(Persia Digest) – Ali-Reza Akhlaghi is a 24-year-old Iranian photographer who won the first rank of Wikipedia’s world photography competition in 2018 called “Wiki Loves Monuments” with his picture from the ceiling of Isfahan’s Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque.

Some 25,800 photographs have been sent to the contest by 14,000 photographers from around the world. Wiki Loves Monuments has become world largest annual photo event since it was established in 2010.

Speaking to Persia Digest (PD) about how he entered the world of photography, Ali-Reza said: “I studied astronomy for three or four years at Adib Center and after I saw astronomical pictures there, I became interested in taking pictures in this genre. That was why I entered the field of photography but never worked as a professional photographer.”

He who learned photography by his own talent and experiences, also talked about his victory in the Messier Marathon in 2016.

“In 2016, I participated in a contest called Messier Marathon which is actually taking astronomical pictures and I won the first rank,” Ali-Reza said.

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As for his picture from the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, he said: “Taking pictures with tripod from places that are included in the list of the national cultural heritage are forbidden but I obtained the permission for photography through the company where I was working with. I arrived at the mosque about noon. They were closing the doors for performing noon prayers. I asked them to let me take some pictures and they accepted. They shut down the place, closed the doors and turned off the lights therefore, I had two complete hours to take my pictures and I used this chance. I was alone under the dome and took many pictures from various angles and this picture became the final one.”

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“There is one red light in the mosque which is almost always turned on shedding its light to the dome and the sanctuary but it was off while I was photographing that day and I took pictures with the natural light coming in through the window. That is why the walls and the dome and sanctuary seem so natural in the picture and added to its beauty.”

Ali-Reza who is, simultaneously, studying photography, astronomy and dentistry, talked about his priority saying: “I have been doing all three for several years. When I was a dentistry student, I simultaneously, continued photography and astronomy and I am doing so currently. But if there is a proposal for becoming a professional astronomer then I will quit the other two and continue astronomy as a profession.”

The photo which won Moments Loves Wiki 2018

Another picture taken by Ali-Reza from Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Another picture taken by Ali-Reza from Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Another picture taken by Ali-Reza from Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Another picture taken by Ali-Reza from Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

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