By Lee Bullen
A Michigan artist uses frozen soap bubbles, light tricks and his iPhone to create singular pieces of art.
Amthel Al-Dayni was born in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, but moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2010. His day job is working for a home-improvement company, but his real passion is photography.
Al-Dayni, who has 121,000 followers on Instagram, said: “Photography has been a part of my entire life. My lack of confidence as a young boy was always telling me that I can only express my love of photography by looking at beautiful images, not really making them.”
But he says he decided in 2017 to get over his fears and start taking photos with his phone.
“I’m on a mission to make photography easier with simple gear for beginners and even advanced photographers. That’s why I make free short videos on Instagram Reels and TikTok.
“The videos have really easy steps that you can follow to create the same results I make.”
Al-Dayni, who lives with his wife, 2-year-old son, and three dogs, said: “I enjoy experimenting with different things. I enjoy failing and trying again. I believe that the reward is in the process, not only in the results.
“I wasn’t sure that it was possible working in such a way until I saw my son’s soap-bubble can, and I thought of giving it a shot.
“For years, I thought this soap-bubble video will not work because of all the challenges, such as weather temperature, wind, recipe mixture of the dish soap, glycerin and water.”
He added: “I use an 8-year-old Nikon D750 camera, but most of my successful videos are done with my iPhone 12 Pro Max.
“What I love most about photography is the creativity. One of the most common questions I get asked by beginners is: How can I become creative?
“Creativity is something we can improve by trying different things and by having a mindset that it is OK to fail. The more we fail, the more creative we get. I post are about 20 percent of the videos I make, about 80 percent of my work is unusable content. But the idea is the more we fail, the more we succeed.
“A lot of beginners are scared of failing. They don’t try anything unless it gives them a high chance of success up front. One of my favorite quotes is by author Scott Adams: ‘Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.’”
Edited by Fern Siegel and Kristen Butler
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