21 Nov 2013 and we’ve had our first rainy day in Abu Dhabi this year.
I was very excited when the rain stopped for an hour or so because I was expecting to see some spectacular cloud formations…and to my big delight, the clouds turned out to be better than expected.
This was my first, the last and the only shot I’ve taken at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque today. I really didn’t need another one.
Tech talk: This photographs was shot on a Canon 5Dmk2 and Canon TS-E 24mm II.
The lens had to be shifted all the way up in order to get a clean composition with perfectly straight verticals. There’s really NO substitute for tilt-shift lens when it comes to architecture photography.
I usually shoot HDR photographs, but today, I decided to try a muted look with more dramatic lighting effect.
I noticed how fast the clouds were moving so I chose to shoot a single, long exposure frame in order to see the motion blur of the clouds. I had two LEE ND filters on me; the Big Stopper (10-stops) and a 3-stop ND. To determine the right exposure, I first measured the light which read 1/160s at f10.
'ND Converter' app on my Nokia Lumia 1020 determined an equivalent of 51 seconds exposure with 13-stops of light reduction.
For creamy long cloud streaks, 2 minutes would’ve been better but 13-stops worth of ND filters was all I had on me.
I set my camera to Bulb mode, I plugged the external shutter trigger and programmed it to shoot for 56 seconds. I prefer to have a bit more light in order to avoid crushed shadows.
RAW file was exported to Photoshop as a 16-bit TIFF file. Black and white conversion was done with NIK Software Color Efex Pro 2. I’ve finished it in cool selenium toning which really works in this type of mood. Selective exposure control was accomplished with Viveza 2 which is one of the most amazing Photoshop plugins for serious photographers and visual artists.
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