Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Urban Oasis

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 11 February 2022 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

I am "staying" in Dubai for one more photo. This is a classic view of Dubai Downtown seen from one of the hotels along Shaikh Zayed Road. We specifically picked to stay in this hotel because of this amazing view. We were able to enjoy it directly from our hotel room and also from a viewing terrace on 42nd floor of the building and this is where I took this photo. It is a well known location and an often photographed motive but I could not resist to have a go at it myself. I was able to spend a couple of evenings photographing this amazing skyline and that allowed me to work with different compositions and focal lengths.

For this particular shot I went with the widest angle available on the day and that was 14mm on my Sigma lens that I took with me specifically for wide cityscape and landscape photos. I did not use it too much during the entire trip but it came in very handy right at the end. I rarely shoot multi photo panoramas and when I used 16mm focal length a day before, the resulting composition seemed a little tight. Even though 14mm is only 2mm wider, it makes a huge difference. I was able to get more of the buildings into the frame on the left and right of the photo. I was also able to get a touch more breathing space at the top and at the bottom of the frame. Burj Khalifa, this time in all its glory, had a bit of sky over it to separate it from the top and the lowest curve of the highway overpass also had more room rather than end up right against the bottom.

What made the photo for me were the clouds and a hint of post sunset glow. The glow happened right where the main highway leads to and that just worked perfectly for me. I was really hoping for some clouds to be present and I was very happy that we had some (and even some rain) on all days during our stay. The clouds added a hint of texture to the sky and they reflected some of the city light glow to create a beautiful backdrop for the cityscape. I really did not want just a dark or texture-less sky and this time luck was with us. I even got up early once or twice to see if any fog was present around. It is a rare event in Dubai but it can happen with the right conditions but it was not to be so I was more than happy with the evening conditions that we had.

I took a number of sequences of multiple exposures during the evening to cover the entire dynamic, especially once it started to get a bit darker. This was mainly to be able to recover detail in the highlights but also to avoid having dark blotches of blacks throughout the scene. In post processing, I started with the brightest exposure, which also had beautiful long light trails on the highway, and then slowly blended in highlights from a number of darker exposures. As a result, I had a nicely balanced image with good tonality across the entire scene. Having taken a number of shots at different times in the evening allowed me to pick the best light conditions for my final image as well (in my personal opinion). I wanted the light trails and city light to be prominent enough with good brightness and colour while still having fine detail in the shadows and previously mentioned texture and colour in the sky. The street lights were somewhat dull in photos taken a bit earlier and once it got darker, the shadows became almost black and sky went the same way as well.

What made the photo for me were the clouds and a hint of post sunset glow. The glow happened right where the main highway leads to and that just worked perfectly for me. I was really hoping for some clouds to be present and I was very happy that we had some (and even some rain) on all days during our stay. The clouds added a hint of texture to the sky and they reflected some of the city light glow to create a beautiful backdrop for the cityscape. I really did not want just a dark or texture-less sky and this time luck was with us. I even got up early once or twice to see if any fog was present around. It is a rare event in Dubai but it can happen with the right conditions but it was not to be so I was more than happy with the evening conditions that we had.

It is once again a departure from my usual landscape focus and I hope you enjoy this classic view of Dubai in the evening.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 30 seconds F/11.0 ISO 100 14 mm

Welcome to my photo blog. While I may not be able to respond to everyone, I greatly value all your comments and visits. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have any questions about my photography and I can also be found here:

Facebook | Flickr | 500px

If you would prefer to follow me on your smart phone, my Instagram tag is: @darkelfphotography


© Darkelf Photography