British born Gaye first came to Bahrain in 1983, and her affection for this beautiful country and its people has kept her here ever since. Gaye has exhibited at Anamil Gallery, Al Riwaq Art Space, the InTouch Art Gallery, and Art at the Harbour, and her work has been featured in Bahrain this Month, Time Out Bahrain, Fact magazine, Marhaba fil Bahrain, and in a number of local newspapers. On top of this, she has been published by National Geographic, and has five times been shortlisted for National Geographic online assignments. Gaye is now happily retired and spends her time in pursuit of her twin passions; travelling and photography.
I got started in photography when I retired from Arcapita a number of years ago. I had always been interested in photography, but had never had the time to seriously pursue it before and so, as soon as I retired, I went out and purchased an entry level Canon DSLR camera was immediately hooked.
Photography opened up a whole new world for me and taught me to look at the world differently. My first photography course was an online Open University course which taught the basics. After completing that, I decided to put my knowledge into practice, and to enhance my technical skills, and so I signed up on a Creative Escapes photography holiday in Cambodia which was, without doubt, life-changing. Not only did my photography make a quantum leap forward, I met so many like-minded people, most of who were at the same stage of learning as me. I made some lifelong friends on that first trip, and we have met up on subsequent photography holidays over the years since, either individually or with Creative Escapes. The great thing about being with a dedicated photography group is that it tends to push you to extend your boundaries and create images that have more meaningful narrative.
I like to create images that evoke emotion and that convey the beauty, mystery and myriad cultures of this amazing world we call 'home'. My work continues to evolve; that is the beauty of photography - there is always something new to learn and different avenues to explore. For me, photography is all about making connections - both for myself with the subject matter and, through my work, with my audience. When I am doing portrait photography, my goal is to capture the essence of that person - to reveal their character, their environment and their culture, and to capture emotion.
I don’t adhere to any particular form of photography; I am just as happy doing portraits as I am with street photography, wildlife, architecture or landscapes, it all depends on what opportunities present themselves when I am out with the camera. But the aim is always to evoke some kind of emotive response from the viewer.
When I first started out on this photographic path, I was shy about getting close and personal with people, and tended to stick to safe landscapes and architecture. Looking back at my early work, I see now that very few images featured people at all. Nowadays I find I am increasingly drawn to the less fortunate segments of society which, let’s face it, are the majority on this planet. Funnily enough though, I have found that those who have so little often give so much, and tend to be grateful for every little thing that they do have. It can be both very uplifting, and humbling at the same time.
I am not a purist and sometimes I enjoy adding special effects to my images - not all of them - but if I have a certain idea in mind then I will explore ways of expressing it creatively through the use of software. At the end of the day, it is all about creating an image that conveys a strong feeling or emotion. My intention is that the viewer will find something to inspire them to think about the wider world; it is a beautiful world we inhabit, despite the pain and sadness, and the basic human condition is the same everywhere. Photography is a way of connecting people to worlds they might never see, and shows that we can relate to people wherever they are from, and how different they make look.
Looking ahead, I want to continue to improve my technical skills and experiment with different genres, and to do a lot more travelling. To quote naturalist and environmentalist philosopher John Muir: “The world is big, and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
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