Spanish photographer bags US$120,000 grand prize
DUBAI, UAE — Dubai’s prestigious Hamdan International Photography Awards (HIPA) concluded its Fifth Season, which bore the theme “Happiness,” with a grand awards ceremony held on the evening of March 14, 2016 at Burj Park in dynamic Downtown Dubai.
The culmination of the annual, year-long showdown of shutterbugs was a lavish celebration of the art of photography, and the passion of the photographer, who –as the event’s host emphatically stated –“is the master of the moment,” with the ability to capture time in its fleeting moments.
Winners across different categories were revealed, and special awards were likewise given to two renowned and well-respected lensmen. Aside from the thematic category of Happiness, the 2015-16 edition of HIPA recognized the best entries in the following areas: General, Father and Son, and Wildlife. HIPA bestowed, as well, the Grand Prize to the photograph which was judged the most outstanding (still bearing the Happiness theme) by an international panel of illustrious industry professionals.
The winners in the General Category were Francisco Negroni Rodriguez from Chile, 1st place; Sandra Hoyn from Germany, 2nd place; Vladimir Viatkin from the Russian Federation, 3rd place; Zhiqiang Zhang from China, 4th place, and Fausto Podavini from Italy, 5th place.
In the Father and Son Category, the top spots went to Khaled Alsabbah from Belgium, 1st Place; Musa Talaşli from Turkey, 2nd place; Mihailo Simovic from Serbia, 3rd place; Johannes Petrus Janssen from the Netherlands, 4th place, and Saber Nouraldin from the Palestinian Territory, 5th place.
Wildlife Category winners were Steven Winter from the United States of America, 1st place; Lynn Emery from the United Kingdom, 2nd place; Minming Lin from China, 3rd place Min Ouyang from China, 4th place, and Fabian Berg from Germany, 5th Place.
Bagging the five winning slots in the Happiness Category were Hameed Husain Isa from Bahrain, 1st Place; Brent Stirton from South Africa, 2nd place; Sergey Ponomarev from Russia, 3rd place; Omar Ahmed from the UAE, 4th place, and Manar Gad from Egypt 5th Place.
Meanwhile, the Grand Prize of US$120,000 went to Antonio Aragon Renuncio from Spain. Renuncio’s photo was shot in an impoverished village in the West African state of Togo. It depicts a group of children playing and running behind old motorcycle tyres in the red dusty dirt outside of an NGO clinic. Even though these children were ”mostly the sons, nephews and children of the patients in the clinic, their smiling faces and noisy joy are the embodiment of pure Happiness,” Renuncio said.
Special Recognition Awards were likewise given to veteran photographers, for their achievements and influence in the field. The Photographic Research-Report Award was bestowed on war documentary photographer and portrait artist, Don Mc Cullin, while the Photography Appreciation Award went to documentary photographer, Oscar Mitri.
HIPA was conceptualized in 2011 in the Emirate City of Dubai, under the patronage of the nation’s Crown Prince (himself a passionate and talented photographer), His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The contest was birthed in recognition of photography’s global impact, and in line with His Highness’ vision to further develop the art form.
Since its inception, the competition has been very well-received by photographers the world over. This season, over 80,000 entries from across 193 countries were received by the organizers; a marked increase from HIPA’s First Season
Last year, Xyza Dela Cruz Bacani and Jaime Singlador, talented Filipino shutterbugs, both bagged 5th place in their respective categories, while the Fourth Season’s Grand Prize went to Indian photographer Anurag Kumar. A total of US$400,000 in prize money is awarded annually, across the different categories and special awards.
Photos are subject to stringent judging and investigation over a period of several months, by a judge community comprised of members from illustrious photography organizations and media outfits.
With the culmination of the Fifth Season, the Sixth Season has officially kicked off, with the new theme, “The Challenge.” Visit www.hipa.ae/ for more details.
By ANGIE DUARTE