It isn’t news that Sheikh Hamdan has an exceptional eye for photography. If you follow him on his social channels, you are often gifted with beautiful images from around the world. Based on some of the gear we’ve seen snippets of him using, we’d also say that photography is quite the passion for our Crown Prince.
However, his recent photos from the Wildlife Conservation Desert in Dubai have us thinking he might have missed his calling as a photographer for National Geographic. Sure, his princely duties call, and helping his father rule the country is important, but he is obviously a man of many talents.
The colors, the composition, and the angles that he plays with all help to make this latest batch of pictures not just beautiful, but a remarkable opportunity to see the world the way Fazza does. For example, take the image he captured of the profile of a lone elephant, casually standing at attention looking straight ahead while his trunk majestically hangs from his face. It’s an exotic photo. One you would assume a person would shoot on safari in Africa. Only just below the elephant’s mouth, and almost in the background, is the Burj Khalifa standing tall, immediately putting the elephant in a seemingly incongruous setting. Wild meets civilized. Old meets new. Weight meets soaring heights.
It works so beautifully because it is unique, and unexpected, and the juxtaposition of these two powerful images evokes feelings of strength, calm, gratitude, and a better understanding of the depth of love our prince has for his homeland.
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Another image shows a group of oryx lounging around a tree. The muted colors of the tree’s leaves perfectly compliment the sandy haze, and the colors of the oryx evoke a dreamy, desert wilderness. Yet fighting to be seen through the sand is the Dubai skyline, claiming the tranquil scene of wildlife for its own and infusing it with life far beyond the meandering of the breathtaking animals.
In a video he posted, giraffes and elephants interacted, played, and joyfully pranced across the sand as the lights of the big city twinkled in the twilight. The wild animals appear to be enjoying themselves immensely, as if they are at their own private club, to which we were merely invited to watch.
Perhaps it’s the way he captured the stillness of giraffes – needing only the flick of a tail for movement – in front of the Burj, whose extravagant lightshow created most of the movement in the video. God’s creation is strong and still, but man’s is like a toddler on sugar. Maybe it is how he even managed to capture an ostrich racing him as he pedaled his bike faster and faster to keep up with the large bird.
His photos don’t only showcase a skill and innate talent for photography; they are not just beautiful and exotic images. They are a look into a world at once urban and wild, savage and civil, delicate and powerful.
For anyone listening, we’d love to see his photos printed and hung in a gallery of some sort. It’s the kind of gallery we think people would line up to visit. Because who doesn’t want to see the world for all its beauty through the eyes of a prince?
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