A new generation of photographers will come together to showcase the ‘Seen and Unseen’ attractions of the UAE with a focus on Ajman at The Ajman Palace, under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal Al Qassimi. Aptly titled ‘Contrast’, it captures the heart of the ever-changing face of the emirates with a random mix of images ranging from street photography to landscapes, wilderness, portraits and architectural marvels.
There are more than 60 photographs on display at The Ajman Palace produced by 13 photographers, each vying for your attention, but you may find your mind constantly wandering – and wondering at the sheer range of it all. Some of the snaps are extremely intense and intellectually stimulating while others are just candid impressions.
Emirati photographer Maitha bint Khalid uses photography to convey a message to the world. She focuses in her photographs on symbols that reflect the authenticity and heritage of the UAE in all its forms and the local environment. According to her: “Photography is a universal language that needs no translation and it’s the best way to express her thoughts”.
So how much of a role does technology play in photography today? Kevin J. Larkin, an American freelance photographer based in Dubai, said, “Technology is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for good photographs. Today, photography has been revolutionized by digital technology. However, although it has become much easier to take photographs that are technically flawless (in terms of exposure and focus), it is just as difficult to capture aesthetically satisfying images as it was in the age of film and chemicals”.
Talking about her subjects, Katerina Smoldyreva, a Russian artist who lives and works in Dubai, said, “When I am photographing, I see life. I don’t have pictures in my head… I don’t worry about how the picture is going to look. I let that take care of itself… It is not about making a nice picture. That anyone can do. It is just capturing life as it happens”.
Contrast: ‘Seen & Unseen’ at The Ajman Palace: March 26 to April 16, 2014