In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Bashar Alaeddin, as his photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 37th Month, 3rd Place. Let’s discover more about Bashar Alaeddin, and his forays into photography in the following interview with him.
Bashar Alaeddin: It’s great! It’s a great feeling knowing an image I captured almost two years ago has won such an award, proves how timeless it is.
Bashar: It was a bit scary. While on a safari in South Africa we were in an open jeep and these two cheetah’s were basically lounging after a heavy meal. I was tired of taking the same angle shots from the seat I was in the whole time, and since we were not allowed to get out of the jeep, that didn’t mean my camera couldn’t.
So I asked my volunteer friend sitting next to me to keep a hold of my belt while I bent down as far as I could (the jeep was pretty high) to the ground and snapped about 40 images with my 24-105mm f/4 zoomed in at the maximum to get such a portrait.The ranger guide was cautiously looking on to make sure nothing sudden happened to startle the cheetah’s, luckily I kept the whole process quiet and smooth.
Bashar: I’ve been doing it for 10yrs since 2003. I consider my first 7yrs maybe I was still a complete amateur. Even now, as a professional running a full time photography business and studio, I still believe I have so much more to accomplish and achieve. It’s great to be considered and hopefully this is just the start.
Bashar: Being a middle-eastern mix, and living between different cities as a child and growing up, it’s been quite the fusion between photography and travelling. I don’t try to document something for the world to see as it is, I document it as my mind and vision sees it. I love to capture streets and scenes where no one would bother go to and shed a new artistic light on them.
L&C: Do you like a particular genre of photography and if so, why?
Bashar: Landscapes and travel mostly. I believe travel is one of the most important things in a person’s development.
Bashar: In this case it was more improvisation. How could I get any other kind of shot away from this seat. My hands can only go this far, you can only stand-up but that was it. And because I think I was sitting on the edge of the jeep, I looked down and said “hey, there’s a spot”. A lot of my other work is majorly pre-visualized where I research the location, what the image in my head looks like and all that. However, you’re put in situations as a photographer sometimes with no pre-planning whatsoever and that’s where all your previous education, experience, whatnot comes into place and those are the moments where I believe you ‘level-up’ as a photographer
Bashar: Yes, I exhibited a few times. Once in a local gallery and in some street art-fairs in Amman, Jordan. None of them were solo, extravagant exhibitions though. My latest display was an image that was part of the Gulf Photo Plus gallery in Dubai in a collaboration called CMYK. It was exciting to get my work displayed outside of my home-town where I’ve been based the past 3 years. Was a great feeling to know I was slowly starting to expand my repertoire into the middle east region.
Bashar: Not involved with any at the moment however I would like to join one soon.
Bashar:Be true to the image and your vision. And try not to do a lot of editing. I fall victim to it sometimes but if the image is great and profound enough, then you wouldn’t need to do any manipulations.
L&C: Thank you, Bashar, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.