Discovering Egypt with Amr A. Rahman

by Alessandra Bettoni

In the today’s interview, we are very glad to introduce one of our most fascinating Author, Amr Mohamed A. Rahman. With his special care to details, learning and application, Amr has provided us the opportunity to get closer to the history of his beautiful country through his photographic production. We made then a lovely chat with him, to get a bit closer, taking advantage of a dream scenario, the one of the ancient Egypt. Enjoy the reading!

Amr A. Rahman Mohamed is 47 years old, lives in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt and works as an IT Manager in an Auto Motive company.  He is a very dynamic man, always looking for new challenges, yearning for learning more and more in the fields that he’s interested in, including photography. I always believe that learning and practicing lead to accuracy and perfection. He is firmly convinced that only studying, learning and practicing can lead to accuracy that is a necessary condition to aim at perfection. Learning, patience and perfection are the keywords that best describes his approach to photography and life in general.

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AMB: Welcome Amr, we are very glad to have you here to get a bit closer to your  photographic artwork and your nice personality. We were so fascinated by your thoughts, then we would ask you to start with the better explain what they mean for you study, patience and perfection, the three keywords you think best characterize your approach to things.

AARM: First of all I’d like to thank you for this kind opportunity, I am very happy that you thought of me. To answer your question, I would start from the study, which I believe being the only way to keep up with fast changing technologies. Patience however is the capacity to be able to succeed in what you do. The first attempt in doing things might not be successful. We fail and succeed and so on, that’s why we need to be patient and to keep practicing what we have learnt. Patience helps me to not give up, helps me to succeed. Finally there’s the perfection, I’m always aiming at perfection and accuracy in my work as a final result of the previously mentioned steps. It helps me being constant and never stop.

AMB: I totally agree with your thinking. When it comes about photography it is usually about the author’s “artistic vision”. We never talk about learning, application and dedication. Let’s switch now on photography. When and how did you start? 

AARM: I started taking pictures 17 years ago during a trip to Luxor and Aswan, two cities located south of Egypt. During the 4-day boat trip along the great river Nile I was attracted by an old camera which our guide used to take pictures of temples, tombs and large statues. I was attracted and asked him to hand me the camera, trying to take some shoots on my own. After a few days, once he developed the photographs, he came back to me showing those I’ve been taking some days before and just said: “You have have some talent, why don’t you use it?”. This has been the trigger, since then I’ve been growing my passion for photography. It simply said, thanks to that guide and its encouragement. 

AMB: Like any good photographer, over time you have acquired your personal style, your images are always recognizable, for their very personal style, their particular framing and the very special post processing. When you go out for a shooting, is there something specific which attracts your attention and what are your preferred subjects? 

AARM: As you can see in most of my photographic artwork, I’m passionate about architecture, especially the ancient one. As I see the details in an ancient inscription or the particular design of a temple, a tomb,  a mosque or a church, that is very inspiring to me and motivates me to fix in a frame, bring up and show more of the sublime beauty of those venues. It happens the same with modern architecture which I find very charming. I think that my primary purpose is letting others enjoy and appreciate how perfect and accurate the ancient Egyptians were.

AMB: One of the most significant features of your images is represented by the almost systematic and very personal way to approach post processing. How did you come to this and  how has your approach over time evolved, given that to processing is a very controversial issue in photography?

AARM: At the beginning I was really attracted by special effects, HDR and tone mapping to pop up the colors were the preferred way to make my images, obviously altering the reality. Better sticking to reality and after getting tips from my Photography friends and by watching many tutorial videos about brightness masks, I completely changed my workflow and my approach to image processing, to end up with more realistic shots characterized by the more natural color tones and greater sharpness.

AMB: We got in contact with you and appreciated you as a photographer, as you started sharing your impressive images from Cairo. How is this series born? How did you chose the setting of your artwork?

AARM: My series of photographs started by doing planned, scheduled trips and visits to specific places with 1 or 2 friends maximum, with whom I also started exchanging knowledge and experiences, while shooting the ancient places in Cairo and all over Egypt, which my country is rich with.

AMB: What kind of cameras, lenses or equipment do you use in your photography?

AARM: The first camera I bought was a Sony Semi Professional and since then I started to enhance and improve my skills and my gear.  My current gear consists of a Canon 5D Mark with different lenses such as a Tamron 24-70mm F2.8, a Canon 16-35mm F2.8, a Sigma 70-200mm F2.8, a Canon 100 mm F2.8, a Sigma Fisheye 8 mm F4 and a Canon 50mm F1.4.

AMB: That’s really a considerable kit, with very bright lenses which we guess are essential for your kind of photography which in most of the cases happens in quite dark venues. To conclude Amr, we can actually perceive in your work and in your words, you put a lot of passion in what you do. What would you suggest to inexperienced people willing to approach photography? What did you learn from your experience?

AARM: From my humble experience, I can just advise all newbie photographers to be patient, keep learning, keep practicing, exchange knowledge with others till you reach your goal and finally, always and never be afraid to ask. After all these years, I reached a result that suits my heart and mind, that is Photography is a source of joy to me and to others.

AMB: Dear Amr, we’d really like to thank you for this lovely chat. We are now a bit closer to your art in photography which totally reflects your approach to life. Accurate, precise and captivating as you are. Thanks a lot Amr and see you in the Group!

AARM: Thank you so much for this kind opportunity, I’m honored and happy to unveil the beauty of Egypt to the ArchiMinimal friends. See you soon!

Gallery by Amr A. Rahman
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