Going to Dubai has been on my bucket list for a long time and I finally got to go. YAY!!!

Everything about the city was above and beyond my expectations. I stayed in hotel near the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and I managed to talk the hotel security into taking me onto the roof of the building. They got me to sign a special insurance form and then I was chaperoned by one of the guards out on to the roof. Opening up the door and exiting the hotel into the 38 degree heat was intense and the humidity was extremely high. Until you’ve actually experienced the heat of an Arab summer it’s really difficult to explain it in words. I was expecting for there to just be a flat empty roof but it was a series of ladders going up and crawling spaces… and more levels to get to the highest point. I was amazed that they let me up there and the guard with me was great compay. He was from India and had just been working at hotel a few weeks, so he’d not been up this high himself. Since his job was to look after me, he kept telling me to take my time and I loved that he was enjoying the experience himself. 

So I got to various spots on the roof and shoot looking both east and west. This road intersection is GIGANTIC and I could have spent the whole night up there… but it was way too hot! We both sweating a lot, especially the guard who was in his suit haha. Dubai has many of these grouped buildings like this at various parts up and down the coast, all of them as epic as the next.


Shooting this HDR shot was a nightmare!!! As soon as I took off my lens cap the glass on it instantly fogged up. I obviously had my Sony A7r on a tripod and was not ready for the Dubai summer. In retrospect it would have been much smarter to come to the city in winter! What I wanted to do was take many long exposures of the cars on the freeway instersection below and layer them up on each other. But with the humidity and the wind I had to adjust my approach. So I ended up increasing the ISO on my camera and go for a more reasonable set of exposure times. See the table below to see the camera details.

Software and editing techniques used:

This HDR was made using Luminance masks and a series of bracketed images shot in Aperture priority mode. No one can explain HDR luminance masks better than Jimmy Mcintyre.

– Luminance Masks and HDR Video Tutorials– A series of tutorials by Jimmy Mcintyre that will change your workflow forever. Powerful, informative and well priced- definitely worth a look.

– OnOne Photosuite  the complete collection of photo editing software from OnOne

– NIK Collection

– Adobe Photoshop CC  used to layer, mask, make adjusments plus much much more. The Photoshop Photography plan allows you access to Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99/month, definitely worth checking out.


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. For commercial licenses please email me.


Sony A7r


Nikkor 14-24mm

Focal Length




Shutter Speed

0.8, 2.0, 4.0, 5.0 & 8.0 seconds



HDR info

5 bracketed images using Luminance masks


5th August, 2014




Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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