The Middle East – it’s got it all – from eloquent scenes right out of the Arabian Nights, stunning natural landscapes to impressive modern skyscrapers, letting you travel in time as you fancy. And that’s exactly what Seamedu’s five photography students did on their photography tour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
But before we delve into where they went and what they clicked, let’s discuss why going somewhere new is so important.
Why Travel to Take Photographs?
Apart from having a great trip, going somewhere new can really help hone your skills. Sure, to say that there are plenty of great photography locations in the country would simply be a gross understatement. But going out of the country can really broaden your horizons.
Travelling like Travellers
Seamedu’s team of students embarked on their trip to Dubai with the motto of ‘travelling like travellers, not like tourists’ and that’s exactly what they did, exploring Dubai and taking pictures of what they saw without any preconceived notions.
The first day was filled with the excitement only a new place can bring.
The students started their trip with a visit to the Bastakiya Quarter which is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Dubai. Home to the Al Fahidi Fort and the Dubai Museum, it is one of Dubai’s most culturally significant sites. The largely pedestrian, winding streets allowed our students to wander at leisure while providing them with numerous opportunities for stunning architectural photography and some really wonderful street portraits.
The students had a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people in Dubai on the Dubai Creek. Crossing the Dubai Creek by boat is a popular mode of transport for many of the city’s residents and tourists. The boats used are small motorized water taxis called Abras. They can hold around twenty people and offer cheap and fast means of transport. It was a great place for them to practice their landscape photography skills.
Souk means market, and boy, is Dubai full of them! Seamedu’s students paid a visit to two of the most famous markets in Dubai for a chance to hone their photojournalism skills. The colourful Spice Souk and Gold Souk also gave them opportunities to click some immersive portraits.
After a hard day of photography, it was time for a bit of fun. No trip to Dubai is complete without an iconic desert safari and our students ended their day with some Dune Bashing which involved riding around on the sand dunes in the desert in dune buggies followed by a spellbinding Tanoura show. The Tanoura dance was developed from Sufi dance in Turkey and Egypt, distinguished by the use of multi-coloured skirts (tanouras). The colours of the desert and the performance made our avid young photographers to pull their cameras back out to practice their portraiture and night photography using long exposures.
If you think the journey to Dubai and a hectic first day would have curbed the enthusiasm of our eager young shutterbugs, you’d be wrong. Day two started early!
The second day started with the sunrise at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. An early morning slot of 5:30 AM was booked on the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa to view a regal sunrise. The sun shines brightly over Dubai, making it look like the fabled lost golden city. It was the perfect spot for some mesmerising aerial photography.
The Dubai Miracle Garden is a flower garden located in the district of Dubailand. Launched on Valentine’s Day, it makes one fall in love with its 109 million flowers in different forms. It was the perfect place to try hands-on macro photography and nature photography.
The day concluded with a visit to Kite Beach, home to the famous Burj al-Arab allowing the students to capture images of the iconic building and try their hand and some more night photography.
And there was still more…
Located a short distance away from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, offered our students time to have fun with and without their cameras. The visit started with the Ferrari World Tour. It’s an amusement park on the Yas Island. It is the first Ferrari-branded theme park and has the record for the largest space structure ever.
The students headed to Corniche beach and clicked some amazing pictures of the Abu Dhabi skyline, Emirates Palace and Marina Mall.
Making the most of their trip to Abu Dhabi, our students headed to the Grand Mosque, an architectural work of art that has space for 4000 worshippers. It gave them the opportunity to hone their architectural photography skills even more!
The last day was a time for some R&R and to enjoy the city life of Dubai with a ride on its famous metro line and the mall before heading back home to work on their pictures.
Seamedu’s first international trip was a success with the students coming back with a myriad of experiences and exposure to an entirely different culture. It truly lived up to our motto of learning by doing!