My first image had been captured and fully processed by the time I had touched down at Dubai International Airport, a sure sign a fruitful trip lay ahead. I'm a sucker for that cliche plane window snap, but only on condition of there being either an amazing landscape lying below or an explosive sunrise/sunset. The excitement of being in a window seat when flying home over Central London never gets old; it's my favourite city in the world, and looks spectacular from the sky... the only other city that comes close for me is New York. I am on a quest to capture Central Park surrounded by Manhattan's densely packed suburbs, preferably in the golden hour, but I'm not too fussy! On this occasion all that lay below were endless stretches of dry and barren desert. However, above the clouds, we were treated to this spectacular sunrise to welcome us to the United Arab Emirates.

Editing everywhere and anywhere! My camera is an extension of my right hand but my trusty laptop is never far behind - essential kit. 

Editing everywhere and anywhere! My camera is an extension of my right hand but my trusty laptop is never far behind - essential kit. 

Typically, during the summer months in Dubai, the fierce temperatures create a lingering heat haze, and while the golden hours do create some warmer tones, they don't tend to be particularly dramatic. In fact, I can't say I recall ever seeing a cloud in the sky at this time of year. By pure chance, the evening I had planned a sunset attempt in front of the Burj al Arab, the weather had turned uncharacteristically dry; technically calculated by the rather lengthy time it took for my t-shirt to become entirely drenched in sweat. Shooting landscapes in these conditions is no small undertaking; prepare to look terrible pretty rapidly, and for this reason I stay firmly behind the lens. 

After finding the composition I was looking for, it was time to sit and wait. The location and conditions were about as spot on as I was going to get them, so not having my full armoury of lenses, and more pressingly, my rock steady tripod, was causing me a slight headache. However, taking care to maximise the stability of a travel tripod (in sand) and optimise every setting I could, really paid off. I was absolutely ecstatic and seriously impressed with how such a basic set-up performed.

There are many variations of this image but I've finally settled on this being my #1, I think...

There are many variations of this image but I've finally settled on this being my #1, I think...

Although this trip was aimed at being a break for some R&R, it is hard to stop the creative juices flowing completely, especially when such tempting opportunities were presenting themselves everywhere I looked. This trip really reaffirmed my belief to keep following my new path in developing our photography business to the next level, positive vibes and chance opportunities were chasing us around... or maybe we were chasing them? Which ever way.... I'm rolling with it!

George had just arrived in Dubai from Lebanon, eager to capture his first moments on a surfboard, we turned it into a mini portrait shoot.

George had just arrived in Dubai from Lebanon, eager to capture his first moments on a surfboard, we turned it into a mini portrait shoot.

Having visited Dubai over many years I get the impression that you either love it or hate it. Personally, it is quite simply a little bit of paradise to relax and recharge. As always the hotel provided a beautiful sanctuary of luxury with some delicious food, chilled swimming pools and a kilometer stretch of private beach to host my daily training sessions. Yes, I am one of those crazy fools who trains on holiday. And loves it! 

Keeping active!

Keeping active!

Always looking for a photo opportunity I managed to capture a couple of images which represent the sprawling growth of high rise buildings in this ever evolving city. You have to wonder how long they will be able to continue developing at such a rate before the money really dries up?

A tram departing a metro station, heading for the marina. 

The view from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa.

The view from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa.

So until next time. Dubai, it was a pleasure as always!  

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