Burj Khalifa

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When I was in Dubai a couple of months ago, with GPP, I took a few days for myself to shoot some tall buildings. At the top of my list was the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world, at 829.8 meters (2722 feet) tall. That’s well over half a mile, folks.

Just for sense of scale, the buildings clustered nearby range from 40 to 60 stories, making them as high as the highest buildings in San Francisco.

Burj Khalifa was designed by the venerable Skidmore Owings Merrill (SOM), and completed in 2009. Below is a mix of dawn, evening, and mid-morning photos.


Across from the lagoon is the Souk al Bahar (tan buildings) which is a mix of retail, private residences, and restaurants. It’s connected via a footbridge to the Dubai Fashion Mall and an outdoor promenade.


The fountains are (of course) the world’s largest choreographed fountains; done by the same company that did the Bellagio in Las Vegas.



All of these shots were made from the Address Hotel, situated across the lagoon from the Burj:


The Address is also high on my list to shoot. The above is an iPhone shot from last year! Yeah, it photographs pretty well…


Shooting without an L bracket (long story, and it depresses me so don’t ask).


The view straight down.


All of the hero shots were made with the Canon 17mm TSE – a truly fantastic lens. Even with a vertical shift of about 6mm, the resolution and sharpness is really incredible. Below are a few crops so you can see what I mean:




This shoot is pretty close to my heart. A lot went into it, and I got a lot out of it…in ways I didn’t expect.

Stay tuned….more tall buildings to come!

10 responses to “Burj Khalifa

  1. Hi Scott, do you have any room for an assistant, caddie, or water boy? I would love to to tag along with you and learn!

    • Calvin, I’m pretty well set for assisting, but shoot me an email and I’ll point you towards some online resources I think are valuable.

      • That is unfortunate!  Please give my a call if you ever need a helper, I’ll be on standby =).  I would really appreciate the online resources you have to offer.

        Thank you, -Calvin



        • CalN, if you’re serious about assisting professionally, you should consider joining an organization like ASMP, and getting on the list. Locally, there’s also Propville, although you need a sponsor that’s worked with you to get in.

          You might also read this:

          “Real” photo assisting is much more than just carrying stuff around, it’s a skilled profession, and a full-time job for a lucky, hardworking few.

          • Yes I would like to do the real stuff!  But of course I’m willing to start from the bottom.   I have been doing wedding photography for a while now but would really like to get into real estate photography.   Here is my portfolio wedding wise:  thatsamorestudio.com.


  2. These are amazing Scott! The architecture there is insanity. I wonder if the Burj has a publicly accessible observation deck..? Thanks for sharing!

  3. WOW, all I can say is I want to go… wonderful dusk shots.. fantastic Scott..

  4. Wonderful twilight shots indeed.
    The b&w is stunning.