The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) in the United Kingdom, has granted its Direct Fellowship to His Excellency Ali bin Thalith, the Secretary General of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) for his outstanding efforts in the field of photography. Bin Thalith has also been recognised for marine conservation work and helping spread the art of photography in the UAE and the Middle East. As Secretary General of HIPA, a role Bin Thalith has held since 2011, he has helped raise the award’s profile into becoming an internationally renowned organization that has reached 196 countries around the world.
Established in 1853, The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) was founded to promote the art and science of photography. Commenting on the awarding of their latest Direct Fellowship, Dr. Michael Pritchard, the Director of Education and Public Affairs at the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) said, “With the award of the highly coveted Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society, His Excellency Ali bin Thalith has demonstrated, through his personal underwater photography that he is working to the highest technical and artistic standards. With fewer than 600 Fellows across the world he joins a select group of photographers that include many highly respected and well-known names.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Afzal Ansary FRPS, from the Royal Photographic Society UK also added, “His Excellency Ali bin Thalith has been awarded the Direct Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society. This Fellowship is awarded to photographers or individuals with established national or international reputations, earned over a significant period of time, and those whose work is very well known and well respected. The Fellowship (FRPS) of the Royal Photographic Society is the highest Distinction and is awarded for excellence and distinguished ability in photography. The Royal Photographic Society is one of the most respected photographic bodies in the world and was granted the Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth 11 in 2004.”
For his part, Ali bin Thalith said, “I am delighted to be awarded with such an important accolade, that I consider as being a significant milestone in my photographic career. At the same time, I feel that it is now my duty to continue working at a certain level that will inspire more photographers in the United Arab Emirates and the region. Ever since I began my journey in photography, I strived to showcase the beauty of the world we live in through my photographs. With the increased influence of modern technology in photography, I have learned to acclimatize myself to the rapid changes going on around me, while maintaining the beauty of the images I produce. I am proud that the quality of my photographs throughout my career has been appreciated by such a prestigious organization such as the RPS.”
About Ali bin Thalith:
Ali Khalifa bin Thalith is a professional photographer and documentary film-maker from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In Recent times, he gained recognition on an international level as a specialized wildlife and underwater photographer. Bin Thalith holds diplomas in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography as well as French language and literature from the London Academy and University of Montpellier respectively. He was awarded in 2010, with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for young projects in the category of marketing and promotions.
In 2014, Bin Thalith was awarded with the International Photographic Council’s (IPC) Professional Photographer Leadership Award for his career work in the field of photography. As a result, Bin Thalith became the first Emirati and Arab recipient of the prestigious accolade at the IPC Pro Luncheon at the United Nations in New York City.
Bin Thalith is an active member of the UAE wildlife program, an initiative aimed at raising awareness of local wildlife and habitat in the United Arab Emirates. Bin Thalith’s eagerness to capture rare wildlife through his camera lens has also led him to photograph some of the most unique and endangered species in the world.
In 2016, Bin Thalith launched his long anticipated debut book ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ featuring some of the best underwater photography from his 20 plus year career. In this stunning collection of underwater photography, Bin Thalith underlined his passion for the sea by capturing some of the most beautiful and unheard of species living in the depths of the ocean. Described as “An incredible collection of underwater photography” by the Daily Mail, ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ received inscriptions from photography mainstays such as Steve McCurry, Reza and Alex Mustard.
About the Royal Photographic Society (RPS)
The Royal Photographic Society is the world’s oldest photography organisation dating from 1853. It is a charity that exists to educate members of the public by increasing their knowledge and understanding of photography, to promote the highest standards of achievement in photography and to encourage public appreciation of photography. Membership is open to all, irrespective of experience or knowledge. The Society’s patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.