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 Post subject: Combating haze
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:48 am 
Hi everyone

Is there any white balance setting (or any other change in settings for that matter) that may help to create nicer pictures in weather conditions with haze?

I'm asking this as I'll be travelling to Dubai in November for a short stay. I have never experienced desert haze and would prefer going there prepared, rather than experimenting with settings once I'm there. My logic tells me that selecting 'Cloudy' would be the best bet, but I would like to hear from the experienced people.

Also related to my trip, a desert safari is being organised. Would you suggest any protection against the sand? Or simply sticking to one lens would be enough? (I would really like to take the 50mm 1.7 lens with me together with the zoom lens but am a bit concerned about sand getting inside the sensor).

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1822
Ivan

The end of November should be very clear. We generally get sandy haze in the summer as the sand is trapped in the atmosphere, but as the temperatures drop in October and November this will be less of an issue.

The best days for photography in Dubai itself will be on a Friday and Saturday, which is during your stay. This is due to it being the Islamic weekend, and the is less construction going on, kicking less sand into the atmosphere. You may get another nice early morning phenomenon - desert fog. This can occur in November-February, and generally burns off by 8-8:30am. If you're up early and can get on a high rooftop, there could be some good skyscraper photography opportunities above the clouds.

It's been 5 years and I'm yet to go on a desert safari! As long as there isn't wind you'll be fine without any camera protection. If you are changing lenses, I'd recommend that in the 4x4, rather than on the dunes.

The sandy atmosphere can actually help with sunsets, giving a different light to what you're used to. When out and about in daylight I shoot in RAW and adjust/standardise the WB when converting the files. I'd stick to sunny WB and you'll be fine, or just leave it in auto.

If you're shooting in the middle of the day with the 50mm F1.7, you may like to look into getting a 2 or 3 stop ND filter if you'll be shooting the lens wide open - otherwise no issues there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1822
Ivan - this should give you an idea of the colour of hazy sunsets here...

There's a bit of banding from resizing, but you get the idea:

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1822
p.s. the only pp on that was:

a - bringing up some shadow detail in the golf course
b - cloning out some Dubai wildlife - the Dubai Crane (they were on virtually every rooftop in the distance!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:13 pm 
Wow
I love the photo and its composition.

Thanks a million for this advice (and the ones on pm). Hopefully I would have learnt how to use the camera by the time I'm in Dubai.


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