See an evocative world by way of the lens of award-winning Dubai-based Filipino photographer | Uae

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Dubai: A haunting black and white image of a dance ritual by one of many vanishing tribes in Ethiopia; a non secular pageant in Indian state of Maharashtra taking an ethereal look; and a silhouetted determine of a lady taking a look at a mural of a lady with a pair of eyes staring again at her …

These images are amongst these taken by 48-year outdated Dubai-based multi-award profitable Filipino photographer Donell Gumiran. The storytelling in each shot has gotten the nod of judges at worldwide competitions – the newest of which was a silver medal award from the recently-concluded World Photographic Cup (WPC) 2022, the place Gumiran represented Team Philippines.

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As a visible storyteller, Gumiran stated his goal when taking images is to “connect to the deep humanity” of the topic.
Image Credit: Supplied

“Photography is not just about seeing, it’s about feelings,” Gumiran advised Gulf News in an unique interview after receiving the award.

“Effective photographs have the ability to evoke emotion. The technical aspects of a photograph are secondary. There should be an element of storytelling and a connection with the viewer. It’s all about how you are going to interpret every aspect of your subject and how you deliver the message through your photos,” he added.

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Photography isn’t just about seeing, it’s about emotions, says Gumiran
Image Credit: Supplied

Gumiran gained back-to-back silver medals from WPC. His entry this yr, titled ‘Link’, depicts the lives of the Arbore tribe in Ethiopia’s southwest area of Omo Valley. Gumiran stated he targeted on the ancestral and cultural hyperlinks of the Konso folks to one among East Africa’s remaining primitive tribes.

Originally from Iloilo – a province within the Philippines positioned within the Western Visayas area – Gumiran bested a number of entries from prime photographers world wide, together with Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Austria, Finland, New Zealand, United States and China, amongst others.

Last yr, his entry titled ‘Haldi Festival’ additionally gained Silver Medal. The photograph is about folks providing prayers to the neighborhood deity of shepherds. Gumiran stated: “The festival is touted as a harbinger of good fortune. It is celebrated at Pattan Kodoli village in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, attended by thousands of devotees coming from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. I was on the top view of the scene. I used a slow shutter speed to give more sense of movement of the event.”

‘Preserving memories’

As a visible storyteller, Gumiran stated his goal when taking images is to “connect to the deep humanity” of the topic. “I always aim to capture and preserve memories of our time,” he added.

“My photography is meant to capture images that present new ideas, renewed hope, and a desire to make a difference. My images do not only aim to stir emotions but also initiate action. My favourite subjects are those that capture human conditions and emotions in everyday life.”

Passion, not career

Gumiran’s love for sharing tales captured by way of his lens started in 2009, when he acquired his first worldwide images award. He stated his love for the visible arts led him to the world of images. “It all started as a passion, not as a profession,” he stated.

Gumiran first arrived in Dubai in 2005 to work as an artwork director for a advertising and marketing company. He finally joined Overseas Pinoy Professional Society and Lightform International Filipino Photographers Guild in Dubai to be taught the rudiments of images.

“Photography for me is a form of artistic communication and expression. It has also become my creative outlet. Every time I pressed the shutter, it felt like it was an extension of my personality.”

Besides profitable contests, Gumiran has additionally served as jury in a number of worldwide images awards, together with The London Photography Awards; European Photo Awards and New York Photography Awards. He has been a part of varied photograph exhibitions in Frankfurt and France. He additionally performed a number of images workshops throughout the UAE.

Gumiran stated: “I am more motivated to do my best in my craft to continue to inspire others and help them pursue their passion. I am living my mission as an artist for humanity. I’m also proud to bring honour to my country.”

Today, Gumiran helps beginner photographers to be taught the artwork. His recommendation?

“Follow your heart and don’t overanalyse. Just shoot what you feel. Don’t focus on a single image, shoot more. A single image might be very powerful but it’s still only a part of the bigger series of photographs that connect into a cohesive storyline. Know about the culture and behavioural patterns of the subjects you’re going to photograph.”

He added: “Again, photography is not about seeing, it’s about feelings. Pictures should evoke emotions. Visual storytelling is a skill that takes time to build – keep learning and shoot.”


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