After the conclusion of ‘The Moment’ season, a new chapter of creativity and inspiration begins with the eighth season of competition titled, ‘Hope’. This new concept will no doubt have countless interpretations that will test talented photographers from around the world in their quest for photographic excellence.

This season, HIPA will introduce a new form of dialogue which is commonly shared by various human civilizations and cultures. ‘Hope’ is a dialogue that calls for the strengthening and consolidating of our ideologies and behaviour patterns, it is an infinite fuel for life.

Last season, the ‘Time-lapse’ category was a pleasant surprise for photographers that were eager to keep up with the latest trends and developments in the photographic industry. As a result, the category produced a large number of stunning submissions that impressed millions of photography enthusiasts around the world.

This season’s surprise comes in the shape of an aerial challenge set out to photographers, which will be the ‘Aerial Photography’ video category. This challenge will open the door for thrill-seeking lovers of aircraft photography and videography to produce unforgettable works that will no doubt transcend reality by imagination.

For the third season in succession, the ‘Portfolio’ category returns. This category once again demonstrated its strength, with some of the most fascinating submissions in the previous edition of HIPA. Likewise, the ‘General’ category returns and is set to delve into the creative minds of photographers, affording them a full remit to express themselves through black and white or coloured submissions.

What's New

  • Hope will be the main theme of the season.
  • The Grand Prize (USD $120,000) will be chosen from any category available this season, and not only from the main theme.
  • Last day of participation will be on 31 October 2018 at 11:59 pm (UAE local time)
  • There are THREE Special Awards for the eighth Season and they are; ‘The Photography Appreciation Award’, ‘The Photography Content Creator Award’ and the ‘Emerging Person/Organisation in Photography Award’.
  • Other categories are; General, Portfolio and the Aerial Photography (Video).
  • The General Category will have two sub categories “Colour” and “ Black and White”
  • Participants are allowed to submit a Black and White Photograph in all categories except the ‘General – Colour’ sub category.
  • Submitted Photo(s) must be in JPEG format, with high quality and resolution, of a minimum 5 MB in size, the minimum of the longest edge should be no less than 2000 pixel and the quality no less than 300dpi to be suitable for publication.
  • Participants are requested to submit the raw/original camera files at the same time of submitting their photographs.
  • Finalists in the ‘Aerial Photography (Video)’ category will be required to provide sample photographic/video material to prove the authenticity of their submissions.
  • In the Portfolio category, participants are required to submit 5-10 photographs of the same subject matter as part of their submission.

Additional Rules for the Aerial Video Category (Drone)

  • Video submissions for this category MUST be taken by a drone or any other automatic aircraft.
  • Videos from any aerial platform will also be accepted.
  • Submissions must be a minimum three minutes long and a maximum of five minutes in overall length. Each submission must have a minimum of 30 seconds in aerial footage.
  • Only one entry per participant will be accepted
  • Minimum accepted quality of video submissions will be FULL HD, 4K submissions are also accepted.
  • Participants must ensure that all submitted information is authentic and all content within their submissions is original.
  • Submissions with watermarks and/or logos will not be accepted.
  • Providing any false information regarding the submission will result in disqualification.
  • Participants must agree that the content uploaded, published or transmitted does not violate, intentionally or unintentionally any applicable local, state, national or international law or any regulations or laws having the force of law where the participant resides including but not limited to any laws or regulations relating to security and privacy.
  • Participants must agree to respect privacy and not publish content of people without their prior consent.
  • Participants must declare that they, to the best of their knowledge, do not infringe any secrecy agreement copyright or any other rights of third parties in their submissions.
  • By submitting videos entries, participants must agree that their submissions are their own captured media. Participants must also verify that they flew the drone legally to capture the content within the submission. HIPA reserves the right to remove any image or video that it believes displays a violation of airspace laws.






‘Hope’ is an instinctive human emotion that helps push us towards positivity and optimism.

Hope is also considered to be a rare human value that is shared and encouraged by various civilisations and cultures; be it ideologically, intellectually or socially.

It is also a universal language, reflected in the everyday lives of the people it connects. Some people have a talent for spreading hope in a way that makes others happy while reducing the negativity around them.

Do you believe in the presence of hope? Then you can and try and capture a special moment portraying its beauty this coming season.

PORTFOLIO (Story-telling)

The Portfolio category returns to afford photographers the chance to showcase their storytelling skills through a series of photographs. A strong photographic story delves into the heart of a subject matter and leaves no margin for misinterpretation. A portfolio of photographs allows photographers to capture the hearts and minds of audiences in a way which may not be possible through a single photograph.


This category remains a favourite among photographers who have an outstanding eye for photography that doesn’t necessarily fall into any of the other categories on offer. Year after year, this category has gained quality and diversity.

HIPA continues to offer participants two opportunities to participate in this category, instead of one. With one category open to black and white entries, to give deserved substance to this classic art form, and the other for coloured entries, giving participants the option to dazzle the jury and viewers with their vibrant compositions.


The higher an aircraft flies into the sky, the more amazing news it brings its owners thus allowing them to discover the world from a higher perspective.

This category falls in line with the rapid growth within the photographic industry, by allowing experts of aerial and drone photography to showcase their skills within various topics and themes.

Submissions must be a minimum three minutes long and a maximum of five minutes in overall length. Each submission must have a minimum of 30 seconds in aerial footage.

Submissions must also be a minimum Full HD quality.

For all the technical specifications for submissions and specific rules for this category – Click HERE

Special Awards

The Photography Appreciation Award

There are many passionate people within the photography industry who are dedicated and relentless in their pursuit for excellence. These people offer their services and expertise without expecting a return on their efforts and therefore form a vital part of the photographic community.

The ‘Photography Appreciation Award’ is a special category for a person or group who has shown long-standing commitment to enhancing the art of photography. By awarding the recipient, HIPA hopes to give back a small amount of the respect and appreciation they deserve.

The Photography Content Creator Award

Service to photography is not limited to taking stunning photographs, but extends to editors, publishers, bloggers, researchers, inventors, promoters and all print and digital content creators that have had a positive impact on the industry and helped shape it to what it is today.

Emerging Person/Organization in Photography Award

This award is presented to an emerging person or organisation that has shown outstanding work or vision in the photography industry on a regional, national or international level.

All winners of the Special Awards are to be exclusively selected by HIPA.

Prize Money

Grand Prize $120,000


Position Prize Money
1st $25,000
2nd $20,000
3rd $15,000
 4th $10,000 
 5th $5,000  

Portfolio (Story Telling)

Position Prize Money
1st $20,000
2nd $18,000
3rd $16,000
 4th $14,000 
 5th $12,000 


Black & White
Position Prize Money
1st $15,000
2nd $12,000
3rd $10,000
Position Prize Money
1st $15,000
2nd $12,000
3rd $10,000

Aerial Photography (Video)

Position Prize Money
1st $16,000
2nd $13,000
3rd $11,000
4th  $9,000 
5th  $7,000 

Special Awards

Photography Apperciation Award $20,000
The Photography Content Creator Award $15,000
Emerging Person/Organization in Photography Award $10,000
Grand Total $450,000


Please read these rules (the Rules) before submitting your photo(s) and/or video(s) (the Photo(s)) to HIPA's 8th season's Competition ‘Water’ (the Competition). By participating in the Competition, you (You/ Your/ the Participant) understand, acknowledge and fully, irrevocably and unconditionally agree to abide and be bound by the following Rules


  1. The Competition is open for online submissions only (the Submissions), through the Competition online registration page available on www.hipa.ae.
  2. Submissions will be accepted from 00:01 on ………………. until 24:00 on 31st October 2018, UAE local time, (i.e. GMT +4). No Submissions made after the deadline will be accepted.
  3. Participants must be individuals aged eighteen (18) years or over at the time of the Submission(s).
  4. You hereby certify that you are eighteen (18) years old or older at the date of submitting your Photo(sto the Competition. You further understand and agree that HIPA will automatically and without further notice discard any Photo(s) that are found to be submitted by a participant that is below eighteen (18) years old at the time of the Submission.

YOUR Photo (s)

  1. You may submit up to one (1) Photo in each relevant category of the Competition including the sub categories under the General category, except the Portfolio category where you can submit between 5 – 10 Photo(s); You must provide a title and description for each Photo submitted and a description for the set of photos in the Portfolio category
  2. The same Photo must not be submitted in more than one (1) category. Any Photo submitted in more than one (1) category will be discarded from the Competition.
  3. Submitted Photo must be in JPEG or JPG format, with high quality and resolution, of a minimum 5 MB in size. The minimum of the longest edge should be no less than 2000 pixel and the quality no less than 300dpi, except the Mobile Photography category where the photo must not be less than 2 MB in size and be suitable for publication.
  4. You are kindly requested to upload the original Photo(s) (RAW) or the Photo(s) without any editing at the time of submitting the Photo(s) to the Competition.
  5. Black and white Photo(s) are permitted in all the categories of the Competition except for the Color sub category under the General category.
  6. For the Portfolio category, you are requested to submit a series of Photo(s) on the same subject matter. The number of permitted Photo(s) is a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 Photo(s).
  7. All submitted Photo(s) must not contain any tag(s), signature(s), initial(s), frame(s),border(s), logo(s) or any other references and/or marks added by the Participant. Basic technical editing of the Photo(sis acceptable, provided any such editing does not affect the authenticity and/or genuineness of the Photo(s. Advanced editing used to create illusions, deceptions and/or manipulations; including compositing and creative retouching of the Photo(sis prohibited. HIPA preserves the right to assess and discard from the competition any submitted Photo(s) deemed, at HIPA's own discretion, contrary to the foregoing.
  8. Photo(s) that portray or otherwise include inappropriate and/or offensive contents, including nudity, violence and/or any other contents deemed to be contrary to the UAE religious, cultural and/or public morals traditions and practices will be disqualified.
  9. Photo(s) that have won any previous award(s), whether in any HIPA prior competition(s), or in any other competition(s) whatsoever and announced before 31st October 2019 , and/or Photo(s) that have been previously used, or are intended to be used, for any kind of commercial purposes, must not be submitted. Any Photo(s) submitted in contrary to the foregoing will be automatically and without further notice disqualified from the entire Competition.


  1. HIPA's appointed judging panel shall assess and determine the winning Photo(s).The results, prizes and the winners will be announced in a public ceremony that will be held on March 2020.
  2. The winner(s) will be contacted by HIPA and must provide HIPA with their bank account details and personal details within seven (7) days from HIPA's request. The cash money prize(s) will be paid to each winner within a period of two (2) months following the announcement of the Competition's results.
  3. HIPA’s judging panel has the right, at its absolute discretion, to turn down or reject any Photo(s) or Submission(s) without having to give any notice or explanation to the relevant Participant.
  4. Any federal, state/ provincial/ territorial, and/or local taxes, fees and surcharges and taxes (whether foreign or domestic, and including income tax) on any prize that may be awarded to you under the Competition will be solely paid by you.
  5. The decision of HIPA's judging panel is final and binding on all Participants in respect to all matters relating to the Competition.


What is new this season?

  • ‘The HOPE’ will be the main theme of the Eighth Season of competition.
  • Other categories in the 8th Season are: General, Aerial Photography (Drone) (Video) and Portfolio.
  • There are various technical specifications related to the ‘Aerial (Drone)’ category that must be met for submissions to be accepted. For all technical specifications for submissions and specific rules for this category – Click HERE
  • Finalists in the ‘Aerial’ (Drone) category will be required to provide sample photographs/video material to prove the authenticity of their submissions at a later date .

What is HIPA?

What is HIPA?

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) is an international photography award established in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in order to encourage and spread the culture of photography across the world.

Rules and Regulations:

Who can participate in the competition?

We encourage all individuals over the age of 18 from all over the world to participate.

Can I participate in the Special Awards (Photography Appreciation Award / The Photography Content Creator Award/ Emerging Person/Organisation in Photography Award)?

All winners of the HIPA Special Awards are to be exclusively selected by HIPA and these awards are not open for entry.

I am a previous winner with HIPA, am I eligible to participate in the current season of competition?

Yes, you are.

Can I nominate someone on behalf of me for the competition?

No, you cannot nominate others on your behalf to take part.

What are the fees involved in the competition?

There are no fees whatsoever and the competition is completely free of cost.

What are the categories of the award?

Please click here for all categories

How many pictures can I submit?

You can submit one photograph per category, except the portfolio category, where you can upload 5-10 photographs.

How do I submit photos for the competition?

You can submit photos through the official HIPA website www.hipa.ae

How can I register for the competition?

Registration is available through the HIPA website; all rules must be read and accepted before registration.

How do I know that my photos have been submitted successfully?

After successfully uploading any photo(s), you will receive a confirmation email.

I have not received a confirmation e-mail, why is that?

Please check your spam or Junk mail folders for any emails from HIPA, and make sure to add noreply@hipa.ae to your e-mail safe list.

What are the prizes?

Click the following link to view all the prizes.

Can I participate with a photo that has previously won a HIPA award/any other photography competition?

No, you cannot participate with any photo(s) that has/have already won in past competitions.

Can I participate with a photo that was submitted into another photography competition but did not win?

Yes, as long as you own the copyright for the photograph.

Can I participate with a photo that has already been used for commercial purposes?

No, that is not permissible.

What is meant by “commercial purposes”?

The use of a public record for the purpose of:

  • Sale or resale or for the purpose of producing a document containing all or part of the copy, printout or photograph for sale, or;
  • obtaining of names and addresses from such public records for the purpose of solicitation, or;
  • Monetary gain from the direct or indirect use of the public record.

Can I participate with a photograph that has been shared on a social media channel such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.?

Yes, that is possible.

Do I have to submit photos taken with a digital camera?

You can participate with pictures taken with digital or analogue cameras, but submission must be done digitally online, so film photographs would have to be scanned by the participant before submission.

Do I have to write a description for the photo(s) /Portfolio / Video I submit?

Yes, a brief description of minimum 30 words in length must be included with each photo in all categories. Except for the “Portfolio ” category you need to write a description for the entire portfolio

Which language can I submit my photo descriptions in?

We accept photo descriptions in English or Arabic only.

Can I delete or replace photos that have already been uploaded?

Yes, but deletion and/or replacement of photographs must take place no later than 3 days after the original upload.

What should I do if I am unable to upload my photo(s)?

You may contact HIPA through customer.helpdesk@hipa.ae if you encounter any issues with the uploading of photographs(s).

Do I need to send the photograph in RAW format?

Participants should upload their RAW or Camera original file(s) when uploading their submissions.

Can I use Photoshop or any other photo-editing software to edit my photo(s)? And what are the limits?

Yes, but it should not affect the authenticity of the photograph.

I have a copy of the HIPA Capture-One software; can I edit my photo(s) using this software and submit them in the competition?

Yes, you can edit your photo(s) using any software, but it shouldn’t affect the authenticity of the image.

Are there any specific requirements for photograph(s) resolution and dimensions?

Submitted Photo(s) must be in JPEG format, with high quality and resolution, of a minimum 5 MB in size, the minimum of the longest edge should be no less than 2000 pixel and the quality no less than 300dpi to be suitable for publication.

Are panoramic photograph(s) accepted?

Yes, they are.

Can I submit photograph(s) that have been taken before 2018?

Yes, there is no restriction on the date that submissions are taken on.

Can I submit black and white photograph(s) in all the categories?

Yes, that is possible except the Colour subcategory under the General Category.

Can I upload the same photograph in more than one category?

No, that is not allowed.

Do I need a model release form when submitting portrait photo(s)?

Yes, a model release form will be required.

Is contemporary or conceptual photography allowed in the competition?


Technical issues

What is the best internet browser to use for registration and the uploading of photo(s)?

We recommend the use of Google Chrome.

How do I change or update my contact details on the HIPA website?

You may edit or update all your details (except your email address) by logging on to your member page on the HIPA website.

Can I see my submitted images on the website?

Yes, you can see your submitted photograph(s) as soon as they are uploaded.

What can be done if I forget my username and password?

To reset your password, Click on this link http://members.hipa.ae/ForgotPassword

Will I be notified if my photo is chosen for the online galleries and the e-book?

Yes, you will be notified beforehand.


How many judging stages are there in HIPA?

There are 4 stages of judging at HIPA.

Who are the judges for the current season?

The identity of judges will remain anonymous until the completion of the current season.

What is the judging system?

We have a system for judgment based on FOUR main stages.

Stage 1
The process begins with screening (filtration) of received photographs which have passed the 3 days buffer period (where competitors are able to change their submitted photographs). In this stage, we have three judges who check all submitted photographs and check their compatibility with our rules and regulations. (Photographs here are marked either as qualified or disqualified).

Stage 2
Qualified photographs then move on to the first stage of actual judging by a group of three judges (there are usually three groups of three judges) and the judges here give a score for the photographs between 1 and 100. Each judging group handles a specific category and in turn judge on selected photographs.

Stage 3
A percentage of the photographs (percentage differs according to total number of photographs) will be transferred to the third judging level where all the judges (usually 9) give another score between 1 and 100.

Stage 4
The HIPA team will also begin the verification process of participants within a certain time frame. This will include request of legal documents such as model release forms and ownership statements in addition to copies of identification cards and/or passport copies.

Is the judging anonymous?

Yes, judging is anonymous. Judges are not aware of participants’ names or details.

How will I be notified if I’ve won in the competition?

You will be notified via the e-mail address you provided during registration. If you are chosen as a finalist, then you will be asked to provide necessary documents to ensure that your personal details are correct.

What does it mean when I receive an email informing me that I am a finalist?

It means you may be a winner and that your photo may also be published in our annual book/website gallery.

Will I be notified if my photo is chosen for the online galleries and the e-book?

Yes, you will be notified.

Once I am member of HIPA, will I receive a copy of the annual book every year?

No, only participants who have their photograph(s) published in the annual book of the respective season will receive a copy of the annual book.

If I was not a finalist, will my photos be used by HIPA?


If one of my photos wins with HIPA, can I use it to participate in other competitions?

Yes, although winners will be asked to sign an undertaking letter that allows HIPA to use winning photos in our publications and all noncommercial purposes. Rules and regulations of other competitions should also be taken into consideration in this case.

Can I sell my winning photo(s)?

Yes you can, but HIPA still hold the right to use it as per the undertaking letter.

If I have any more questions that the FAQs don’t answer, who can I contact?

Please contact info@hipa.ae and we will try our best to assist you.


Alejandro Kirchuck

Argentine photographer and video journalist Alejandro Kirchuk was born in 1987 in Buenos Aires and works as a freelancer on a range of commissions and personal projects. His work is mainly focused on personal documentary long-term projects in Argentina and South America.

With his work about Alzheimer's disease, in 2012 he received a 1st prize in 'Daily life stories' category in the World Press Photo contest. In 2017, he was selected participant for the Joop Swart Masterclass by World Press Photo. Also in 2017, he received a Fulbright Grant to complete an education program on virtual reality and documentary filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. His work has been also recognized by different organizations such as POYi, NPPA, Magnum Expression Award, Ian Parry Scholarship, Terry O'Neill Award, PhotoEspaña, Lumix FotoFestival, among others. He’s been a fellow of the National Funds for Arts in Argentina (FNA).

Kirchuk is a contributing photographer to publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian.

Brooke Shaden

Brooke explores contrasting darkness and light in characters, and this is one of the main insights in her work. Brock filmed herself to play the role of dreamy characters inspired by childhood fantasies and deep fear.

After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay. 

Brooke’s passion is storytelling, her visual life immersed in this space, aspiring to live the lives of a thousand people by creating and photographing her own work and writing international adventures and motivational speeches.

One of her most important achievements is the establishment of The Light Space, a photography school for survivors of human trafficking in India and Thailand.

Donna Ferrato

Donna Ferrato is an internationally-known documentary photographer. Her gifts for exploration, illumination, and documentation coupled with a commitment to revealing the darker sides of humanity, have made her a giant in the medium.

Ferrato first received critical acclaim for her work that captured the horrors of family violence. Her photographs of domestic violence and its aftermath have become landmark essays in the field of documentary photography, challenging social attitudes and putting a spotlight on the devastating impact of everyday violence. Her iconic book, Living with the Enemy, published by Aperture in 1991, is considered the first clear visual journey into the dark heart of domestic abuse.

Ferrato has received numerous awards, including the W. Eugene Smith Grant (1986), the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Humanistic Photography (1987), the Kodak Crystal Eagle for Courage in Journalism (1997), International Women in Media Courage in Journalism Award (1996), the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the School of Journalism at University of Missouri-Columbia (2003) and Artist of the Year at the Tribeca Film Festival (2008).

In the spring of 2019, Powerhouse Books will publish Donna’s handmaid diary: HOLY.

Ihiro Hayami

Ihiro Hayami is the founder of T3 PHOTO FESTIVAL (Tokyo International Photography Festival). He’s the former chief editor of Japanese Photography Magazine, ‘PHaT PHOTO’ (2012-2014), and was the gallery director of RINGCUBE (Ginza). His selected curatorial exhibitions include, Alejandro Chaskielberg’s ‘Otsuchi Future Memories’ (2016), Alex Prager’s ‘WEEK-END’ (2010). 

Over the past few years, he has served as juror, lecturer, and reviewer at various international photo festivals and photography universities. 

Kira Pollack

Kira Pollack is an award-winning photo director, film director and executive producer with more than 20 years of experience in visual journalism. As the Director of Photography and Visual enterprise at TIME, Kira has conceived and executed the most innovative projects in Time Inc.'s recent history, including the Emmy award-winning Beyond 9/11 multimedia project, the Emmy-winning A Year in Space video series, FIRSTS, and TIME's 100 Most Influential Photos project.

Since joining TIME in 2010, she has overseen all photography for the brand — from the cover of the weekly magazine to the TIME Instagram feed. She conceived and launched the website Lightbox, a canvas for photography and visual innovation at Time.com, and the documentary film unit Red Border Films. 

Kira has received two Emmy Awards, two Best Picture Editors of the Year, one World Press Photo of the Year, two National Awards, two Wipi Awards, and an Edward R. Award. Moro, and others.

She has been selected as an arbitrator in several competitions including World Press Photo, Overseas Press Club, IDFA Doclab, Tribeca Film Festival, Instagram / Getty and others.

Myriam Melon

Myriam Meloni is a French-Italian photographer and video maker, currently based in Spain. Originally trained as a lawyer at the University of Bologna, and specialized in criminology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, she gave a new direction to her career to dedicate herself to documentary photography.

A contributing photographer to publications such The New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker and Le Monde, Meloni also engage with personal long term projects with a very intimate approach, using everyday life of our society to discuss more general’s socials issues.

Her photographic series “Different shades of Blue” on Sub-Saharian migrants has been turned into a documentary film produced by the Italian TV channel SKY Arte.

She was nominated for the Prix Pictet, winner two consecutive years of the Sony award, and granted with a Firecracker prize for women photographers. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she is currently completing a one-year book assignment for the City

Council of Barcelona, and working on her new project focused on the city of Tangier, in Morocco.

Poulumi Basu

Poulumi Basu is known for her work in documenting the role of women in societies, advocating for the empowerment of women's rights and raising awareness of the forms of hidden and declared violence against women and placing them on the international agenda.

Founder and director of Just Another Photo and jury member of the Museum of Human Photography, next generation category.

Poulumi was featured alongside Hillary Clinton as the best woman in the world by Refinery29, and she was part of the Mentor VII program.

She has published many important publications such as The California Sunday Magazine, The Financial Times Weekend Magazine, The Guardian, Le Monde, The Washington Post Magazine and others.

She has participated in numerous exhibitions, conferences and international events and has given important lectures in addition to winning numerous international awards.

Ramzi Haidar

He has worked for Reuters agencies, the French press, United Press International, Gamma Pictures and others. Covered the Lebanese war, Israeli attacks, the Gulf War, the events of Darfur, the Olympic Games and other wars, conflicts and international events.

He is the current President of the Union of Arab Photographers - Lebanon Branch, winner of several international awards, including the War Correspondents Award, the Best Picture of the Year Award from Newsweek and the Canon Best Picture Award of the Year from the University of Missouri in the United States and others.

Sebastian Liste

Sebastián Liste is a social documentary photographer who documents deep cultural changes and contemporary issues in Latin America and the Mediterranean, specializes in long-term projects where he creates frameworks to make communities reflect on the social consequences of decision-makers.

In 2010, while earning a master's degree in Documentary photography and Photo Journalism from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, he won the Ian Parry grant for his long-term project "Urban Quilombo" for the harsh living conditions of dozens of families who set up abandoned chocolate factories in the Brazilian city of Salvador. In the same year he won the Young Photographer of the Year award at the Lucy Awards in New York.

Sebastián received a Magnum Emegency Found Grant and the Getty Editorial Grant to develop his new project in the Brazilian Amazon. In 2018, he got the Nikon Special Project Grant and a grant from the European Union on environment deviation and climate change.

His works were published in the New York Times, National Geographic, Time magazine and New Yorker and others. He is a lecturer in photography at universities, photography schools and festivals and is a photography consultant. He is currently a European Nikon Ambassador and a member of NOOR Images.


"Hope" Category



Mother's Love

This Vietnamese woman has a speech disorder but it does not stop her from continuing her life as a mother of two.

A mother’s love is unconditional despite her speech disability, a hardship that can be too much to overcome, yet she stays strong for the sake of her children.

Having a month-old baby behind her and a two-year-old baby in her hand, life must go on. When life gets tough, the tough gets going. That’s how this mother overcomes her daily hardships. However, her life is full of hope when she is looking down at her children.

A Stormy Day

A young boy plays in a street filled with water after heavy rains in Sabang, Central Jakarta, 2010.

Evacuation Of Disaster Victims

The Indonesian rescue team evacuated a woman named Nurul (15 years old) from the rubble after the earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Nurul hopes to resume her normal life after the disaster.

Bath Tub Amongst the rubbles

June 26, 2015, Salem Saoody, 30 years old, is making use of the last remaining piece of his damaged home,- his bath tub, to bathe his daughter Layan (left) and his niece Shaymaa, 5 years old (right). They now live in a caravan near the rubble.

The Long Way

The story of the UNITALSI volunteers, the most important Italian organization for the pilgrimage of the sick and the disabled. Men and women, boys and girls, who take care of everything from health care to cleaning services. Volunteers who become eyes for those who can not see, and legs for those forced to use wheelchairs. Doctors, priests, lawyers, pensioners, teachers and nuns spend their lives entirely in the physical and spiritual care of their traveling companions.

These people, their eyes are burdened by the lack of sleep and fatigue, still show, joy and enthusiasm in their every gesture.

We Save lives

A refugee child is rescued by volunteers on the island of Lesvos.

"Aerial (Video)" Category


I Am Fragile

Close encounters of the majestic kind. The remote Arctic reminds us that once upon a time we walked this earth in harmony with the wild. Witnessing nature in its purist magnificence is the only truth.


The Great Return March

On March 30, 2018, the Palestinians began a new form of peaceful popular struggle demanding their right to return to the territories from which they were expelled in 1948. These were the largest peaceful marches on the borders between Gaza Strip and Israel.


Vanishing White

Lake Baikal. This video investigates the exceptional formation and condition of the oldest and deepest existing fresh water lake on earth during the coldest period in winter (around minus twenty Celsius). It is believed to hold one fifth of the world’s fresh water. From a distance, the white splashes seem like sea waves. However, the entire lake surface freezes in winter, leaving the surrounding village a lifeless wonderland. In this search, the cracks, textures and broken pieces of ice form the perfect intricate canvas.

The frozen layers are moving, breaking, thawing, retreating and daunting. Just as the frozen lake is solid on the surface, it is fragile when the water currents flowing underneath it. These marvelous yet temporary ice layers vanishes as the temperature rises.


Salt Lakes - Hungary

Filming the Salt Lakes in Hungary for a whole year. These lakes dry up almost every year until the end of summer. Up until that point the water can host several species.


Cities of Sand and Fog

An epic visual journey through the contrast and diversity of landscapes of the United Arab Emirates. It explores the changes and the climatology of one of the most unique geography and landforms in the world.Fifty years ago, no one could believe that it was even possible to transform these landscapes. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. if you can dream it you can do it.

Do it now and not tomorrow. Always continue the climb and never lose the hope. Hope for change, hope for challenges, hope for development, hope for the future.

"General - Colour" Category

Small bully

A small bird snoops in on a bird of prey mid flight almost bullying him while he transports his next meal.

An Unlikely Encounter

A baby humpback whale, interacting with a freediver in the clear waters of Tonga. At less than 2 months old, he is bigger than a car, feeding on milk until he is strong enough to make the journey back to Antarctica with his mother. This playful giant swam around us while his mother rested down below.


A group of Flamingo birds are looking for food on the crucial Kuwaiti coastal area of Alsulaibekhat where the region is rich in crustaceans and shrimp.

"General - Black & White" Category

The Old Man and the Cat

An elderly resident outside a Soviet-era apartment block in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A moment of solitude and mystery in what once was one of the mythical regions of the Silk route.

My Favorite Ghost

My husband, my muse. The magic of long exposure.

Night meal

A little owl with its prey in the rainy night.

"Portfolio" Category

The Hope

Protesters demonstrate for the rights of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East to return to the homes they fled in the war surrounding the 1948 creation of Israel.

Born to Ice

Ice, We take it for granted, it amazes us even as we fear its harsh environment. But man and creature alike have found balance in its stark beauty. A balance that is being threatened by the hand of man, and our unwillingness to mitigate our impact on the planet.

Cause we are All made of Stars

When night comes, the rhythm of the noisy day ends and insists on a peaceful calmness. Stars are lit in the sky, and everyone can see how huge our Universe is.

The stars are a real miracle that we can observe with our own eyes. They are guiding points and beacons of hope, reminding us that tomorrow, the best is yet to come.

Brick Factories

Brick factories in Southern Iraq.The workers in this portfolio are working on the production of bricks which includes, forming the bricks, placing them in special ovens and finally loading them for sale. They also clean and coat the walls with mud. They are very hardworking despite the risks of being surrounded by high temperatures and dust inhalation.

The Kazakh Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

These eagle hunters, living around Ulgi province of Mongolia, preserve an old tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation, to tame eagles and use them to hunt smaller animals such as foxes and marmots. The families of these eagle hunters live on the side of Mongolia after having migrated between Kazakhtstan, Russia and Mongolia until the fall of Communism and closing of all borders.

Every year around the beginning of October the Eagle Hunter Festival is organised in Ulgi city. All the eagle hunters will travel from home and gather there for the competition. The competitor will use fox skin to attract the eagles and call them and the the most fastest eagle which flies to the hand of its'owner will win the competition.


Photography Appreciation Award

Tim Flach | London, United Kingdom


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 organised 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 ‘stylised 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 lives. 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 recognised with a wide range of accolades and honours. He has received two Platinum Graphis Awards and two Yellow Pencils from the D&AD. He has been recognised 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.

The Photography Content Creator Award

Tom Ang | New Zealand


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 including the British Journal of Photography, Professional Photographer and 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 and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA). He was born in Singapore and now lives in New Zealand.

Emerging Person in Photography Award

Yousef Al Habshi | United Arab Emirates


Yousef Al-Habshi is an Emirati photographer who specialises 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-Habshi was able to win the first place in the scientific competition and specialised in micro-photography for ‘Nikon Small Worlds’. He is the first Arab and Emirati to win this prestigious competition since its inception in 1975.

In the exhibition, Al-Habshi organised 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-Habshi 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 Habshi 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 specialised studies. He has also provided specialised 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 specialised photography magazines around the world. Additionally, they’ve been published in magazines focused on spreading awareness about agricultural pests and their negative impact.