Confessions of a Blue Hour Roof-Topper in Dubai

Shooting Vertoramas with Daniel Cheong

High perspectives for high dynamic range.

In this interview I had the opportunity to dive into an in-depth discussion with roof-top photographer Daniel Cheong. Using techniques he has refined over the years, Daniel has created a body of work containing some of the most stunning images ever taken of Dubai.

We discuss his techniques for shooting vertical panoramas aka “Vertoramas” as well as his thoughts and reasoning behind manually blending images, versus using automated HDR software.

In his own words…

‘Straight out of the camera' is a concept which I am not familiar with. I don't pretend to show reality, but an idealized version of it.

I was born in Mauritius, originally of Chinese descent, and French by nationality.  My job in the telecom industry requires that I travel frequently to multiple destinations including France, USA, Japan, Singapore, though I live in Dubai now.

I've always loved photography, but only became serious about it when I bought my first DSLR in Singapore, back in 2006. I joined Flickr around that time, where I discovered the world of High Dynamic Range photography.

I then aimed to perfect the technique of Digital Blending, which consists of manually blending multiple bracketed exposures in order to obtain the maximum dynamic range, while trying to keep a very natural look and avoiding the common mistake of many ‘overcooked' HDR images. This slight element of the surreal, or hyper reality often found in painting is what I am trying to achieve.

I find the city most appealing when it is shot from the highest vantage points, and specially at the ‘Blue Hour'.

Connect with Daniel…

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