Eat Me!

You know how it is.

A Lazy Saturday morning, (still think of it as A Sunday)

Chilling with a cup o tea and the Papers, but then your belly growls and its

Time to rustle up a bit of fave kind of brunch.

Smoked Salmon on Cream Cheese toast, Herb Omlette, and a side salad.

Should do the job nicely.
Except – Hang on a minute.

Look at those colours, and what a beautiful composition framed on the simple white plate.

Lets take a few shots;

All natural light, (in the shade of my terrace) simple muslin backdrop,

F4.0/ 1/640  (handheld) Click click click.

Who say’s food photography is difficult?

Hardest part is keeping the flies away!

Food Glorious Food.









Rhapsody in Blue

Girls reading in Blue light under Garhoud Bridge


As my mum would say; Are you sure you can read OK in that light? 🙂

I did a night shoot recently in and around (and mainly under) the Business Bay Crossing Bridge. This a pretty cool piece of civil engineering which crosses the Dubai Creek just south west of Festival City. It definitely looks its best at night bathed in a strip of beautiful electric blue luminescence.

I was anticipating  shooting the architecture/structure of the bridge rather than people, and indeed I did plenty of that, but I think my favourite shot from the evening turned out to be this pair of very chilled ladies who were hanging out and reading waiting for their boyfriends (who were fishing just out of shot.)

Excuse the pun but I think it shows another side to life in Dubai that paints it in a rather different light.

See more here.




The Demon Barber of Al Quoz


Its been a while since I did any street photography, and I miss it.

In fact Im posting this to remind myself to do more.

This is one of many shots from a recent visit to Al Quoz I undertook as part of an MenaLab Art workshop with the Dubai arts organisation JamJar.

It was a Friday morning/afternoon -this  is the one day a week off for the indented labourers who live in the compounds here. We spent the morning wondering around interviewing and audio recording anyone willing to talk and tell us their story.

Mohmd pictured here works as one of a small team of barbers plying their trade in the shade of a large articulated lorry. A haircut with him will set you back 5 AED (approx $1) Needless to say he is kept pretty busy!

Click on any of the pics below to see more from this shoot.



High Dynamic Range


Yet another huge warehouse fire in Sharjah this week- there have been at least 6 since I arrived her 2.5 years ago, and Ive photographed several principally for my son who is a big fan of Fireman Sam.

So driving home on Weds evening I whipped out the Iphone and snapped a couple of shots in HD mode, and then decided to see what the Photoshop/Automate Merge to HDR Pro could come up with.

Just to explain briefly for the uninitiated-HDR is an anacronym for High Dynamic Range. When I was a lad this was something that first read about on the packaging of an TDK C90 Audio Cassette –(remember those anyone??  I used to record the TOP 40 off FM radio on one every week!) Well anyway HDR basically meant or was supposed to mean that the tape could record both the Deep bass frequencies and the High treble equally well.

Now that we’ve all gone digital its been applied to photography. There are even specialist (expensive eg. Spheron) cameras around which take HDR shots at the point of capture and create huge 50 Trigabyte files in the process. These cameras have a rather more sensitive CCD than your ordinary DSLR and so can capture light at the very dark and very bright ends of the spectrum. The result is (or should be) a high resolution image which has great detail in both the shadows and highlights.

But your average Joe can just as easily (and even moreso now that its built into Photoshop) create HDR photography by simply taking multiple shots at varied exposures of the same scene. Once you have the image on your computer each exposure is essentially layered and you can then manipulate the pixel data from each to create a final composite image which has far more detail in both the bright highlights and shadows than would be possible from a single ‘average’ exposure.

Back to my fire shot; I wanted to enhance the dramatic impact of the image and in the end decided that in for a penny in for a pound I may as well go completely over the top! I played around for a while just tweaking the sliders on exposure/gamme vibrace etc, but then found the Surrealist setting in the presets gave me the kind of thing I was after.

So whilst HDR isn’t something that I’ve really gotten into yet, but now that Ive dabbled I will probably do more. Im going to try it out on some interiors which is where it can really come into its own I think. I think the key to it is either subtlety or completely OTT drama. For my money there a quite a few photographers out there producing a lot of really gaudy over-saturated and very artificial plastic looking HDR imagery which is neither at the moment but that’s just MHO.

David Nightingale is one of the better photographers using HDR. He’s has done some really nice work and his seminar at Gulf Photo last year was interesting – which reminds me its that time again and if you havent been and you can make it to Dubai I highly recommend it: