Oman – Photo Tip
Create a dialogue with the viewer
Oman is a country where modernity and tradition meet head on, especially in the big cities. When you get out into the smaller villages though, you find that people are more and more traditional.
I took these photos in the market place at Nizwa, a village nestled in the mountains outside of the capital Muscat. The village remains under strict control of Islamic law and, maybe because of that, retains much of its original charm. The market is held within the old walled city and you can buy a host of old weapons, including knives and guns like the one the man is holding in the picture.
The Omani people are very relaxed when it comes to taking their pictures and just a brief chat was all it took for him to agree without problems to be 'shot' in a different way. I used a wide-angle lens for the portrait as I wanted to get as much background in as possible – you can see the traditional clothes worn by locals (all are wearing traditional headgear) which give more context.
The gun seller looks into the camera, creating a dialogue with the viewer. And in the background, a young man goes by on a bicycle, providing the necessary movement to tell a little story within the same image.