Wednesday, June 26, 2019

PIc(k) of the week 26: DUBAI EXTREME SUMMER HEAT

It is hard to describe summer in the Gulf region... With temperatures frequently exceeding 45C (115F), it is mainly the high humidity that makes the summer so unbearable. Granted most people have air-conditioning at home and at work, but the outdoor life comes pretty much to a standstill. Not to mention all those people that work in the outdoors!

Looking around the environment one can often find things that show the power of extreme summer heat. 

Such was the case walking around Satwa when I bumped into a wall where there used to be an advertising sticker placed; showing the left-over silhouette of 4 ladies in local abaya dress. I was particularly attracted to the texture of the cracked surface. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with 1/320s, f5.6, ISO 800
  • XF 16 f2.8 lens
  • RAW file developed in Lightroom CC
One might not agree that this is hardcore Street Photography... but for me it definitively is so. I therefore added the image to my "Best Color work Street Photography" gallery. 

Remember: "If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back".


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 25: ONE THE ROAD IN CHINA - Black and White Street photography

Over the years, I've shot quite a bit on the streets in China; mostly Beijing and Shanghai; the latter one being my favorite mega-city in China. 

For Street Photography, I always find it amazing how one city is more of a color city while others are clearly Black and White. It probably happens in my subconscious mind but Bangkok (Thailand) and Varanasi (India) are two examples that clearly need to be seen in colour. Paris and Istanbul on the other side are pure Black and White cities for me!

Likely influenced by some of the legendary Photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson, it makes me see certain cities only in Black and White...

Bresson has done a lot of his early work while traveling through China, making it another place which I almost exclusively see in Black and White. 

While walking the streets of Shanghai a few weeks ago, I bumped into a proud dad taking his daughter for an after work walk; a great moment with an interesting gesture and even better emotional expression! 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with XF23 f1.4
  • ISO 4000, 1/250s, f7.1
  • SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) jpeg using Acros Y with +1 Warm
  • No editing
More of the China work can be found in my "One the road in China" gallery. 

Remember: "Life is not Black and White. There is a gray nuance to it" - Pilou Asbaek


Monday, June 10, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 24: THREE TREES

It doesn't always have to be dramatic landscapes or spectacular skylines to make for an interesting landscape image...  Such was the case when I past three lonely trees in the desert close to the Al Qudra lakes in Dubai. 

Plenty has been written about the power of three and how an odd number of subjects often works better than even numbers. Lastly I like how the bird flying through the frame adds visual content to what is basically a very simple image. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with the XF50-140 f2.8 lens
  • ISO 160, f5.6, 1/1400s, 75mm 
  • Lightroom CC for RAW file development
  • Photoshop CC for small clean-up of distractions in the foreground
More of my "Nature of the UAE" images can be found here

Remember, "The axe always forgets. The tree always remembers." Paulo Coelho


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Pic(k) of the week 23: IFTAR AERIAL - EID MUBARAK

Eid Al Fitr is a key date in the calendar for Muslims all over the world; it Ramadan, the month where Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. Traditionally a "moon sighting committee" gets together at the end of Ramadan in search for a glimpse of the new crescent moon. Once the sighting is confirmed it marks the first day of Eid AL Fitr, "The festival of the breaking of the fast". In the UAE this started on the evening of June 3th this year...

Over the last few years, I've been trying the document Ramadan and more specifically Iftar, the daily breaking of the fast after sunset in a series of images. On one of the last days of Ramadan, I joined a photowalk, organized by Instagram poster "everydaydxb". Thanks for organizing!

The below image was shot from a 4 or 5th floor rooftop, while the daily Iftar meal was being set-up. Typically all over Dubai, a free Iftar meal is offered to anybody who wants to attend; attracting thousands of people; a very social activity which is great for Street/Documentary photography. As long as one shoots respectfully most people do not mind being photographed and will often even pose. 

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T3 with the XF50 f2 lens
  • ISO 5000, 1/250s, f9
  • SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) Jpeg using Classic Chrome Film simulation 
  • In camera settings: Highlights -1, Shadows +1, Sharpness +2, Noise 0
The entire Ramadan collection can be found here

To all Muslims celebrating, "Eid Mubarak"!