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The Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was my number one destination to shoot on my trip to UAE. I have always been fascinated with its design and architecture and seeing it in person took my breath away! Since the mosque is located in Abu Dhabi and I was staying in Dubai for the whole visit, I woke up early in the morning and got on a mini bus which took me there. Basically, I spent the whole day at the mosque, trying a variety of different perspectives and techniques in order to get the most out of the beautiful mosque. I did some LE work (long exposure), street, black and white, and practically almost everything that the place had to offer.
To be honest, it was quite a difficult day to shoot, since it was Friday and it was a holy day for the locals and many people were there to pray. Needless to say that most of the visitors were getting in front of my lens and walking around, which kind of ruined my composition and what I have envisioned to shoot. Therefore, I waited for the night to come, when people stopped visiting the mosque as much as during the day. Hence the reason, I ended up shooting late that evening at around 10 o’clock, after the sun has set and the glorious lights came up.
The city lights and the light pollution coming from the back of the mosque really added a lot to the atmosphere and I decided to go with a cold white balance at about 2800 kelvins and then blended that in the sky. The other part I balanced with 5 exposures because there was a high difference between the light and the dark parts of the image. I clones some people out, did some other photoshop tricks, straightened the perspective and also applied a little blur to the lower part of the image in order to achieve a dramatic effect.
Additionally, I did some color corrections, so as to bring the whites in the shot which made it look more natural and realistic. I usually do not like when the white color has a tint, thus I spent a lot of time in regards to it and was very careful with that.
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