Photo shooting – Arabian Desert

I had the biggest luck ever a few days back, one of my favorite couple agreed to have a “Couple Photography Session” in the Arabian Desert somewhere around 1h30min driving from Dubai. I did about 450 photos – I used the same camera and my new lens – Nikon D7100 with AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1.8Gwitht a hood on. I shoot in RAW format only in Apperture Priority with Spot Metering on. The weather alternate – the sun came out from the clouds now and then. Temperature was about 30 degres C. All the Post-processing was done in Lightroom and Photoshop. I shot for around 1h30 – 2h. The post processing (including the selection time) took me about 30h. For the couple I prepared 140 images all altered and for my blog only 11 I will display. I learned a lot after this photo shoot.

In the beginning I will display the “finish product” and in the end of this post my hard learned lessons.

The next time of image was a little bit difficult to take because of 2 main reasons : in the desert, especially at noon there is always a powerful wind which “models” the desert dunes by lifting and carrying the sand all over the place. So when you get really down for that low angle and start watching the camera visor you have only a few seconds until the dust coming in is unbearable. The second reason is the clouds in the sky – its very rare that you get clouds in the sky – usually the sky is white here in the UAE. Of course the image was tempered in Lightroom/Photoshop and the clouds shape/color has been….improved.


In the next one I liked the pose a lot. The b/w effect is matte (which is an effect I want to use more often – I just love it). You can actually see how sharp the image is (thanks to my new lens). I was so happy with this photo shoot result after using this lens.


I love how both of them had fun in the shoot.The next image is one of my favorite from the whole shoot.


I’ve tried in all of my images to keep in mind what one of my friends told me – keep the images brighten up and stick as much as you can to the natural color. The next image illustrates my will to achieve exactly this. Some elements have been removed from the image so the desert would look “clean”.


Just your ordinary couple next door.


The next image is in my favorite top 3 images from this photo shoot. I tired different b/w variations and decided to stick with this chromatic.


In the next image I’ve omitted something in post processing. The bathing suit mark on her shoulder. Other than that I can say that I’m pleased with the result.


The Lightroom/Photoshop intervention was minimum in the next image. Maybe just a little bit of cropping.


From the whole photo shoot I think the fallowing image I’ve worked on it the most. My target was to make the desert perfect. Perfect chromatic of the sand (or at least in my vision) , no other “elements” to distract your view from the couple.


And also I tried other “filters”. I run my whole collection of “presets filters” and this I liked the most.


For the next one Ive picture the “end of the adventure” by departing together with no worries.


And now comes the hard lessons learned.

  1. I used only the Spot Metering on. So when I focused and recomposed, I focused on the couple (which the color was darken then the sky/background) and then pointing the metering into a much more lighter area. So I had a very big set of images which came out with the subjects very dark and the background in the natural color. I should have at least try to use the “full” metering to try to get a new result. I had the “Reflective discs” with me but I couldn’t used them because it was very windy and they wouldn’t stay in place (I would have needed an assistant to carry the disc and light up my subjects but …difuser_zpsakfcspj2 This is the original image.                                                          dsc_62972001_zpsuxnfkyga So the result had to be heavy modified in Lightroom/Photoshoop. The fallowing image contains the result. I’m not entirely happy since I didn’t get the tone of the skin right and the sand chromatic is not the same like in the original image. dsc_62972002_zps9v3vokzn

2. Second big mistake (cost me approximately 150 images which I’ve liked a lot perspective/framing wise) was the fact that I used the camera in Aperture Priority and for some images the Shutter speed dropped to accommodate the High Aperture value thus reducing the speed and thus creating motion blur for the images. Now this could have been easily avoided if I would have watched also the Shutter Speed while I was shooting orrrr if I would stop for a second and zoom in on the image to see if its sharp or not. That set was shot with the couple moving around and acting really funny so I have a rule of not looking at the images until the “action” is finished.


My conclusion was that I need to get back to shoot in Manual Mode where I control everything from A to Z.

Second conclusion, look more through the visor to see exactly how the values/exposure change depending on where the camera its pointed at. This is certainly from a lack of experience and can be improved.


2 thoughts on “Photo shooting – Arabian Desert

  1. Wow ….what a surprise…I didn’t know that someone actually fallows me here 🙂 Thank you for the trust – it was a pleasure believe me to have fun with you guys.


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