It’s not every day you get invited by the leading manufacturer of imaging products to head out in your city and run a muck snapping anything that comes within a meter radius. That’s exactly what happened when I had the pleasure of taking part in Canon Middle East’s photography workshop as part of their #ComeAndSeeMyArabia campaign.
One of the most incredible and educational 24-hours of my time here in Dubai, we started our afternoon with a product presentation and a thorough breakdown of what was to come. From the tutorial presentation, five really important points stuck out to me:
1. Avoid the bullseye shot (where you point the camera at the centre of something). Try your best to fill the frame.
2. Stay away from using the flash at night. An alternative option could be to change your ISO. If you do decide to use the flash, maybe have the camera in night mode. Finally, you can also use the flash during the day to lighten up the photo a little.
3. To eliminate shake, you can use a tripod as well as the timer on the camera
4. Golden Hour (before sunset and after sunrise) and Blue Hour (10-15 minutes after the sun is set), are the two most important and key times for photographers.
5. The most important point to me was: “you need to change your own perspective”. We need to think outside of the box, think outside of our comfort zone and think beyond the norm when it comes to photography.
With the above five points cemented into my brain, I was ready! We all hopped onto a bus and were off to our first location: Bastakiya/Dubai Creek. Here we snapped photos of the boats crossing the canal and then the incredibly talented parkour stunt guy performing backflips.
Since our stunt guy was moving so quickly, we all adjusted our cameras to sports mode that allowed us to take continuous shots as he floated like a butterfly. The Canon team also encouraged us to create a silhouette. We did this by placing the stunt guy directly in front of the sun and using our Exposure Compensation to “silhouette” him. This was my final product:
STUNT GUY PHOTO
After we scoped the entire Bastakiya area, we were back in our amazingly air conditioned bus off to Level 43 at the Four Points by Sheraton, where we would be taking photos during the sunset. In other words, the Golden and Blue hour timings. At Level 43, we sipped on fresh fruit cocktails as we snapped away. I played around with my White Balance to enhance a stunning sunset capture. I tried the Tungsten setting for a rich blue sky once the sun went down.
After capturing some amazing photos on the rooftop, we were off to the newly built Box Park. Here, we wrote with light. By setting our cameras to Shutter Priority Mode and with a long exposure we began to introduce light into the frame using a small torch. With this, I played on Arze Chidiac’s name, which actually means cedar in Arabic and did this:
We ended our incredible day at one of Dubai’s most famous Khaliji restaurants, Logma.
Up at 5am with minimal sleep, we made the painful journey to our shuttle bus that waited patiently outside our hotel. Most of us dozed off again as we made our way to the Dubai Fish Market.
As we arrived to the market, we all put our photographer hats on and were off. The Canon team advised us to fill the shot when it came to capturing the different fish scattered across the tables and within buckets. Focus on small details, as well as using sports mode when capturing the butchers in action.
After witnessing some amazing negotiation skills during the fish market auctions, we were on our way for a big mean breakfast. At the breakfast, the winner of the “Best Photograph” competition was announced…and out of the blue, it was my photo that caught everyone’s attention. Here my winning capture:
I was a little upset that I had to cut my day with the team short as they all continued on to Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary. However, all in all, it was an incredible 24-hour adventure with such an amazing team. I take home a wealth of new knowledge on how to use my DLSR camera. So keep an eye out for the improved images coming to the blog in the future 😉