Gulf Photo Plus co-director Hala Salhi shares her tips on the best photography spots
‘Ghost Town’, Ras Al Khaimah
‘I’m sure I’m breaking some vow of secrecy in the photographer’s code by sharing this location. The town is about 18km south-west of RAK – you can count on photographers to find hidden places.’
Follow the E311 north until you reach a roundabout: go straight and follow the coast. After 5km you’ll pass Jazirat Al Hamra: turn right following the sign to Al Jazirat Al Hamra. After 900m you’ll see the Al Jazeera Port sign: turn right, then take the first left. After 400m, enter the village by turning left.
‘This is where they build all Dubai’s dhows. It’s very interesting visually, and you can shoot the stories of the builders. If shooting during the day, put your subject in the shade and use a reflective surface to light them.’ Dubai Creek, next to Garhoud Bridge, on the Bur Dubai side.
‘Every Friday, scores of Pakistani men gather for this sporting event –
it’s very dramatic, and the guys are friendly and happy to be photographed.’ Visit between 4pm and 6pm. Behind the fruit and veg market, Shindagha, Deira.
Business Bay bridge
‘The colours and lines reflected in the water are all things that photographers look for. Head here at night to see the bridge lit up, and use a tripod to capture the light.’ Al Khail Road, near Dubai Festival City.
Sheraton Pool Bar & Terrace
‘This is a classic scene. What’s interesting is that the buildings are sharp, but you have the movement of the traffic. You need to use a tripod: start with a shutter speed of five seconds and experiment from there.’
Open daily 10am-10pm. Four Points by Sheraton, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 323 0333).
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
‘The staff here are welcoming and allow photography. The variety is huge – I spent five hours shooting and it wasn’t enough, and when the sun goes down it all changes. The best time to visit is two hours before sunset so you can capture it changing with the light.’ Open to visitors Sat-Thu 9am-10pm. Women should dress modestly. Between Maqta, Mussafah and Sheikh Zayed bridges,
Abu Dhabi, www.szgmc.ae.
Five quick and easy photo tips 1 The best time to shoot outdoors is immediately after sunrise or two hours before sunset, when Dubai is bathed in a ‘golden light’. The higher the sun is in the sky, the harsher the light and the harder it is to take good photographs.
2 If you must shoot during the day, use black and white, which looks best with the harsh contrast of shadows and light.
3 If you’re shooting people in harsh light, put them in the shade but use a shiny surface to reflect light onto the subject.
4 To shoot a portrait, always focus on the eyes to get the clearest image, and position the subject about a third of the way in from the side of the frame – never in the middle.
5 If you’re shooting architecture, always use a tripod to ensure the frame is parallel to the ground.
6 When shooting during sunrise or dusk, set the white balance on your camera to ‘cloudy’ to get a warm glow on your photos.
Get started Gear: Get kitted out with photo gear at the largest branch of Sharaf DG, in Times Square Centre, Al Quoz (04 341 8060), or pick up cheaper gear from Al Falak Electronics in Deira City Centre (04 295 5797).