I have just returned from an amazing one week long trip to Dubai and I can’t wait to share the incredible memories and shots I made there. Dubai is a city with the tallest building, largest artificial islands, gorgeous dancing fountains, dessert, a futuristic cityscape and many other amazing attractions that would make any photographer ecstatic.
This is one of my favorite views of Dubai that I have seen so far and one I had in mind to shoot for a long time. The time was around 19:30, late blue hour. It was captured the last night I was there as I was enjoying a drink in one of the most fabulous bars there - Neos Bar. It is located at the Address Hotel, on the 63rd floor and the view that I have finally experience firsthand is out of this world! Although, this may sound like a perfect story, I actually had to go through a lot of trouble in order to capture this beauty…First of all; I was not allowed to use a tripod. Secondly, I has to shoot through the glass and many lights behind it were reflecting on the window, which was a pain in the ass. Finally, due to the sand dune that has happened a few days prior, the windows were very dirty. Nevertheless, there was no way in the world I would miss capturing that photo, so I shot hand held and through all the reflections and all the things that were against me that night.
I did 3 brackets at iso 640, f5.6 and 1/3 second for the base exposure and one more exposure for the fountain. It was extremely difficult to blend that shot later with the other ones, due to the lack of a tripod and the position I adjusted the camera to. Anyway, somehow I was able to make it work. The stars are from a different shot, because it was impossible to capture them with those conditions, and I guess it’s impossible to do that anyway, since there is huge light pollution. But I think it was necessary for them to be there, since it gives much more punch to the photo.
As I already mentioned, blending all that was a lot of hard work: three hand held shots, the fountains that was practically a different composition…But with enormous desire to have this shot and great effort and persistency I did manage to achieve this last photo of mine the way I have envisioned it.
The white balance was a struggle as well, since there were too many various types of lights around the cityscape, which gave much contrast between warm and cold white balance angering that to match was one of the most difficult parts. Hence, I ended up blending 3 different raw files into one to have a perfect white balance and then those 3 blended shots that were -1,0 and +1 ev to the final image, the way you see it now.
A bit of sharpening and a lot of noise reduction was applied to remove the noise which was created due to the high iso of 640, in order for the shot to look better.
In reality, if you really want to achieve something, there are no excuses, so I pushed my limits and created this piece of art.
Hope you enjoy