Dubai photographers share their personal projects for Gulf Photo Plus
Good photography isn’t just about an image on a page or screen – it’s a message, a thought, a self-expression, a whole back-story of when and where the photo was taken, by whom and of whom, and why.
Every few months a selection of Dubai’s most creative photographers share their personal projects, from fine art projects to candid Instagram portraits, with a live audience at Gulf Photo Plus’ Slidefest project.
Since beginning as a small community gathering, the event has grown into a huge quarterly event attracting audiences of more than 350 to Knowledge Village Auditorium, where the photographers present slides of their work and take questions from the audience.
Jahanzeb Aamir (JZ Aamir) Originally from Pakistan, JZ has been in Dubai for nine years working as a Graphic Artist for an FMCG Company. Arabic calligraphy was a childhood passion that he revisited in adulthood as his new love for photography took hold. Experiments with light painting offered him the opportunity to combine calligraphy with photography, creating stunning light painted designs within nightscapes all over the city. Modifying his own handheld LEDs and cathode ray tube lights, JZ practiced endlessly perfecting the craft. The two images here are straight out of the camera, with little to no post processing or image flipping.
Jahanzeb Aamir (JZ Aamir)
Madeleine Butcher A British creative currently based in Dubai, Madeleine spent six years in the UK and New York working for agencies including McCann and Euro RSCG. Inspired by a Mannequin head she discovered in Dragonmart, Madeleine began an Instagram account for ‘DrusillaDoesDubai’, posting images of the curious silhouette in various locations throughout the city. In Madeleine's own words, ‘I can’t tell you what she means. A statement about the overly hygienic aesthetic of marketing Dubai, a plea for attention, a bald, plastic embodiment of showboating “eccentricity” to others, or a toy I like taking pictures of, but she’s a muse of sorts.’
Karen Dias Karen Dias began her photography career in Mumbai before moving to the United Arab Emirates to work as a Staff Photographer for the national daily Gulf News. After four years in the Middle East, she spent fourteen months travelling overland through ten countries in Asia from Turkey to UAE, India, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar exploring and working on personal photo projects. Now based in Mumbai once again, Karen's recent Ladies Only photo series was featured in Al Jazeera. Her story that focuses on the ladies only compartment of the Mumbai trains, containing hundreds of commuters sleeping, eating, chopping vegetables, praying, singing, studying, and even buying items from vendors on the train.
Yiannis Galanopoulos Yiannis Galanopoulos has been a practicing visual artist for the past eleven years. Working with both traditional and digital photo processes, his work has been exhibited in the EU the US and in Japan. He has a BFA in Photography and Audio Visual Arts, a MA in Humanities, and a MFA in Visual Studies. He is currently a faculty member at the UAEU. Yiannis' photographs isolate and celebrate vibrant colour and beautiful geometric shapes that he finds in cityscapes. His minimalist compositions bring your attention to everyday objects you may have otherwise overlooked.
Kate Lewis Originally from Australia, Kate has recently moved to Dubai and works with ITP as a photographer. Kate will be presenting a photo story titled 'Life in the City of Death | Varanasi’ exploring the city on the banks of the Ganges river in Northern India. Recently exhibited in Australia, Kate will be presenting her perspective as she aimed to document the life, chaos, and colour of the city.
Paul Macleod Originally from Scotland, Paul has been living and working in Dubai as a professional photographer for a number of years. On a recent visit to India Paul conceived a project that hopes to create positive social change by collecting images taken in rural villages, and returning with postcards that locally based individuals can sell. The idea being that the postcards, and perhaps additional printed material, can initiate business start-ups generating employment and income. The project is ongoing.
Munsif Molu Munsif Molu is a Canadian photographer, currently based out of the UAE. His fascination with people and their connections to society, traditions and history is what drives most of his photo stories. Over the course of six months and covering 12 cities across India, Munsif documented street-style fashion, capturing the visual variety represented by both men and women on the streets of India. The story was created for a fashion magazine that aimed to document contemporary street trends in India today.