Wednesday, February 08, 2023 | Rajab 16, 1444 H
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Oman’s stunning architecture and landscapes are all captured in frames at an exhibition titled ‘Gems of Oman’. The expo is part of Wednesday on Walls (WOW) at Majlis Art Cafe, City Seasons Hotel, in which Sultanate’s changing environment is the focal point.

Libin Prabhakaran and Srivastava Sunkara, the two senior members of Facebook collective Friday Shoot Out (FSO), Muscat, have displayed about 30 original photographic works shot during their travels across the Sultanate in the first-ever joint exhibition of their works.

Libin’s work mainly showcases landscape and night photography especially Milky Way and celestial events.

An amateur photographer, Srivastava mainly captures beauty of Oman’s architectures and astro photography which suits his style and interest.

Architectural photography has many classifications, but the two common and simplest are interior and exterior architectural photography. Some of the pictures displayed at the exhibition include forts and mosques like Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Al Ameen Mosque, Taimur Mosque, forts at Muttrah, Bausher and beaches.

Libin says he loves nature, which are seen from his photographs on sunrise at Al Khuwair, Muttrah sea front, Ras Madraka beach among others.

Both Libin and Srivastava agree that the most important element is ‘space’ in architectural photography. This is the reason why those who take interior shots of buildings using wide-angle lens. They’ll be able to capture the complete picture, including the aesthetic elements.

“A lot of them also choose to take clean, simple shots; to avoid the clutter. This greatly helps in establishing the focus and highlighting the character of a space or structure,” they say.

For Libin there has been no looking back after he got his first DSLR camera in 2005 back in Singapore. As a childhood passion where he used to take landscape photos using his father’s point and shoot film cameras, Libin went on to launch FSO in Muscat along with four of his friends. Today, the group has grown into over 4,000 members in Facebook page with over 250 active members. FSO Muscat began in the objective to learn and share photography knowledge among enthusiasts and so far conducted over 200 events and workshops to help members improve their skills. He has undertaken few photo tours with FSO members to Thailand, Switzerland, Kenya and Georgia since its inception.

Beginning with point and shoot in the early 2000, Srivastava used to document the happy moments of his family but now loves all types of genres in photography. After attending a photography workshop in 2007 in Abu Dhabi there has been no looking back which later turned into a serious passion.

Coming to Muscat in 2011 and joining the FSO further boosted his prospects and gave him an infinite scope to improve his passion. He initially used to take all kind of pictures, but later understood his strengths and limited them to landscapes, architecture and astrophotography and continuing to work on them suiting his style and interest.

Srivastava admits joining FSO gave him opportunities to travel to remote wilayats of Oman spending late hours in the night for astrophotography and early mornings in places of worship to take pictures of the architectural beauty of the mosques, or pristine beaches.

This weekend, FSO members have planned to visit Bilad Sayt to pursue their interests in astrophotography and plans to camp at the village overnight to shoot the Milky Way.

The exhibition which opened on August 1 concludes on August 31.

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