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

Reading list

I posted last week about what books I’m currently reading/listening to. And I was thinking, of maybe doing that a regular part of the Friday update. But probably only when I had time to get through something new. So what did I read this week?

While returning from Germany last Sunday, I finally got through The Martian by Andy Weir. I started it once long time ago, even before the movie came out, but I only got halfway through. Now I finally goth through the whole book in one go. And yes, it is a great read. I also read his other book Artemis not long ago, but that one is not as great.

Additional I returned to The Fold by Peter Clines. This and some of his other book dealing with alternative realities are just perfect if you like scifi stuff.

In non-fiction I got through Minimalism by Ryan Nicodemus, Joshua Fields Millburn which was very disappointing. The book was not about minimalism, but more of a biography about the authors. At least it was so short.

And that’s all I got through this week.

GDPR

To comply with the new GDPR law in the EU, I had to change the way the newsletter subscription works and also you may have noticed a small cookie banner in the bottom of the website. Not that I track anything outside the standard site analytics, but almost everything you need to use for a website tracks something. There is no way to get around it. So I hope this is not too distraction or annoying for you.

I would prefer to not have to do it, but I don’t have a choice.

More Dandelions

Today’s daily photo is another one from Dubai. And it’s from one of my recommended spots there. This was taken right under the Burj Khalifa, with the 12mm Laowa lens. I was standing maybe less than 50cm from the left dandelion, and you still see so much of it. The 12mm really is a wide lens :)

These dandelions are a part of a permanent art installation around Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall, and change the color of the lights every few seconds. They really work nicely as a foreground object for the huge Burj Khalifa in the background.

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

More Dandelions, Dubai, UAE

Phone setup

My phone setup Android, Windows phone, IphoneMy friends think it’s funny how I setup my phone, so let’s see what you think of it.

I use and Android phone, with the user interface from the Windows Phone, with the gesture navigation similar to the Iphone X. In a way you can say I use the best things from every system I can :). It also means, that most people would not be able to navigate around my phone at all, but that is nothing new for me.

For those curious, this is the Mi Mix 2, running the Launcher 10 launcher, and the gesture navigation is a new feature in the latest builds of MIUI. The wallpaper used can be found in yesterdays post.

What do you use? Are you as crazy as me with tweaking your phone to suit your needs and style perfectly? Or just sticking with the default setup?

Light glow over Dubai

The light pollution in Dubai is really strong. There are just too many light always on in the city, that the whole city glows into the sky. Especially if you go a bit further, you can see it quite clearly.

Same in this shot, taken from Palm Jumeirah. The light glow is all over it. And while I was taking this photo, a ship passed by, creating this quite nice light trails. First I did not like it, but looking again at the photo, I kind of do. It made it different from other photos I took that evening.

This photo is a single exposure, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. You may notice there is still a lot of noise in the sky, but that can’t be removed without introducing color banding (more about that here in the article about dealing with color banding). One can’t correct everything all the time.

Light glow over Dubai, Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE

Phone wallpapers

While editing today’s photo, I noticed that it’s almost a perfect 1:2 ratio. And that’s exactly what most of the recent mobile phones screens have. So I cropped it into a wallpaper. And so it’s not just one, here are few more.

These are 1080x2160px in size. Will maybe add more in the future if you like them.
 

The tallest reflection

So many people take photos of the Burj Khalifa. And with that, it really is not easy to get a unique photo here. But of course I tried. And one I have not seen before (not that I seen all photos of Burj Khalifa :)), is one with the full reflection of the tower in the nearby pool. So I tried to get one.

It’s not really that easy though. The tower on it’s own is already huge, so just getting it into the shot you need a really wide lens. For this photo I needed even more, so I had to go with a vertorama. To avoid some crazy distortions, I went with the 17mm tilt-shit lens, in vertical orientation. Like this I could shift it up and down, instead the usual left to right. Like this, I could fit the whole Burj Khalifa with it’s reflection into only two shots. I still needed to do some perspective correction, but not too much.

This is a two shot vertorama, combined in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop. For my recomended spots to take photos in Dubai, check out the Top Photography Spots in Dubai list.

The tallest reflection, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
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