An Exclusive Interview with Faisal Khan

Faisal Khan, who was raised in Saudi Arabia, started taking photograph just a year ago. Along with travel and exploration, photography became another passion for him. It was his childhood dream to travel & live in many countries. Once he graduated with chemical engineering, he had the opportunity to work for long stints in many locations and have traveled around 30 countries. It was a great door for him to have in-depth contact with his religions, cultures, and lifestyles. At the same time this privilege to establish some strong relationships with friends around the world.

Back in 2003, Faisal has embarked on a journey to self-discovery that led to a gradual shift in lifestyle and daily habits, made him drop 28kg of excess body weight, then it was followed by a focus on growing his spiritual dimension. He has started practicing Yoga, meditation, and performed Hajj (Islamic pilgrimage). All these led to a series of positive personal changes in his life, and a quest for continuous development and strong desire to connect with God. He came to realize that, in solitude and being in nature he can know God more through his creations. Visual encounters and messages that he passed by can be captured, and reflected upon with photography. Faisal hopes that through his exploratory lifestyle, he keeps on fueling his strength in connecting with the creation of Almighty. Also, he hopes that through his photos he can inspire others to realize how Allah is the Greatest, and majestic, then take another positive step forward towards a happier life. Faisal sees photography as a form of meditation that channels positive energy through him, a way of contemplation, self-discovery and awareness; much more than capturing a moment. It requires him to be in the moment, focused on his subject and totally detached from what’s unnecessary around him. In his free time, Faisal enjoys running, trekking, paragliding, reading, being in Yoga, learn surfing and kite boarding.

In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Faisal Khan, as his photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 25th Month, 3rd Place. Let’s discover more about Faisal Khan, and his forays into photography in the following interview with him.

An Exclusive Interview with Faisal Khan

Light & Composition: Hello, Faisal Khan. How does it feel being selected as the winner of Photo of the Month, 3rd Place?

Faisal Khan: 1st of thanks to L&C and all the people who liked my photos and shared them. It a great appreciation.

L&C: Your photographs, “Towards the Stars”, was selected as Photo of the Month, is a beautiful night photographs with artistic perspective, correct lighting, and very well presented. Overall, a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.

Faisal: It was my 1st night at a French ski resorts area called Isola 2000. I went there with close friends and had the feeling that I will get something special. Late night, we walked out exploring the area in the freezing weather & this spot looked attractive. I went in & got my camera and tripod & started shooting with high
exposure time in order to start seeing the objects in front of me clearly. I was amazed by the ability of the camera to capture these details and how light was absorbed and shown in the photo. Once I came back to the warm château room, the lens & the camera started to fog heavily. I sealed the camera in a plastic bag & next morning it was perfect again.

Towards the Stars, by Faisal Khan

Towards the Stars, by Faisal Khan

L&C: Besides this winning photograph, many people liked and voted for other photographs of yours in the Photo of the Month contest. You must be proud. How do you see your journey to the world of photography so far?

Faisal: I’m thankful to Allah & extremely happy. With every like & feedback I get, I feel humbled as I’m just a medium to capture these photos which were created by Allah. I got my 1st camera a year ago and started learning with my friend; professional Photographer Ali Berrada who contributed with many photos in L&C and introduced me to this prestigious award. Since then , I’ve been exploring nature and culture with friends & on my own capturing what energises my soul. In addition, I found the books of L&C extremely helpful in improving my knowledge about photography. I’m still at very early steps in my journey & I’m pleased with the progress I’m making.

L&C: As we know, you are originally from Saudi Arabia, which has its own rich diversevcultural and artistic heritage. Do you think depicting life in Saudi Arabia portrays a different essence? How much does that influence your work?

Faisal: Although I’m from Saudi, I left out for work in other countries since 1998. I think what I got from the Arabic and Islamic style is the geometry , I still like to look at elements in a structured way. However, the cultures that I’ve been exposed during my work in Asia gave me more appreciation of colors & light and their impact on us. In the last 18 months, I’ve been living in beautiful Morocco which has a diverse & old heritage. I think that gave birth to the creative side in me in photography and interior design.

L&C: We see so many different genres of photography in your portfolio. Do you like a particular genre of photography?
Faisal: My photos are the outcome of my trips outside the big cities. I try to spend as many weekends as I can in nature ( mountains, valleys, old towns, desert and beaches). However, I feel very comfortable with night photography. Usually it has a surprise factor added to it. In addition, I like to have photos with strong and bold colors & light that make an impact on me and the person who see it. At this stage, I keep all my work without post processing. It makes me much more focused to get the most of my surrounding & Camera while I’m shooting; not to depend on modification later on.

L&C: One of the keys to any style of photography is visualization. Please tell us how you started this process and what you did afterwards.
Faisal: When I started photography, I use to focus on one key element and photograph it. That could be the object or a light. Once I became more confident of what I’m going to Capture, I started looking at a scene in total. What I get out of my visualization is usually a feeling that attracts me towards taking the photo. Once I capture it & start looking at the photo, these feelings convert into emotion & story that makes that photo meaningful for me. Once I’m with the camera & in order to get the composition I want, I found it simpler to divide the photo into key objects, layer them by depth where I fix one of them and move myself around the rest until I get the best combination. Once the composition is ok, I start looking for the best exposure level that helps me convey the message in the most vibrant and energetic way.

L&C: Faisal, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.
Faisal: I haven’t exhibited my photos yet, everything is happening fast & I’m thinking of collaborating with some friends and having some of them exhibited in the near future

L&C: What advice would you give our readers who want to take part in the journey around the world with Photo of the Day?
Faisal: If you believe in yourself, go ahead and start taking photos, read, learn, get feedback & you will get something positive on the journey. It is a very rewarding process.

L&C: Thank you, Faisal Khan, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.
Faisal: Thanks a lot for this opportunity and will keep on improving my skill and creativity
to share more photos.

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