Read up on the ongoing Hamdan International Photography Awards Sixth Season, “The Challenge”
The Sixth Season of Dubai’s prestigious Hamdan International Photography Awards (HIPA) is in full swing; with a grand prize of US$120,000 and a total of US$400,000 across several categories, ready for the taking by the best of the best photographers.
Bearing the theme “The Challenge,” the current season kicked off on May 1, 2016, and will run until October 31, 2016.
In a statement to the press, His Excellency Ali Khalifa Bin Thalith, secretary general of HIPA, emphasized that in its Sixth Season, and with the introduction of new photographic categories, the Award will explore new visual experiences, by way of a bold approach, with the aim of pushing the photographer’s capacity and ability to innovate.
“Following five years of thoughtful artwork that supports, refines and represents an authentic culture of photography and raises awareness of its role in building civilizations, along with the recognition by the Award of innovative photographers around the world, HIPA continues its journey in its Sixth Season by selecting ‘The Challenge’ as the main category to provoke the creative power, analytical skills, and ability to translate through the lens what challenge means to them from their own experience in life, and how they deal with it in their own peculiar ways,” Bin Thalith said in his statement.
“You may already see that HIPA plans to further evolve and harness a new era of visual art that builds on the knowledge, experience and skillsets it inspired in its audience in 193 countries,” he added.
Exciting new categories
The season’s new categories, Portfolio, Digital Manipulation, General Category (black and white) respectively, seek to showcase the photographer’s ability to tell a story through images and a collective portfolio, to maximize the photographer’s skill in technological and digital advancements, and to advocate the pure style of innovative creativity afforded by black and white photography.
“Following the emotive and heart warming theme of Happiness, we now hear a strong call in the ‘The Challenge’ theme, which seeks to mobilize our mental skills, visual memory and creativity to produce powerful and effective visual expressions that go beyond the single photo format and further delving into a sequence of photos that is completely different in nature and requirements from the single photo shot. This ‘Portfolio’ category tests the story telling capabilities of our photographers,” Bin Thalith explained.
“In recognition of the great technological leaps that aim to liberate photographs from the limitations of physical reality by alterations and manipulation, HIPA now opens the door for the imagination of photographers by offering a ‘Digital Manipulation’ category. However, the ‘General’ category will continue to be a space for pure creative photography that breaks all formats and norms, offering photographers the opportunity to freely sail on their own journey of discovery where no one else has been – whether it be through black and white or color photography,” he further elaborated.
Are you up for the challenge?
With all the interest and positive response HIPA has generated over the past five years, competition is expected to, once again, be rather fierce. Shutterbugs the world over are encouraged to submit their best entries to the category or categories of their choice. Unlike previous seasons, this year’s contest spans six months only; compared to Season 1 to 5, during which the contest ran for one full year.
“I encourage participants to start early and seriously with their submissions because time in itself will be a ‘challenge’ this year… photographers have six months to submit their best artwork. The judging process will commence as of November to ensure we allow the required time to evaluate all the entries in our new and complex categories,” Bin Thalith emphasized.
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. Last season, over 80,000 entries from across 193 countries were received by the organizers; a marked increase from HIPA’s First Season. 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.
Visit the HIPA Website at www.hipa.ae/ for more details, samples of previously submitted entries, the full listing of categories, rules and guidelines, as well as corresponding prize monies for each category.
By ANGIE DUARTE