Photo Shooting – Red Sands

It was a good day today – I gained a lot of experience. I shoot today in a very beautiful red desert area close to Dubai, with my Nikon D7100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens. I took about 320 images before I drop dead of the heat/tiredness. All of the images are done in Manual Mode (I don’t shoot in Aperture Mode or Shutter Mode). The images were heavily (some of them) modified with Adobe Photoshop CS 3.

It was a very difficult shooting session today. Firstly because I had to carry everything on the dunes (and going back and forth on the dunes makes you get tired very quickly). After a certain hour, the sun started to heat the sand so I had difficulty even walking (I came in flip-flops). More than that, after a certain hour, there was a wind sweeping the dust so it was really difficult to shoot while standing/crawling. Apparently this is the wind that shapes the dunes. After 2h of shooting (from 09.00 to almost 11.00) I was dead tired.

Let’s start!


I like the framing and perspective in this image. Also I decided to interfere as less as I can with the sand/sky colors. I like how the sun creates a silhouette and a shadow on the ground. What I’d wish for is to capture the image without any grass in the sand. The subject is also not perfectly in focus and the hands have a strange position in mid flight.


The perfect sand and sky is what I like about this image the most. The model’s pose comes second (including the outfit). You cannot see in the image (or maybe you can) but the model’s face is not 100% in focus. I tempered with the contrast/light levels, removed all the grass and bigger rocks from the sand also. The sky is also partially “improved”.


This is one of my favorite images from this photo shooting. The whole subject is in focus (to the last detail). On this one I tempered only with the contrast/light levels. I like this pose a lot and the impact of the wind on the model’s hair. The only thing I would modify about this pic is the black bracelet on the hand. Below is an example of a “clean” wrist without the bracelet.


Moving on


I was aiming in this photo for the “fashion magazine” look/feel. I don’t know how much I succeed. I’ve modified the exposure/contrast/lighting and I’ve played around with the color curves. There is only one thing I don’t like so much – to many steps in the sand (that’s because we shoot a lot of poses in that particular spot).


This is somehow daring – I was wondering how it looks upside-down. I like the hands and the face expression on the subject. From the waist down I would have preferred a more symmetrical pose of the legs (keep in mind turning the image upside-down came to me in post-processing). It’s daring because it’s a concept photo. Also I would have emphasize the shadows to create a bigger contrast.


The image is actually a crop from the original – the original image was framed completely different. I played around with the contrast/light, deleted myself from the sunglasses reflection and removed also the steps in the sand (my steps and the model’s steps).


Initially I wanted to crop this image as well (I wanted the image to display only the subject in the frame with as less background as possible). I deleted my silhouette from the sunglasses reflection and played around with the contrast/light.


I love this image: sky, sand (removed the grass in Photoshop), the perfect dunes shape, the steps in the sand from the subject, the simplicity. I went a little bit to the extremes with the contrast and light levels and it paid off (in my view at least). Again, this is a concept photo (I find it strange to make the contrast/light so powerful on every image – I personally think it fits very well in this one nevertheless)


Back to basics – natural color (of both the sky and the sand) with as less interference as possible. Slightly, played with the contrast. This is a very close imaged of what were the natural colors that day (sand,sky, subject).


Again removed a lot of grass from the image, I’ve tempered with the contrast and light. I would have preferred the background to have a bokeh effect. Also the sky I think would have  improved the image if it had a more vivid color.


A lot of things wrong with this image: firstly I shoot while the sand was sweeping the dunes (thinking it would look great) but the effect is not how I’d imagine it. Second of all you can actually see the subject being uncomfortable in the image because of the sand/wind. Third – I would have preferred a much nicer sky (this I think it’s the only thing that I could have influence). I removed as much grass as I could from the background, tempered with contrast/light only. I’m OK with the pose and the framing.


I love the pose and the perspective in this one. Because of the wind sweeping the sand, the subject came out covered in sand particles (I’m not that advanced in Photoshop so I can completely “clean” the image”)


This image I would have preferred to crop it (with the top limit just above the subject’s ear and the bottom limit right under the butt). I like how the tattoo/necklace looks on the subject’s back. Modified the contrast/light.



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