Friday, March 2, 2012

Pic(k) of the week 9: Sunset over Jazirat Al Hamra

The number one place for Urban Exploration ( Urbex ) photography in the UAE is without doubt the deserted fishing village of Jazirat Al Hamra, 18km South-West of Ras al Khaimah. Its inhabitants, members of the Za'ab tribe, left in the late 1960's for more comfortable homes. The houses, two towers which were part of a fort and a few mosques are in varying states of decay. Interestingly a lot of the local population do not know about the place and the ones that do, will tell you the place is haunted. A real ghost town?

I visited the place for a third time last week and noticed some renovating activity at the East site of the village. It looked like the RAK government is starting to rebuilt part of the village and will use it as an official heritage site. I must say, I do prefer the old deserted town!

Having said this, there is still plenty left to photograph, and I personally believe it is heaven for HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography!

Even though overall a lot of the buildings are intact, close to one of the Fort towers, they all look severely damaged. Almost out of a World War II movie scene!  The 9 shot HDR sunset image above, is probably my favorite one of the afternoon out.

Image details:
Nikon D700 with 14-24mm 2.8 Nikkor lens
ISO 200, 16mm, f8, varying shutter speed for the 9 shot HDR
Photomatix 4 for HDR development
Nik ColorEfex 4 for optimum contrast and saturation

I've also made quite a few black & white images from inside the mosques, which can be found in a new, "Abandoned village Jazirat Al Hamra" gallery.

My first (2009) blogpost about this ghost town can be found here

Wherever you are, whatever you do, have a great weekend!


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