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2018 Classic Landscape Category Winner: Timothy Moon
Better Photography Photo of the Year Awards

Timothy Moon is retired from a successful architecture practice and now enjoys a good photograph. “I now spend a lot of my creative energy learning and crafting the visual art skills of a photographer behind the camera lens.

“Capturing, refining and distilling the essence of place was something I aimed for in my architectural work, and now it is an approach I continue with my photography. I love the challenge of seeing with fresh eyes and having previously used a paintbrush or a pencil to capture landscapes, both built and natural, the digital age enables me to approach landscape painting with a camera (and a drone).”

The remarkable landscape was captured among the dunes of the Empty Quarter, about a two hour drive from Abu Dhabi. “A catch-up with friends provided an opportunity for a layover on the long trip to Europe. Renting a car was an easy option, which enabled day trips around the sights of Abu Dhabi and the adventure bound journey into the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter), an area described as the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass. The dunes roll and fold their way to the horizon.

“I went in winter, so on the day of capturing the image, it was only 35 degrees at sunrise! During the day, the light is bright and intense, tending to burn out any detail in an image. The time before sunrise was ‘magic hour’, with the soft predawn light highlighting the colours and details in the dunes.”

Tim says he used his trusty Nikon D810 with a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 lens and a Sirui carbon fibre tripod (he’s still cleaning the fine dust of the dunes out of the joints of the tripod).

“The image was processed in Photoshop with only a few strategic adjustments. First, the colour cast was neutralised, then an auto curve applied, and finally an enhance per channel contrast. Some selective dodging and burning adjusted the light and dark areas to help direct the eye within the image.”

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