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Dubai is known for its breathtaking architecture and iconic skyline. Now, artist Baber Afzal is capturing the city-state’s famous towers and spires in a new light through a series of stunning images that marry architecture, environment, and atmosphere.
“There are many places that I love out here in Dubai, especially the architectural landscape as it keeps evolving every year – and that evolution inspires me (because I’m) able to shoot from unique vantage points to share a different perspective of the city,” explains Afzal.
Afzal, 40, uses a combination of landscape and architectural photography, and visual art techniques, to illustrate the city of Dubai as he sees it.
“One thing that has remained constant in my work, whether it be capturing the cityscape or the dunes, is the hazy sunsets and sunrises in this region,” he says. “Awareness of the climatic conditions gave birth to a unique editing style and technique to express my visions.”
A Pakistani native, Afzal first started making art in 2007. “My interest in art grew after I experienced capturing and editing the beautiful landscape of Margalla Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan,” he says. “I gravitated toward the editing aspect since shifting color and contrast values really fascinated me.”
Afzal scouts locations prior to a shoot, and says it often takes him many hours to capture the perfect image. He then spends a few days in post-production, manipulating the image and executing his vision to create ethereal, striking pictures.
“Art provides a powerful means of expressing human emotion and experience, and it can be used to communicate complex ideas and feelings that might otherwise be difficult to express,” he says. “I aim to enhance this experience by showcasing visual concepts from a different light that will highlight the unseen beauty that exists in city life and in nature too.”
Afzal’s work has received awards from around the world and has been published both locally and internationally in magazines and photography books. Last month, his artwork “LUMINOUS” was showcased in New York City at the prestigious “NFT NYC 2023.”
He produces much of his work as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), capitalizing on the digital format to add animation and complex imagery to create one-of-a-kind dreamlike moving pictures.
He believes that technology will play a significant role in the future of the art scene in Dubai. “I expect to see more artists, including myself, experimenting with technology and incorporating it into our work in new and innovative ways in the years to come,” says Afzal.