The Secretary General of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA), His Excellency Ali bin Thalith today announced at a Press Conference at the HIPA headquarters, the competition’s strategy for its sixth season of competition ‘The Challenge’.
Bin Thalith said, “After five years of extensive work spreading the art of photography to tens of thousands of people around the world and in turn reaching photographers from 193 countries around the world, HIPA has steadily amassed one of the most impressive and diverse photographic communities on the planet. The HIPA photographic community has in this time also grown to a level where we now feel we must ‘challenge' them more to continue their development and increase their passion for the artform.”
He added, “As per the direction of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the executive council and patron of HIPA, we have chosen to take a new route in our goal of developing photographers. This new direction will involve a more extensive educational program throughout the next few months involving a wide array of workshops, lectures and courses which have proven very successful in the past few years”. Bin Thalith pointed to a brand new initiative titled the ‘Portfolio Week’ which he described as, “a week long course for photographers under the tutelage of some of the best-known photographers in the world such as the world famous photographer and adventurer Michael Yamashita, Dubai based architectural photographer Catalin Marin, as well as Kuwaiti photographer Abdulaziz Al-Duwisan.”
Notable Practical Workshops during HIPA’s 2016 calendar include ‘Macro Photography’ by Emirati Yousef Al Habshi currently scheduled 15th and 16th of July. Our exciting new Portfolio Week program includes an interesting array of topics ranging from ‘Social Harmony in UAE’ by Spanish photographer and former HIPA judge Monica Allende (scheduled 21st - 25th August), as well as the potential of starting the 2017 new year by delving into ‘The Future as we see it’. While a dynamic debate providing multiple perspectives is expected at the ‘Live Photo Contest Judging’ lecture on the 15th of October which brings together English photography expert Martin Grahame-Dunn and Omani photographer Ahmed Albusaidi, to familiarise the photography community with judging standards in international competitions.
The Secretary General of HIPA also announced the increase of the total Prize Pool for HIPA’s sixth season ‘The Challenge’ to USD $423,000 which will also coincide with a new deadline for submissions which will be the 31st of October 2016. He said, “This will no doubt push photographers to work harder and submit their photographers earlier than previous seasons, which will not only develop photography skills but the encourage them to concentrate on the thought process involved when submitting. The new deadline will also allow us to focus on the judging process a lot more as well, which is no doubt an added advantage.”
Finally, Bin Thalith expressed HIPA’s continued commitment to promoting its popular ‘Instagram Photo Contest’ throughout the year on the social media platform, Instagram. He assured the press in attendance that HIPA will continue to play a key role in building the relationship between photography and social media by concluding, “ In fact, we have just announced the winners of our first Instagram competition for the month of May which was themed ‘Birds’, and in the coming days the theme of the June contest will be announced on all of HIPA’s social media channels and to the wider photographic community.’