HIPA announces winners for eleventh season of ‘Nature’

 HIPA announces winners for eleventh season of ‘Nature’

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) announced the winners of its 11th season of competition “Nature”.

British photographer, Henley Spiers won the coveted grand prize of US$120,000, while the embodiment of Arab creativity photographers saw Kuwaiti photographer Majid Sultan Al Zaabi winning the Photographic Content Creators Award, the Qatari photographer Ali Seif Al-Din winning first place in the “Portrait”, and the Egyptian photographer Ahmed Mahmoud Abdel Azim Abdel Razek winning third place, also in “Portrait”.

The “Nature” season witnessed a creative sweep by Asian photographers who booked half of the winning places through 12 out of 25 centres, including the three places for Special Awards. The international photographic scene of the winners of this season was also decorated with the double presence of seven countries on the winners lists, namely the USA, Canada, China, Russia, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Ali bin Thalith, Secretary-General, shared his gratitude for H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Patron of HIPA, for his continued support for HIPA and the art of photography.

“Today, with communities of photographers around the world, we celebrate honouring the winners of the ‘Nature’ season, in fulfilment of the vision of the award set by His Highness, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the patron of HIPA, in dedicating artistic spaces and cultural initiatives to support priority issues that touch the future of life on our beautiful planet. We also celebrate “Half a million-participating works” in all seasons. The outputs of this season are high-end artistic messages armed with soft power capable of drawing the world’s attention to the seriousness of environmental issues and the need to unite efforts and enhance common awareness of the importance of preserving the great home that we all share,” Bin Thalith said.

Bin Thalith also praised the presence of an influential Arab figure in the societies of photographers in the Middle East on the list of honourees with Special Awards, in addition to Arab winners from Qatar and Egypt who achieved advanced positions in the “portrait”.

“We are pleased with the appearance of Japan in the lists of winners for the first time, and with the presence of winners from Russia and Indonesia, along with the US, Mexico and Guatemala, and with a quick reading of the map of the Pacific Ocean, we find that “HIPA” succeeded in bridging the gaps, bridging distances, and building bridges of artistic, cultural and human communication across various nations and civilisations,” he said, adding that dedicating opportunities for artistic competition and gaining knowledge and skills to creators in 205 countries, HIPA became the most widely spread artistic brand around the world.

“We closely monitor the art scene and its transformations across the international creative communities, and we value the Asian state, which has reached an advanced stage of maturity and reaping the fruits of long-term action plans. We at HIPA are committed to working hard to maintain technical gains, innovate the best, create sustainable differences, and honour the largest possible segment of visual talent,” Bin Thalith added.

The Grand Prize winner, US$120,000, went to Henley Spiers from the United Kingdom, for his photo of a Gannett swimming in an artistic shower of bubbles after breaking through the water surface at an estimated speed of 100 kilometres per hour, like a live torpedo, absorbing the massive blow through its strong skull and protective airbags in the head and chest.

In the Nature Category Winners, first place went to Ryo Minemizu from Japan, followed by Marcio Cabral from Brazil in second place. Navin Kumar from India took third place while Thomas Vijayan from Canada took fourth place, and Kristin Wright from the US came in fifth.

For the General – Colour category, first place went to Nguyen Vu Cao from Vietnam. The second and third places went to Nay Soemoe from Myanmar, and Rahat Bin Mustafiz from Bangladesh, respectively.

In the General – Black & White category, first place was won by Muhammad Alamsyah Rauf from Indonesia, followed by Chinese photographers Shuchuan Liu in second and Luis Lyons from Mexico in third place.

In the Portfolio Category Winners, Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen shone through in first place, with second place going to Lurii Pritisk from Russia, and third place to Liguo Chen from China, followed by Shad Abdul Kader from India in the fourth, and Aleksei Tsiler from Russia in fifth.

In the Portrait Category Winners, first place went to Ali Saifaldeen from Qatar, while Mohammad Radi Abdel Gani from Guatemala took second place. Ahmed Mahmoud Abdulazim Abdulrazik from Egypt was third, Indonesian photographer Agustinus Elwan came in fourth, and Italian photographer Antonela Cunsolo completed the category in fifth place.

The 11th season set the stage, yet again, for special awards which include the Photography Content Creator Award, the Emerging Person/Organisation in Photography Award and the Photography Appreciation Award. Special awards recognise photographers and organisations who have dedicated themselves and contributed positively to the photographic industry.

American photojournalist Kurt Mutchler is the recipient of the Photography Appreciation Award, recognising his career as an editor of print and electronic photographs, and his contribution as a photo editor to the photographic stories and novels that were published in the organisations in which he worked. He provided a remarkable example of the pivotal role that workers behind the scenes add to the image industry; a role that rarely gets the spotlight.

The “Photography Content Creator Award” was awarded to Kuwaiti photographer Majed Sultan Al Zaabi considered an educational and cognitive activist on social networks. He shares his knowledge, experience and expertise with regard to photography and how to produce dynamic and impactful content for key digital platforms. He draws on his 20 years of experience in the field of wildlife photography and documenting charitable projects in Africa.

The “Emerging Person in Photography Award” was awarded to Bangladeshi photographer Turjoy Chowdhury. He is a researcher, visual storyteller and owner of long-term art projects, specialising in the history of wars and conflicts, geopolitics, human rights and social issues.