Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Al Qasr View

Having mentioned the Madinat Jumeirah in my previous post I thought it might be a good idea to show you an image I recently took from there. I'm sure you will recognise how beautifully this place has been designed and landscaped. The Madinat is definitely one of my favourite hangouts in Dubai.

"Madinat" is the Arabic word for "Town" and I do think you can truly call this place a town within the city. Three luxurious hotel resorts are spread out in a dreamy setting of lush greenery, lovely waterways and an apparently traditional Souk. One thing which really astonishes me is how they've managed to create an atmosphere of tradition, heritage and serenity - in spite of the fact that every square inch of this place is artificial and a blend of various architecural stlyes. You would expect a place like this to be prone to being cheesy and just terrible. But strolling through the Madinat is actually a truly wonderful experience!

I took the following picture from the terasse behind the main entrance lobby of the Al Qasr Hotel. In my opinion they serve the best Mojito in town, so if you visit make sure you don't miss out on that! I received some strange looks by the staff for setting up my tripod there, but oh well... where in Dubai would it ever be possible to use a tripod without being told that professional cameras are not allowed. Any tourist can happily fill their SD cards with thousands of images throughout the day, but if you dare taking long exposures at night - for which you obviously need a tripod - you will instantly find someone telling you that "professional cameras" are not allowed. Come on, I am just taking the same snapshot as those dozens of people earlier today! The only difference is that I need to use a tripod to compensate for the long exposure time!

There must be some sort of mental thing going on in these people's heads, triggered by the view of a tripod.

Well, back on track. I was just happy to be left alone for once and didn't care about the looks I received. After all, I'm there to take pictures. And, of course, to have a Mojito or three.

I shot this picture with my Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 lens on the D700.

24mm, f11, 30s, ISO 200

Post-processing included the following steps:


  • Temperature: 2750K
  • Tint: +8
  • Exposure: -0.30
  • Recovery: 40
  • Fill Light: 0
  • Blacks: 5
  • Brightness: +50
  • Contrast: +25
  • Clarity: +20
  • Vibrance: +14
  • Saturation: 0
  • Export to Photoshop
  • Apply Spot Healing Brush
  • Slightly crop the original
  • Apply Smart-Sharpen Filter: Amount 60%, Radius 1.3px
  • Save as TIF
  • Convert to sRGB with perception based rendering intent
  • Save as JPG
  • Insert watermark
  • Save as JPG