Dubai – The Story Behind The Image

This image came sixth in the Digital Photographer Magazine “Cityscapes” competition. The image is of the Sheikh Zayed Road interchange in Dubai with the majestic Burj Khalifa in the background.

Before I go on a trip I look the pictures posted by local photographers on social media to get ideas. I saw a couple of versions of this image on-line and immediately knew I wanted to take it. After studying google earth I managed to work out it was taken from a balcony at the Shangri La Hotel. I contacted the hotel before I left the UK and got permission to go onto a balcony on the 42nd floor.

I arrived for this shot about an hour before sunset and took photographs for a couple of hours. In terms of the composition of the shot I was quite limited by the fact I was 42 floors up. I tried as best as I could to have the road running through the shot and the Burj on the left hand third line.

I used my Nikon D810 full frame camera with Nikon 16-35mm lens at 16mm (as wide as it goes). Everything was done manually and the image was shot in RAW. The aperture was f13, the smallest I use with that lens, which give me good depth of field. The focus point I used was the edge of the road running horizontally across the bottom of the frame.

It was obviously dark by the time I took this and I used ISO 64 to get the shutter speed down to 30 seconds. The long shutter speed gave the beautiful smooth light trails on the road.

I did not do much to the shot in post production except boost the contrast and vibrancy.

As always, if you have any questions, please ask.

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