Assignment 3 Buildings in Use – Thoughts and preparation

After reading the initial criteria for this assignment, at first I thought this would be an easy choice of what buildings I was able to pick for the assignment. After some reflection I found that the buildings I wanted to use would prove difficult, due to the high number of people and security cameras around which made me feel intimidated. One such building was going to be the Dubai Metro, but then I thought that the number of security guards and cameras around every inch may prove an issue. Even if I was to take images I didn’t want onlookers giving me the evil eye, or constantly being approached by officials asking what it was I was taking pictures of, and why.

So that idea was passed by and I was then back to thinking of which buildings would be different to what a lot of other submissions have already been covered. Some examples would be the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world, but entry and cost was an issue, others were hospitals but that has been covered with other students, and another possible one was hotels. The next issue would be getting information on each building to make it interesting enough as a read and to gel well into the final choice of images. For instance and shopping mall is well…a shopping mall, and can be a little basic in the history other than it was built on such a date in order for people to shop, so if I go down this route the interaction of the people should I choose to include them or not needs to capture the interest of the reader along with the building history.

After scouting different areas I decided it would be better to include people where possible. This would make the images easier to capture without the need to do a slow shutter on a tripod in order to blend out any people, and also I think people in the image would give it a bit more of a focal point and add to the overall depth and size of some of the locations, as its easy to compare a building or object for size when a person is placed in the image.

The final areas I decided to use where situated both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which is a good two hours drive from Dubai in traffic. I had an idea of two areas in Abu Dhabi, and needed to try and gain access to both during the one visit. As it turned out I only managed one building but found something better back in Dubai, by chance.

From the technical side I knew which camera and equipment I was going to use. My Sony A7 MK2 with a wide angle 16-24mm Zeiss lens. Natural light would be the main source for each image, but I would use some artificial lighting if needed to balance any shadow areas. This light maybe in the form of fill flash or LED lighting. A reflector is a possibility but being on my own and taking images of such large areas this may not be suited.

So at the early stages of planning I had ideas for a number of building but after thoughts I was down to maybe two or three that I knew would be a good choice. How can you be based in a city like Dubai to then wonder how you are going to take images of just five buildings and finding it a struggle? Part of this dilemma came down to including the people in such a sensitive country. This had to be planned carefully if I was to include people, and if not it would be hard to take images where people are not present.

So with my final selections of buildings in my head its now time to set out and get the images, along with how each of these interact with people as per the brief along with the history of each location.


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