Dubai, 2011: Imagine you on a motorboat on a river in the thickness of the African jungle. It is a harsh environment where the birds and animals of wild nature are calling out for survival, for food and more. You are on your way to the oil rig where you are stationed when suddenly the engine of the motorboat dies down. It has started to get dark, and there is no other human in sight. Just you.
Your breath starts to get jagged with fear of the unknown as the motorboat starts to meander down the stream. Nearby you can hear the elephants and the panther and you pray that they are going to stay in the jungle. The wave of the river actually hides a shape; is it the hippopotamus or a reptile with the big C or A? Swimming to the shore is not an option, in this case.
This is what French born Arnaud Humbert faced, while working on the oil rigs in Africa. Thankfully he had the shotgun that allowed him to fire his last flare into the sky, hoping that someone would see the flare. Someone did.
Humbert lived to tell the tale. And I got the chance to meet the man who does fabulous photography based on oil rigs. My fascination with oil rigs and oil fields is because my father worked in an Abu Dhabi based oil company for nearly four decades. As a child, I remember leafing through the calendars and diaries of the company filled with photos of oil rigs. True, my dad worked in the onshore branch of the company, but the stately oil rigs in the midst of the ocean with engineers working day in and day out, fascinated me.
After sharing more interesting anecdotes of life on an oil rig as an engineer, Humbert shed light on his passage into photography – that too, specialized photography for the oil and gas sector – a very niche service to the UAE’s oil and gas industry. With his engineering qualification and pilot qualifications to fly out to the oil rigs, Humbert is well placed to be the ideal candidate to combine his passion for engineering with his love for photography. “Ten years experience in the corporate world managing oil and gas businesses helped pave the way for me to look at oil rigs through another lens – the lens of a camera.”
Humbert grew up in peaceful and culturally rich part of France called Burgundy. He then got an engineering degree from Lille and a management degree from Paris and also graduated from military academy in France. The next ten years saw him manage oil, gas and energy businesses for several corporations in Holland, France, Nigeria and Gabon. Arnaud is an avid trekker having crossed mountains and deserts in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.
Humbert is an avid learner, interested in geostrategy, international relations strategy and more. “In photography there are no boxes to be confined in; just creativity. The challenge is to blend business with creativity to come up with unique concepts and ideas. For this, one needs to keep an open mind at all times, and that’s why I thirst to learn and study new fields which add character to my work. At the end of the day, it is important to preserve oneself and keep one’s identity and that can only come through being open-minded, constant learning, and doing what one loves!”
Humbert also does fine art photography for collectors, amateurs and professionals looking to enliven an environment. He also does photography for families who want to save cheerful memories at home or at a select location in Dubai.
“I like my photography to communicate my reflections and ideas of life like no other medium may do. World famous photographers such as James Nachtwey (my favourite), Raymond Depardon and Michael Kenna have contributed to moulded my photographic talent in a unique qualitative way.”
Dubai, set in between the cityscape, sea and desert attracted Arnaud to give vent to his creative and entrepreneurial spirit and he set up his photography studio here in 2010. He funnels his considerable knowledge of cultures gained from his travels and meeting various people in expressing emotion and imagination through his photographs. Using advanced techniques, he experiments with colors, textures and patterns to give a modern twist to traditional photography in an effort to sensitize the observer to the objects and events that surround him.
Visit Arnaud Humbert at his website.
And here questions of type such if honestly strike me not much as I wrote everything higher. It is visible you simply you don’t want to read all this. As my parrot does.