See where to go

See where to go

TOP PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTS

 Enhance your space

Enhance your space

SHOP PHOTO PRINTS

See how I edit

See how I edit

GUIDES, TIPS & MORE

Today I haven’t been working on new photos for the blog, but instead I looked at adding more content to it. So you will find two new pages today.

First is an addition to my Top Spots category. I added a new city there, this time it’s Dubai. Go and check the list here.

Very high up

Secondly, I added a new guide to the Guides section. It’s called How to save photos for web, and that’s exactly what’s it about. You can find the guide here.

How to save for web

A very important step in every photo editing, is the final step, saving for web. Here I will show you how I do it currently for all my photos (all the ones on this blog). So let’s get started.

First, lets take a photo. This one is already finished and I need to save it for web.

How to save for web

This photo has not yet been sharpened. If you want to get the best result, you have to first re-size your photo, to the final size, before you start with sharpening. So let’s re-size it first.

Go to Image/Image size and change the height to 900px (that’s the size I normally use, is different for everyone else). The width is calculated automatically here, as the constraint proportions is checked. As we want to create a web result, the document size has no importance for us.

How to save for web

Once re-sized, let’s continue with the sharpening. There are many ways one can do it, but one of the simplest is to just use Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp mask. Going with a smaller radius (0.1) and higher strength (100+) usually works the best here. On some photo one needs to go with smaller strength, to avoid the “over-sharpen” look.

How to save for web

A easy way to skip these steps is to use the Web Sharpening actions from TK Actions. You can find more about them here.

Lastly one needs to save the photo. But instead of using File/Save as, we need to go to File/Save for web. We need to use this, because we need to convert and include the color profile with the photo. We need to convert it to the sRGB, so it’s properly shown in web browsers and also include the color profile, so every program displaying them, does it in the same way. The preview should be set to Internet sRGB, so you see the final result as it’s shown in a browser.

How to save for web

Other than that, you can use any quality setting you want. And that’s it. Just choose a name you want and save it :)

Before I went to Dubai, I had few questions about them, especially about tripod use, so I hope that this list will still helps some of you, who plan to go there. So expect no surprising spots here :). Will need few more visits to get to those.

I will stick to places that are freely accessible in this list. You can also see all my photos from Dubai here.

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

As I revisited Dubai recently, there will be few updates and new spots here, as some of the original ones are no longer accessible, or even existing.

At the top / Burj Khalifa

Of course I have to include this one. It’s so unique to be able to be so high up. The view is just great. But there are few things one has to prepare for.

First of all, buy your ticket at least two weeks before online. Without it you either wont get up at all, or you will have to pay for the much pricier ticket on the spot. They also sell only specific number of tickets for a certain time, so they can get sold out very quickly. I would suggest doing a sunrise instead of sunset. You get up much quicker, and it’s cheaper. The number of people is smaller, but they will stay around more, so grab a window, and wait for the sun by it.

Secondly, be prepared for a airport stile security check. They have no problems with camera gear or tripods, but they suggest you don’t take a big bag with you. I had a camera, 5 lenses and a tripod with me, and they only wanted to look inside the bag. There were no issues.

Thirdly, get a Lenskirt or something to cover your camera. The slits in the wall, that were available before, are still there, but not there is a metal railing in the middle of them. None of my lenses would fit through. The only solution was to take photos through the glass. Also the flooring is not the best there, and every time someone walks by, your tripod will shake. So get ready for that.

Very high up
Through the glass wall

Dubai Marina

Of course the second place has to be the Dubai marina. If one likes photos of skyscrapers, it a must. It’s the best late at night and early in the morning, where you meet almost no one there. The security guards here are really annoying, and they will stop you randomly around the marina. You can see them riding around with small golf carts. They will not bother you on the bridges in the area or if you use a clamp (strangely).

Also get yourself an ND filter. The daytime photos looks so much better from there as long exposures.

Filled with neon lights
Marina reflection

Palm Jumeirah

They should have something like this in every city. A great place to get a nice photo of the cityscape. From one side you get a great view of Dubai Marina, from the other of the Burj Al Arab. Just take a longer lens with you, as it’s a little further away. There is also a new walkway around the perimeter of the marina, so while you can’t get easily to the rocks anymore, you get a nice stable platform to shot from, quite close to the water.

Dubai marina skyscrapers
Landmarks in the night

Business bay

The original spot I shared here is still accessible, but not longer worth it. The new constructed building now block the view of the Burj Khalifa, so it does not looks so nice. But the whole business bay changed a lot in the last years, and you can get some great skyline views in the area anyway.

Under the bridge
So many contructions

Jumeira Public beach

The original spot I shared here does not even exist anymore. The progress in Dubai is just so fast. Instead, I would suggest a different spot (the name of the beach is the same, as it’s all called the same :)), one next to the Burj Al Arab. You can get a really nice sunset here.

Moonrise over Dubai
Shining tower

 

Under Burj Khalifa

You will need a wider lens to get a nice shot here, as the tower is just so high, but its worth it. If you go to close to the tower, be ready for security guards. I was stopped even a bit further (close to the opera) but there I was only informed that video is not permitted, but no problem with photos. Who knows why. I don’t.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

 
There of course are many, many, many more spots, and I hope I revisit Dubai as soon as possible, to get many more shots.
 
Other available lists:

For today’s process post, let’s look at one of my photos taken in Edinburgh, Scotland. I actually wanted to take a photo of this beautiful hotel in the middle of the city, but as I set up my camera, a buss stopped right in front of me. So I quickly recomposed, to make the bus the main subject of the photo.

It was actually quite funny, how the people in the bus noticed me taking the photo, and nicely smiled for it :)

So to get this final image

The bus in Edinburg

I started with 5 exposures, with the 0EV looking like this.

The bus in Edinburgh

It looked quite OK from the start, but few tweaks were still necessary. I imported them all into Lightroom and corrected only the chromatic aberrations and lens distortion’s there.

The bus in Edinburgh

As you can see, the 5th exposure was not usable at all, so I haven’t even loaded it into Photoshop. So after loading the other 4 exposures into Photoshop, I did the following (layers numbered from bottom up)

1. 0EV exposure
2. darkened the brightest parts from the -1EV shots (you can see the mask here, I used a luminance mask to create the selection and then brushed over it)

The bus in Edinburgh

3. there were still few bright areas, so I repeated the process with the -2EV exposure
4. brightened few spots from the +1EV exposure
5. used the -1EV once more, as I wanted to use the people in the bus from that exposure. The mask is manually painted.
6. added more contrast to the darkest areas of the photo
7. added a little contrast to the midtones
8. brightened a little the shadow darks (all these masks were created using TK actions)
9. merged the layers into a new one, and retouched out few spots
10. desaturated the blue channel, as the sky was too blue
11. added more structure using the high pass sharpening method
12. added a little more overall contrast.

The bus in Edinburgh

And that’s all I did with this image. To find out more on how I edit, check out the guides and before after categories on this blog, or check out my video tutorial series here:
banner-master

I don’t know what the artist was thinking about when he created these statues, but it could not be anything pleasant. They just look so disturbing (and strange :)). Maybe it’s just that they have no eyes. But still, I think they would fit perfectly into a Silent Hill movie.

This is a manual blend from 6 exposures, taken one early morning in Prague. The sun was right behind them at that time.
The stuff of nightmares

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