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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 05/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Uae based photographer catalin marin lets us in on how to take the perfect holiday snap

eleven years’ experiencehas made catalin marin one of dubai’s best regarded photographers. moving to the emirate in 2001 to make it as a graphic designer taking pictures back then was simply a hobby. working in an artistic field catalin admits probably drew him to photography but it was more the need to document his new surroundings for friends and family back home in romania that spurred him to create a blog.

almost a decade later and the blog now housed on his website momentaryawe.com contains pictures varying from restaurant interiors to a sunrise over the hills behind beirut. putting his work on the web has transformed catalin’s life making him a professional photographer specialising in travel shots in the process.

“the clients came to me” catalin says when asked how his first paid jobs materialised. “it was a hobby but eventually more and more people visited the blog and i got offers. i hadn’t thought of it before but took the job.”

juggling full-time employment with a burgeoning career behind the camera was not easy to begin with. however after time catalin was able to shift the balance in favour of his true passion and venture out on his own such was the volume of commissions. and all this with no formal training.

“if you know you want to be a photographer at 18 then i would say go and do a degree in it.

“i have done a few classes but taught myself.”

is that prudent in today’s employment climate?

“i would say my overall advice to someone trying to do the same thing as me is not to chase the money. go out and shoot everything. make yourself happy with what you shoot and the shots will be better. clients will eventually come.”

catalin explains that in order to really corner the market one should find a niche.

“the problem here is that there are people willing to do everything for everyone. if you specialise you will get better and be able to deliver higher quality pictures.”

catalin gave the example of when he began. he accepted a variety of assignments but quickly discovered weddings and events weren’t for him. with a design background and love of travel he realised architecture and natural landscapes were more interesting so began predominantly focusing on these pursuits.

if you’re completely at a loss when it comes to capturing a scene catalin now runs classes at the nikon school. every purchase of a dslr nikon from grand stores in the uae entitles the owner to a sixty per cent discount on the introductory courses.

an authority on taking holiday vistas catalin offers this advice to amateurs to allow their holiday snaps to shine.

“you have to find something that connects the place to the audience. you have to give an idea about a place. that can be through culture or dress.

“i find it is better to sit down and just watch people pass by for a while. you understand it much better and then the best ideas flow.”

in cooperation with the nikon school catalin also runs adventure/tourism workshops where he and his students travel to exotic locations to learn their craft. in july the group is off to iceland before heading to ethiopia later in the year.

when travelling to a new destination most will think to click the best-known landmarks the location has to offer. catalin maintains this practice shouldn’t necessarily deliver a mediocre result.

“it’s a subjective medium so you just have to put your own twist on it” says catalin. “you should show the monument the way you see it.”

when pressed for his favourite area to shoot catalin answers: “oman.” the region’s topography and the population’s friendliness are apparently unsurpassed.

browsing through his collection of images online it is clear to see catalin has a love for the middle east in general. all corners of the region are covered with a noticeable affection. although catalin admits it is rare to achieve the perfect shot without an element of post-production.

“i always show the original image as it came out of the camera and what i have done to it” he says. “it’s the only way i see it as being genuine.

“retouching has always existed even before digital photography. in a darkroom there used to be processes in order to enhance the picture. now it is just a bit easier.”

true to his word roll the cursor over any photograph on catalin’s site and the raw material will appear. however you’d have to argue like the omani landscapes through the years of which catalin is so fond not much has been altered.

‘it’s a good feeling’



Khaleej Times

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