52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 7 – Time

This photograph was taken – as you can see – on New Year’s Day 2012, in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. It shows the date on both the Gregorian and Islamic (Hijri) calendars, as well as the names, in Arabic, of the five daily prayers (the display alternates with the time that the prayers are to be said on that specific day).


52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 7 – Time

Capital carving close-up

The precision and detail of the carving on the capital of a marble column in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is clearly brought out in this monochrome close-up.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Close-ups


Something in the human brain is attracted to symmetry; we find it – almost always – aesthetically pleasing. And, as Cee points out this week, it can appear in many different guises.

To begin with, here are two images from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The first is yet another (no apologies though) chandelier, pictured from below, which is an example of circular symmetry, while the second is the top of a dome, which is obviously an example of left/right symmetry.

Although symmetry is an important element of Islamic art, it also features extensively in secular situations in Arab countries. Here is part of the seawall on the Abu Dhabi Corniche and – more prosaically – the underground carpark of the Dubai Mall.

It’s also possible to see symmetry in multiple subjects: like these two conjoined kites from the Blond airshow and a set of measuring jugs from a museum in Sarlat.

And finally, the symmetry of reflections on the Dordogne River


Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Symmetry


Four images that demonstrate the theme of perspective for Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge this week:


This detail of an old dhow drawn up on the waterfront in Abu Dhabi contrasts with the modern skyscrapers in the background.


Still in Abu Dhabi, this aircraft was flying over the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque when I happened to be there.


The red and white striped windsock at the Blond airstrip is a striking image in itself, but so is the drone behind it.


From a photographic perspective you can debate whether it’s the baby or the cake that’s the subject of this picture, but there’s only one subject that my grandson was interested in on his first birthday.

Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Perspective

Vertical Lines

This week, we try to demonstrate the importance of vertical lines in composition. To begin with, here’s my personal favourite from the selection for this post:

An abacus in the old schoolroom at Montrol-Senard. It wouldn't be the same shot if the column second from the right wasn't slightly askew.

An abacus in the old schoolroom at Montrol-Senard. It wouldn’t be the same shot if the column second from the right wasn’t slightly askew.

A collection of other verticals:


Now, two photographs of the same scene, one in landscape, the other in portrait. Unsurprisingly, the vertical represented by the tyre-tracks is a much stronger element in the portrait version; this makes sense because it’s the tyre-track that’s the real subject, and the trees in the landscape version are just a distraction:



Now, for the vertical line that doesn’t really work in the original, here is a ‘before and after’ from Chartres Cathedral. The vertical is obviously where the door meets the wall, but in the original the thing (whatever it is) halfway down the left side of the image is a distraction and, more importantly, because it’s an open doorway shot from the inside, the exterior has been blown out.

However, cropped to remove the distraction, as well as some of the dead space at the top (which also helps to preserve the original image constraints), and with a bit of tweaking of the tone curve, I think it’s a far superior image:


Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge: Vertical Lines

Patterns in mosaic

This is a detail from an intricately patterned mosaic in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Islam discourages, or in some cases completely forbids, the creation of images of humans and all sentient beings. Accordingly, the development of art has focused to a great extent on geometrical patterns.

(You’ll have to believe me when I say that I’d already selected this image before I saw the one featured in Cee’s post)




Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Patterns

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

Not the most original take on this week’s challenge, but an attractive image nonetheless. Taken at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth