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Photographing Burj Khalifa

This is my first time to see The New Dubai and Burj Khalifa, and as we are meeting Keith’s daughter and her new baby the next day, I thought I’d better to get it off my chest to photograph Burj Khalifa and it’s singing fountain that only happens in the evening. I asked a shop keeper of a souvenir shop in Dubai Mall when will the Singing Fountain start and he said “It won’t start before 6.30 pm and it will only show every 30 minutes.

As a good photography enthusiast, I learned that:

  1. Do a reconnoiter how to get to the location of where I would shoot the picture later on and how to get there.
  2. A nicer picture should be taken during the magic hour, or around sunset; and sunset was supposed to be around 6.02 pm and twilight should be at 7.01 pm.
  3. Come early and prepare my photography gear for action.

Thus I decided to arrive between 5.30 to 6 o’clock, so that still plenty of time for me as well as I won’t keep my husband waiting too long… the thing that he has to put up with – waiting for me photographing nonsense. However, I did not expect is this:

The crowd who watch the singing fountain

The crowd who watch the singing fountain

There’s no way to find a space for me to set up my tripod and take pictures over those heads and arms with cameras. I wonder where are all these people are coming from? If they are residents, how often do they take pictures of this as the singing fountain happens everyday? If they are tourists like me, I salute Dubai for it’s ability to attract tourism so much.

Another hick-up I had was as I was using my new camera, which is a Nikon D600, a full frame camera but able to mount a DX lens. What I didn’t quite understand was how to look for the framed picture through the view finder, thus this is the result:

Top end of the building were cut from the picture.

Top end of the building was cut from the picture.

I realized then that the location I chose to take the picture was too close to the object and too low. I needed to be further away from the object like this:

Further away, but missing the singing fountain this still too low

Further away, but missing the singing fountain – still too low

What do you think???

I also uploaded some picture on Nin’s Lenscape – my photography blog

Filed under: eBlog, travel

About the Author

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Retired Architect | Photographer | Traveller | Dog Sitter | Gardener Wannabe |


  1. Pingback: Bye-bye 2013 | Nins' Travelog

    • Hi there, for the latter 2 pictures I used 14-24 mm lens, on full frame camera, yet it’s the distance that is important.


      • Cameraguy

        Thanks Nina, do you know what mm you used on the very last photo? The entire 14mm? This place seems like the rear lakeside entrance right? It seems the furthest one could take a photo from… I am worried my 16-35 is not going to cut it…


      • yes, it’s on 14mm and it was just in, I did not crop it. I think you need to take from different location and even on a higher elevation like on 3 floor to give you a bit of the water reflection into the picture….


  2. Cameraguy

    That’s what I figured. With 16mm I might get the whole building, but no water. You say 3rd floor? 3rd floor of what building? Are we allowed in the building cross from it? Not sure I will be able to get reflection or not as I will only be there during the day time hours. I have a stopover and decided to leave the airport for a few hours.


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