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Glass Structures

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 4 February 2022 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.


Something a bit different and experimental today. Different because it is a cityscape and experimental because I decided to give myself a lot of freedom when processing the image. I have not been shooting too many city and urban scenes in recent times but it's not that I do not enjoy this kind of photography. I just have concentrated on landscapes instead and I have been working to hone my skills in that particular area of photography. I do like photographing landscapes just a little bit more too and enjoy being out in nature rather that in the concrete and brick jungles of the cities.

This is my take on the Downtown Dubai area at the base of Burj Khalifa. I have to say, I struggled for a close up composition with entire Burj Khalifa building in the frame, so I started to look for other perspectives and compositions when we visited towards the end of our long trip in 2019. I liked this view across the pond where the fountains come to life in the evening show. I was a little bit worried about cutting off the famous landmark but I feel that it works fine here. I liked the balance and spread between the main buildings, as well as the detail and textures present in the scene. In regard to the last points about detail and textures, this is a not too dissimilar photo in concept to the previous one I posted - Granite Structures. Bother were rich in fine detail but each in its own way. Nature versus man made, organic versus artificial. These are interesting contrasts to me and they both inspire my photography. Hence my play on the title as well with both referring to structures of a different kind predominant in each photo - granite and glass.

The light was perfect during the day for my vision and concept for this photo. It was clear but the sunlight was slightly softened by the clouds. I used a polarising filter to cut through the subtle haze present in the air. There was actually a little bit of rain around on the days we stayed in Dubai and the moisture was evaporating quickly when the sun shone through the clouds. We actually had excellent weather for our visit. It was around 30 degrees Celsius and the nights were lovely and cool. When I took the photo and looked at it in colour, it already had an almost monochromatic appearance. It had a subtle blue tint to it thanks to the diffused light, the haze and the reflections of the sky. I felt that the green tones of the palms below the buildings just did not work for me for some reason so I went into full monotone mode when doing processing work. I have been inspired by many other monochrome city photos that had this kind of metallic tint to them and which made the cityscapes look especially ethereal and futuristic. This is what guided my vision when I was developing the image at home.

I did not want just a standard black and white image, I wanted to give a bit of extra dimension to the scene by giving it a subtle cooler colour tone and I really like how it came through in the final version. I feel that there is a real three dimensional quality to the buildings and that I can see every single glass panel and every element that is a part of the scene. I worked further with dodging and burning to enhance that perception. I was also very happy with the sky too as I did not want to much texture up there to detract from the buildings. This sky has enough interest in it but it is also subtle enough to fill the gaps between the skyscrapers without adding unnecessary overload of textures.

I hope you like my more creative and free edit of the Dubai cityscape. I definitely enjoyed taking the photo and working on it in post processing.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 1/60 second F/8.0 ISO 100 42 mm

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