Doha, Qatar; December 3, 2014: In the digital era where everyone with a smartphone is a photographer, how do true enthusiasts approach photography? If you must ask this question to the participants at the Photography Exhibition organised as part of the 2014 Ajyal Youth Film Festival, the answer is assured and unambiguous: “It is the photographer that matters, not the camera.”
Evidence to their passion for photography comes to life at the must-visit exhibition in Katara Building 19 that is free to the public. Talented Qataris, several of them pursuing photography as a passion and hobby, have brought a fantastic showcase of portraits, landscapes, abstracts and graphic design works that are defined by creative styling and painstaking perfection.
Hamad Al Muftah, a young photography enthusiast, for example, waited for one hour on London Bridge to snap the shot of the iconic structure framed alongside The Shard and the moon. “I wanted all three to convey a bigger story – of bringing the world together,” he says.
Hamad does not call himself a photographer. “I say I am interested in photography,” he adds. He is willing to go the extra mile for that priceless shot, and has waded into the sea waters while other photographers stood by the shore to take the picture of traditional dhows at a local event.
Hamad’s is one of the photographs that adorns the walls of Katara Building 19, and he would like to be known as a photographer in the league of Rashed Ibrahim Al Mohannadi, whose spectacular portraits are also on display.
The exhibition also highlights how Qatari Nationals perceive their identity and cultural heritage with impressive photographs on the interplay of heritage and modernity, as well as how photographs transcend their own realm to become true works of art. Abeer Al Kubaisi, who integrates the elements of graphic design, is another advocate of the thought that ‘it is the photographer not the camera.’
In addition to the carefully curated selection of photographs on display, enthusiasts can also learn more about the evolution of the photography through the display of cameras and equipment from the Khalifa Al Obaidly collection. On display are a 1914 Kodak Amateur Processor that can mass produce up to 300 postcards per hour, a dark room clock, film cassettes and film cans – all perhaps novelty for the new generation. A Hasselblad HK 7, manufacturing during the World War II for use in military planes, is another rare display in addition to an old Polaroid, among others.
For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival