Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 11: WHEN THE DESERT TAKES OVER - Abandoned village UAE

Even after having lived in the UAE for almost 16 years, there are still new spots to be discovered. Such was the case when I lately saw some images appear on social media of an abandoned village in the Emirate of Sharjah; close to Al Madam. 

The place reminded me a lot about Kolmanskop (Namibia), where the desert had taken over entire houses; providing great scenery for some dramatic images. 

On the edge of the village Al Madam in the UAE, one finds a deserted compound, bordering the desert. Not entirely sure how long the place has been abandoned, some of the houses have the sand dunes piled up to the roof. 

While testing the new Fujifilm X-H1, I shot a series of images of Nature taking over mankind. In the image below I was particularly attracted by the blue walls which stand in contrast to the warm yellow sand. The completely worn out door frame, which clearly has suffered a lot from the elements, adds a nice touch. 

Image details:
  • Fujiifilm X-H1 with the XF18-135 lens
  • ISO 6400, 1/20s, f11, 31mm 
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
  • Nik ColorEfex pro 4 for optimal contrast
Even after all those years, I'm still intrigued how quickly a desert is changing with the prevailing winds; something that clearly be experienced in places like the above. 

A few years ago, I documented another abandoned village in the UAE, which I called, "The village that always sleeps". Click here for a link to the respective blogpost. 

If you missed it, my Fujifilm X-H1 review can be found here.

Remember: "A desert is a place without expectation" - Nadine Gordimer

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 10: BURJ KHALIFA LASER SHOW - Fujifilm X-H1

For the first time in years, there was no firework display at the Burj Khalifa last New Years eve. While there was still lots of other firework shows around Dubai, the worlds largest tower got an interesting laser show instead. 

Due to the popularity of the show (although slightly changed), it is repeated on certain nights of the week, all the way till the end of this month (March 2018). The latest info shows the show being held at 8pm on SAT, TUE and WED and at 10pm on THU and FRI. So if you haven't seen it, hurry!

While testing the In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) of the brand-new Fujifilm X-H1 camera, I went to one of the light shows. Normally I would take a tripod with me for such a shoot, but this was a perfect opportunity to see whether IBIS could potentially replace, although only under certain conditions, a tripod. In case you missed it, I did do a review of the Fujifilm X-H1.

The below image was shot handheld, at a shutter speed of 1/2 sec; well below the normal rule that would dictate a minimum shutter speed of about 1/35 sec (23mm lens on cropped sensor, makes it 35mm).  

Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-H2 with XF 23mm f2.0 lens
  • ISO 1600, 1/2 sec, f10
  • RAW development in Lightroom CC
For the ones wondering what the meaning of the three finger salute is, please refer to an older blogpost of 2016 blogpost here.

Lastly more of my Architectural work of Dubai can be found here. 

Remember: "Photography is painting with light" - Miroslaw Tichy