Posts Tagged ‘emirates’

Etihad Towers 360

March 3rd, 2012

Serendipity. Sometimes it hits you.

The day I took this shot, I was waiting for a few friends outside their new apartment in the stunning new Etihad Towers buildings in Abu Dhabi. While they showed up, I decided to try ou my new 8mm Sigma fisheye lens.

This is the result. One of the first shots I took with the fisheye.

Needless to say, I’m loving this lens.

More to come soon!

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Alone

November 29th, 2010

This is a shot from my archives. It was a test shot I made with my then-new 50mm prime lens. For some reason, I keep coming back to it.

So here it is.

What caught my eye was the way the light hit the cup. The scene is at one of the restaurants at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

On another note, check out the following:

More coming soon!

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Community Art Auction – Green Abu Dhabi

October 25th, 2010

Alright!

Green Abu Dhabi’s Community Art Auction is here!

As you know, Green Abu Dhabi is a grass roots initiative – an art show focusing on the environment and sustainable development, the aim of which is to promote awareness of some of the issues facing the rapidly developing Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

I’ve had the honour of being selected as one of the contributing artists to the show’s Community Art Auction event which will take place tomorrow, 26/10/2010, at the Emirates Heritage Club in Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi at 7:30pm.

I will be auctioning off 3 photos (yep only 3 this time, unfortunately) to raise money for the Future Center for Special Needs Children in Abu Dhabi and the World Wildlife Fund’s Abu Dhabi initiatives.

Check out the feature on the Community Art Auction in the excellent Abu Dhabi Week magazine.

You can also check out Green Abu Dhabi’s website here and facebook page here.

Below is one of the three images I am submitting for the Community Art Auction tomorrow:

Come one, come all! Spread the word! Join us tomorrow, be merry, meet your friends, have fun – and bid, bid, bid! Is all for charity!

On another note:

More coming soon!

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Birds on a Mosque

October 16th, 2010

This was taken earlier this year on a trip to Hatta, UAE.

More coming soon!

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Going Green

October 14th, 2010

Green Abu Dhabi, an art show focusing on the environment and sustainable development, started just yesterday and will be running for 3 weeks.

The impact of a rapidly developing economy and community on the environment can be huge. The show aims to raise awareness, and highlight the challenges faced by such a community going forward.

You can check out Green Abu Dhabi’s Facebook page here.

Green Abu Dhabi features a core exhibition by 5 emerging artists in Abu Dhabi and supported by a number of events and other exhibitions, including a Community Art Auction, where community artists will be auctioning off some of their work. A portion of proceeds of all sales of artwork and merchandise at Green Abu Dhabi will be going towards the WWF-EWS, the Future Center for Special Needs Children of Abu Dhabi, and the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services.

I will be one of the community artists who’ll be displaying and auctioning off a few pictures. All proceeds of the sales of my work will go to charity.

If you’re in Abu Dhabi don’t miss it! Come one, come all, come strong, tell your friends, spread the word!

The picture above was taken on a recent snorkelling trip.

More coming soon!

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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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An Experiment in HDR

December 24th, 2009

Abu Dhabi is undergoing a transformation.

Its urban landscape is changing. And it’s not just limited to the skyline: The urban planning authorities have in their wisdom decided to expand certain roads, divert others and build new ones.

A pedestrian walkway was built across one of the city’s expanded arteries. I took my camera and tripod up there one evening after work with the aim of experimenting a little with HDR, a technique I’m not very familiar with as yet despite the odd dabbling, here and there.

The difficulty in getting a good HDR image in processing afterwards was due to the movement of the vehicles in the frame. I understand that creation of an HDR image from movement should be ideally created from tone mapping a single shot. Still, this is all a learning process, no?

Here are some of the results:

ExperimentInHDR-1

ExperimentInHDR-2

Each of the images below was created from 7 exposures. Overkill, perhaps? Almost certainly. 5 exposures May have been more than adequate.

Each picture was taken with a Nikon D700, with a Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens set at f11, ISO 200, 24mm. The shortest exposure was 1/3 sec. The longest was 20 seconds for the first image, and 30 seconds for the second.

For the second image, I converted the colour HDR image into black and white after processing was complete and liked it much better that way.

Speaking of HDR, and photography in general, I have recently come across an excellent Dubai-based photography website and blog which I am enjoying very much. It’s called Momentary Awe. Check it out here.

More pictures coming soon. Until then, Merry Christmas to one and all! :D

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UAE National Day!

December 2nd, 2009

I think this deserves it’s own post. :)

Today the UAE has completed 38 revolutions around the sun since their formation under the guidance of the late HH Sh. Zayed Al Nahyan.

So in the spirit of celebration, I leave you with two links to awesome HDR shots of fireworks taken by Trey Ratcliff, who runs one of my favourite travel photography blogs, the very excellent Stuck in Customs.

So here they are: a shot of fireworks in a lightning storm; and a shot of fireworks exploding inside a cloud.

Speaking of fireworks – today at around 8:30pm the world’s largest and record breaking fireworks display is expected to light up the night sky in Abu Dhabi. They will be visible along the Abu Dhabi Corniche and across the Emirates Palace Marina. Don’t miss it if you can make it (I’m certainly hoping to)!

Also, don’t miss the public showing at the Emirates Palace of an original painting of HH Sh. Zayed by Roland Van Merbeck. The work will be on display until December 4, 2009.

For more information on the National Day celebrations, see here.

Happy National Day every one!

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