Going Off the Beaten Path in Oman
This photographer needed nothing but a car and a camera
Sarah Ben Romdane
“I had been to Oman a few months prior for holidays and instantly fell for the country”, says German photographer Emily Schluter, “The light there is incredible and Oman’s landscape has everything one could wish for – for my taste anyways. One image I can’t get out of my head is standing on a beach near Muscat that was lined with palm trees and had rocks coming right down to the ocean. It felt so unreal, I had never seen something like it before.”
Emily’s trip wasn’t entirely spontaneous though. With a penchant for road trips, Schluter (knowing that Oman is the capital of cars) knew that it’d serve as the perfect landscape for an ‘on the road’ photo series.
“You see so much more when you drive through a country, rather than flying over it and only seeing extracts. When I came for the second time, I travelled alone with the help of a local that I had gotten to know on my first visit. Instead of being locked away in some resort at the beach and only having access to specific sites, I spent my time with locals and was shown secret places.”
Thanks to Oman’s overtly-curated tourism industry, Schluter’s conscious decision to go off the beaten path and do as local’s do is what make’s her images so organic and touching. “To get a glimpse behind the curtain was a very special experience. Apart from the stunning landscape, I was most moved by the openheartedness by the Omani’s that I met on the way.”
With a third trip and photo series planned (this time in Salalah, Oman’s green city and the peninsula Musandam) Schluter’s practically made Oman her main subject matter for the time being. “There are no closed doors in Oman. Instead you are offered delicious Omani coffee with Halwa. It is impossible to not grow absolutely attached to this little gem of a country.”