MUSCAT: A French photographer who is showcasing Oman’s rich landscape during his upcoming exhibition in Paris has said that it was the soothing atmosphere of the country that inspired him. Christophe Levet, a professional photographer, spent a week exploring the country and saw varied landscapes that set Oman apart from the other countries in the region, and admitted that the time he spent here was too short, as he took pictures for his exhibition titled Atelier du jour (Workshop of the day).
“Although I spent just seven days in Oman — it was short — I saw a lot of different places,” he told Times of Oman. “It’s a wonderful country with landscapes that are very different from Europe. It has a lot of amazing and various landscapes: the sea, the mountains, the wadis and the desert. I felt good in this country. There’s a soothing atmosphere. It was the first time I went to the desert, it was so magical to photograph the sunrise in the Sharqiyah Sands.”
“There’s a sweetness of life,” he added. “It’s very quiet and pleasant. I really appreciate it when my photos and my vision of the world are printed and seen by a lot of people. If you want to know my favourite place in Oman, I think it would be Wadi Bani Khalid and the Sharqiyah Sands.”
Christophe, who lives in the French Alps with his girlfriend Violaine, has had a keen interest in photography since 1994. The two of them run a travel blog called the Wild Birds Collective where they showcase their photos and offer travel advice to people, based on the various countries they have travelled to.
“I saw a lot of places in Oman,” recalled Christophe. “I went to Muscat, then I travelled to Birkat Al Mouz, I saw the Ghul Canyon in Rustaq, I went to Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi. I also went to Sur, the Sharqiyah Sands, Jabreen Castle, Nizwa Souq and Misfah Al Arbayeen.”
With so much experience behind the camera under his belt, Christophe has some advice to give to the next generation of photographers.
“Get up early, because sometimes, it’s worth waiting for a good moment to take the best photo, be patient,” he said. “Making mistakes is okay because it’s the normal way to become better. First, look at the world with your own eyes before taking pictures, and travel early if you can.”
“For example, I shot pictures for a cycle event, which is very famous in France, called the Six Days of Grenoble,” recalled Christophe. “It’s a track cycling race on a velodrome. During the event, I was given the opportunity to take pictures of the sprint riders by positioning myself upside down on a motorcycle in front of them. The driver of the motorcycle was famous because he’s the stunt man in the Batman movies.
“When I asked him if it was safe, he said it would not be a problem,” he added. “We began to turn slowly on the velodrome, and I tried to see if it was easy to take pictures with only one hand because my second hand was on the driver so that I would not fall. It was not easy but it was manageable. After many turns, the sprint riders came in front of us and started to sprint. My motorcycle started to go faster and faster and it became very difficult to take pictures, because the motorcycle was moving very fast and I was afraid of falling. When the race stopped, I jumped off the motorcycle and felt sick for a few minutes. It was truly a very amazing and terrifying experience, but I took the picture I wanted and I’m still alive,” he said.