Photography as a fine art has inspired many youths to explore the natural and heritage features of the Sultanate of Oman. From the point of view of the current generation, photography helps one to document common and rare species of wildlife in their natural habitats, whether it be mountainous, desert or marine.
Omani photographers are keen on documenting life and publish them via their personal accounts on social media, so that the audiences can interact with them directly.
Yousef bin Mubarak al Ghadani is an example for the Omani youths who have taken up the hobby in right earnest. "My beginnings in photography were very modest, as I used the mobile phone camera to take pictures of children and common natural places I used to visit,” said Al Ghadani.
“But after I started working in the environment field as an observer of wildlife in the Wilayat of Qurayat, I decided to develop my photography skills. Therefore, I practised photography after watching dozens of specific lessons on ‘YouTube’ channels”, he added.
The nature of his work as an observer of the elements of wildlife since 2013 gave Al Ghadani the first impetus to enter the world of photography, as his work in Ras Al Shajar Natural Reserve in the Wilayat of Qurayat was a great opportunity to learn more about a large number of wildlife species, especially wild animals and birds.
Ras Al Shajar Natural Reserve, set up in 1982, is located between the wilayats of Qurayat and Sur and covers an area of 93.7 square km. This reserve is characterised by the abundance of Al Samar, Al Sarh and Salam trees, hosting dozens of wildlife species. Rich in many natural, animal, plant and geological resources, the reserve also includes large numbers of Arabian deer, Arabian ibex and various types of birds.
"During my work as an observer, I took my professional SLR camera with me to take pictures of all the animals and birds that caught my attention during my work trips, and those pictures were admired by officials and colleagues in the environment sector", Al Ghadani told the Observer.
Photography for Yousef al Ghadani is not just a hobby or entertainment, but he sees it as a national duty and opportunity to introduce to the world the elements of Oman's nature and its civilisational and cultural heritage.
"All pictures carry very accurate content, meaning and details, and my choice to document nature and its features is a work that helps me to be an important part in supporting various awareness programmes in the environmental sector, as one picture is worth a thousand words, and the use of photographs has dispensed with a lengthy explanation and helps us deliver our awareness message about the necessity of protecting nature”, he added.
"After I was able to take pictures, I started making montage of short films using mobile phone programs. With these photos and films, I try to help those who follow these photos to reach many eco-tourism sites in Oman", he clarified.
The camera for Al Ghadani is his ‘third eye’ through which he sees scenes that others cannot see, and he tries to draw in his mind what this or that shot will lead to. It also takes care of choosing the appropriate angle and determining the degree of good lighting during photography.
"I still practise photography as a hobby, and I aspire to reach the level of professionalism, and I hope to organise my own photo exhibitions during the next stage”, Al Ghadani added.
PHOTOS: YOUSEF AL GHADANI