About Meelius

Writer/ Photographer/ Drone Pilot

CFAD Fashion Ration –

So its that time of year again. Students are nearing the end of their courses and for some this means a graduation show!

So here’s a sneek peek from the Final Year Fashion students at Sharjah University College of Fine Arts & Design showcasing the final year student clothing and accessory designs.

You can see them grace the catwalk in a few weeks time -watch this blog for details!

Fountain of Youth

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve taken lots of portraits of my favourite son but this shot taken of Che lost in fascination as he watches the coloured lights and fountains outside the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi is definitely one of my favourites.-The expression, lighting , colour all gel in a le moment decisif 🙂 kind of moment..

The Yas hotel is a really cool piece of architecture and a study in architectural lighting worthy of a blog post too, coming shortly…

 

 

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. https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=100330476664616731537&target=ALBUM&id=5719855515233659969&authkey=Gv1sRgCIXdsZeR9ObZzAE&feat=email

 

 

 

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. http://www.thejamjardubai.com/

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:

http://www.gulfphotoplus.com/gpp/2012

 

 

 

 

Inspirationalism

 

Cool exhibition of Furniture design at the Pavillion Downtown Dubai..

This shot I thought came out well- kind of like a book cover.

See some more here ;-

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/100330476664616731537/Inspirationalists?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCOKMlJTW-fK_fA&feat=directlink

 

 

Al Aint

So here are a couple of shots from that same recent Al Ain shoot.

Actually, and probably obviously one is cropped version of the other the intent being to create a more pleasing composition.

But in a flurry of Photoshop workflow I didn’t stop there.

Spot the difference?

So perhaps you noticed that the cropped version has also had its levels tweaked to up the brightness and contrast a little -you can see the sparkly things on the back of the lady nearest the camera as a result. (click on the image to enlarge)

Maybe you can see that the line of the building verticals have been straightened with a little bit  Edit>Transform >Rotate. so that they no longer appear to be toppling over.

Perchance you noticed the hint of Azure that has been added to the sky?

But most likely you certainly noticed that the flood-lights on top of the building to the left have been removed.

The maxim that the camera never lies, may still be true. but you can certainly stretch the truth a good deal in Photshop.

I hardly ever take my retouching in post this far. Im not even that keen on cropping. I prefer to show the ‘reality’ of the scene as shot. But on this occasion I felt that those lights were not only distracting elements in terms of composition but that they took something away from the scene -somehow making it less ‘exotic’ .

But in my attempt to ‘prettify’ the picture I am aware that I am no longer telling the truth.Ok its a small fib and maybe no big deal but next time where will it stop??

And does it matter?

Retouching or Reconfiguring?

Everyone’s at it. Even Annie Liebowitz employs a team of retouchers.

Answers on a postcard please -alt you could just leave a comment below 🙂