Less is more

Recently I have been very interested in simplifying, decluttering and even minimalism. I started with my working space, continued with my wardrobe and flat, and now it hit also this blog :) I will maybe write about it more sometimes later, but today I want to mention the blog part.

So as you may have noticed if you have been here before, there are few changes here :) My goal is to simplify and make the whole blog more cleaner. I want to remove all unnecessary stuff an make the visit to the blog more straight forward.

So first thing I did was to get rid of the sidebar. Like this it does not distract anymore from the blog content. I also merged the two menus into one, that is always present on the top. There you can find all the parts of the blog now. Additionally, without the sidebar, the images from now will be about 10% bigger. I’m not going any bigger, as that just does not look great on widescreen monitors.

Then I removed all (all probably almost all) unneeded page elements, like lines, dividers and similar. I plan to only use negative white space from now on. Also the full screen slideshows are gone, replaced with much more smaller ones, that once I also replace the images, should help with the loading screen of the whole blog.

I’m still tweaking the blog, so there will be more small changes here and there over the next days.

Dubai Marina in blue

Let’s go back to Dubai Marina in today’s daily photo. This one is from one of my favorite spots there, from the Palm Jumeirah. I of course had to use a longer lens to zoom in, as the city is not that close as it seems.

I also used the NISI natural night filter here. It made for some really nice colors in the city. If you are curious about it, check out this first impressions post about it.

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

Dubai Marina in blue, Dubai, UAE

Still doing bracketing?

As you may have noticed, a lot of my recent photos are no longer created from multiple exposures. So you may wonder if I still bracket my shots. And the answer is simple. Yes I do. Even if I don’t use them in the end, the storage is cheap, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I rather have an extra exposure I don’t need, than having a situation where I need one and I don’t have it.

So why I don’t use them? I mostly don’t need to. I still could blend multiple exposures for every image, but with the recent sensors, I get enough from a single exposure. I just don’t feel the need to do blend anymore. Cameras and editing software are good enough for the results I want :)

The huge sun at the horizon

The huge sun at the horizonAnd today’s photo shows what I mean. It’s a sunrise shot, with the sun in it, and still I used only one exposure. You can check out the original shot on the side here and yes, it is very dark.

There are multiple reasons to do it this was. First, I was taking this shot handheld. I would prefer to not, but if you ever been on the Burj Khalifa observatory, you would have seen that the slits in the windows are very slim. And since I used the 12mm lens, I could not get close enough to the glass with the tripod. So having the shot dark, makes it much easier to handhold it, as I used a shorter exposure here.

Secondly, you can recover much more from shadows than from highlights in RAW files. So keeping a shot like this darker makes it easier to post-process.

But as you can see, I could recover the detail from the shadows and I did not need a second exposure here. But, if I had one, I would use it, as that would result in a bit cleaner image.

The huge sun at the horizon, Dubai, UAE

Dinner under the Burj Khalifa

Not easy to fit the Burj Khalifa into a photo, especially if you also want to include a foreground with it. But here is where the tilt shift lens works so great. With using a vertorama, you can get just so much more into your shot.

This is a three shot vertorama, combined in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop.

Purple dandelions under the Burj Khalifa

I quite like this light installations around Dubai. They make for some great foreground elements for photos. And since these dandelions change the color every few seconds, you can also get quite different photos quickly one after each other :)

These dandelions are right under the Burj Khalifa (as it’s clearly visible here :)) and I used the Laowa 12mm lens to get as much of them in the shot as I could.

Purple dandelions under the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

Getting up early in Dubai

How about another before sunrise shot from Dubai. I actually took quite a lot early morning shots during my trip there. Really did not get much sleep there :) At least you always can get a taxi quite simply, even in the middle of the night.

This shot is from the Shangri-la hotel, taken right in the middle of the morning blue hour. Edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

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