Al Qudra Lakes, Dubai, UAE by Maarten Venter

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Picture Story

A short drive to Al Qudra lakes, part of the Marmoun conservation area on the outskirts of Dubai has become a great way to wake up to the sound of hundreds of bird species nesting in trees and hiding amongst the water reeds. It is a beautiful moment to capture when the sunrises over the desert and light up the trees to reflect in the silky smooth waters. If you are lucky you may spot some local wildlife like the Gazelle and the Arabian Oryx. Al Qudra has become my 'go to place' to reconnect with nature.

During the summer months with high humidity, the trees really turn to a beautiful luminous green, but the sky is generally grey and washed out. The quality of light also changes rapidly from blue hour, through golden hour to sunrise, which makes the window for capturing 'good light' very narrow. It means a very early start to the day.

My intention was to create a small collection of photographs focusing on the reflections of the trees in the water. The objective being to focus on the simplicity of the scene and reflect the calmness of the day breaking. This was probably one of the last photographs I took that morning as the sun was rising through the desert haze softly touching the tree tops bringing out the vivid green in the foliage. The lake still in the shadow was a perfectly still reflecting the grey skies above.

In post processing I removed some distractions. There were a few dead trees that interrupted the horizon line and appeared messy. Contrasting yellows in some of the reeds on the water edge was desaturated to bring out and emphasize the greens in the scene. Photography is a creative process from finding a subject matter, capturing the perfect moment and developing it into an image that speaks to the viewer and draws them into the scene.

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