Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai after dark

Downtown Dubai after dark
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Top Shot Award
Runner Up in Bright City Lights Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Bright City Lights Photo Contest
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
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Superb Composition
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Outstanding Creativity
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Top Choice
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Magnificent Capture
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Superior Skill
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All Star
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Top ClassTM

Earth Day Every Day Photo ContestTop 10 class
Inspiring Landscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class
Change Of Seasons Photo ContestTop 10 class
Change Of Seasons Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Wonders of the World Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Bright City Lights Photo ContestTop 10 class
Bright City Lights Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Night Wonders Photo ContestTop 30 class
Night Wonders Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 38Top 20 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 38Top 10 class week 2
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 38Top 30 class week 1


6 Comments | Report
Neckbone January 24, 2019
Beautiful scene and capture!
matkujak PRO
matkujak January 26, 2019
john_arsenault January 31, 2019
urban elegance; great effort on your part.
JasonPiper February 19, 2019
Topcat88 asked me if this was inspired by Tim Shields - sorry accidentally deleted your comment when I went to reply! I hadn't come across his work but it seems we thought the same composition was the best. When you're up there it's the most obvious. It's not as difficult to access as Tim makes it sound - you just need to stay in the shanghai-La hotel. It looks like I took mine first judging by the progress of the construction so I'm going to say Tim was inspired by me :)
Drosera Premium
Drosera April 16, 2019
Brilliant composition and colour balance.
DNproSTUDIO Feb 26
amazing this long exposure city view
JasonPiper Feb 27

Behind The Lens

The photo was taken from the top of the Shangri-la hotel in Dubai. There's a lot of background work that goes into trying to get the best location you can get access to for a shot like this. I booked this hotel purely for the location and access to their outdoor terrace at the top.
This is taken towards the end of 'blue hour' - the hour after sunset, before it's completely dark. I wanted to get a very dark blue sky so that it wouldn't distract from the foreground elements.
When I'm photographing a scene like this I normally take photos before I think the lighting is right, through to afterwards so that you have a good selection to process afterwards. Viewing the photo's on a large monitor they look very different to the back of the camera. I always take a series of bracketed shots, usually -2, 0, +2 so that I have a selection to chose from to get the lighting as close to what I had in mind as possible.
This was shot on a Nikon D4 with a 14mm-24mm zoom. A good tripod is a must for long exposures like this.
Dubai comes alive at night and the downtown area has some of the nicest buildings in Dubai. I wanted a location that showed the energy of the city.
This type of photography requires a lot of post processing. I always start in Lightroom and once I've selected which image out of the bracketed series I'm going to use, I make basic adjustments to white and black point, contrast and overall exposure. Next is saturation and sharpness. I'll clean up any sensor spots and anything I don't want in the image. After these steps, I'll take the image into photoshop where I may apply some luminosity masks to selectivity intensify certain colours and do some more clean up of the image. Last step is noise reduction. I normally leave it there and then come back to it a day or two later to see if I'm still happy with it. Sometimes I'll dial back some of the adjustments if I think I took to too far. In post processing I want to create an image that looks like what I saw, not something overly saturated or unreal.
In my camera bag
I always have my camera, 14mm-24mm zoom, 24mm-70mm zoom and tripod. Depending on where I'm going, or what I want to photograph, I might also have a set of ND filters and a polarising filter. I always keep spare memory cards, cleaning cloths and basic tools for the tripod.
The three key things for this type of photography are having a tripod, knowing how to use your camera intimately and preparation. Photography at this time of day needs long exposures to keep the ISO as low as possible. It's really difficult to do successfully without a tripod. The light changes rapidly after sunset and 5 minutes can be the difference between getting the photo you want and missing it. If you know how to use your camera, it speeds up the process and means you have more chance of getting what you want or covering more compositions. Practice is really key. I'll normally research where I'm going a couple of weeks beforehand, looking for the good photography spots. I'll look at other images and compositions to see what I might want to try, or think about different compositions. I'll check the sunset times and arrive at the location ahead of time so I can look at where I want to be and see how many compositions I think I can get. Finally I'll check my gear and make sure everything is working ok. In cites like Dubai, it gets really humid in the summer. It can take a while for your gear to warm up if it's been in your hotel room all day. If you don't let it warm up, you'll end up with condensation on your lens and waste time having to wait for it to clear. I learnt this the hard way more than once!

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