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Dubai In Flow Motion |Photography & A City That Challenges What’s Possible

By Kishore Sawh on February 18th 2015


It’s funny how quickly the pace of photographic tech has been evolving since the switch to digital. It’s not just the gear, but some of the processes. Take timelapses, for example. Can you remember the first time you saw one? For many of us, it was to the hypnotic and soothing voice of David Attenborough as he meticulously described the blooming of a flower on whatever National Geographic or BBC program we were watching. “How?” we wondered, “did they do that? What patience the photographers must have.” Now though? You can do one on your phone even if your brain had been replaced by a cauliflower.

While we still sort of love them, perhaps, in part, due to the reminiscent feelings, they fail to shock us, or even really hold our attention anymore. Then hyperlapses came about and that shook it all up a bit. But then there’s what Rob Whitworth does, and that makes your average timelapse and hyperlapse look as outdated and unevolved as sexual stereotyping.



We’ve featured a few of his projects here before, and for good reason, they are absolutely astonishing. In fact, I’m running out of superlatives to describe them. From the festive streets of Barcelona, to the mystery-shrouded streets of Pyongyang, Whitworth’s ‘flow-motion’ videos dissolve our notions of timelapses, and make us question our senses. ‘How did he do that?’ is invariably a question that runs through your head as you watch his past works, and even more-so on the one featured here, in Dubai.

Dubai, whatever your thoughts on it, is a testament to human will, ability, and money. It’s home to people with enough of it to turn the desert green, or in fact, into not a desert at all. It rises like an oasis reminiscient of fabled mirages, except it’s all too real, and impressive. Incredibly, Whitworth manages to create something that’s visually more stunning than the place itself, and at the same time, capture the human aspect to it most other films of the place are so devoid of.

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It covers 3 months worth of exploring, researching, and filming, in 3 minutes. From boarding, flying, and landing in one of the Emirates’ giant A380s, to scaling and sinking through the Burj Khalifa, the video storyboard encapsulates an entire trip. In fact, it’s the storyboard and cooperation of the city that really helps to pull this video into its own stratosphere. As a photographic accomplishment, it’s really quite something. See for yourself.

And see more from Rob on his site and Facebook.

Here are a few more extended scenes in 4k:

Images are screen caps from featured video

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Kyle Farris

    Every time I see one of these videos, I immediately feel that I’ve done nothing in my life worth showing anybody… So friggin’ epic.

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  2. Jason Teale

    Really well done. I am wondering how the shot the Burj floor scenes. At any rate, it totally blew me away.

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  3. Hannes Nitzsche

    E.P.I.C.! this is mind blowing!

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  4. Dave Haynie

    Wow wow! I think Supermsn’s new secret identity might be Rob Whitworth.

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  5. David Hall

    Dizzy now!

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  6. James Rogen

    is anyone else bothered by the fact that the Burj Khalifa doesn’t take the long part of the “b” in the video thumbnail. my ocd in design is screaming…

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  7. Jorge Vazquez

    Just a question , what kind of camera is required for this type of flow motions? D750 will work?


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  8. Jorge Vazquez

    amazing … just imagine.

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  9. Tyler Friesen

    Let me scrape my brains off the wall. My head just exploded!

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  10. robert garfinkle

    Amazing –

    I remember a production company many years ago, Miramar, in the latter 80’s, coming out with “The Mind’s Eye” 1,2,3 etc… using the music of Jan Hammer, it was great at the time…

    These videos remind me of those…

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