An Exclusive Interview with Bashar Alaeddin

Born in Kuwait City, lived between Jordan and Lebanon most of his life, Bashar Alaeddin has over 9yrs experience in digital photography since he picked it up as a hobby for a course during his university years. Starting from a 2mp Samsung, he is now the founder of a photography & video studio based in Amman, Jordan where his time is split between his commercial day job photographing food, interior, products and portraits; and his night-time job traveling around the middle-east region capturing landscapes, the culture and his favorite genre, long-exposures of the night-sky. He is an amateur astronomer and tried to combine that with his love of photographs showcasing the beauty of the Arabian landscapes under starry nights.

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.

An Exclusive Interview with Bashar Alaeddin

An Exclusive Interview with Bashar Alaeddin, winner of Photo of the Month – 37th Month, 3rd Place.

Light & Composition: Greetings from Light & Composition, Bashar. How does it feel being selected as the winner of Photo of the Month, 37th Month, 3rd Place?

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.

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

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.

Cheetah Stare, by Bashar Alaeddin

Cheetah Stare, by Bashar Alaeddin

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.
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?

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.

L&C: How did the place you grew up, or live influence your work. Do you think the rich diverse cultural and artistic heritage of that place portrays a different essence to you?

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.

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.

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

L&C: Bashar, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.

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.

L&C: Are you involved with any photography organizations? How does this help you in your photography?

Bashar: Not involved with any at the moment however I would like to join one soon.

L&C: What advice would you give our readers who want to take part in the journey around the world with photography?

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.

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