Griots Republic (GR): Hamed, you are a Petroleum Engineer from Muscat, Oman whose work has been featured in National Geographic and you’ve won over 200 photography awards. How did this happen? How did you fall in love with photography?
Hamed AlGhanboosi (AG): I am from the Jalan area, east part of Oman. By profession, I am an engineer and am currently holding Contract Representative Position in Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). So, I would do photography part-time without disrupting my current profession. I like all aspects of photography but I’m more interested in landscape and street/travel photography.
Back in 2008, I had an away day with my colleagues from PDO. I captured a few photos which they admired. I realized that there was a photographer in me and I acquired my initial equipment (camera Canon 400D and few lenses) which helped me to take photos in different aspects such as landscape and portraits. Now I own a canon 5D mark III and canon 6D with different lenses such as the canon 24-70 mm, 70-200 mm and others.
Truly speaking, initially, my passion and curiosity dragged me to photography and as such, I did not have a mentor or idol. I learned a lot through the internet. Slowly as I became deeply involved in the art, the works of many artists globally and locally inspired me greatly.
Griots Republic (GR): Your landscape photos of Oman are so diverse and beautiful. Are people typically surprised that some of these places are in Oman? How do non-Omanis respond to your photos of Oman? And are landscape photos your specialty?
Hamed AlGhanboosi (AG): Interestingly, even some of the Omanis are surprised when seeing my landscape photos of Oman as they wonder where such beautiful places exist in our beautiful country. Of course, non-Omanis who are interested in natural beauty always inquire about such places as they want to visit those areas. There are so many hidden beautiful places in Oman and once you really venture out, you can find this diversity. Though my specialization is in street photography, I always enjoy and have a passion for nature and landscape photography.
Griots Republic (GR): As a travel photographer, you’ve taken photos in so many different countries. What country would you recommend photographers visit for photography and why?
Hamed AlGhanboosi (AG): Travel photography is my favorite target though I am interested in landscaping and portraits also. Wildlife is another area which I like to venture.
My dream is to become a renowned photographer and to have others remember me for my work. Keeping that in mind, I am striving hard to attain my goals by traveling to different parts of the world to take photos. I have travelled to Vietnam, Turkey, China, Tibet, Nepal, India and all the Arab Gulf countries. My latest visit was to Tibet. I had the opportunity to travel with other photographers of Arab Gulf countries. Among the visits, the challenging and most memorable one is my visit to Ladakh (between 18,875 ft and 11,880 ft above sea level) in India (India-Pakistan Border) with other photographers in August 2015. Though this mountainous place is a paradise for photographers from all over the world, we were the first Arab photographers to reach there.
Now let’s talk about equipment…
If you had to choose one lens to travel with which one would it be and why?
Hamed AlGhanboosi (AG): If I had to choose one lens definitely that would be the Canon 24-70mm lens. It’s a great lens for travel and people photography. It’s my partner in all trips around the world.
When packing for a trip, what lighting equipment do you take?
Hamed AlGhanboosi (AG): Usually, I take a full frame camera Canon 5D markIII and few lenses such as the 24-70mm, 70-200mm & 16-40mm
What is your favorite computer/editing program and how important is editing to you?
Hamed AlGhanboosi (AG): Editing of every photo is essential to enhance the photo and to remove unwanted subjects. Usually, I’m using Photoshop to edit my photos.
Griots Republic (GR): For novice photographers looking to become a professional and sell their images to major publications, what advice would you give to them?
Hamed AlGhanboosi (AG): I always advise the beginners that this beautiful art requires patience and 100% dedication. Through hard work and dedication only, one can become a professional photographer. Do not look to this profession for monetary benefits only. Once they become a professional, money will follow them.