Communing with nature

One of Ali Rahimi’s pictures in the Man and Desert series is a reflection of his own mind. An Arab sits on a mound of desert sand but his face is blurred. It’s the rocks strewn around that are more prominent. Nature takes precedence over man.

By Raziqueh Hussain

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Published: Fri 26 Nov 2010, 10:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:27 PM

“I’m very interested in web design and a lot of different art mediums. I create music and am passionate about photography, but I don’t have a professional degree in arts. I’m an engineer, but it all combines in it’s own unique way. I’ve been working as a photographer in Dubai for three years but I’ve been making pictures my whole life. Over time I’ve developed my own unique way of looking at things. I like things that are calm and make you feel something. It all reflects some of my personality,” says the Dubai-based Iranian photographer who won the second prize in the Nature category at ‘Prix de la Photographie’ held in Paris.

His ongoing exhibition at Movenpick Hotel has 33 photographs shot in and around the UAE as a montage of his artful approach to conceptual and portraiture photography.

Rahimi’s latest achievement has been a honourable mention award for the entry of The inner sanctum which if taken will be exhibited at SIM Exhibition to be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from November 28-30. Kathy Moran, juror of Art in Nature, selected his photograph Rough Beauty for the Art in Nature Photo Exhibition at The Center for Fine Art Photography, Colorado, USA. “Moran is the National Geographic magazine’s first senior editor for natural history projects. So I’m thrilled with her choice,” he smiles.

This year, Rahimi also held an exhibition in support of a good cause in Iran. Along with a group of photographers, in Teheran, he displayed his works to support children with cancer in association with Mahak Charity Society, an institute that supports Iranian children suffering from cancer.

The photographs put up at this exhibition, that is on till December 13, reflect local life in the Emirates. “The pictures have been influenced by Vice-President of UAE and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s poems on the desert. The poems were my inspiration for the Man and Desert series and I’ve tried to capture those moments in time and in these photographs. Refuge is my favourite in this selection,” he says pointing to the photograph of an Arab dragging a chair on the sand, walking away into oblivion and merging with nature.

Some photographs are black and white and there’s also colour in others, depending upon the subject and location. An exposure shot of a girl and boy standing near the sea gives out a dreamy feel. So how many shots does it take to get the “right one”? “That depends on many factors, like the location, position and especially the mood. Sometimes two shots are enough. There are times when 10-20 are sufficient, but there are those moments when you need to shoot a 100 to get to perfection,” he reveals.

Nature is prominent in most of his works so does he have a “natural eye” for photography? “Well, yes, I think so. Anyone can take a picture, but the result is there for everyone to see. Every photographer has his own perspective but the message is essential,” he adds. Rahimi is delighted with the response to his first exhibition in Dubai. “After all it’s for those who love photography. There is one lasting impression that is left in all my photos. It depends on how you view it and you’ll have to come over and spot it yourself,” he says.

(Ali Rahimi’s photographs are on display till December 13 at Movenpick Hotel & Apartments, Bur Dubai).

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