Excerpts from the Hamdan International Awards for Emirati Photography 2022

Dubai: The winners of the 11th season of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards were announced earlier this month. The theme of this year’s awards was “Nature” (aimed at “drawing the world’s attention to the seriousness of environmental issues and the need to join forces and promote awareness of the importance of preserving the great home we all share,” HIPA Secretary General Ali Bin Thalith said in a press release), But photographers can also enter the “General” category (open to both black and white and color photos), the “Portfolio” category, and the “Portrait” category. Here, we present a selection of the most notable winning entries.

Grand Prize Winner

Heaven’s Storm

Henley Spires

The British photographer took home the top prize of $120,000 for this stunning underwater shot of a Janet bird in the waters off the Shetland Islands – “a cold, harsh, wild place where I slept so much,” he told Arab News.

“The gannet is one of the most impressive animals I have ever come across, a master of the air and of the sea. This photo was taken underwater, surrounded by diving birds, and I tried to show the violence of the controlled scene through an image beyond what you see with the naked eye. When decreasing the speed The shutter, moving the camera along with the movement of the seabirds, a technical blurring occurred, which eventually (after several attempts) led to the frame we see here,” he continues.

The image of the towers fits perfectly with the intents of the prize, said Benthalith. It is unfortunate that the Shetland fowls are, as Spiers explains, “in the midst of an avian influenza pandemic that has swept through their colonies. I have recently returned from the Shetland and witnessed heart-wrenching sightings among the flocks of birds. One can only hope that nature is resilient enough to withstand the damage caused. about this disease.

First Prize Winner, Nature


Rio Minimizu

The Japanese photographer named his nocturnal photo of Mollusca Gastropoda larvae “Jumeirah” because he felt it resembled the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. “It’s a cautious creature,” Minimizu said in the text of his message. “If you feel the slightest splash of water, you will go back to the oysters.” His shot was captured in the waters near Komi Island in Okinawa, Japan.

First Prize Winner, General (Colors)

“The Matrix of Boats”

Cao Nguyen Phu

This photo was taken in Quang Ngai Province, home of Cao, Vietnam – located on the coast of the South China Sea. Fu explained that the fishermen’s boats were “meticulously lined up when moored to avoid Cyclone Molav (in 2020), the most powerful typhoon to hit Quang Ngai in 30 years, completely destroying 325 homes and damaging more than 140,000.” Phu is not a professional photographer, but he works in healthcare and volunteers for a local charity in his hometown of Quang Ngai.

First Prize Winner, Portrait

Relaxing in the rain

Ali Saifaldeen

The Qatari photographer captured a captivating photo of a mountain gorilla called Kibandi in Uganda. “In rainy weather, we encountered a family of 19 gorillas,” Sevaldin explained in his message. “Kibande was in an open area in the rain, and when she closed her eyes, (it was the perfect time to take) this picture of her relaxing in the rain.”

First Prize Winner, General – B&W

“Flour War”

Muhammad Al-Esiya Raouf

An Indonesian photographer describes his photo of a group of children in Papua celebrating their graduation from school by throwing flour at each other as “like a funny war”. “Despite their poverty and the poor condition of their school, they create happy moments together,” he said in the text of his letter.

First Prize Winner, Wallet

“cold chase”

Paul Nicklin

Nicklin, a Canadian biologist, “is fascinated by the change of seasons and their impact on wildlife populations at the farthest reaches of our planet, where conditions can change dramatically.” This shot was taken on the Fishing Branch River in the Canadian Yukon, where “typically dwindling resources force the isolation of nomadic animals” like this bear “in close proximity.” Nicklin said he hopes images like the one in his bag will “help emphasize the struggle of life in the wild and convince us to rethink actions that put the survival of our animal cousins ​​at risk. Our urgency in dealing with the existential threat of climate change will make a huge difference to their future and who they are.” Like her.”

Fourth prize winner, Nature

‘how do we get there?’

Thomas Vijayan

Vijayan captured this tantalizing photo of an orangutan in a giant tree in Borneo “after a grueling boat-and-foot trip in the crocodile-infested shallow waters.” He explained that orangutans only look up when they climb, “so there’s only one way to get a picture…to stay on top of it.” The hardest part, he said, was “keeping quiet while he looked at me.”

Fourth Prize Winner, Wallet


Shad Abdel Qader

Kader’s portfolio has focused on architecture in Dubai. He wrote: “Over the decades, Dubai has developed some of the most innovative modern architectural buildings across the commercial, residential and public sectors.” From the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, to the latest architectural brilliance at Expo 2020, the list is astounding. As an aspiring photographer, my vision is to capture these distinctive structures through my lens.”

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