The 29-year-old photographer from Dhaka, Bangladesh, has always been drawn by creativity, and a childhood dream of his was to be an artist. With a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Dhaka, Arefin got involved in photography in 2013 when he started working on a daily photo journal. “I was literally photographically born in 2013 when I got my AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G and started doing my 365 day project.”
Arefin describes his style of photography as ‘whimsical with a touch of dreamy feel’, but not without elements of real life. In order to create the fairy-tale look, Arefin loves to play with a soft, glowing backlight. Lighting is key in his photographs and if it is too harsh, it spoils the magical feel. In order to avoid shooting in high contrast situations, Arefin works either early morning or late afternoon to capture the softer light. Working from his apartment balcony, he is able to utilise natural sunlight. In cases where Arefin does not shoot with natural light, he uses a big soft box with his SB-910 Speedlight and a silver reflector.
When Arefin shoots, his first thought is how the shape of the subject affects the composition of the photo. Often there is only one focused subject in order to keep the composition simple yet eye-catching. “Too many subjects can create distraction and take the eyes away from my main subject.” By using both natural and man-made objects, Arefin always tries to create ties between nature and human creation.
Another passion of his is cinemagraphs. The process is not too complicated, only involving a few steps to make a big impact.
“The first step is to plan and select which part of the image should be moving. Second step is to switch into video or movie mode in your camera to capture some movements. The final step is to create a still frame from that video, place it on top of the video as a layer, and mask out or remove the parts of the image where you want the movement to be visible.” Arefin also recommends using a tripod to avoid shaking and to keep the movement smooth.