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View From My Window….

Mar 31

In Seminars & Workshops, Travels at 7:22am

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In Abu Dhabi, as the guest of the AbuDhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and their wonderful emissary, Bader Alnomani.  Teaching here to coincide with the Emirates Photo Competition under the auspices of the ADACH and the FIAP (International Federation of Art Photography). Having a terrific time, seeing portfolios, teaching about light, and in general enjoying Abu Dhabi, which is a city where, previous to now, I had only visited the airport. I see the above scene from my hotel window every morning. It is an immediate reminder that I am not home.

Lessee, my work flow on this one might be instructive.

Wander jet lagged through hotel room in pre-dawn dark. Look out window. The Sheik Zayed Mosque. Also known as the Great Mosque. Nice. Pretty.

Let eyes wander upward to…full moon. Stand there slack jawed, toothbrush hanging from lower lip. Put two and two together. (Not easy for me even on 8 hours sleep.)

Race around hotel room, grab Gitzo, D3X, 200-400 zoom. Look again at moon. Disappearing behind clouds. Curse.

Open patio door. Setup tripod, camera and lens. Hope no one notices I’m still in my u-trou.

Make rushed, bad exposure of moon. Calm down.

Dial in minus 2.7 EV. Make another exposure. Better. Swing camera to Mosque. Adjust EV to minus 2. Make shot. Looks okay. Clouds closing in.

Program camera to DX format to get bigger moon. Program 2 shot multiple exposure. Make shot of moon, swing camera to Mosque. Make second exposure. Doesn’t work. Why? I thunder thumbed and programmed the multiple exposure wrong. Curse.

Do multiple thingy button on D3X properly this time. Zoom. Get big moon. Place in upper left. Swing camera to Mosque. Zoom out. Make another shot. This time both exposures pop up in LCD. Say thank you to St. Jude.

Repeat. One more frame. Moon gone.

Sit. Launch card into Aperture. Cool. Push some sliders. Saturate, contrast, sharpen. Got a preset for blog. Go click. Pic on desktop. Put into blog.

Go to breakfast. Try to remember to put on my pants.

More tk….

111 Responses to “View From My Window….”

Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:24 am

LOL! Great story and great composition, Joe! Hope you get over that jet-lag soon. Don’t know how you do it. . . Cindy

Hafiz Ismail says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:28 am

WOW!
Damn Joe! u’ve inspired me with this shot!

hafiz

Guenther says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:31 am

Wow, how many Speedlights and Lastlite Skylites did you use to get the light in the Great Mosque?

John A. says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:32 am

Very cool!!! That is a really beautiful piece of architecture. I love even better that you did the moon/mosque shot as one (combined) exposure in camera rather than in post. Hope you have a good trip… and don’t forget your pants!

hfng says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:34 am

What a spectacular view!

Shd put on pants. Moon might have a different meaning otherwise.

Stephen J. Zeller says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:36 am

Very nice Joe! I’ve been using Lightroom for the past several years, but Aperture 3 has certainly gotten my attention.

All the best,

Stephen

Carl Licari says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:38 am

Sweet shot, but don’t like the construction on the left. Photoshop it out.

Ken Worley says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:38 am

Great shot! I love the instructive work flow, All though I could have gone without the mental image, now stuck in my head, of a pants-less Joe shooting on the patio. :)

Barb says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:39 am

It’s good to know that even the best in the world don’t always get it right the first time. Stunning photo and thanks for sharing the process. I’m a huge fan!

Cesar L. Diaz says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:39 am

Amazing, i gotta say Joe, i was right there taking that shot, thanks for sharing

Tampa FL.

Cesar

Jeff Antonic says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:42 am

Brilliant Joe!-A great way to wake up!

Marcin Retecki says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:42 am

As detailed as always! The view is amazing! And no, I don’t mean McNally without pants..zzzz…the Mosque obviously!

Paul ibbetson says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:45 am

Looking @ pic reading text jaw dropping slightly looking @ pic Reading text trying to keep up with joe jaw somewhere on the floor think I might be a couple of lightyears behind you.

Another nice shot joe

sherri says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:50 am

Absolutely stunning!!

Lewis Coward says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:53 am

What can I say … the picture says it all. Have a good one Joe. It’s an amazing place and when the sun sets (eventually) that soft golden light and gentle shadows will just shout out “shoot me, shoot me”!

Remek says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:54 am

Oh Joe, we love you for the “Try to remember…” bit. :)

Luka says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:55 am

Yeah, the pants thing happens from time to time.

Stephan Mantler says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:03 am

Good to see that some people still remember stuff like multiple exposures in camera… wonder how many would have gone to Photoshop instead (and spent much more time there than dialing the camera to its proper settings)…

Also good to see the same people may be encountered wearing pants to breakfast.

Neil Walton says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:03 am

Great capture Joe, I hope you did get your pants on before breaky! Love the image you can get with the early morning sun and a bit of dust in the air. Makes for a very powerful image. Those mosques are very impressive. Having worked over seas the last 15 years I have seen many but photographed few. You are a lucky man to get this capture.

Well done
Neil

Magnus Bogucki says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:05 am

Master in action in other words!

ron hiner says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:08 am

all makes sense to me except the DX mode thing. Isn’t that nothing more than in-camera cropping? (awesome shot, btw!)

Mary Anne Morgan says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:12 am

I love your workflow tutorial here, and this is an amazing picture. Thank you for your honest and humble musings on your journey. They make the amazing seem more accessible for the rest of us.

Sandeep says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:14 am

Joe, very nice work as always. I was in abu dhabi 15 years ago. Looks like time to visit once again

fan of Joe club
sandeep

Colleen says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:20 am

awesome photo. Looks like I need to learn how to do multiple exposures. There are so many cool things to do with a camera

John Young says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:21 am

Looking forward to reading the ‘putting on pants’ workflow…… Great picture, being a photographer is a curse sometime, like an itch you just can’t scratch. You see pictures and just have to drop everything (sometimes the even means the pants!) and grab your camera to capture that moment. Thanks for sharing it Joe.
John

Girish says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:21 am

Nice shot. Thanks for mentioning the work flow.

I actually like the moon covered by the clouds. I feel, if the moon was clear it could remove the attention from the mosque.

Beth Ackerman says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:25 am

Oh my. I love this. The beauty, followed by the frantic “i’m not ready! but it is!” the bumbling, even when you are Joe Mc-teachin us all how to do it-Nally! Thank you.

Bill Griffin says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:28 am

Joe,

A word of advice!

Don’t ever attempt to write code or hire someone to do so.

Your algorithms are impossible.

He! He!

Bill
Bill

Jim Hughes says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:35 am

Love the image, but really liked the workflow part — especially that even McNally occasionally struggles with a camera settings. Enjoy the blog!

Mark says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:36 am

Very cool image and love the workflow. But, are you allowed to thank St. Jude (the patron saint of hopeless cases, of course) when you’re photographing a mosque? Shouldn’t it be Allah or someone else?

Kevin Williams says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:38 am

Raw brain dump – excellent! No wonder you blogged about it, I’ve never got that multiple thingy button to work so well. :)

Mongo do good.

Jbedford says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:40 am

Whoa, dude!

Wayne says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:46 am

They say crazy and genius are indistinguishable…

Doede says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:50 am

Hi Joe, good instruction and nice photo! Can I do this with my D300?

Perhaps you could explain some more about dialing EV up or down. It still is not very clear to me when to use this option. I shoot alot in A or in manual modus. Most of the time I keep the D300 at EV0 and change the flash or shutterspeed.

Kind regards, Doede

Michael Wiesman says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:54 am

Beautiful shot(s). Enjoyed the play-by-play. haha.

Wouldn’t mind waking up to that scene on a daily basis.

Johan Sopiee says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:55 am

hahaha! this entry cracks me up! nice one!! love the final image you produced. very cool!

Steve Burns says:

on March 31, 2010 at 8:58 am

Dam!

BTW, the AP say’s you’re fired. ;-}

Ingo Meckmann says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:00 am

Awesome – as always. You’re the inspiration! – thanks for sharing.

Kevin Glackmeyer says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:00 am

nice frame….how many SB-900’s to light the inside of the building?

Mark Dunlap says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:05 am

Very cool Joe. Even jet lagged and without your pants you’re able to pull of some amazing images. :-)

Dave Pawson says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:06 am

Heck it’s hard working being a photographer Joe! I wonder you remembered your brain after all that struggling, never mind your pants.

Nice result though. Worth the effort.

Giovanni Ferlito says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:09 am

Bravo Joe!

Anita Hadjur says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:15 am

I was lucky enough to experience Abu Dhabi myself a few years ago. Hilarious post, did you remember your pants?

Heinz says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:17 am

Joe you are in the wrong profession!

This post is hilarious! Do the producers in Hollywood use the internet at all cause they sure need to be contacting you about doing a movie.

Oh, and awesome picture by the way!

Regards
Heinz

Chris Davis Cina says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:27 am

WOW!!!!!!!!!

Steve Pepple says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:32 am

Sweet shot, Did the same kind of scramble about a year ago while staying at friends’ home in Florida and being awakened by a full moon shining through the shades. No multiple exposure though. http://www.pbase.com/spepple/image/109061753

JivZ says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:41 am

Lol, your workflow looks alot like mine, except your results are a lot better :-)

metacircular says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:49 am

You just gave me new appreciation for multiple-exposure…one more thing to add to the practice list.

Sathish says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:54 am

Awesome Joe!! You definitely threw some ideas into my brain. Now that will keep troubling me till i experiment.
Thanks and u hav a great time!

Patrick says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:55 am

Joe,

Thanks for injecting some humor into my day. BTW, Good job on the pictures I am assuming pants are not optional in Abu Dhabi.

Fayyaz Ahmed says:

on March 31, 2010 at 10:30 am

Joe, its rare one gets to see photographs like this. The mosque might be beautiful but what you have done here makes it look magestic. Not to mention now I have a reason for a 400mm lens.

Sheikh says:

on March 31, 2010 at 10:41 am

Wow, fantastic view from your window. wish i was there too.

M.D. Welch says:

on March 31, 2010 at 10:44 am

Pants are good Joe, very good.

Beautiful shot.

Inge Skliros says:

on March 31, 2010 at 10:44 am

Absolutely stunning image! Isn’t it wonderful to work with only adrenaline driving you? :-)

Richard Schmon says:

on March 31, 2010 at 10:48 am

Fantastic image followed by an absolutely hilarious post! You sir, are the man.

Craig says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:03 am

Hahahahaha. Great shot, though.

Dave Coley says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:14 am

Joe – you never fail to put a smile on my face with your antics. Awesome shot.

John says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:17 am

Joe, you are too hard on yourself. The clouds really help make the moon not standout too much and dominate the shot.

Christian says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:34 am

Great! Thanks for the class!

Howard Haby says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:38 am

Good entry, great photo. Wow, I heard about the multiple exposure feature before and then never thought about it again. Now I can see how useful it could be. Very, very cool. And what a view!! Thanks for sharing Joe, you’re awesome.

pixelmixture says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:40 am

my 2 cents with aperture

“touching contraste slider you should not”

experiment:
look at the histogram, push the contrast slider to the right and you will see clipping
look at the histogram, draw an “S” shape with curves and TADA no clipping.

wonderful photo by the way

Clint Bittenbinder says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:40 am

thunder thumbed is the greatest thing i have ever heard. I’m stealing that for the next time i screw up.

max says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:41 am

This is awesome. Is this the ‘image overlay’ mode in the D3X? Would love to see more details on how you did this.

Rodrigo Valle says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:43 am

Hey Joe,
How many SB-900s did you use to light up the moon? Were they CTO gel’d? :D

Rodrigo Valle

SJlarue says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:50 am

Sounds like me…although I would put my pants on first…:-D

Steven Seymour says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:57 am

Well? Did you remember? The pants, I mean. (The AbuDhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, if I remember right, prefer it when their guests wear pants.)

Ken Wilder says:

on March 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm

The picture alone was beautiful enough to make our day, but the monologue was priceless. Thanks!

Tim says:

on March 31, 2010 at 1:26 pm

hahaha! great. … and a really nice pic joe. thumbs up!

Walden Leverich says:

on March 31, 2010 at 2:44 pm

So do I have it right then that this isn’t a single image, and it’s not even HDR, but rather a composite image from totally different shots, but made IN the camera? Cool! Amazing image regardless of how it’s made. Must get to that part of the world some day.

Ken says:

on March 31, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Joe,

Gosh, the guys at Kelby’s business said this was the guest house for all the photo teaching staff, and you wanted the biggest room…

Ken in KY

Chris Lane says:

on March 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Wonderful view and amazing shot. I think I have had that very same workflow in a couple of my shots, particularly of a passing environment like the moon. Except I usually have the pants 8)
Nice post though!

Dirk says:

on March 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Awesome shot Joe, funny post too

Martin Allum says:

on March 31, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Great blog Joe
will be back for more

Julie says:

on March 31, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Joe, what a breathtaking shot. It’s beautiful. All that sweat was well worth it. Hope your trip was good.

Dan Kitts says:

on March 31, 2010 at 6:25 pm

That is a jaw dropping shot. And, the explanation of how you did it priceless. Thanks Joe!

Dave Hutchinson says:

on March 31, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Well done Joe, spectacular, but why would I think otherwise?

Blake says:

on March 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Awesome! You’re too professional to do a composite image – you are truly a master!

Jim says:

on March 31, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Great shot.

Glyn Dewis says:

on March 31, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Fantastic shot Joe ‘especially’ as this is a Multi Exposure to place the moon in the shot.

I gotta be honest changing midway through a multi exposure to DX format isn’t something I’d even considered so clearly alot more ‘play time’ is called for.

As always, entertaining and inspiring.

Cheers,
Glyn

Simon Fleming says:

on April 1, 2010 at 1:59 am

Great image & great story – wouldn’t have expected anything less. I’ve tried on numerous occasions to produce an image in camera along these lines, always with woeful results. You’ve inspired me once again Joe – next time I have the full moon in my sights I’ll be trying the no pants approach, and see what the extra moon can contribute to the deal.

Bjorn | FotoLuna says:

on April 1, 2010 at 3:34 am

Great picture! That’s a feature that I loved about my old film canon camera, and miss on the EOS 5D: Multiple Exposures…

Carl Schaefer says:

on April 1, 2010 at 4:30 am

Beautiful pic, Joe, but I can’t help but wonder whether the composite photo technique you used to enlarge the moon is, well, cheating.

Ludovic says:

on April 1, 2010 at 5:50 am

Beautiful, beautiful picture. It alone made my day, but your thought process is priceless and has given me, once more, a lot to think about. I’ll be sure to try out your tips, especially the no pants part. I took pictures stark naked once and wasn’t really satisfied, but I think I know why : as for many things in life, sometimes you just have to compromise.

Tom McKean says:

on April 1, 2010 at 6:18 am

Wow! Nice shot Joe. And I thought I was fussy about getting a photo with my camera settings. If the moon were any brighter, it would have taken it away from the Mosque. Aperture never fails to amaze me also! Great shot. Great light! and great writing!

Mark Holloway says:

on April 1, 2010 at 6:33 am

Very cool! Really impressed with the pantless workflow. Got the shot. Nice job, Joe.

Ashley Brokop says:

on April 1, 2010 at 7:04 am

Joe, this is so beautiful. I wish I could hear outside your window, as you have let us see outside your window.
The call to prayer, woke me for two weeks in Jordan a few years ago…and I will never forget how wonderful, exciting and totally not-at-home I was.
Thank you for sharing this fantastic image, and for making me smile even before I had coffee ;)

Caleb Benton says:

on April 1, 2010 at 9:41 am

Joe, I think I love you. I love your photography; I love your writing. You not only cause me to see the world differently, but you challenge me to live in the world differently.

I love this line: “It is an immediate reminder that I am not home.” Your humanity is what makes you a great photographer and writer, period.

Cheers,
Caleb

Matthias says:

on April 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm

This photo looks gorgeous – at least for the first seconds. But actually, I do not like it any more. The moon is too large and exaggerated to be true – so I guessed you used Photoshop. (Which would give you a lot more flexibility)

It is impressive, how you managed to do this with a multiple exposure like in these old days when shooting film. (I remember the photo of the baby and the ball you also used this technique) Nevertheless I would have liked the same photo with a smaller and more realistic moon more.

Oleksandr Photography says:

on April 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

WOW! Awesome shot!

Kevin Halliburton says:

on April 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Sheesh… Youse guys that gotta do everthing in camera. You tryin’a make me an my little Photoshop friend here look bad? I would’n tryda make my little Photoshop friend here look bad Joe. He’s got a multi-layad persunality if ya know what I’m sayin’.

Manolo Roxas says:

on April 1, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Tried a similar shot (double exposure) recently but it was hard to position the moon exactly in the picture even using the grid lines in the viewfinder. It was also at night so it was difficult to see the camera controls. I guess it still takes experience to do come up with a great shot like yours!

Ken Toney says:

on April 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Come home from work, get a Diet Coke, start checking the 17 blogs I keep up with, get to Joe’s, read his steps, droole feverously, write comment.

Javier montero says:

on April 2, 2010 at 8:46 am

Hi Joe !!! Thnks for sharing these things and this pictures, it is fantastic!!!
I have a question: what’s that about “Program camera to DX format to get bigger moon”???

Matt Jacques says:

on April 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

Jaw-dropping is right… amazing shot. Love the almost impossibly-subtle tones in the mosque, and the moon is just gravy. Very nice, and of course the write-up isn’t too shabby either.

Chris Belyea says:

on April 3, 2010 at 4:06 am

LMAO … but unfortunately us numnuts would still “stand there slack jawed, toothbrush hanging from lower lip” and not even get close to that image .. man, that is sensational !

Kevin Steele says:

on April 3, 2010 at 10:17 am

@Javier: DX format in the D3x (or other Full frame Nikons) will crop the sensor to the smaller format DX image – effectively a 1.5 crop. It is not magnification nor does it add visual compression to the 200-400 lens, the lens is still the same, just now cropped to an effective 600mm frame at the long end. So if you are doing everything in camera you have this tool and multiple exposure (mix DX and FX frames?)at your disposal to avoid cropping and compositing in post. Nice work, Joe!

Crystal says:

on April 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm

@Carl – I tend to agree, but then, I’m disappointed. I think the whole entire thing is cheating.

Troy Freund says:

on April 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Great looking photo-illustration. Would you be willing to share the “real” image? It sounds like such a neat scene, I’d love to see it how it actually looked, versus how you double-exposed it. Thanks for considering, much respect,
Troy

Stephan says:

on April 4, 2010 at 3:31 am

Wow Joe, some guys have all the luck with such a wonderful view from their room ;-)
This is a beautiful and dreamy shot. Almost a perfect image! Thanks for sharing.

Jim says:

on April 4, 2010 at 9:21 am

Beautiful. Both your moon and the mosque look perfect. When I do multiple exposures I get “ghost images”. How did you avoid that?

jakob says:

on April 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Hey Joe, that moon is so much photoshopped:-)

eys says:

on April 5, 2010 at 4:03 am

Hi, it’s really nice.. i have couple of shots of grand mosque, but you always made it so unique.thank you for sharing and i am enjoying your book.

John in Baghdad says:

on April 5, 2010 at 11:33 am

Joe, If you have any pull at Nikon, I would like a firmware update for my new D90 so I can do multiple exposures too. My twins eat my D3S money.

Alicia says:

on April 8, 2010 at 8:39 am

Wow. Seriously. Wow.

Mejrin says:

on April 11, 2010 at 12:44 am

Hi Joe,

great work again.

Tom says:

on April 11, 2010 at 7:45 am

Amazing !!!!!!!

sina says:

on April 19, 2010 at 11:27 pm

A-W-E-S-O-M-E…

Gursimran says:

on March 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I stumbled on your blog and now am in love with the work.. Any chance getting that Abu Dhabi shot at night time.. ?? I can only imagine how pretty it would have looked with complete darkness and beauty in the middle.

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