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Dubai expat’s photo hits billboards worldwide

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Dubai expat’s photo hits billboards worldwide

Dubai: A mobile phone photo taken in Dubai by an expatriate is now splashed on billboards around the world, from Las Vegas and New York in the United States to Tokyo in Japan.
The photo taken with an iPhone 6 camera by Hattan Ahmed at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the snapshots of 77 photographers chosen by Apple as part of its World Gallery campaign.
The billboards, titled “Shot on iPhone 6” reportedly went up on March 2 to further promote iPhone’s image capture capabilities, and have been spotted in major cities and far-flung locales in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Ahmed's photo can also be seen in billboards in San Francisco, Miami and New York in the United States, as well as in some cities in Italy and Australia, among others.
Ahmed’s winning work is a black-and-white photo of two passersby walking on a bridge that connects DIFC to the Gate Village. He took the image last October and it was only a few months later when he realized that mobile phone cameras can take winning photos as well.
“They informed me by email that my photo has been selected only last December,” he said.
Ahmed, 27, is a Saudi National who runs his own design and photography business in Dubai, Hattan Studio. The expatriate moved to Dubai only six months ago and has since fallen in love with the beauty of the city’s architecture and urban landscape.

“I’m in love with the style of buildings in Dubai. I think this place is a great inspiration for photographers like me who like abstract and architecture photography,” Ahmed told Gulf News.
Unfortunately, Ahmed’s photo is not yet shown here in Dubai, but he hopes that one day it will show up on one of Apple’s billboard or static advertising space.
“It will truly be a different feeling to see my work on a giant billboard in Dubai. But right now, it’s not happening yet,” he said.
However, if there’s only one thing that Ahmed has learned from his recent achievement it is that winning photos are not defined by the camera, but by the photographer.
“Newcomers in photography usually think that it is the camera that is behind the nice photo. With this campaign by Apple, it makes us think differently now. Great pictures are not just about a great or expensive professional camera, it’s about the guy behind it,” said Ahmed.
“It doesn’t matter how pricey your camera is. What’s important is how you compose your image.”
Apple’s World Gallery also features a photo of Dubai’s skyline taken by another resident from Dubai, David K.

Sharon Shetty

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