Expanding your photo

Quite often I have to add a bit of the sky when taking photos of big structures. It just does not look so great if the structure is right at the edge of a photos. And it’s not even so hard to add a bit of the sky. I did a guide on this, so feel free to check it out here.

Even more dandelions under the Burj Khalifa

Somehow most photos I did during my last trip to Dubai were of the Burj Khalifa. So here is another one :) I posted one with the dandelions before, but these ones are on a second location, a bit further away from the tower.

This is a single exposure, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Even more dandelions under the Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Color banding

I had so much problems with color banding in today’s photo. The lights of the city create a very strong light glow, that is just not easy to deal with. But I got rid of it, hopefully, and you can too in your photos.

Head here to see how to remove color banding in your photos and how to avoid it.

Business bay in Dubai

This is taken from one of my recommended spots in Dubai. I have been here few years before, and wow, it’s crazy how it changed. When I was here fist time, it was mostly a construction site, few skyscrapers around, nothing much. And in just few years, there are skyscrapers all around, the whole area is build up and it just looks great. And since it’s a lake, it also gives for a great view with many reflection.

So of course I had to do a panorama here, to catch all of it. I used three photos here, taken actually without a panoramic head. I found out over time, that if you don’t go very wide (wider than 24mm) and your subject is not that close, you can create panoramas easily without needing any special gear. Just rotate the camera and shoot.

This panorama was combined in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop.

Business bay in Dubai, UAE

And here are few details:

Business bay in Dubai, UAE

So many new games

I spend yesterday evening watching the Xbox E3 press conference (and maybe some of you also did :)), and wow, so many games to be played in the next few months. From Forza Horizon 4, Shadow of Tomb Raider, Crackdown 3, Fallout 76 and even Gears 5 look great. Each year there are more and more cool looking games. Can’t wait. And there are still few presentations to go. This will be fun :)

You know, I found one thing a long time ago. If you want to enjoy games (and movies and books and so on), completely ignore any journalists and reviewers around them. I don’t visit any sites that deal with games at all. I like to make my own decision. Usually from gameplay videos I can quickly tell if you will enjoy something or not, and if I don’t buy things the first day, I won’t be disappointed. Especially around games, I feel like all the reviewers became complainers recently, reviewing games based on what they wanted, not what they got. And I really don’t make my opinion base on that.

Star trails over Burj Khalifa

Before you ask how I got the stars over the Burj Khalifa like this, I have to say, this is a composite. The star trail part was not taken above Dubai, but It’s a part of a different photo, taken earlier this year.

When I edited this shot, I liked it, but the sky just looked boring. There was just nothing there. So I thought what I could put there. Clouds were just not enough, I wanted something else. First I tried to make some spiral star trails from scratch. While it did not look bad, it looked too fake for me. So instead I took a photo I captured in Austria in January, and removed some of the stars, to not be so dense. Like this it nicely blended into this photo of Burj Khalifa.

The base here is from one exposure edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. The star trails are from around 200 exsposures. If you want to know how to create star tails, check out this post here.

Star trails over Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

Waiting for E3?

I presume there are many of you that wait for the E3 finally to start, and see what new games are announced. To bad that the presentations are so late in the evening for me, but since I don’t have to get up in the morning, I can still watch them :)

And yes, I play quite a lot of games. I even used to work on some, so no surprise there. I have a Xbox One, PS4, PSP, PS Vita, 3DS and a powerful PC (no interest in Switch though, maybe if they release something I want). So I have a lot of places to play games on. But I never play multiplayer. Can’t justify that much time spend on a game without being able to finish it.

Right now I’m replaying Persona 5 on the PS4 (I love that series :)) and doing a replay of Saint’s Row 2 on the Xbox One, since it just recently became again available. I somehow always play multiple games on multiple systems :)

Which presentation are you waiting for? If any :)

Night in the sky over Dubai

For today’s daily photo, another shot taken from the top of Burj Khalifa. This one was taken very early in the morning, before even the morning blue hour started. The night was still in full swing then. You would be surprised how many people were already there, all waiting for the sunrise. But I was one of the first, so I could snatch a place by the window and hold it.

For this photo I used the Lenskirt to get no reflections on the glass. But since I use such wide lenses, I do regret not taking the bigger version. It’s really hard using the tiltshift or the 12mm lens in this one, without seeing it in the corners. Still, it works great in removing the reflections completely.

This is a two exposure blend, done in Photoshop.

Night in the sky over Dubai, Burj Khalifa, UAE

DxO releases Nik Collectoin 2018

I have been using Nik Collection plugins (especially Color Efex) for years now. And when they sold the company to Google, it was quite the disappointment. Google does not make software for professionals, and as I feared, they never once updated the collection at all (since 2012).

So it was quite a positive surprise when DxO bought the Nik Collection from Google. And they also promised to start updating it again. And that day came yesterday.

So DxO just release the Nik Collection 2018. And of course I tried the demo right away to see whats new. And to tell how it is, nothing. This is only a support update, so the collection now officially supports the latest versions of Adobe software. That’s it.

So should you get it? Depends. Do you want to show support that they know they should update? Get it. Do you want to buy a version for cheaper introductory price before they update? Get it. Do you already have Nik Collection installed? Wait until they show something new.

That’s what I’m doing. The old version still works for me, and the moment DxO shows something new and better in their version, I’m buying it immediately.

Btw. be warned. If you have the old Google Nik Collection installed, and try the demo of the new DxO versions, it will overwrite the one you already have. Like this you will loose your license, and will get a trial window each time you open a plugin. Happened to me yesterday, but luckily I kept the old installation files on hand, and I could return to what I had before.

It’s really great to see that DxO is keeping to their word and started updating the Nik Collection plugins, I just think they would have done bit better if they waited a bit, and release and update only when there was something new to show. Still, there is hope it will happen, so let’s see where they going with this.

The tallest building in the world

It’s just crazy how the Burj Khalifa is tall compared to everything else. Of course it’s the tallest building in the worlds, but still. And if you think about it, that even the buildings around it are skyscrapers, it’s even taller. I’m quite curious about the new one they are building, that should be even taller. Dubai looks like a city from a sci-fi movie more and more every day :)

For this photo I used the tilt shift lens, where I shifted it up vertically. Like this I got no perspective distortion here, and I got the whole tower in the shot. This is a single exposure, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
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