Hailing from the City of Joy, Kolkata, India, Sanak Roy Choudhury is currently a practicing optometrist in Muscat, Oman. His journey as a photographer started as a child while travelling to different cities in India. The rich culture and the varied landscape of the Indian continent formed the initial impressions on Sanak and motivated him to frame and capture the beauty through his lens. He is an active member of Federation of Indian Photography (FIP), Photography Association of America (PSA) and Federation of the International Photography (FIAP) and holds AFIAP distinction along with over 50+ national and international awards with more than 200 exhibits spread across the globe. Follow Sanak Roy’s photographic journey on Instagram @sanakroy.
Capable of enduring the most extreme conditions, camels have been integral to residents of the Gulf for centuries. Believed to have been domesticated around 3,000 BC, camels have been used for everything, from milk and meat, to working animals and a means of transportation.
Many may think of them of as lumbering creatures or ‘Ships of the Desert’, but camels have more than a few tricks up their sleeve. Given the right conditions, the one-humped dromedary camel that you find in Oman can actually reach upto a speed of 64kph in short bursts on specialized tracks. And camel racing is a big business in Oman. Overseen by the Oman Camel Racing Federation, the famous Arab sport has a solid fan base. The camels themselves have become prized possessions and can often fetch prices in excess of the top sports cars. The cream of the crop are bred and trained at special farms where they undergo a rigorous training programme to ensure they perform at the peak of their ability. Races don’t receive much mainstream publicity, so if you’re keen to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures at full tilt, an enthusiastic photographer should keep track of the events from the Oman Camel Racing Federation website.
One such news of this event, on a late February afternoon, lured me to capture few interesting frames of the event with my Nikon D810. After driving around 150 km I managed to reach the venue which was already set abuzz with people of all ages. Kids displaying their prized camels proudly prior to the race was a spectacular view to capture. After capturing few shots of the kids with the camels I decided to capture the actions on the race track. As planned, my intention was to capture the frames from different angles in order to get intensifying shots. Situation was a bit tricky as the place was crowded and once the race begun there were sand burses creating more hindrances than anticipated. Nevertheless, I managed to overcome all the adversities and started clicking with immense enthusiasm. I started to shoot in Manual mode, with high shutter speed in order to freeze the moments sharply. Some camels were adamant whereas few other was over excited to race. After witnessing an exhilarating couple of hours of intensifying race, drenched in sand, I was satisfied with the frames I managed to freeze. Time spent watching this traditional sport was an extraordinary experience! |SP