace and its tower, giving it some detail instead of making it some sharp shadow against the twilight sky.

I very much enjoy both images, but my favourite is by far the “standard” image. That’s partly due to the colour of the sky, but it may also be a measure of pride – I used the limited gear I had at my disposal to get precisely the image I was aiming for.

The challenge of it, and the satisfaction of having achieved marks the “standard” image as special to me. By comparison, the HDR variant was not as big a challenge as it’s a significantly more forgiving and much more flexible process.

Your thoughts and comments welcome, as always.

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Posted in Travel/Urban | Comments (7)

Joe in Abu Dhabi

April 9th, 2010

Joe McNally, one of my favourite photographers, was in Abu Dhabi for a workshop and I missed it.

Why, you ask? Well, cause I’m out of town and didn’t hear about it, probably.

Check out his blog post (littered with awesome shots) on the workshop he conducted in Abu Dhabi here.

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Gone Fishing

October 9th, 2009

Yay! I’m gonna be travelling for a much needed break for some two weeks or so.

My access to the ‘net may be sporadic at best, so I doubt I’ll be able to post any new stuff until after my return.

I look forward to having loads of pictures to share with you when I get back (including some underwater shots).

Until then, I leave you with this picture I took in the Abu Dhabi Airport’s Terminal 1. I love this building. I think it’s brilliantly designed. It may be a relic of the 70s to some, but to me it’s a sign I’m home. It just oozes so much character – making the only airport in the world I’ve been to (and I’ve been to a fair few) where I’m always instantly at ease. The new one may be all fancy and glitzy, but it feels somewhat generic. But this terminal well… it’s unique. Am I just nostalgic? Perhaps. All I know is, I’d rather keep flying out of it and returning to it, and I’ll be very very sorry to see it go if they ever decide to scrap it (please don’t!).

Ye Olde Airport

I also leave you with a link to some 80 awesome high-speed shots: here.

Catch you when I get back! Ta!

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Posted in Interesting Stuff, Travel/Urban | Comments (0)

Moi. A Portrait

October 1st, 2009

A while back I decided to fool around with some light. Just to see what combinations worked and how. A little experimentation, if you will.

So I made a self portrait.

Looking through the small collection of pictures I took that day again, I realised that I’m wearing the same suit and combination of shirt and tie. In the words of Dr. Horrible: What a crazy random happenstance!

(You absolutely MUST see Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog. It is Joss Whedon at his very very best. It’s a short, hilarious tragicomedy musical – or rather: a “tragic-romantic-comedy-musical-satire” – that he made when bored during the 2007-2008 Writer’s Guild of America strike. It was shot over 6 days on a shoe-string budget and was after released for free on the Web. If you’re in the US, you can stream it from the Hulu plugin on the DHSAB website, else, you can view DHSAB in three Acts on YouTube here: Act I (Part I and Part II), Act II (Part I and Part II), Act III (Part I and Part II).)

Anyway, I digressed. Seeing as I’m wearing the same combination as I write this, I’ve decided to share with you a self-portrait from that shoot.

I set my D700 on a mini tripod very close to the floor, and set two flashes: one to camera left inside the doorway with a diffusion dome attached (white light), and the other to camera left, gelled warm with a full CTO and with a makeshift snoot so the light was directed only at my face (warm – as in: slightly orange – light).

So here it is.

Self Portrait

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Posted in Portraits | Comments (6)

Subscriptions

September 8th, 2009

It seems the FollowSite subscriptions (through the “Subscribe/Follow” button at the bottom of each post) are proving rather unrealiable and many of you have told me that you’re not recieving updates whenever there’s a new post.

Given this problem, I’ll be removing the FollowSite application from the blog in the coming day or two to give a chance for you to switch over to the infinitely more reliable Feedburner subscription options (via both RSS and email) which you can find in the right-hand column.

Should you like, you can find out more about RSS here.

Do let me know if you continue to have problems with the subscriptions. Cheers!

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Posted in Updates | Comments (0)

The Wandering Photographer

August 19th, 2009

Today is my good friend Dan’s birthday!

Soon, Dan is about to begin a new chapter in a rather well-lived life. After much soul-searching, he has decided to leave the UAE to travel the world hunting for the light. He has decided to combine his travel dreams with a jump into the world of professional photography. And more power to him.

He is passionate, dedicated to his art, has a great eye and a thirst for new experiences.

And he has a number of projects up his sleeve.

I dare say he’ll go far.

That said, it saddens me to see him go. I’m going to miss him. But I’m very proud of him for having the faith to make the leap where many others in his position otherwise wouldn’t, and for having the courage and conviction to follow his dreams.

In view of his imminent departure, he’s set up a photo blog on which you can track his adventures. Check it out here.

You can also see Dan’s fantastic work on his website. And for a behind-the-scenes look at some of his work, check here.

On that note, I’m off to celebrate with Dan.

Happy birthday buddy!

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Posted in Friends | Comments (2)

Subscription Options!

August 17th, 2009

You can now subscribe to the Blog via RSS and email!

Just click on the appropriate icon (you can find one below each post, or in the sidebar to the right).

Enjoy!

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It's Live!

July 24th, 2009

Hi there!

Well, it’s live! Welcome to my little corner of the Web. :)

I hope you’ll enjoy my website and blog.

From time to time I’ll be posting news in respect of my photography, projects, and any updates to my website.

I look forward to your comments and feedback.

Warmest,

Ziad

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Ziad Salloum Photography & The Desert Jerboa by Ziad Salloum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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