Photographer's Note

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.

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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