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.
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.