by Teresa Chia

Most of us are more than familiar with landscape and scenery photographs. From our default wallpapers to what are advertised to us in travel blogs or magazines, us city dwellers just cannot seem to get enough of natural scenic landscapes that are not readily available to us on a daily basis.

Perhaps it is the transcendental vibes and intense colours in his photographs that draw our attention, or maybe it is the novelty for many of seeing an Aurora Borealis up close. Whichever the reason, Hamed Alderei has, without a doubt, captured our undivided awe with his otherworldly frames. Armed with his Nikon D800E, Alderei sets off into the world in pursuit of his next great shot after uncovering his penchant for photography in the summer of 2009.

“My heart was beating so fast from enjoyment when I took the first photo from his camera. The feeling that struck me is indescribable and contains a lot of positive joy.”

– Alderei in an exclusive interview with Art Herald.

Emirati photographer & artist Hamed Alderei

The Emirati photographer started his photography journey with the expansive desert that surrounded his village back in Abu Dhabi. Having exhibited in over 4 countries, Alderei has also had works exhibited in the prestigious Art Shopping at Carrousel du Louvre. His Iceland series stands out as one of his more notable works in his photography career. Alderei shared that he opted to travel to Iceland to capture its beauty in his shutters due to his interest and fascination with the aurora borealis.

The Beauty of the Earth | Nikon D800E, 14-24 lens

The Beauty of the Earth | Nikon D800E, 14-24 lens

More commonly known as northern lights, the aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon of lights in the sky and can only be seen in high-latitude regions in countries such as Iceland.

Alderei’s image of the aurora borealis was him attempting to take the bull by the horns and propel his photography skills further since these lights are one of the most complex natural phenomena to photograph. When enquired about his choice of subject, he explained that “a person needs to be highly skilled to be able to catch the aurora in a way that is distinct from others, and I found that is a big challenge for me to do it”.

By that, he produced some of the most appraised shots of the lights. With the almost neon colours piercing through the veil of the night, the contrast of the elements between hints of purples and Prussian blues of the sky and the iconic bright greens emitted from the northern lights creates a perfect complement for the composition.

While shooting the series, Alderei found himself face to face with a storm that could potentially ruin his photography objectives. The process proved to be tough and arduous with harsh weather conditions, but his persistence in waiting out the storm was rewarded with once-in-a-lifetime shots.

Cold & Fire 1 | Nikon D800E, 14-24 lens

Cold & Fire 2 | Nikon D800E, 14-24 lens

As the world took to a halt in 2020, Alderei’s work has also seen an intermission. He plans to continue travelling the world after the global pandemic takes a turn for the better to resume his artistic pursuit.

Look forward to seeing more of Alderei’s iconic sans urbanisation works in the near future. Meanwhile, his Instagram (@hamed_alderei) stands in as his online gallery space for the perusal of his audiences.