Photography is my passion.
In the many photography related classes I have taken over the years, it never ceased to amaze me how we use basically the same tools: cameras and lenses, to produce such an infinite variety of images. The struggle, or the goal, of most photographers is to find their niche, a combination of what they are good at and what they naturally like. In my own experience, this took a while, and a lot of photos, to arrive at.
As an engineer, I was predictably attracted to architecture, buildings, landscape and the like. I was interested in symmetry and straight lines and the photos I judged the best were always sharp and clear. People were to be avoided at all cost. With the advent of digital cameras in the early 90’s, together with a career heavy on international travel, I had the opportunity to experiment a bit more and started including people in my photographs as well as scenes from every day life from wherever I was. What I did not know, is that I had found my niche and that I was forever hooked.
Photography gives me an opportunity to see the world differently. What a cliche! but yet so true. It taught me to look at my surroundings in search of interesting details, to see what could be different in the usual. My favorite photographs are those that I stumble on by accident. When photographing people, I enjoy the challenge of spontaneous events where I have no, or very little, control over the place, lighting conditions, the action or the angle. I like to capture candid shots of people going about their business unperturbed and uninfluenced by my presence. Recognizing that one misses a lot of opportunities this way, over the last few years I started to try to exercise some degree of control by choosing an interesting spot or background and hope for the right person to come by or an interesting opportunity to present itself
I love how the photographs lie: they extract scenes from their context, they can only see one combination of light and dark and focus unlike our eyes that dart and adjust all the time diluting this contrast. The camera becomes a magic wand; at the push of a button and the whole world is frozen, forever. I tend to like black and white photographs when capturing people. I find that they accentuate the contrasts and forms much better than color does. Clearly color has its place and I like that too, mostly in still life and travel photos. As an exception to all the above, I have a tab on my website entitled “Mind Voyages” where I gave myself the freedom to create photographs composed of individual shots I had taken at different times and locations. I have to admit it was a fascinating and creative experience. It made me feel closer to a painter than a photographer, where the only limitations are my abilities and imagination.
A bit about me: born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, studied engineering in Cairo and New York. I have been living in the US since 1978. Now retired, I spent my entire working career in the Oil and Gas industry based in Texas punctuated with a number of overseas assignments. I am a resident member of Archway Gallery in Houston, where I exhibit and sell my work. I had numerous exhibits around Houston and to date, five of my photographs were selected by National Geographic as part of their Daily Dozen and Photo of the Day program. My heroes are Cartier Bresson, Doisneau and Brassai and, although I missed taking a lot of great photos, my best one is planned for tomorrow.