By Mudassir Raja
Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. The beauty of Qatar has regularly been captured and described by visitors, expatriate residents and locals through different art forms. With modern gadgets and camera, the natural, traditional, and modern scenes of the country have constantly been preserved by gifted photographers.
One recent example is a photography book by Rizny Ismail, a Sri Lankan expatriate. A banker by profession and a photographer by passion, Rizny has been living in Qatar since 2015 and felt inspired by the myriad beauty of the country.
Over the past ten years, Rizny has been creatively using his photography skills to explore the world around him, capturing unique moments. ‘Photography has given me this hunt for serendipitous moments,” he said.
Keeping a watchful eye on the world around him, Rizny allows his surroundings to unveil the symmetries that make it special. Focusing on average, everyday landscapes devoid of humans, he transforms the ordinary into a work of art.
In 2015, Rizny got a break in a local bank in Qatar and decided to continue his career growth to the next level and set foot in “this small but beautiful country, which is little known for its many beautiful surroundings.”
In his book, titled Qatar through My Lens, Rizny gathers many of his favourite images. The limited-edition book, which is available for purchase only by invitation, is an ode to the small joys in life. Rizny said: “My work is a reminder that joy is all around us, we just need to take the time to stop and see it.”
The passionate photographer had the chance to travel the length and breadth of Qatar. ‘I captured all the unique things and places through my lens during this exploration. I did not have any intentions to compile a photo-book at first, but I used to always hear from people that there is nothing much to see in Qatar. After hearing that, I decided to put all my pictures from 25 different places in Qatar into a photo-book.”
He added: “When I first started planning the book, I thought it might be interesting to tell where every picture was taken. I wanted to give an idea to the viewer of the location and my attention on the composition. I wanted to create a thread – a connection – between the pictures as you turn the pages. I wanted to make the spectators look closely at the importance of all our surroundings, because as predictable as they may seem, there is always something else there.” Rizny’s a rare compilation showing 25 unique places in Qatar.
He loves to capture landscapes with a unique perspective or something that cannot be easily copied. “Through this project, I have been able to experience Qatar in its totality. That is why the images do not show flashy or glorious scenes, but special places where the viewers can gather some idea or information if they intend to visit these places.”
The photography has become the perfect way for him to escape and renounce the condemnation of everyday reality. “When looking through this book I feel more connected to the ground and less to society and this is probably why people rarely appear in my pictures. In my opinion, we need some time to disconnect from everything and reconnect with ourselves. This is what the project has done for me and I am glad so many people comment on my photographs that they don’t know why, but the pictures bring them calmness.”
Rinzy has inclination towards photography since his childhood. “I started to pursue photography seriously only in 2009 when a photographer friend gave me the advice that you need to try everything in order to find your place. I feel the freest, when I am alone with my camera wandering around. Over the years, the passion for photography has grown.”
Rizny finds peace in photography. “This is my passion and I don’t feel my usual self when I’m on a photography mission. It’s an ideal way to divert from stress or tiredness when I’m with my camera gear.”
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