Dec 30, 2010

Street Sweeping: Dubai

This is my day walking through Dubai from my hotel on Sheik Zayed Road. I headed out on Friday (the local Sabbath) and decided to go to the Dubai Mall--the largest Mall in the world.

Looking up as I walked out of my hotel--I like the way that the light reflects from building onto the other. 

Lots of tall buildings in Dubai. Funny, from these pictures it looks like clear blue skies all the time. This is early in the morning, however, and dust just hasn't gotten high enough, yet.

Dust from things! Which is the major descriptive word for Dubai. Loads of construction going on, and loads fo construction not going on after the recent economic crash. Most of the buildings are not finished.

This one is the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and while the outside is finished, I'm told the innards are still incomplete. There was apparently a big to do at the unveiling because it was supposed to be the Burj Dubai, but at the unveiling it was named after the guy who bailed them out after the crash. How embarrassing; I guess. The wall on the left is the outside of the Dubai Mall.

Inside the Dubai Mall they have an aquarium. With big fish. 
Here's one of the repeating wings of the mall. Now, this mall is really big. I've been to Edmonton Mall, in Alberta, which I'm also told is the largest mall in North America. It's big, too, but no offense, it's nothing compared to the Dubai Mall. It's interesting, though, the similarities the two places and the drive for a big mall. In Dubai it's boiling hot most of the year, and the only respite is found in air conditioned buildings. In Edmonton it's freezing--no, waaaaaay below freezing--I mean seriously cold (even I couldn't get out to make any pictures) and the only respite there is within heated buildings. Hmmm...reminds me of the book Dune, by Frank Herbert...I wonder if Canada is using the hard conditions to train an elite corps of...mounties...

It's just huge. I walked through a third of it, but had to turn back to rest my feet and recharge my camera batteries.

Lots of very nice cars in Dubai. This is the first Porsche I have ever seen with four doors.

This was a little farther from my hotel; my friend Yasser took me around to show me the traditional Arabian architecture at this posh new hotel. Really a beautiful place.

This is the traditional looking marketplace. Lovely light in this building.

More construction going on here; but it's beautiful even unfinished.
That building on the right is my hotel. The bridge is the pedestrian crossway over Sheik Zayed Road (I just like the sound of it). It connects to the Metro light rail, and it's ar conditioned.

These are my friends, Kenny and Susan from China. I walked to the beach and made a few pictures there and met them on the jetty. It was a long walk from my hotel, I can tell you. It was nice to make some new friends on the way.


  1. Levi, your thumb is up again!! LOL! These are beautiful pictures. Have a great New Year

  2. Great set of pictures--variety of perspective, subject, color, etc. Thanks.

  3. WOW, these photos are AMAZING! what an awesome experience to go out there, you captured it so well, fun to look at. I would love to have the one with the bike in my home! it is BEAUTIFUL... how did you do it?

  4. Sal, it was pretty cool over there; but not what I had expected at all. The bike picture was fun to make, though I wonder what passersby thought of me on my belly on the side of the highway...? That one was shot on a tripod, and the camera was so low it could have been sitting on the ground and done just as well. Next, I used a very wide angle lens--14mm--because it gives that sense of depth and movement, the bike sweeping away from the viewer. White balance was also important here, because I like the purple hue in the sky; this comes from a florescent white balance. Finally, the stars in the street lights are made by stopping down to the lens' smallest aperture, in this case that was f/22. If you count the rays in the stars you can also tell how many blades are in the diaphragm of the aperture (it's half as many as the rays). That left me with a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 400, which also yielded good motion blur in the street traffic.

    Does that answer your inquiry?

  5. It does. Nicely done, I love it! thanks for sharing the pics on your blog... seems like you have been traveling so much.. LIVIN THE DREAM LEVI!!!! livin the dream... and this looks like such an amazing place to travel to. Hey what kind of tripod do you use that goes so low to the ground. I cant make up my mind on a good lightweight tripod, but I need one.... asap

  6. I use a Manfrotto 190X tripod, found here:

    With this ball head:

    The neck comes up and goes sideways so that it right next to the ground when the legs are splayed wide. It's light enough to carry, but sturdy enough to use with my medium heavy camera and lenses. I wouldn't go any lighter for my work, though there are many lighter setups.

    Let me know what you finally decide to get!