Dubai :: Day 02

March 4, 2012 | Misc. Photos

Location scouting with Joe McNally.


Gregory Heisler fat boothing Joe.


Marble factory in Dubai. One of our locations for this week’s location class.


One of the workers at the marble factory.



Hopped on an Iranian boat.


You know… Like ya do.


One for my Dubai in Contrast series.

I love this town.




  • Ken savage said on March 4, 2012

    Are you there to shoot for yourself or teach?

  • Zack said on March 4, 2012

    @Ken – Both.

  • Thomas Lester said on March 4, 2012

    Dude… to be in the same room with both Heisler & McNally (two of my photo heroes) has to be a real treat. Two great sense of humors, two AMAZING photographers. Love that shot.

  • Bob K said on March 4, 2012

    If you’re Gregory Heisler, using apps like FatBooth is cool. The rest of us….

  • Rene Delbar said on March 4, 2012

    Never mind the camera… Your ability to master composition, see the light and capture the ‘human interest’ is sooo inspiring!

  • Scott M. said on March 4, 2012

    Are you using the fuji for this shoot?

  • Zack said on March 4, 2012

    @Scott – Yep!

  • Michael Sebastian said on March 4, 2012

    Can’t wait to hear about the X-Pro1. I’m thinking it could be a mainstay for me, along with MF digital when the situation demands it.

  • Brian Rodgers Jr. said on March 4, 2012


    I don’t know much about Dubai. Are you guys at all afraid to be taken as hostages or anything being that close to Iraq and Iran? Just seems pretty risky. However, I know you guys have been there before, and if you felt threatened in any way in the past, I’m sure you wouldn’t be there this year.

    It’s gotta be pretty awesome be hanging out with Joe McNally! I’m sure you guys get along great. You have similar personalities. The photos look great man, keep em’ coming! Take care!

  • Zack said on March 4, 2012

    @Brian – I am about as worried about kidnappings here as I would be walking around Atlanta.

  • Jeff said on March 4, 2012

    And how is the camera performing? Would you sell your X-100 to get it?

  • Daniel said on March 4, 2012

    Brian Rodgers, Dubai is safer than many places in the United States. It’s basically the Disneyland/Las Vegas of the middle east… They do have issues regarding women, but thats a different discussion.

  • Javier said on March 4, 2012

    Are these photos taken with the
    X pro1? Amazing.

  • Zack said on March 4, 2012

    @Javier – Yes. All the stuff from Dubai that I’ll post this week will be with the X-Pro1 unless otherwise marked.


  • Much said on March 4, 2012

    I was in Dubai this week and found out, that the crazy skyscrapers with their illumination fit perfect into my series “Autoffocus”, where everything is out of focus. -> Dubai
    This town is exaggerated in every way. The buildings are so brave – one has to see it. Even if they are not as sharp as usual. :-)

  • GregK said on March 4, 2012

    Great stuff. More fatbooth photos.

  • James Hazelwood said on March 4, 2012

    Zack Good answer on the kidnappings. Sheeeesh…. Americans need to get out and see the world and stop watching CNN and Faux News.

    Locations, especially the marble factory looks amazing. Can’t wait to see more


  • Dean Gale said on March 4, 2012

    Lovely images. I might have to get one!

  • trent ranszicki said on March 4, 2012

    cool inside news, thanks zack.

    although i have to admit that it brings me back to high school, like i’m looking at all the cool guys from photo club who know mcnally and heisler personally.

  • Zack said on March 5, 2012

    @Trent – Trust me. They’re total nerds. AND… I still feel like you when I’m around them. :)


  • Joe Gunawan said on March 5, 2012

    Incredible photos, Zack! I’m really loving the X-Pro1’s picture quality. But one thing that bugs me when I played with it at WPPI is the very noticeably autofocus lag. Do you notice it, too? Is it a problem in real world usage?

    Joe Gunawan |

  • Wili said on March 5, 2012

    Been living and working in Dubai for almost three years now and I can tell you guys, U.A.E. is awesome. A land with a merry mix of people from different culture living peacefully.

    Zack, I hope you’ll have ample time to visit the district of Satwa (cheap good food!), Bastakiyah and the old souks as well as the emirates of Abu Dhabi (don’t miss the marvelous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque), Ajman and Fujairah.


  • Craig George said on March 5, 2012

    Pretty impressed so far Z. The dynamic range appears appears to be fantastic. Love that shot titled “Hopped on an Iranian boat” where you are shooting out from the shadows into harsh light and the camera handles it perfectly. What lens or lenses are you carrying with you at the moment ?? XF or original X mount? Look forward to the daily updates.

  • Shérine said on March 5, 2012

    Dear Zack,
    try to pass by Beirut, Lebanon…you’ ll looooove the contrast too 😉
    Till than happy Dubai!

  • Edd Carlile said on March 5, 2012

    Was delighted to find (was away from the puter for a day or three) that you are covering your Dubai experience as a daily blog.
    Something really cool to look forward to.

    Thank you for being arsed to keep us all in the loop.

    Edd :)

  • FritzTheWonderMutt said on March 5, 2012

    Zack – You are living the dream. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride so we can live it vicariously.

  • Mark Sass said on March 6, 2012

    Hey Zack!

    What could i say? Dubai! Always wanted to travell to that country (the kidnapping note was ridiculous!).

    I know this is quite a bit off topic, but could you do a blog post/video on how you’re preparing your images for the web? I’m shooting with nikon primes on my D7000 (85/1.8 D and 50/1.8 G – both made for full frame). These are pretty sharp as you might know and i consider myself to know quite a bit about sharpening in post, but never got my portraits as sharp as yours. Maybe it’s because the 1.2 or 1.4 lenses are even sharper (i don’t know if this makes such a difference, when scaled down – even a little bit motion blur probaply has a greater effect).
    Do you scale down in photoshop? Wich interpolation mode do you use? How do you sharpen your photographs (especially b/w stuff – the coca cola guy is so sharp!) Unsharpen mask? High pass filter (with masking?) Both?

    Maybe you could make a video, showing how you processed the cola guy (well, the photographs!) from lightroom to final web output. That would be UGE!

    Thank you so much for inspiration and information, have a great time in dubai,


  • Zack said on March 6, 2012

    @Mark – When you downsize an image so much for web from native res you loose a lot of sharpness. I work my image, downsize it, then unsharp mask no more than .03 pixels around 80% at 0 threshold. That’s it. Nothing else. Also, make sure you aren’t doing something like uploading 1024x or whatever images and then they are being downsized by your site or blog to 900x pixels. That will soften them. My blog posts are 805 pixels wide so I crop my images exactly 805 pixels wide so WP doesn’t do anything strange to them with interpolating them up or down.


  • Mark Sass said on March 7, 2012

    Thank you Zack. Great advise!

    Do you scale down in PS or lightroom (or are both using the same engine)? In PS are different scaling algorithms in the image size dialog. Are they also in the output/export menu in lightroom? And if, wich one do you use or could recommend for downsizing. I noticed, that the downsizing algorithm in PS often results in an over sharpened image and moire, whereas the standard algorithm often works a lot better (depending on the photograph)…

    Sorry for geeking out here on your blog…

  • Zack said on March 7, 2012

    @Mark – I have a set size saved as a crop tool and just click that and pull my crop. Nothing fancy.


  • Keith said on March 19, 2012


    I noticed you gave that young boy your umbrella for shade. Thanks for doing that.

  • Zack said on March 20, 2012

    @Keith – That wasn’t me. Someone else provided that.

  • Allen said on March 22, 2012

    Hey Zack, really great photos! Just curious, I’ve been shooting with the X-Pro1 with the 35mm lens and I’ve been getting a crazy amount of chromatic aberrations in some shots. I know I shouldn’t be shooting wide open when doing high contrast scenes but I just couldn’t help myself (worked fine with the X100). Are you getting any fringing with the lenses you’re using?

  • Zack said on March 30, 2012

    Allen – Haven’t seen too much CA.

  • Mario Dela Cruz said on May 2, 2012

    I would like to say thank you for your photoghraphy talent idea,.. over helpfull for me… specially the one light… TY.

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