Sunday, February 05, 2023 | Rajab 13, 1444 H
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Serb season as seen from the lens of a photographer

By Baraah al Mujaini

Serb season, the season that follows khareef, is highly anticipated by local and regional tourists alike. Normally, the season starts on September 21. During this season, the fog that covers Dhofar throughout the khareef season is lifted allowing visitors to enjoy the crispy version of the different destinations and wildlife.

For many residents in Salalah, this is the best season to be out and about enjoying the gifts of nature. Also, the camels and other animals graze through different pastures exploiting different wadis and grasslands in an event the locals call “Al Khatla.”

During this event, photographers from different places dash through Salalah to document these beautiful events unfolding. Accompanied by fresh relaxing air without fog and rain, families can usually be seen doing picnics outdoors.

Serb season is an opportunity for photographers to come up with novel ideas for taking photos and videos. For Mohammed al Maashani, an Omani photographer, the season is special since he always tries to discover new destinations that have not been documented yet either by photos or videos.

“I go to discover new places, I examine the destination from all its possible angles of documenting, trying to visualise the videos and photos and how the audience would like to see these destinations impressively. I also examine the best time that will make the perfect results of the photos and videos”, Al Maashani shared.

This year, the khareef and Serb seasons were very special, according to visitors and residents since there were lots of serious steps toward activating tourism in the region. Many activities, carnivals, festivals, and exhibitions were conducted in all Dhofar regions. Besides, some Wadis have flowed after being dried for over many years, owing to the climate changes that hit the coastal areas of the Sultanate of Oman lately.

For Al Maashani, the photography world is free from any constraints and he aspires to reflect the beauty of the natural landscapes and wildlife here in Oman whether in the Serb season or any other season. He is also looking forward to participating in local or international photography competitions.

Speaking about his journey as a photographer, Al Mashani said, “The mesmerising environment, full of magical scenes, breath-taking nature, and the diversified terrain has inspired me to begin my photography journey. Salalah where every season is manifested differently forms new appealing landscapes that are not found elsewhere. The environment surrounding me has a significant impact on considering photography as my hobby and eventually my passion”.

Al Maashani started in the world of photography by purchasing a camera and taking photos of impressive natural destinations in Salalah. The turning point in his journey was when he has taken a photo of the seldom-spotted animal which is the Arabian leopard. There are only around 200 Arabian leopards in the world. From the said experience, Al Maashani decided to take photography seriously. This decision was mainly driven by his desire to bring the people out there close to nature and wildlife, particularly in Salalah.

“Mainly, my inclination in photography is toward natural scenes and wildlife since they are the most two interesting features that characterised the environment surrounding me here in Dhofar”, Al Maashani added.

What helped Mohammed to upgrade his skills in photography are several factors, some of which are consistent practising and working with other professional photographers. In addition, consulting lots of international resources via social media has bridged the gap between photographers and others to share their experiences.

“These factors have played a critical role in upskilling me as a photographer, especially when I was just starting,” Maashani said.

Mohammed’s videos and photos go viral locally and regionally, and social media is a key factor in the fast dissemination besides the quality and essence of the photos that evoke people to share them and express the extent to which they like these photos and videos posted by him. Therefore, some of the videos on his different social media accounts have reached over half a million views.

“What makes me unique is the destinations I choose to document, as well as the angle from which I take photos and videos”, he said.’

The videos and photos taken by Mohammed which capture the beauty of Omani nature have significantly been fostering tourism in Oman, as many locals and tourists ask about the location of these destinations to visit them personally.

To check out some of his work, you can follow Mohammed on Instagram @almaashani98.

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