A few of the major tourist attractions in Dubai are the shopping malls, among them the Dubai Mall. It happens to be the largest shopping mall in the world and it is located right next to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. After walking around in the Dubai Mall for about half a day, I came to a corner with a huge fountain that resembled a waterfall. Installed on the waterfall were actual size metal sculptures of men flying down the waterfall. The entire installation spanned from the mall’s basement to the roof, I think about 4 or 5 floors total.
I walked around a lot on all the different levels, looking for a good angle to take a photo and trying many different compositions. Since it was 9 in the morning, not many people were around and the sun was shining through the glass roof at a perfect angle. In total, I spent half an hour here and took 42 photos.
And it wasn’t easy to choose the best one among them, but I ultimately picked the 15th photo I took. The fact that the scene was almost black and white in reality and that the top left corner could be made entirely black greatly simplified the post processing. I am so happy with the result that I got it printed on canvas and put it up on my wall. Now I look at it every morning when I wake up.
P.S.: The title came from a song that was playing as part of a mix I was listening to while processing the photo: Chuckie feat. Maiday – Skydive
Since I only stayed in Hamburg for 2 nights and met with friends every evening, I didn’t have much time to take night photos. But one place I definitely wanted to see this time was the old Speicherstadt. I had seen many photos of it online and wanted to explore it myself.
On the first day, I was already walking to the subway to catch one of the last trains home when I passed by the Nikolaifleet. I had seen it during the day and it didn’t look very interesting. But at night, everything changes. The darkness and the artificial lights make it look like a different city. The cloudy sky reflects the light from the city below and glows in purple. The water moves slightly but gets a silky-smooth shine thanks to the long exposures. And all the colors stand out so much more.
I hastily set up my tripod because I figured I’d have maybe 5 minutes to get a picture – and that’s not much when each exposure takes 30 seconds. After I was done, I had to run the rest of the way in order to catch the subway, camera in one hand and the half folded tripod in the other. But I made it.
There is special illumination in the entire Speicherstadt at night. The only problem is that it is switched off around 23:30. And during the summer, that doesn’t give you a lot of time to take night photos because the sun is up pretty long. Also I didn’t know about that during my first night. So when I showed up to take a photo I was a bit surprised how dark everything was. To compensate, I used longer exposures. For some reason I have never been able to understand, the maximum exposure time you can enter into a camera is 30 seconds. But there are external timers you can connect to a camera that allow you to use longer exposures. Here I took photos at 30 seconds, 1 minute and 2 minutes and combined them into an HDR picture. If you look closely, you can see the length of the star trails and how it is interrupted after a short, a medium and a longer time.
It is well known that great artists steal. While I am far from a great artist, I still steal a lot. I found a photo on 500px.com that I thought looked interesting and decided to visit the same place and see how I would see the scene.
When I arrived, I immediately noticed a beautiful red Ducati 750 motorcycle parked right in front of the bridge I wanted to capture. It was clear that I had to include it in the frame. It took a few attempts to get the framing right so I was a little worried the whole time the owner might show up and ask me what the hell I was doing. But it didn’t happen.
Looking back, I think I could spend an entire week taking photos in the Speicherstadt at night. One of the reasons I believe Hamburg is the most beautiful city in the world.
My photo “Blue Friday” became picture of the day at the Heise Foto Gallery. I like uploading photos there because the overall style of the photos uploaded by other users aligns with my own and because it’s not as crowded as other places. Anyway, I thought I’d write a little “Making Of” Post with a look behind the scenes of the photo.
The subway station “HafenCity Universität” in Hamburg was the place where I took the CE marking photo from the last post. But I liked the light installation down there so much that I took a few more pictures of it. The changing colors are reflected on the ceiling and the walls and make it look like three additional beams of light are coming your way towards the exit:
On a weekday around 1pm, there weren’t many people there. But the two or three people I noticed all seemed mesmerized by the light and the colors. One other guy was also taking some photos but left quickly. The platforms look very symmetrical, except the escalators are installed only on one side of the stairs. This bothered me a bit because except for the escalators, the whole place offers perfectly symmetrical photos.
Once again, I couldn’t resist correcting the symmetry in post processing. For the blue image, I mirrored it along the middle and copied it over to the left side. But because that looked too artificial, I removed some parts of the copy and let the original shine through. So it still isn’t perfectly symmetrical but you can only notice it when you look very closely. A bit of an Easter Egg, I guess.