1 - Biography
2 - Philosophy
3 - Equipment used
4 - Exhibitions
5 - Projects
6 - Testimonials
Subhi Hafiz Alghussain was born in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in 1956. He studied science and art at Bryant University, RI, USA.
His first photographic experience started at age eleven when his uncle gave him his first Rollei Flex (TLR) camera which he still has today.
He continued his studies in secondary and high school while occasionally practicing photography when no other major distraction was around. But photography did not take a serious role in his life until he went to university to study and took photography courses; completing his studies in 1984.
In the early 1980's Subhi was inspired by the photography of Ansel Adams which stayed in his mind as an example to follow. In 1985 Subhi purchased his first 35mm Minolta camera and lenses and in the following year he purchased a second Minolta camera and used it for travel and tourism photography. By this time Subhi was using three cameras mostly for travel and community photographic activities.
In 2002 Subhi dedicated his career to arts and photography so he went to France to study art photography and music at the University of Avignon, France. Later in 2007 he studied multimedia and photography at the art institute of Bournemouth, UK.
He continued photography in landscape and fashion, before he later specialized in landscape and in medium and large format photography using the Sinar 4x5 and Ebony 4x5 large format cameras. Later in 2009 he met Mark Denton and Joe Cornish and took courses with them to further refine his photographic skills.
Subhi today practices photography as a landscape photographer around the world to promote wildlife conservation and the protection of wildlife and endangered species.
He was inspired by Ansell Adams like many photographers and motivated by the beautiful work of his instructor, and later his friend, Mark Denton for his work with panorama photography with a Fuji GX617 camera, which Subhi also now uses.
Subhi is a member of the Earth Healing Day organization, which is an organization that protects the earth, prevent pollution and provide healing aids to needy people.
I am an environmentalist who loves nature and the outdoors and sometimes I go to very remote areas like the "empty quarter desert " in Saudi Arabia where no one ever went, to sit and admire the quietness and the beauty of the desert. Or to the mystery of the forests, or the calmness of beaches and listen to the smooth sounds of running water of seas, rivers or waterfalls, these places are relaxing with or without sounds.
Have you ever heard of the sound of silence, the sound of no sounds, just like in the desert or just like the song of Paul Simon, The Sound of Silence, sometimes it has a rewarding advantage in terms of relaxations and creating great photo sessions. Any place I photograph in the early hours when no one is around is either quiet or the only thing I hear is the sounds of birds singing.
Another advantage of getting up so early in the morning to photograph is plenty of parking, no entry fees and no one is around, you would think it is a great job and risk free. Well think again - it is not always like that. In addition to the physical strain (carrying your gear while climbing mountains and looking for places to shoot), lack of sleep and risky and dangerous places that we seek to take a photo. Often there is a funny or scary story to tell, so every photo I or any other professional photographer takes has a story. That is why I have decided to include 'A Story To Tell' about some of my photos to share these experiences with others whether they are fashion, wildlife documentary photographers or any other professionals .
Loving nature and the outdoors I do not do indoor photography as I have tried this in fashion and some commercial photography which I felt it had no rewards other than financial. I’m not putting fashion or commercial photography or any other type down, but on the contrary I respect all photographers each in their field and their creativity, but it is not my 'cup off tea'. I hope to sell some of my art to finance my expenses and to donate some of my revenue to environmental organizations.
I am very selective of what I photograph. I do not do commercial shoots nor portraiture unless it is part of culture and history. I also do not manipulate or use Photoshop to alter images - I use it sometimes to crop images, as this is occasionally necessary when an unwanted foreground cannot be avoided.
I do not even do bracketing as Ansel Adams once said "if you do bracketing then you do not know what you are doing".
I like water and mountains, especially where they meet and this can be seen throughout my work.
Photographers as artists have a more difficult job to do than authors or singers. Authors can get their point of view across in a word, paragraph or sometimes they have the whole book to do it. Singers have the whole song to get to the audience; while the photographer has only a fraction of a second to get his message acros,s and normally it costs more money to buy a piece of art than to buy a book or a cd. Therefore the painter or photographer is under greater pressure to make an impression on the viewer from the first look. What a difficult task.
I am a medium and large format photographer - basically a landscape photographer. I use Fuji Velvia ISO 50, 100 and 100f films in 120 rolls and 4x5 format. I also use Provia ISO 400 and black and white films. Normally transparencies are then developed and scanned to digital images - this represents 80 percent of my work. Though I have a digital Canon 5D mk ii, a Leica and Canon 5D, I normally use digital cameras whenever i am not using my panorama camera, the Fuji GX 617.
My camera equipment also includes 6x7 Mamiya RZ and RB for which I favour the 6x7 format, and it is more economical than the 6x17 format as it takes 12 photos per roll. I also have a Hasselblad C500, and to take 6x6 photos which I use for small detail work to complement the 6x17 format I also use the 6x6 Rollei Flex - but I use it rarely; as the lens is not interchangeable nor has it filters so its use is limited to a few occasions.
For tripods and tripod heads, I use Manfrotto for tripods and Arca-Swiss for tripod heads and Manfrotto. For the large format camera I use the 4x5, Ebony 45S, and Sinar f2, with a wide range of lenses including Rodenstock, Schneider and Nikkor. I use Schneider and Lee filters, and for bags I use ThinkTank and Lowepro.
I am currently preparing for my first exhibition in Jordan.
Upcoming projects include photography books on Petra, Jordan, Qattar and Saudi Arabia
"Subhi Alghussein has trained with me for 2 years using both film and digital cameras in both the UK and Jordan. He's already taken some classic shots in places such as Petra and the Dead Sea, and from an early stage liked to work independently rather than copying what I had produced.
He's already a very talented landscape photography and has the potential to be the best in the whole of the middle-eastern region.
He's also a very endearing and fun guy, and very entertaining to be with. I count him amongst my best friends."
“The photographs of Subhi Alghussain reflect the committed, passionate and energetic character of the man himself. His range of subjects is huge and his travels appear never-ending. Many recent images have been made with the traditional 6x17cm film panoramic camera, and he has used this format to express a dynamic and embracing approach to his subject.”