Dubai through an 1857 lens

These photographs of Dubai are by Martin Becka. The images were captured using Gustave Le Gray‘s waxed paper negative process on an 1857 camera.

Becka exhibited the photographs as “Transmutations: Capturing Dubai using the 19th Century techniques in Photographs” from October - November 2024 at Dubai’s Empty Quarter Gallery. Becka told Time Out Dubai:

“In my photographs, the cities are transformed into an imaginary, almost archeological state. I remove all permanent agitations – the fury of noise pollution. I instil calm into the scenes and leave more room for poetry – the poetry of avenues, as it were. The construction takes on the appearance and beauty of the monuments of antiquity. For me it is very far removed from the nightmarish, apocalyptic world depicted in Metropolis.”


Thank you to Martin Becka.

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4 comments to Dubai through an 1857 lens

  • Mary Joanna

    I love these. Was thinking over dinner last night that would love your Retroscope to travel to Angola in the 1950s, the Marginal, Jerusalem in the 1930s and 1940s and Kosovo at the turn of the 20th century x

  • uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by chriswildhq: Dubai sent 150 years into the past… -

  • Skeilak

    Kind of reminds me of the silent film, “Metropolis”, somehow…

  • Daniel Højlund

    WOW! These pictures looks amazing! I especially like 4th from the top. Great work!

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