Want to become a better photographer? The UAE's Koree explains how
WE TOLD OURSELVES 2020 is going to be a year of conquering new horizons, so when the opportunity to get some tips from a professional photographer to improve our shots arose, we had to snap it up.
Abdelrahman Gabr, or Koree as he's known, is taking part in Apple's creative initiative 'Today at Apple' where various speakers will be uncovering stories of the Arabian Gulf in an effort to highlight the cultural diversity of the Khaleej through artists' and creatives' work. On Tuesday, February 4 from 7pm at Apple Dubai Mall, Koree will be throwing the spotlight on his project, the UAE's surfing community, before you have the chance to get hands-on with iPhone and shoot your own portraits, practice composition and use both natural and studio light. We caught up with him to find out more.
How did you discover the UAE's surfing community and what made you decide on them as a subject?
While I was doing a shoot for my company, artandcreativity.com, my videographer asked me if I surfed and then asked me to join here in Dubai. I thought there were no waves in the UAE, but I was totally wrong. I always like to capture new ideas that haven't been tapped before, so I thought of creating a portrait series called "Dubai Surfers". It has been a year now with the surfing community.
What is it about surfing that lends itself to good photography?
Many elements: the formation of the beautiful blue waves, wind, sand, sky and then you have the athlete performing and surfing amazing waves whether its a two-metres wave or 20 metres high. It just makes the photos look breathtaking and full of adrenaline.
What will your session this evening involve?
I will be sharing the stories of five surfers in Dubai and more shots of amazing surfers on the beaches of Dubai and Fujairah at Apple because I like their products. Using my iPhone 11 Pro and all its modes has become part of me. I don't carry my professional camera every day. With my phone I'm able to capture the crucial and important moments.
In general, what does a subject need to possess in order for you to make it into a photography project?
The subject doesn't require anything, it's more of the photographer's job to make it good. I believe to get a great picture from a subject you have to have a conversation with them, get to know more about the person. The click of the shutter comes in the end.
Who are your artistic inspirations?
Chris Burkard, Joey L, Renan Ozturk, Jimmy Chin, and Annie Leibovitz
What is your dream project?
To document astronauts. These men and women put a lot on the line whether they are maintaining the space station or discovering new things, the idea of being in a place with total risk and getting those unique images would be a blast. Also seeing the Earth from a totally different perspective, I know its a bit far fetched, but if I ever have the opportunity I will definitely be onboard.
What makes the Middle East an interesting base for your work?
I believe if you are able to create content in the Middle East you are able to create it anywhere in the world. It's tough here with the culture and awareness of photography, so being under constant pressure and stress makes you always think more of how to solve your problems and be creative to the max. Also the content in the Middle East is still fresh and new to the world, so knowing the right places and people you will have unique work.
What are your top three basic tips anyone can use to take a decent photo on their phone?
1) The first thing is to clean your lens with a cloth. Our fingers always come in contact with the camera lens.
2) Use the gridlines on your phone to make your photos aligned.
3) Framing is really important. It is what makes the picture great.
What's the biggest photography myth you'd like to dispel?
That having a better camera makes you a better photographer. A good photographer can nail a shot with anything they have to hand. I've seen great photographers with the simplest cameras get more amazing results than photographers with the most advanced equipment.