Tim Flach and Tom Ang among HIPA’s Special Awards Recipients

Dated: 05 Mar 2019

 The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the special award recipients for its eighth season of competition. This season again features three special awards including the ‘Photography Content Creator Award’, the ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award’ and the ‘Photography Appreciation Award’. The special awards are presented by HIPA to photographers that have contributed positively to photography as an art-form and industry.


The ‘Photography Appreciation Award’ was awarded to British photographer Tim Flach, for his outstanding contribution to photography in the fields of nature and the environment throughout his career.

The ‘Photography Content Creator Award’ was awarded to New Zealand photographer Tom Ang for his pivotal role in education by authoring more than 40 books on photography translated into more than 20 common languages.

The ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award’ was awarded to Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, who is famous for his amazing works in the world of macro and micro photography, which has spread worldwide after National Geographic magazine devoted 14 pages to showcase his work, as well as, include it in their annual calendar for the Foundation in 2016.

In response to being awarded, British photographer Tim Flach said, “It is a great honour for me to be on the distinguished list of personalities honoured with this prestigious award. At this point in history, we are growing further away from the world of nature while we are increasingly in need of it, in terms of food, climate and other important issues. Many in our world still do not realise the gravity of the challenges that require us to protect nature more. As images are one of the best and most effective methods of human communication in this age, I seek to move people's feelings and raise their awareness through the stories I tell them through images.”

New Zealand photographer Tom Ang, winner of the ‘Photography Content Creator Award’ said, “Since its inception, HIPA has adopted an enlightened policy to expand the circle of honour to surpass photographers and other stakeholders in the industry. Great photographers are the champions of this art but their work is based on various techniques, skills, information and sources of inspiration. It is a great honour for me to have my passion, knowledge and photography experience honourably recognised by such a prestigious Award and a positive impact on the world's photography communities. I have worked hard through my career to bring benefit to everyone and I am happy that more than 40 books translated into more than 20 common languages have had a positive effect for many photographers.”

Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, winner of the ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award’ explained, “I cannot imagine the magnitude and responsibility that HIPA have year-on-year ensuring that the spotlight on photography continues to shine bright. HIPA is paving the way for all genres of photography, as well as raising awareness of emerging ones. Their support of photography in the scientific field is both encouraging and motivating. HIPA continues to prove to us year after year that it strives to present new, different and contemporary aspects of photography.”

The Secretary General of HIPA, His Excellency Ali bin Thalith said, "We are delighted to announce the recipients of our special awards, who have contributed in their own way to providing valuable additions in terms of uniqueness and interest to the photography community around the world. Honouring the creators in these three categories is an international thank-you letter on behalf of each photographer who has benefited and been motivated by their work. We are also proud to have a promising Emirati name amongst our recipients; a professional photographer whose reputation continues to grow internationally. This kind of achievement makes us optimistic that our efforts over the past eight years to support Emirati talent towards global recognition is proving fruitful.”

Bin Thalith continues, “We are honoured to award these distinguished names alongside the winners of the ‘Hope’ season at our ceremony next Tuesday, 12th March 2019, at the Dubai Opera.”


Dubai Photo Forum 3 - Issues That Concern Photographers

In other news, the Secretary General of HIPA, announced the launch of the third edition of the ‘Dubai Photo Forum’ which will consist of two panel sessions and three lectures, on Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th and Friday, 15th March 2019.

Secretary General Ali bin Thalith said, "HIPA will host a number of influential personalities, from the international photography industry, who will present the most important photography issues concerning photographers, especially with regard to training and development. The Forum is an important cultural platform for photographers in the region.

The first session will be ‘STORY-TELLING PORTFOLIOS’ with moderator Tareq Hadi and panelists, Alejandro Kirchuk, Donna Ferrato, Myriam Meloni and Poulomi Basu.

The second session will be ‘START A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS’ with moderator Tom Ang and panelists, Ihiro Hayami, Majed Sultan and Ramzi Haidar.

A lecture titled ‘PHOTOGRAPHY IN MY PLANET (JAPAN)’ will be presented by photographer Ihiro Hayami, and photographer Donna Ferrato will also present a lecture titled ‘BEING A WOMAN IN PHOTOGRAPHY’. The final lecture will be conducted by Tom Ang, titled ‘PROFESSIONAL FUTURE IN PHOTOGRAPHY’.


Tim Flach

Since becoming a professional photographer in the 1980s, Tim Flach has become renowned as one of the most influential animal photographers in the world. Tim seeks to use photography to shift public and scientific perceptions of the natural world towards an understanding that is more compatible with the demands of an ecological crisis.

Tim often employs principles of human portraiture to raise these issues in his photographs. His approach focuses on animals’ personalities and provokes powerful emotional responses in the viewer, encouraging them to rethink our place in the natural world.

His early fine art photographs, such as the abstract ‘Horse Mountain’ (2003), earned him international recognition. ‘Monkey Eyes’ (2003), an image of a macaque peering over the bottom of the frame, won him a prestigious Gold Award from the Association of Photographers. His first two published books, Equus (2008) and Dogs: Gods (2010), critically observed the mythology and ethics of our relationships with horses and dogs.

More Than Human (2012) is a series of portraits and abstracts which explores the quirks and idiosyncrasies of a huge number of species. The photographs examine the ways in which humans have shaped animal biology and raise pertinent ethical, political, cultural, ecological and philosophical issues about the relationships between human and non-human animals. A compilation of Tim’s work was organized into a book called Evolution (2014), which examines both the development of his photographic style and evolution in the organic world.

His signature style is often described as “stylized animal portraiture”, but Flach is also accomplished in landscape and wildlife photography. For his latest book, Endangered (2017), Tim has begun to consider photography as a means to communicate threats to the world’s ecological stability. He has travelled around the world to photograph species on the edge of extinction. Tim photographed the last male Northern White Rhino in Kenya, as well as many exceptionally rare species such as the Ploughshare Tortoise, Scimitar Oryx and White-Backed Vulture in their wild habitats. Tim found that protecting habitat was essential for the health of these species and ecology more widely. He aimed to use the emotions of kinship evoked by his portraiture to connect viewers emotionally to the environments in which threatened species live. Flach’s core belief is that widespread emotional response leads to direct action.

In addition to his monographs, he has collaborated with institutions such as National Geographic for Rarely Seen (2015) and the Rachel Carson Center for A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene (2018). He has been commissioned and featured in world-class publications such as National Geographic, The New York Times, The Guardian and The New Scientist. He has lectured at universities worldwide, and given talks on photography and conservation at venues such as the Zoological Society of London, TEDxWarwick and the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Since graduating in 1982 with a postgraduate certificate in Photography and Painted Structures from Central St Martins in London, Flach’s professional work has been recognized with a wide range of accolades and honors. He has received two Platinum Graphics Awards and two Yellow Pencils from the D&AD. He has been recognized as Professional Photographer of the Year for Fine Art in the International Photography Awards and given an honorary doctorate from Norwich University of the Arts. As an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (HonFRPS), he was made an Accredited Senior Imaging Scientist (ASIS FRPS) in 2018. In addition to his awards, he has served on the judging panels for some of the most prestigious awards bodies in the world. He has a permanent collection displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and his work can be found exhibited in art and science museums in capitals across the globe.


Tom Ang                

Photographer, author, educator, broadcaster.

He has written over 40 books on photography including the best-selling Digital Photographer’s Handbook published in twenty languages. His Digital Photography Masterclass was named The Crème De La Crème of the Top Digital Imaging Books of 2008 by Shutterbug Magazine. His Photography - the definitive visual history won the Best Photo Book for EzVid Wiki. He won the Thomas Cook Award for Best Illustrated Travel Book for his book on the Marco Polo Expedition.

He presented and wrote two ground-breaking series A Picture of Britain for the BBC and an eight-part series Scene City Singapore for Channel News Asia, Singapore (Bronze at the New York Film & TV Awards).

He has held editorial posts at Camera magazine, Photography magazine, The Sunday Correspondent Magazine and has been a correspondent to numerous photography magazines. such as British Journal of Photography, Professional Photographer, Practical Photography. He has been working as a consultant to the photography industry for many years.

He was Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in photographic practice at the University of Westminster teaching photography, photojournalism and publishing at BA and MA level for over 12 years. He pioneered academic links to Central Asia, leading a Know How Fund project for journalism in Kyrgyzstan and helped found the Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

He is a founding member of Wandsworth Photography Co-operative (now The Photo Coop), a founding member of the World Photographic Academy, initiated the Student Focus of Sony World Photography Awards and is former photography chair for the Royal Geographical Society’s Expedition Workshops.

He has given workshops and lectured worldwide including Budapest, London, Salzburg, Singapore, Manila, Dubai, Auckland, Brisbane, Cape Town.

He has served on the photo juries of Czech Press Photo, Sony World Photography Awards, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, HIPA Photography Award.

He was born in Singapore and now lives in New Zealand.


Yousef Al Habashi

Yousef Al-Habshi is an Emirati photographer specializing in “macro” and “micro” photography. He procured his first camera in 2010 and since that time gravitated toward macro photography.

Al-Habshi won numerous local and international awards, including many international gold medals. Most notably, he won first place for two consecutive years (2012 & 2013) at the Emirates International Photography Contest. His recent achievements include first place and a gold medal at the Sharjah Arabian Photo, macro division, and being honored by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah.

At the international level, Al-Habashi was able to win the first place in the scientific competition and specialized in micro-photography "Nikon Small Worlds" as the first Arab and Emirati to win this prestigious competition since its inception in 1975.

In the exhibition, Al-Habashi organized a series of individual and joint exhibitions, the most important of which was his first scientific photographic exhibition, in cooperation with the University of New York Abu Dhabi 2016, in the presence of Professor Claude, who covered the scientific part of the composition and characteristics of the composite eyes.

Al-Habashi also participated in two international exhibitions in China, the last of which was the "Three Shadows" exhibition held in Datong City, China, as part of the joint cooperation between the festival administration and the Hamdan Bin Mohammed International Photography Award (HIPA).

The latest exhibition in which Al Habashi participated was for the "Macro World" exhibition, which was held at the International Festival of Photography "Expo" in 2018 in Sharjah.

From the scientific side, Al-Habshi has made available some of his images of insects and their parts to several foreign universities for the purpose of performing new scientific projects and specialized studies. He has also provided specialized studies students with a set of these works for the purpose of academic research and graduation projects.

National Geographic Al Arabiya Magazine, a major media platform, allocated 14 pages to his work, and following their publication, the magazine used his photographs as the main content for their 2016 calendar.

His photographs have been featured in several local newspapers, as well as specialized photography magazines around the world. Additionally, they’ve been published in magazines focused on spreading awareness about agricultural pests and their negative impact.


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