This is probably the last shot I'll be posting from 2010, and is definitely the last I'll be posting from my trip to the Muttrah Souq in Muscat back in October. That said, I'll be heading back there again in March as Bobbi Lane and I are are running a three-day 'Faces and Places' workshop from March 16th-19th.

We're going to be staying in Muscat for the duration of the workshop, and will be photographing a range of urban and natural environments, both local and further afield (including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Wadi Shab, and the beautiful fishing village of Sur). We'll also be working with models at the Presidential Palace and on the beach, and will be shooting portraits down at the Muttrah Souq. To borrow the text from the GPP page, we'll be showing you "how to photograph the natural and urban landscape, how to produce stunning travel portraits, and how to combine the two to capture and illustrate the heart and soul of the places you visit".

If you'd like to find out more about the workshop take a look at the following page:

http://www.gulfphotoplus.com/news-detail.php?id=242

And if you have any questions, just drop me a line: djn1 AT chromasia DOT com. The short version of all of the above though is that it's going to be a great trip :)

Anyway, to get back to this shot ...

It was taken towards the end of our trip to the Souq, and as you can see from the EXIF data the light was quite low - ISO 640, f/4.0, 1/100s. If you've taken a look at the original you'll see that the light was also very flat. If I'd been at a location I could easily revisit I might have already stopped shooting by this point, but there were so many interesting people milling around that I carried on for at least another 30 minutes after taking this one.

Anyway, despite the fact that the original isn't exactly stunning, after converting it to black and white, adding a large boost in contrast, and removing some of the minor distractions from the background, I am pleased with how it turned out. It's not my best shot from the trip - I think that this one is my favourite - but I am glad that I took it.

On a side note ...

As I mentioned when I posted my previous entry, I've been working on a new Black and White course for PPSOP (further details here) and, as with my own black and white tutorials (info here and here), I spend quite a bit of time explaining why simply desaturating an image is nearly always a bad idea: i.e. other conversion methods such as the Channel Mixer, Black and White tool, Calculations method, and so on, all allow you to vary the tonal balance of the converted image to produce a more aesthetically striking result. In this instance though - just to prove that there's an exception to every rule - I used the Hue/Saturation tool :)

captured
camera
lens
focal length
aperture
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
ISO
flash
image quality
RAW converter
image editor
plugins (etc)
cropped?
5.23pm on 12/11/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
70mm
f/4.0
1/100
aperture priority
+1/3
evaluative
640
no
RAW
Camera Raw
Photoshop CS5
none
1x1
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Muttrah Souq #6 / 22 January, 2011 [click for previous image: Jane and Nik #5]
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