Winners of Friends of Old Woman Creek photo contest announced


Winners of the Friends of Old Woman Creek 2023 photo contest will be on display beginning Sept. 18 at the visitor center at Old Woman Creek State Nature Preserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, 2514 Cleveland Road East in Huron, the start of National Estuaries Week, according to a news release.

Emily Green of Sandusky won first-place in the adult category with her photo of a chipmunk in a shaft of light, according to the release.

James Daneker, of Milan, won first place in the teen category. (Submitted)
James Daneker, of Milan, won first place in the teen category. (Submitted)

James Daneker of Milan won first place in teen category with a photo of a monarch butterfly on a flower, the release said.

Green and Daneker will receive $30 each, according to the release.

Retired Plain Dealer photographer Lynn Ischay judged the entries.

“Green’s photo was technically beautiful, in challenging light and the photographer had to be silent and invisible to catch that moment,” Ischay said in the release.

Rob Meyer, of Milan, won second place. (Submitted)
Rob Meyer, of Milan, won second place. (Submitted)

Second place and $20 went to Robert Meyer of Milan according to the release.

“Seeing a third bald eagle landing to join the other adult and juvenile is a stunning opportunity,” Ischay said.

Jennifer Yingling of Sandusky won third place. (Submitted)
Jennifer Yingling of Sandusky won third place. (Submitted)

The shot of a great blue heron among the lotus by Jennifer Yingling of Sandusky won third place and $10.

All winners receive a year’s membership in the Friends of Old Woman Creek, according to the release.

The winning photos will be on display beginning Oct. 5 at the Huron Public Library, 333 Williams St. in Huron, the release said.

Honorable mentions winners were Katie Myer of Sandusky, Robert Myer of Sandusky, Loretta Majoy of Huron and Angela Schindler of Vermilion.


Mastering night photography with vivo V29 5G’s Aura Light 2.0


The vivo V29 5G Starry Purple’s design was inspired by the Milky Way galaxy.The vivo V29 5G Starry Purple’s design was inspired by the Milky Way galaxy.

WITH state-of-the-art imaging features engineered into its sleek frame, the new vivo V29 5G Starry Purple embodies the perfect balance of elegance and functionality with exceptional photography capabilities thanks to its new Aura Light 2.0 feature.

In today’s fast-paced world, our smartphones have become essential companions, seamlessly aiding us in our day-to-day tasks, from communication and organisation to entertainment and beyond.

An important feature that we’ve come to appreciate is a smartphone’s ability to capture life’s fleeting moments on camera with clarity and vibrancy, ensuring we never miss a beat.

The craftsmanship texture and dazzling starry design makes it feel like you’re holding the entire night sky in the palm of your hand.The craftsmanship texture and dazzling starry design makes it feel like you’re holding the entire night sky in the palm of your hand.

Enhanced night scene photography with Aura Portrait 2.0

vivo’s V series has been steadily moving forward as one of the best smartphones for portrait imaging.

Now empowered by the new Aura Portrait 2.0 system, the vivo V29 5G comes with professional flagship-level portrait shooting capabilities, especially when it comes to capturing picture-perfect night scenes.

Compared to its predecessor, the vivo V27, the vivo V29 5G has a 36% increase in brightness effects, making the subject in images look clearer and brighter.

In real-world environments, ideal light sources are not always available, which is why the vivo V29 5G innovatively features the Aura Light 2.0 with Smart Colour Temperature Adjustment to act as your very own light designer.

The vivo V29 5G has the largest Aura Light size in the V series and is able to increase the diameter of the Aura Light 2.0 to 15.6mm to provide impressive lighting and enhance visual appeal.

Its 360° even lighting feature adds to the smartphone’s boosted lighting capabilities by evenly lighting images from different angles to reduce facial shadows and dark areas.

The Aura Light 2.0 will then illuminate the subject’s face and adjust colour temperature to harmonise it with that of ambient light, allowing the portrait to seamlessly blend into the ambient atmosphere without any noticeable contrasts.

The vivo V29 5G Noble Black variant features etched shimmers on the glass surface to add a subtle aesthetic sheen to the phone. The vivo V29 5G Noble Black variant features etched shimmers on the glass surface to add a subtle aesthetic sheen to the phone.

The Smart Colour Temperature Adjustment feature, on the other hand, enhances portraits in cool and warm light scenarios.

In dimly lit, blue-toned environments, the feature will detect the surroundings and illuminate portraits with a cool Aura light, restoring natural vibrancy by brightening faces.

The Aura Light feature enhances the subject’s face with a natural skin tone. The Aura Light feature enhances the subject’s face with a natural skin tone.

In warm light scenarios, the feature will automatically detect excessively warm low-light conditions and cast a soft Aura Light to enhance the subject’s face with a natural skin tone.

Coupled with a 50MP HD front camera that has a 92° wide angle, auto focus and image stabilisation, the vivo V29 5G flawlessly captures composed group selfies, showcasing everyone’s best with impeccable distortion control.

The vivo V29 5G offers a visually appealing look and comfortable grip.The vivo V29 5G offers a visually appealing look and comfortable grip.

Starry Purple elegance

vivo V29 5G Starry Purple’s design was inspired by the Milky Way as it represents a captivating spectacle of two celestial rivers in the night sky, elegantly mirroring one another.

With a thickness of just 7.46mm and a weight of only 186g, the vivo V29 5G offers a visually appealing look and comfortable grip that even reduces fatigue during use.

The smartphone comes with the clearest display of vivo’s V series thus far with a 120Hz 1.5K Amoled 3D curved screen that supports Full High Definition (FHD).

It also depicts a dazzling display where dense clusters of stars paint the sky with a radiant glow, while sparser formations glitter the mesmerising allure.

The rear craftsmanship texture and dazzling starry design perfectly complement each other, making it feel like you’re holding the entire night sky in the palm of your hand.

To achieve the effect of a glittering star-filled sky, vivo undertook a challenging process and pioneered an industry-first innovation, utilising invisible magnetic forces to control 9 million magnetic particles to form specific patterns.

Due to the absence of industry software that can simulate painting with magnetism, getting the desired texture requires extremely complex manual adjustments to magnetic fields. After more than 1,400 adjustments, vivo was able to achieve the Milky Way effect with glittering stars.

The vivo V29 5G is available in two colour variants: Starry Purple and Noble Black.

The vivo V29 5G Noble Black variant also adopts Fluorite AG glass, with etched shimmers on the glass surface to add a subtle sheen to the smartphone.

To find out more about vivo’s V29 5G, click here

For more information, visit or


From Dramatic Locations To Dreamy Photo Sets, Here Are The New Trends In Wedding Photography


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Thu 14 Sep 2023, 8:16 PM

Last updated: Thu 14 Sep 2023, 8:24 PM

It is said that the cake gets eaten, the flowers get withered but it is the wedding photos that last forever. Wedding pictures are a perfect way to preserve what are arguably the best moments of one’s life, and its value only increases with time.“Wedding photography is an art that stands as a testament to love; it transcends time. Cherished for generations, it is all about encapsulating emotions and not documenting pictures,” says Shrey Bhagat, founder and creative director, Raabta.

Undoubtedly, one of the most important aspects of a wedding is photography, which is getting bigger and better by the day. A multi-billion-dollar market that is growing exponentially, wedding photography has evolved tremendously over the years. From dramatic locations and dreamy photo sets to stunning imagery and visual storytelling, the trends in wedding photography are eclectic and exciting. Here is a look at some of the latest trends in this special genre of photography.

Creative, candid and collaborative

Gone are the days when wedding photography was a strictly formal affair and it was all about awkward posing and forced smiling before the camera.“Earlier, there was no real connection between a photographer and the couple, but now, couples and the photographer are a team and all decisions with respect to the approach and style of pictures are taken mutually.

It is all about capturing real, candid moments that tell the unique story of the wedding day,” says Himanshu Patel, founder, Epic Stories. Couples are totally involved in the creative process and the photography team spends hours listening to each couple’s story to understand the best way to capture the essence of their wedding.“Some couples even opt for a customised song dedicated to them, and this just adds a whole new dimension to storytelling with wedding photography,” adds Bhagat.

With the help of new technology and changing preferences, wedding photography has become more creative and dynamic. Photographers today are more focussed on capturing nuances, subtle expressions and feelings shared between the couple. While it could be casual interactions or intricate details, it is all about embracing the authentic, and even the imperfect, to capture the true spirit of the occasion.“Couples love how this gives them an output that is up close and personal. The beauty of these frames is that it is full of raw emotions, with an overlapping foon people,” quips Bhagat. As a result, conventional wedding albums have now transformed into beautiful fairy-tales that encapsulate the narrative of the couples’ journeys.

Latest trends for the Midas touch

Apart from candid images, drone shots have become a rage in recent times. With elaborate décor themes spanning from royal, traditional, tropical, vintage and even boho chic, drone shots are used to capture these details beautifully. Most weddings are all about rituals and elaborate ceremonies, and drone shots lend more gravitas to such pictures.

“Cinematic style photography is the trend these days with a foon candid videography. We work with the couple from months in advance to craft the complete narrative right from pre-wedding shoots, save-the-date creatives and even short, quick teasers with about 10-20 edited wedding pictures or a short film that is released on the same day for the couple to share on social media,” says Palani A, founder, S.A. Digital Studio, Bengaluru. He adds that editing is as challenging as the actual shooting and that the desaturated editing style is gaining popularity. This technique creates images that are artistically minimalistic with softer tones and an earthy, natural feel.

There are a number of couples adopting the vintage and nostalgic aesthetic in terms of black and white images and even hazy images that have an ethereal quality. Most photographers are using a slower shutter-speed to capture these soulful images.“We are also returning to using film to give photos a classic, old-fashioned feel. These dreamy pictures add an extra touch of magic and is akin to viewing the photo through a soft, gentle filter,” adds Patel. Such pictures often feel like they are carrying a memory right in the photo.“Controlled blurriness adds cinematic emotion and movement, focusing on moments and gestures,” says Jayant Chhabra, founder, Cupcake Productions.

Further, first look images are a huge trend as they capture one of the purest moments of weddings and seize that feeling forever through a perfect photograph. It also captures the emotional reactions of parents when they see their children for the first time in their wedding attire. Capturing bridal room chronicles with elaborate shots of the trousseau, jewellery and the whole journey of her getting ready is in vogue as is capturing your pets with you on your special day.

Tantalising techniques

Other trends include groomsmen shoots, veil shots and the use of GIFs. While bridal veil images exude an enigmatic and timeless appeal, pictures of the groom with his groomsmen having fun allows their personalities to shine through. After all, why should brides have all the fun? “GIFs are likely to be quite popular in the coming days. Imagine capturing a small moment from the wedding and turning it into a moving picture. It is like freezing a happy dance or a cute smile and making it come alive. These GIFs are like mini stories that show the feeling of the moment in a fun way in a jiffy,” says Patel.

Double-exposure photographs, underwater portraits and backlit silhouettes are the other techniques adopted by photographers to incorporate a unique and distinctive vibe. Artistic compositions with the strategic use of reflective surfaces like mirrors helps create exotic, unusual images and so does the use of smoke bombs which creates the perfect ambience for moments like the couple’s first dance. Post wedding shoots are also extremely popular.

Like all things, change is the only constant in the field of wedding photography too. Photographers spend a lot of time researching new styles and technology to stay relevant.“Keeping up with the trends in wedding photography requires a proactive, adaptive and continulearning approach. Attending meets by photography clubs and other workshops and conferences can help you gain valuable insights. Further, it is imperative to update your camera equipment, lighting gears, lenses and editing software,” concludes Chhabra.


Sandeep Marwah Inaugurates“Aurora Metamorphosis Of Light” Photography Exhibition


(MENAFN- ForPressRelease) New Delhi 1st September – Sandeep Marwah, the President of Marwah Studios and Chancellor of AAFT University of Media and Arts, graced the occasion by inaugurating the national-level Photography exhibition titled“AURORA – Metamorphosis Of Light” at the Lokayata Art Gallery, located in the vibrant Hauz Khas Village of New Delhi.

Photographs, often described as everlasting memories, were at the forefront of the event. Marwah eloquently expressed,“One picture is equal to a thousand words. Every picture is a reflection of light.” His words resonated with the essence of the art form, highlighting the profound impact of visual storytelling through photography.

The exhibition featured an array of remarkable works by talented artists from varicorners of India. Their pieces of art in photography captivated the audience, each photograph narrating its unique story through the interplay of light and perspective.

Sandeep Marwah emphasized the significance of still photography within AAFT’s curriculum, stating,“We at AAFT give immense importance to Still Photography. I am pleased to inform you that still photography is an integral part of every course we offer at AAFT. Moreover, we offer specialized three-year and two-year degree courses in Photography.” He further expressed his desire to host similar exhibitions at Marwah Studios, situated in the bustling Noida Film City.

Qazi M Raghhhib, an eminent Creative Director, and Mamta Bhat Pandey, an Art Conservator with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, also graced the occasion with their presence and shared their insights into the world of photography.

The exhibition, meticulously curated by Smita of Luna Arts, provided a platform for both emerging and established photographers to showcase their talent and creative vision.“AURORA – Metamorphosis Of Light” stands as a testament to the power of photography as a medium for artistic expression and storytelling.

The event witnessed a convergence of artistic minds, celebrating the transformative potential of light and imagery. It was a session filled with appreciation for the art form that captures moments, emotions, and stories that transcend words.

Company :-Marwah Studios

User :- Sanjay Shah

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Phone :-+91-1204831143


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25 Winners Of Creative Photo Awards


The winning photos of the 2023 Siena Creative Photo Awards celebrating artistic photography have been released by the renowned Siena Awards festival of visual arts. and they are a remarkable recognition to visionary artists using photographic processes and images.

Under the title “I Wonder If You Can,” this year’s contest challenged photo artists to communicate with the world and share their vision and skills via original works that push the photographic medium and experiment with different techniques or creative approaches.

MORE FROM FORBESBest Aerial Photography: 24 Winners Of The International Drone Photo Awards

“In this competition, everyone is free to use any technique. Only the final effect counts,” the organizers explain. “We break all the rules, and we want you to break them with us by creating new trends in art.”

‘Aesthetics from Africa’ (below) by Chinese photographer Frank Zhang, honoring global aesthetic diversity and beauty, won the 2023 overall prize.

MORE FROM FORBESAmazing Winning Images Of Siena International Photo Awards 2022

The competition attracted photographers from 133 countries, and all the winning images across nine categories will be showcased at the exhibition ‘I Wonder If You Can’ that will take place at Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico in the heart of Piazza del Campo, Italy.

Overall Winner

The world of beauty has witnessed the celebration of diverse aesthetics. For a long time, the fashion industry’s perception of beauty was seen through a Eurocentric lens. However, in recent times African American model and influencer Sonia Barbie Tucker, originally from Ghana, has been showcasing the rich and vibrant aesthetics of Africa.

Category Winners

The photo was taken in 2022 using the “Haruhisa camera,” which was designed and built by the Japanese photographer Haruhisa Terasaki. “It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to use this camera,” Iwona Czubek said. Terasaki is known for his unique method of photographing, which he refers to as new pictorialism. This image is projected onto a dry plate and captured with a digital camera.

“I aimed to capture the elegant movement of a horse in a free rein jump, experiencing the sensation of the snow beneath its feet and its inherent desire for freedom, much like humans yearn for it,” said Lurdes Santander. “This moment was extraordinary, and I persisted through several attempts on my camera to find that elusive shot, a challenge many photographers face.”

The girl with ebony skin frees herself from the chains, and some of them remain attached to her, as she escapes. In the gesture of liberation, the shapes of her hairstyle and neck take on elongated forms.

Capturing this image took patience and perseverance. It started with the search for a single tree amidst a lavender field at sunset. Then the wait for the night sky to unveil its beauty. Combined with a second, long exposure, the light invisible to the naked eye, revealing a truly enchanted world.

“I captured this photo during a beautiful summer wedding in the red wine region of Germany,” said Steven Herrschaft. “The majestic castle on the hill was stunning, and the moment I captured was fleeting yet magical. Sometimes, as a photographer, you need to be in the right place at the right time to create art.”

The Capital Gate Tower in Abu Dhabi was captured in a unique moment from a moving bus. “As we traveled on the highway during late afternoon,” Frank Loddenkemper recalled, “the sun’s rays cast a mesmerizing glow, creating the perfect lighting for the shot.

Featuring a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing from 1955, this photograph was captured at the private collection of Museum METROPOLE Druten in the Netherlands. It prompts us to ponder how humankind would have been and still be without the presence of the natural treasures that inspire us to dream and surpass our limits.

A surreal black-and white photo-art piece featuring several female models whimsically blending together to form a skull. Symbolizing the defiance of mortality, the composition conveys a powerful message of unity in the face of death, evoking reflection and challenging perceptions.

The subject is the conflation of woman and home. A lone woman is surrounded by her domestic objects, activities, and obsessions. The still-life narratives created in the studio for the camera comment on the mania of collecting, accumulating, and decorating a home. In the series, the woman is overwhelmed by her possessions, leading to disaster and mayhem. “Growing up in suburbia provided the basis of my work,” said Patty Carroll. “I photographically create worlds that critique and satirize claustrophobic expectations of perfection that women continue to face, despite contemporary life and careers.”

Category Finalists

“The idea was to take a photo of a pink cocktail in a playful and fun way,” said Elena Otvodenko. “For this, I used complementary colours and props to accentuate the beauty of the drink and its colour and freshness.

All the Open Theme winning photos here.

Djaxx, is a sphynx cat “with an attitude, but very willing to pose under my studio light,” said Pieter Clicteur. “I used one flash light, placed just above his head (butterfly light, as they call it) to emphasize the wrinkles on his head. He looks mean, but he isn’t.”

“The title comes from the fact that, like most Border Collies, my puppy too has a Psycho face,” said Alessia Monaco. “It is a composition of several shots, in this case seven, then joined with the support of Photoshop.”

All the Animals and Pets category’ photos here

“Tree of Life” depicts a solitary old tree on the horizon of undulating South Moravian fields, accompanied by a flock of birds. The composition, created from photographs, evokes the cycle of life and its phases, representing youthful vigor to the serene tranquility of wise old age.

According to legend, the ghost of the Gray Lady haunts the tree-lined avenue located in Ballymoney, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It seems that a mysterious woman appears among the trees at sunset, slips silently along the road and vanishes near the last beech tree.

The winners of the Nature and Landscape category are here

All the winners of the People category here.

Humans are like puppets. With their hands and feet and their intellect, they have been plundered and commanded. They have nightmares, create nightmares and become nightmares.

Here are all the winners of the Fine Art category.

Featuring a Jaguar xk150 Cabrio 1958, photographed at the private collection of Museum Metropole Druten, the Netherlands. How would humankind be, and have been, without the natural treasures that make us dream and exceed beyond our limits?

For all the winners of the Advertising category go here.

Haldi ceremony is a traditional pre-wedding ritual in India where turmeric paste is applied on the bride and groom’s bodies. It symbolizes purification, beautification, and the auspicious beginning of their journey together. Here, the groom’s friends cover him in turmeric water.

For all the winners of the Wedding category go here.

The picture showcases a colonnade in a residential area. Light and color enhance the space, create accents and rhythm, and bring balance to the structure. Without these elements, neither space nor architecture would be perceptible. “I used the bird as an eye-catching detail to draw attention,” said Margit Lisa Roeder.

Here are all the winners of the Architecture category

Here are all the winners of the Series category.


Marblehead art exhibit explores humanity’s relationship with nature and Earth’s future | News


Earlier this month, the ARTI contemporary art gallery in Marblehead kicked off its new exhibition, “Welcome to the Symbiocene”, a series of artwork from 24 different artists centered around the theme of environmental justice.

The exhibit includes artwork created through unique visual mediums such as painting, sculpting, photography, fiber art, and even augmented reality. But while the styles that these 24 artists use are wholly distinct from one another, they all explore humanity’s relationship with the Earth and the struggle to keep nature in balance.

“When we started the gallery back in January, the idea was to have a modern art gallery to provide a platform for celebrated artists, but also to curate exhibits around important themes of our time, and right now for me, that theme is environmental justice. This exhibit is an attempt at saying, ‘Let’s take the theme of environmental justice, and try to bring art together around it, but in a way that’s constructive,” explained TJ de Blij, a professional artist and curator at ARTI.

While searching for and collaborating with New England-based artists whose portfolios include art focusing on the climate crisis, de Blij eventually reached out to Shared Habitat Earth (SHE), a group of Boston-based artists that created a series of work that celebrates the beauty of nature and the worldwide efforts to save it, and exposes the conflicted relationship between humans and their environment.

Barbara Eskin, the founder of SHE, first thought of the words “Shared Habitat Earth” during a nature walk. Thinking about the shared responsibility that humans have as a species to care for the Earth, Eskin began to conceptualize the core themes of SHE before she even knew what kind of organization the title would be used for.

“Since I’m an artist, somebody suggested, ‘Barbara, why don’t you ask your fellow artists if people would like to join in?’ and that happened very fast actually. I spoke with one person and then it just sort of snowballed. The idea was to put the subject on the table, but in a pleasant way, not just showing horrific images. So we have this dual mission; we celebrate the beauty of nature, and at the same time we confront people with what’s going to happen if we don’t act now,” explained Eskin.

As the title of the exhibit suggests, much of the included artwork explores the concept of a “Symbiocene”, a direct inverse of the Anthropocene, which is the current period of time in the Earth’s long history where human activity has become the dominant influence on climate and the environment. In contrast, the vision of a “Symbiocene” imagines a world in which humanity’s relationship with the Earth and its resources is not transactional, but mutually beneficial.

“I wanted to keep (this exhibition) constructive, without too much doom and gloom. Because if I’m depressed, I’m turned off. It doesn’t make me passionate. But we can make things better. We just need a vision of the future to help people make change. That vision of the future, or that attractive, new desired state that can motivate people to act is what I call the ‘Symbiocene,’” explained de Blij.

While the exhibition includes work focusing on the Anthropocene, and the current-day conflict between humans and the environment, much of the work explores how this concept of a “Symbiocene” could depict a future where nature’s balance is ensured.

CJ Lori, whose “When the Trees Leave” series depicts landscapes where trees are uprooting themselves and floating away, leaves the viewer to contemplate why nature would choose to abandon us. The way in which the viewer’s perspective follows the trees on their journey over rolling hills also appears to create a vision of the “Symbiocene” in which humanity and nature can exist together, if we’re able to adapt and possibly give the trees their space.

Some of the included artists, such as celebrated painter and climate activist Lisa Reindorf, have work such as “Sinking Cities” or “Ocean Invaders” to explore the Anthropocene and the conflict between human development and nature’s overwhelming power. In some of Reindorf’s paintings, man-made geometric landscapes clash with colorful natural patterns to form a chaotic scene that, while beautiful, shows the potential consequences of sea level rise on the landscape.

“This subject can bring forward such negative emotions,” said Eskin. “But at the same time, love is a very powerful motivator. Love of nature will make people act, but we can’t just show beautiful pictures of nature. So that’s where this tension comes in between showing the beauty of nature and expressing concern for it.”

Third-grade students from Marblehead Public Schools will tour the exhibition this week, with guiding questions to think about about how humanity can collaborate with nature instead of destroying it.

The exhibition will run until Sunday, Sept. 17.


Natural Resource Foundation hosts annual nature photo contest | News


MADISON (WKOW) — A Wisconsin nonprofit is hosting a photo contest to see who took the best nature photo in the state this year.

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is asking people to submit photos of Wisconsin landscapes and wildlife. 

There will be prizes for first, second and third place as well as people’s choice. There are also bonus categories: landscapes, mammals and people in nature.

First place will get a pair of high-end Swarovski Optik binoculars and their photo features on the NRF’s publication. Second place will win an inflatable kayak, and third place will get a canvas print and a $200 Camera Company gift card. Finally, people’s choice will get a swag bag with a hat, t-shirt and other fun prizes.

Entrants can submit up to four photos.

The contest closes on Nov. 1.

For more information on submission requirements, visit the contest webpage.


Unwavering dedication for photography – Oman Observer


By Zuwaina al Sulimani

Meet Ammar bin Ali al Riyami, an exceptional Omani photographer who is leaving his mark in the photography world of the Sultanate of Oman. As a member of the photography group at Sultan Qaboos University, Ammar has achieved numerous accolades and awards, showcasing his unwavering dedication to capturing life’s intricate details.

Ammar’s journey in photography began approximately three years ago, and since then, he has embraced a world of challenges, learning opportunities, and boundless enthusiasm. In Oman, the photography scene is vibrant and competitive, fostering an environment where photographers continuously challenge themselves, leading to personal growth and expertise in the field.



Speaking about his unique perspective on photography, Ammar emphasizes the importance of conveying messages through images. He believes that photography should be a medium for addressing societal issues and delivering enriching and impactful messages. While he acknowledges some gaps in the educational aspect of photography in Oman, he is optimistic about the Omani youth’s development in this regard, especially through workshops that encourage the delivery of valuable messages through photography.

Reflecting on his early encounters with a camera, Ammar describes it as the beginning of his journey as an Omani photographer, a journey fueled by a desire to uncover his talents and abilities. To him, a camera is not just a device for taking pictures but a remarkable tool for preserving memories artistically. The profound connection between a photographer and their camera transforms mere button presses into the capture of life’s precious moments.

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Ammar’s portfolio comprises many unforgettable shots, each a treasure that motivates him to continue his photographic journey. One of his memorable shots features his younger brother, Anas, who shares his passion for photography. This particular image, taken on a farm, has garnered attention in local and international competitions. Other cherished shots include scenes from Ras al Hadd, where spontaneous moments embody the reality and nuances of life in Oman, as well as images from Al Jabal al Akhdar and Nizwa market, highlighting the rich details that define Omani culture.

When asked about his dream photography destinations, Ammar’s eyes light up with excitement. He has already photographed in the Gulf countries but aspires to explore Europe, northern Turkey, Africa, Kashmir in India, and Pakistan. For him, the global environment offers a wealth of captivating details that can transform an ordinary photographer into an extraordinary one. He is drawn to capturing different cultures, finding inspiration beyond the familiar surroundings of Oman.

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Ammar’s view of photography as an art form is deeply rooted in the balance between technical skill, creativity, and storytelling. He believes that a successful photographer must not only convey goals, details, and messages through their images but also adhere to photography etiquette. In his view, it is essential to separate the technical aspects of photography from marketing considerations and focus on factors such as planning, timing, and visual composition. Every distinguished photographer, according to Ammar, should leave his unique mark on every image, combining artistry with passion.

Ammar offers three key principles for aspiring photographers: A commitment to the art of photography, continuous practice and experiential learning, and a clear goal and message in every photograph. With these principles in mind, Ammar aims to inspire fellow photographers and continue capturing life’s beautiful and meaningful moments. His ultimate aspiration? To make his mark on the world of photography and reach the esteemed platform of National Geographic.

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DarkSky names photography winners | News


Tucson-based DarkSky International recently hosted its fourth Capture the Dark Photography Contest, presented by Visit Utah, to celebrate photography’s important role in the dark sky movement. The contest received 494 entries from participants worldwide to the 10 categories:

• Connecting to the Dark: Experiencing a natural night provides perspective, inspiration, and leads us to reflect on our humanity and place in the universe.

• International Dark Sky Place: Now over 200 protected lands and municipalities worldwide have been certified by DarkSky as an International Dark Sky Place, creating havens for astrophotographers.

• The Impact of Light Pollution: Light pollution can significantly impact the environment, human health, and our access to the night sky. This category also includes images of terrible lighting, glare bombs, etc.

• The Bright Side of Lighting: Light pollution can give artificial lighting a bad reputation, but lighting that follows DarkSky’s Principles for Responsible Outdoor Light can be beautiful, healthy, and functional.

• Creatures of the Night: Light pollution doesn’t only erase our view of the stars; scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has adverse and deadly effects on wildlife, including amphibians, birds, insects and mammals.

• Deep Sky: For thousands of years, humans have looked to the night sky and wondered what is out there. Today, we can take photos of deep space objects from our own backyards.

• The Mobile Photographer: No big camera? No problem! A photo from any of the above categories that was taken with a cell phone, tablet, or GoPro. No DSLR, mirrorless camera or drone shots.

• Youth: A shot for any of the above categories taken by someone 17 years old or younger.

• Utah Dark Skies: A photo taken in one of the most popular destinations to capture dark skies — Utah

• People’s Choice: Voted on by the public.

“This year we saw some of the most beautiful photos from around the world that we have ever seen,” said DarkSky International Program Associate Michael Rymer. “These brilliant views of the night sky show how our place in nature does not stop at the horizon, and that the sky above is as much a delicate and beautiful resource that we must protect and reclaim.”

“Congratulations to this year’s Capture the Dark Photography Contest winners and the awe-inspiring photos,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism.

“Astrotourism and dark sky messaging complement our Red Emerald Strategic Plan, which aims to elevate life in Utah through responsible tourism stewardship. Preserving dark skies helps communities establish long-lasting tourism economies and keeps our places Forever Mighty.”

A global panel of judges composed of Imma Barrera, Ian Lauer, Jeff Dai, Parisa Bajelan, Ben Coley, Dr. Lin Qing, reviewed the photos using criteria that included technical skill, composition, connection to the category theme, and “wow” factor.

Winners of each category will receive a prize package that includes a feature in DarkSky’s Nightscape publication, DarkSky’s blog and social media, a DarkSky membership, DarkSky and Visit Utah swag, and a Peak Design Field Pouch.

Additionally, one photograph will be presented with a “People’s Choice Award” based on votes by the public. This winner will receive a prize package that includes a $250 gift card to B&H, a feature in DarkSky’s Nightscape publication, the DarkSky blog and social media, a DarkSky membership, and DarkSky and Visit Utah swag.

To see the winning photos, visit the official website for the photography contest at and check out the official announcement on the DarkSky blog.

DarkSky International is a recognized global authority on light pollution, empowering a global movement to protect the night sky. DarkSky restores the nighttime environment and protects communities from the effects of light pollution through outreach, advocacy and conservation. Since 1988, its global community of dark sky advocates have protected more than 200 International DarkSky Places, enacted dozens of responsible lighting policies, and raised awareness of light pollution on every continent.


Lincoln’s Metro Gallery to feature photography in September


Untitled photo by Michele Zephier

This untitled photo is part of the “Water Protectors” photography exhibit by Michele Zephier that will open Friday, Sept. 1, at Metro Gallery, 1316 N St.

Metro Gallery, 1316 N St., will present black-and-white photography by Michele Zephier in September.

“Water Protectors” shows images from the camps and daily life during the Dakota access pipeline protests in 2016 at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Meet the artist at the First Friday reception on Sept. 1 from 3-7 p.m.

Because of rain during Zephier’s entire visit to Standing Rock, she was unable to capture the exciting images of protests, horses and regalia on the front lines. Instead, she took refuge from the rain in the camps. Her photos show camp life, kitchens and survival.

Zephier prefers monochromatic photography to color. Her introduction to photography was in a darkroom at Lincoln High in 1988.

“Black and white takes away all the extra stimuli – like color and our reactions to colors – and leaves us only with the story,” said Zephier.

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See “Water Protectors” in person during gallery hours throughout September, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday from noon-4 p.m.

Metro Gallery curates exhibits at seven locations in Lincoln. Founded in 2012, the gallery is a welcoming space to all people and maintains an inventory of more than 4,000 artworks. Learn more at or call 402-202-7549.