This is a close-up of the building that you can see in the background of the photograph that I posted yesterday – Riyadh’s landmark Kingdom Tower. There is a 300-tonne steel and glass bridge across the top with a viewing gallery that provides an unsurpassed 360 degree view of the city of Riyadh. I’ve posted a night view from the bridge in the workshop.
The building is cased in glass, and as the light changes during the day, so does the colour of the building – from shades of silver to shades of blue – sometimes almost disappearing into the sky – and at night it takes on many different hues as multi-coloured floodlights illuminate the ‘eye’ of the needle.
There is a three storey shopping mall at the bottom (the top floor being reserved for women), a hotel, restaurants and apartments. At 302 metres high, it is the 25th tallest building in the world.
Although it was completed in 2002, there is still a lot of construction going on around it, do I decided to frame it with this crane. The wide angle distortion makes the crane look higher than the tower, but that is because the crane was much closer to me. I took six shots from this POV, adjusting my CPL filter about 30 degrees each time, and in each the colour of the tower looks different. This was the shot that I thought looked most true to life. I used my wide angle lens at 14 mm, and then did a perspective adjustment in PP.
When I was walking across the bridge at the top, one of my Saudi hosts said to me with a great laugh: “The Americans think we built this with a hole in it so we could practice flying planes through it”. His colleagues all laughed loudly too. I suppose his joke was well intentioned, but I guess some Americans might not see it as particularly funny.
Critiques | Translate
wishnugaruda (1305) 2007-01-01 13:01
that's realy an impressive building and I love the blue sky so much. Thanks for sharing, bye and greetings
Sabine - wishnugaruda
batalay (34569) 2007-01-01 13:09
You've presented a defining photo of the Riyadh Kingdom Tower, pristine and clear against the clear blue sky. The composition and sharpness are exquisite, and the explanation is highly informative,
Happy Jan. 1, 2007
Vadim (237) 2007-01-01 13:11
This is excellent picture, with the amazing colors and the successful composition! Construction crane with its straight forms contrasts to the smooth, elegant lines of building.
leonorkuhn (16235) 2007-01-01 13:23
Very nice building, good technique and architecture. Good shot, POV, light, colors and sharp.
Have a Happy New Year!
kensimage (8561) 2007-01-01 15:35
It looks cool against the deep blue sky, David. The crane makes for a nice graphic composition. It's good that you included only the minimum of the ground and surroundings, to keep that graphic quality. It must have been an very expensive building, compared to a more standard shape, and this in a country that has a lot of poverty, at least among guest workers. Amazing what can be created in the middle of a desert, though, with enough money. Regards, Ken.
PJE (20758) 2007-01-01 22:55
David this photo is really impressive to say the least. Amazing work of architecture and as from the workshop an amazing view. You did very well in straightening the perspective too. Thanks for sharing....gorgeous building merged in with the deep blue sky!
elmec (12210) 2007-01-02 5:47
Amazing is this Tower!
Great composition and perfect done as most of Yours photos!
Happy New Year!
m_s_s (1687) 2007-01-02 9:02
this building looks really like build in the middle of nowhere. nicely captured with this crane. nice colors of sky, but unfortunately circular polarizer doesn't work well without white clouds. nice work anyway.
pboehringer (770) 2007-01-02 10:55
Curious building. David. The shape reminds me of Modor (Sauron's tower) - the one with the eye in the middle, although your post is sunny and quite colorful. The inclusion of the crane was clever. It gives some live and false perspective. Thanks for the detailed note and the WS.
sadeik (3268) 2007-01-02 12:09
That does not look real, an amazing shot. Science ficton in todays world, well done
Oh no run out again!
Salma (1276) 2007-01-03 18:52
This is a great shot .... Good colors and perspective !
and the photo in the WORKSHOP !!!!! is just amaaazing :)
Thanks for sharing.
cuneyt-sb (6559) 2007-01-04 6:17
U probably live in s.arabia at moment ?
I m working in Libya for 1.5 year , if i dont like photograpy
there is nothing to stay for, mybe u have same idea
Nice colors and POV ,Good capture ,
vincz (19099) 2007-01-04 9:28
Wow... this is an extraordinary shot with such a POV and angle. it really shows the gigantism of this structure. excellent job!
John_F_Kennedy (41980) 2007-01-08 2:14
Great sharpness photo! excellent detail in this building! Fantastic colours
hello_ishan (1571) 2007-01-10 5:47
This is a great shot of kingdom tower along with a 'TOWER CRANE'(I think) nearby. The bluish color tone in background makes this shot so effective. Congrats.
Stepan (27210) 2007-01-11 14:37
Looks like a giant bottle opener !!?
Beautiful light and colors... It was an excellent idea to have the crane in the frame to have contrasts, colors and depth.
vinicio (23415) 2007-01-12 5:53
Amazing tower and wonderful POV David, I like the beautiful tower and the close (in the sky) distorted crane arm, compliements, excellent quality and useful note and workshop.
Emiel_Skyfreak (3002) 2007-01-12 5:57
Nice photo. Good composition, fine choice for portrait format due to the form of the buildings.
Good colours and fine polarized sky. Good sharpness too.
bibs69 (3251) 2007-01-15 6:41
Beautiful image :) The perspective given by the wide angle lans is great, specially with the crane in foreground.
Best regards, Laurent.
riclopes (35577) 2007-01-16 7:14
Ha,ha, what a funny joke, David. Your gallery is incredible: you are almost conquering the whole world! One of the most diversified one for sure. This an amazing architecture. I love the minimalist shape, but what really attract me is the chages of color that you talk about. Being a skyscrapper I think it has low impact on the landscape - here it almost isn't noticeble against the sky. The crane adds an interesting graphism and I like its inclusion. Great shot and congratulations for the gallery - I really envy your trips.
sebcz (2345) 2007-01-16 9:36
Interesting perspective, making the crane look as big as the giant building. Fine shot.
josepmarin (57459) 2007-01-16 12:33
Already you know that I like the photos of good architecture, and here you us present this photo of a fantastic building, very well caught in your setting and with an excellent POV.
Good work with the light and with the CPL, the sky is very beautiful, and I like how it is mixed by the front of glass of this beautiful building.
The contrast with the crane is strong, though you explain very well the optical effect that makes it seem to be higher.
Good PP also, correcting the distortion of 14mm.
It is a great photo.
The WS with the night sight from the top of the building is excellent also.
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2007-01-17 17:42
Wow, great building! Excellent capture with very nice colours.
alainh (35579) 2007-01-18 3:50
always the same pleasure discover your galery. this one is astonishing and the angle choosed give a great perspective at the composition.
have a nice day
regards of France
TeresaT (10806) 2007-01-20 15:18
What an impressive building you've captured here.
I like this minimalistic arquitecture.
About the photo I like the inclusion of the crane here and the saturated blue sky is great.
capthaddock (28790) 2007-01-21 21:14
Hi David - this one of those extremely rare cases where a construction crane makes a positive contribution to the photo, here it higfhlights the construction boom fueled by petrodollars, but for how long? I wonder if Saudi can transition from dwindling oil wealth to alternative schemes the way Dubai seems to be doing. I seriously doubt it, they should watch Syriana and do some thinking.
Didi (54651) 2007-01-29 6:14
The PL gives a nice contrast to the sky and more attraction to the futurist building.
Very nice composition.
jafadabret (56497) 2007-03-07 3:05
David, je suis en admiration devant cette tour magnifique mais surtout pour travail que tu as fait en PP pour la présenter sous son meilleur jour. Le bleu du ciel, la grue géante mettent bien cette tour en valeur. J'aime en particulier la belle courbe du sommet de l'immeuble sous une belle lumière.
Isab (865) 2007-03-08 12:06
Très belle photo! sujet intéressant et très bien cadré.
Les couleurs sont belles.
MIG13 (0) 2007-03-12 1:06
Hi, David, this is a fantastic building, nicely captured by your expert eyes! Great POV and colours! Very good note too! TFS! Best regards! Miguel.
Graal (94980) 2007-04-09 2:35
amazing view, interesting place and note, fine vertical frame and well quality of photo. I like it.
leiju (1697) 2007-05-03 15:01
Woah! This looks surreal! It seems I am looking at a sci-fi movie of some sort... I must admit that I have been in complete ignorance about this building! What a discovery! Thank You!
I really enjoy the way the crane seems higher than the building! It adds that extra twist to the scenery, making it even more surreal. I simple love it!
You did really well with the colours and lens distortion! ... woah!
Thanks for sharing such an impressive sight!
All the best,
quillo (11850) 2007-05-07 9:52
Hello David, keeps on being a pleasure to visit your collection of photos, for the variety and the quality, this one has impressed me for the topic that you have chosen if especially for the magnificent framing in which you obtain dinamizar in a perfect tuning of balances and you form the building and the crane. The colors are excellent.
Congratulations for the good work.
A hug my friend.
Ulishna (2268) 2007-07-03 12:05
Impressive building and very impressive crane!
lucabellincioni (3840) 2007-07-11 6:27
I think this tower is an "eco-monster" and not a beauty building... Really awful!
totoamoto (2519) 2009-01-22 4:58
Bien vu la grue à coté de cette tour, la composition est originale et réussie..
MichaelTrezzi (3347) 2009-06-27 13:01
Hello David, this is a great composition, th eblue building with the nice curve combined with the diagonally placed crane in yellow. Juts perfect. Kind regards, Michael
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-12-12
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm f/4G ED, Circular PL
- Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2007-01-01 13:00