Muscat: Haitham Baomar, a 32-year-old Omani photographer, has always been interested in wildlife photography.
“If you want to shoot wildlife, you have to be patient, brave, go beyond your fears and be calm to capture the right picture,” is his advice to budding photographers.
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“I was interested in taking pictures of wildlife of all kinds, especially the rare animals that exist in our Sultanate, to discover and highlight wildlife in the Sultanate of Oman, as Oman is rich in many of them,” Baomar said.
“Wildlife photography is fun and scary at the same time, enjoyable when we approach our fears and overcome it, and that makes me happy and full of enthusiasm.”
“On the other hand, while taking pictures of rare animals, I feel responsible and scared, especially when I take a photo of an endangered animal, because any sign that gives away their location might pose the risk of them being killed by illegal hunters,” Baomar added.
“Highlighting the beauty of Omani nature, promoting tourism and preserving wildlife in the Sultanate and all over the world are my aims while taking pictures of wildlife.”
“A wildlife photographer should possess a number of qualities, including patience to capture a beautiful artistic picture, because animals and birds need time to feel safe and come out.”
“Scientific knowledge of wildlife is important, such as habitat, the appropriate times for appearance, and accuracy in terms of internationally recognised naming of animals or birds,” Baomar said.
The wildlife photographer spends a long time waiting for the right moments to capture the perfect shots of animals.
“The photographer needs a backpack for tools, food and water, long lenses like 600mm and more, high-speed professional cameras, first-aid kits, long-sleeved clothing to avoid injuries,” Baomar noted.
Taking pictures of wildlife is not without risk.
Baomar’s most difficult incident was in which he felt his life was in danger, and that was when he faced up to an elephant.
“I was in Africa (Tanzania) where I tried to take a picture from the ground. I was sprawled about 50 meters from a huge elephant and suddenly it ran toward me very quickly, which made me run away and fall to the ground from fear, but I succeeded in returning and avoided being trampled on, to take a very nice picture.”