A portrayal of the diverse faces in UAE

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A portrayal of the diverse faces in UAE
Bejewelled Splendour: Young Emiratis share a deep affinity and love for the nation's traditions, especially its attire.

Kochi, India - Shihab, Khaleej Times Senior Photographer, unveils collection of portraits

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 28 Jul 2016, 6:37 PM

Last updated: Sat 3 Sep 2016, 1:16 PM

A collection of portraits taken by Khaleej Times Senior Photographer Shihab was unveiled at a ceremony in India.
'Portraiture,' the first in a series of portraits by Shihab, depicts people from all walks of life. All the proceeds from the book will be donated for the education of underprivileged children.
Malayalam film director, Kamal, presented the first copy of the coffee-table book to Sibi Malayil, film maker. Among the guests were film directors Amal Neerad, and actors Sidhiq, Majeed and P.V.Antony, managing-director Medical Trust hospital, Kochi attended.
Portraiture is the result of over three years of passionate pursuit of 'subjects' across the UAE, says Shihab. The decision to photograph a face was his own instinct, mostly guided by the eyes and often by the profound humane connection he forms with the person.
Portraiture also includes a series of black and white photographs shot on an analog camera, with almost all photographs shot early morning or late evening.
"I didn't want the liberty of shooting on digital, and chose the diligence needed for shooting using the black and white films which I had ordered online," says Shihab.
He developed them in his bathroom which was light-proofed to serve as a conventional black room.
For the colour photographs the digital camera was used in his pursuit to capture the 'right hues and textures.'
The subjects of Portraiture are varied: Shihab presents intense faces that he met during his travels through the desert. "Every face, every picture had a story to tell," says Shihab.
The multicultural diversity of the UAE comes to life in the pictures. There are several captivating faces of Emiratis that underline the nation's rich cultural heritage as well as modernity.
Shihab, who was inspired by celebrated photographer Steve McCurry to embark on the journey to capture portraits, says the UAE was the obvious choice for his first series.
"Where else in the world could I have met a Masai warrior, a Sudanese camel herder, a German antique trader, a Pakistani mechanic or an Indian tea-boy - all in one country? This is my tribute to the nation, which is home to all those who come calling," says Shihab.
Every photograph captures a moment of spontaneity. "Sometimes, I would shoot other subjects to distract the 'protagonist' I had in mind before turning the camera on him or her. None turned me away when I approached them with my request, and I thank them all for their kindness," Shihab noted.
He plans to continue on his 'Portraiture' journeys both in the UAE and India.
Shihab has covered the usual, unusual and the extraordinary - from tsunami-struck lives to the civil war in Libya and life in refugee camps. He has covered film festivals, fashion shows, high-profile sporting events and everyday spot news.
Shihab has several award-winning works, and exhibited his acclaimed photographs in 2015 at several exhibitions in India.

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