The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has achieved a new milestone by attracting competitors from 121 different countries in its latest season of competition “Beauty of Light”. Submissions for the award shut on the 31st of December last year, and had been open since the 1st of September 2012. The award is set to boast the largest grand prize in the world of photography which will be worth US$ 120,000, and an overall grand prize pool of US$ 389,000.
Commenting on the milestone by HIPA, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and the patron of the award said that “The success achieved by HIPA in its second season is a direct reflection of the importance of photography in today’s society. Photography has the ability to capture the most important events in history in a single frame and has become an essential tool of expression in today’s society.”
His Highness continued that “the award encourages photography as an expressive art form through activities such as holding workshops by some of the biggest names in the world of photography and by taking part in the biggest photography gatherings on the planet. The strategy of sharing the art form is equally important with younger generations, who we see as the future innovators in this world and therefore deserve the highest standard of nurturing and encouragement.”
“HIPA is a direct reflection of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, who continues to encourage development of local talents into professional artists. As a nation we will benefit from the award’s encouragement towards these talented individuals as much as they will benefit from the art form as a profession. We are looking at building the confidence of the local photographic community by pitting them against some of the biggest and most talented photographers in the world, hoping that one day they will emulate their competition and do their nation and the award proud”.
Commenting on the award’s international milestone, His Highness continued “For HIPA to attract competitors from 121 countries in its second season shows the success it has had in reaching a very wide talent pool. By widening our educational programs and strategies, we hope to inspire more photographers from more countries to take part in the next season of the award”.
Ali bin Thailth, the Secretary General of HIPA added that “we had a huge number of submissions this season from all around the world and the judging of each and every single one of these submissions had to be a very diligent process. The judging panel consisted of 9 of the biggest names in international photography, who we entrusted in picking out the best photographs worthy of each award available”.
Bin Thailth continued, “The judging sessions were long and meticulous and I would like to thank our judges for their hard work. I would also like to thank His Excellency Mr Abdulrahman Al Owais, the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community Development and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of HIPA for attending some of the judging sessions personally and meeting with the judges”.