إطلالة خفيفة وجديدة وحوار سريع على صحيفة "ذا ناشيونال" المحلية.
Yousef Al Habshi may have only been focusing on his photography for six years, but he has already had his images featured on the cover of National Geographic Al Arabiya and on a calendar.
Al Habshi, whose day job is as an IT systems analyst in the petroleum industry, says that while his journey wasn’t planned, the hobby has worked out well and led him to macro photography, notably beautifully intricate insect shots.
"I noticed that the macro field in this country was almost abandoned by the photography society, and for this reason I got pulled deep into this field," he says.
Al Habshi has won 14 awards in a number of local and international photography competitions since 2010, and has two studios at home where he masters his craft. "One is a standard portrait studio, while the other is a macro lab studio," he says.
This summer, Al Habshi has been involved with an Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority initiative tied to the annual Emirates Photography Competition. He was one of the creative talents assisting the country’s photography enthusiasts in a series of hands-on workshops.
"The workshops provided a fantastic opportunity for young photographers to learn the skills they need to capture a moment exactly how they intend to," he says. "They can really help to inspire the younger generation to become more proactive in their passion for photography."
"Keep reading, practicing and have a lot of patience. Never give up easily and know your equipment well, oh and try to understand the lighting," is Al Habshi’s advice to young Emiratis who are thinking of taking up photography.
The Abu Dhabi-based Emirati, who focuses mainly on insects, spiders and other small creatures, is currently working on a macro photography book. "Hopefully it will see the light soon," he says.
What do you most enjoy photographing?
Anything in macro. The reason is that it is human nature to get curious about new stuff and unseen subjects. I find that the macro field covers these points perfectly.
Tell us something about yourself people may not know.
Other than photography, I enjoy collecting stamps and coins.
What do you enjoy most about helping others perfect their skills?
I enjoy watching people become amazed at all the tiny details they see in macro insect shots.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
‘Respect the tastes of others, even if you don’t like it. It wouldn’t exist if it didn’t have its own audience.’ I was 23 years old at the time, but I will never forget it.
Which one place in the UAE would you recommend that visitors see?
I would recommend visiting Liwa and enjoying our natural golden dunes, as well as the natural environment and stars at night. This kind of visit should be planned during the winter, which is the ideal time to experience it.
What do you do in your spare time, apart from photography?
I love reading a lot – mostly real historical stories, along with scientific articles and studies.
Do you have a favorite photographer?
I don’t have any favorite photographers in my mind. However, I can recall thousands of pictures that have been taken by hundreds of photographers from all over the world. A photo isn’t associated with a name so much as it’s associated with the lighting featured in it. In short, wherever the light falls, there is art.
What are your goals for the future?
One of my goals is to become known as a primary resource for entomology images and research material in this country.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
I enjoy nature a lot, therefore most of my trips are to natural locations.