Love of Earth


Love of the Homeland (Earth)

The love of one’s “homeland” still represents the most graceful images of human connection to the Earth. It portrays the intimate relationship between both; the value of each drop of sweat exerted by man to uphold the value of his homeland, uplifting it and contributing to its renaissance and freedom in order for it to take stature among nations. It is within this pivot we unleash the innovative talents to photograph what they believe to be worthy of representing the passion, convergence and solid relationship between a man and his land.

Choosing ‘The love of homeland’ as an essential pivot for the first round of ‘Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award’ reflects the desire of the Charge of the project, and most importantly the Patron of the Award and board of trustees, to root the love of homeland in the hearts and minds of its sons and daughters for what it represents; which is a complete materialisation of the human’s desire to transmit a true image of their homeland. This true image reflects its historical heritage, flourishing reality, and a future seen through the eyes of the captivator with the vision of transmitting this love in an image, which expresses from the heart their ultimate sentimental and emotional sense.


God’s heaven on Earth, a true miracle, which materialised from beneath a wise leadership despite many obstacles and challenges which were faced in its journey during the past years, would not have been realised without anything other than the best. With this in mind the Award saw no other option than to dedicate a whole pivot to Dubai; one which allows photographers to present the photographs which truly reflect this city of achievements in all its glory.

Growth in the city hasn’t just been constructional or about business, it has been accompanied by enormous human development too. This Award is proof of that, making this pivot the ideal platform to demonstrate Dubai’s high stature. Wherever you turn in Dubai you will find something worthy of being immortalised in a photograph and within a fascinating artistic mold. What remains in print is what the lens yields as being an appropriate transmission for all, expressing the reality witnessed by the city of ambitions.

This is a pivot, which represents creativity materialising creativity, a point where beauty resonates through pictures, demonstrating the talent and artistic vision of the photographer. This is the greatness of the Emirate of Dubai, which takes pride in its talents as much as it takes pride in its renaissance.


This element of the Award unleashes photographers to shoot and share their passions, emotions and visions. Each creative artist has the ultimate freedom to express his/her feelings in his/her own way, a chance for their ideals and visions to share a moment in the sun in this most prestigious international art event. The general pivot grants the participators a free reign to choose to portray whatever they find appropriate; within the standards, criteria and conditions of the Award.

Creativity has no limits, neither in time nor space. To “stand out from the crowd” is a goal on its own, even for amateurs. This Award grants the opportunity to everyone, without exception, to share what their talents yield through their lenses, and for the audience to witness the true meaning of limitless innovation. The theme could be events, creatures, or even influential personalities, which have contributed, in some way, in achieving human renaissance.


Prize Money

"Love of Earth" Category

1st $20,000 $20,000
2nd $16,000 $16,000
3rd $12,000 $12,000

"General" Category

1st $14,000 $14,000
2nd $10,000 $10,000
3rd $6,000 $6,000

"Dubai" Category

1st $16,000
2nd $10,000
3rd $8,000


Ayman Lotfy

Egyptian Photographer Middle East Region Director PSA (Photography Society of America) Monitor of Fine Art photography PSA (Photography Society of America)Associateship MIPP (The Malta Institute of Professional Photography) 2010

Creative Director in Alamia Advertising Ayman Lotfy was born in Cairo, Egypt on the 30th of August 1968, After his graduation from the faculty of Arts in 1991, In 1998, Ayman Lotfy launched his journey to the world of photography with the aim of enhancing his work as an Art Director. Since then, Ayman did not leave the camera. His camera was the door to the new world of Modern Art Photography. Ayman Lotfy has a strong interest in people, human emotions and expressions. With full realization of how hard a job it could be to capture a real photo, a photo that reveals a real expression, a one that can be believed by himself as an artist and can be easily delivered to his audience, Ayman’s creativity and persistence wouldn’t surrender before of the challenge. His lens saw deeper into the human souls, and his mind realized the diversity of human feelings, and he was keen to unravel the mysteries of those emotions and reveal them to the audience.

Ayman has transformed his photography work into Fine Art Photography. And to produce his masterpieces, Ayman has worked as a director to a scene, setting the mood with lighting, colors and music, yet leaving his characters to each write his own scenario with their feelings

Ayman’s creative ambitions did not stop at combining fine art with photography. His determination to communicate more and more of his artistic visions to his audience moved him Into adding video art & Performance to his artistic tools, and integrate it with his photography work.

With his work participating in many international exhibitions in Italy, Spain, Austria, Portugal, USA, Nepal & China,

Ayman Lotfy has succeeded in congregating a good collection of international as well as local awards.

Barrie Wilkins

BARRIE WILKINS Hon MPSSA, FPSSA(Dux), Hon FRPS, Hon PSA, FPSA, ESFIAP, EFIAP has been honoured internationally for his photographic expertise as well as service to photography. Barrie is a Past President of the Photographic Society of South Africa and is Chairman of the Honours & Awards Committee of (PSSA) and PSSA overseas representative for the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain as well as the Photographic Society of America.

He is a multiple award winner in many prestigious National and International Photographic Competitions including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition in the UK, the Windland Smith Rice International Awards in the USA, and the AGFA Awards in South Africa.

Barrie is a sought after lecturer and presenter both at home and abroad – some of the highlights include lecturing at the Natural History Museum in London, UK; the 1st International Wildlife Convention in the Kruger National Park, South Africa; the 75th Anniversary Convention of the Photographic Society of America in West Yellowstone, USA.

As Chairman of the Honours and Awards Division Barrie co-ordinates and judges the bi-annual Honours adjudication for PSSA as well as National and International event adjudication including the prestigious AGFA and FUJI Awards.

Barrie’s work is published and exhibited widely and he is a partner in the successful photographic business J&B Photographers and together with Jill Sneesby has published the wildlife photographic book “Kalahari Safari”. As J&B Photographers Barrie & Jill work together to promote an understanding of the natural world through the art of photography.

Caroline Metcalfe

Caroline Metcalfe has worked at Conde Nast Traveller magazine since its launch in 1997. She had previously worked on newspaper magazines, The Observer, the Independent and the Financial Times. In the 15 years since Traveller launched, the magazine has won huge acclaim and countless awards for its distinctive photography, covering lifestyle, food and drink, portraiture, interiors and stunning locations and landscapes. Caroline has worked on numerous advertising campaigns for Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and JWT and on special projects for design groups Pentagram and Vince Frost Design. She is a member of the World Press Photo Masterclass and the Young Photographers Alliance committees assessing the work of young photographers and recommending individuals for participation in the mentoring programmes.

Caroline has worked with some of the most distinguished photographers in the world and has also spent much of her professional career encouraging new talent.

‘I was hugely impressed by the mission statement for the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award

and I look forward to playing my part in developing one of the most highly regarded global photographic competitions. I shall be on the lookout for new talent as well as judging the work of established professionals. Great photography, one of the most challenging creative disciplines in my view, is the art of exploring and revealing the world through fresh eyes while avoiding deadly photographic clichés. I am hoping to be stimulated and encouraged by the wealth of creativity that I know is out there just waiting to be discovered.’

Dan Hayes

Dan Hayes is an award-winning journalist and editor who has visited more than 60 countries in a publishing career that spans more than 20 years. During that time he has experienced the Polar Night in Svalbard, Norway; followed the old Silk Road from Tashkent to Samarkand in Uzbekistan; tracked rare wild dogs in South Africa and flown over an erupting volcano in Iceland.

In 1998 he launched CNN Traveller magazine for CNN, editing it for more than 10 years. In that time the magazine gained a reputation for its quality journalism and outstanding photography.

Other publications he has edited include Expressions, for American Express South Africa; Sojourn for Sheraton Hotels and City to Cities, for London City Airport.

He currently writes for a range of newspapers and magazines and is working on the development of a ground-breaking travel website. In addition, he recently launched the luxury lifestyle magazine Halcyon on behalf of Harrods Aviation and produces publications for The R&A and England’s Rugby Premiership. He lives in London.

Dave Coates

I am a landscape, photo-travel and nature photographer. Originally my photography concentrated on the North of England, and I am proud to have been able to publish two books on that region; namely “Yorkshire Dales Landscapes” and “Lake District Landscapes”. Over the years I have become more interested in Photo-Travel Photography, visiting many parts of Europe, North Africa and, especially over the last 5 years, the United States of America. I have been lecturing throughout the United Kingdom for over 25 years presenting over 300 shows during that period.

Having exhibited in International Exhibitions and Salons for several years, I have accumulated in excess of 1,500 acceptances and 100 awards from over 25 different countries. It has been my fortune to be awarded ‘Associateship’ of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) and the ‘Masters’ award by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (MPAGB), their highest award for photographic merit. For success in International events FIAP have granted me their ‘EFIAP/gold’ award and PSA (Photographic Society of America) their ‘Excellence’ award (EPSA).

I am a Past President of the Northern Counties Photographic Federation in the UK and currently serve on the Executive of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB), as their Liaison Officer to FIAP. For services to photography the PAGB have granted me their ‘Associate’ award (APAGB). I have been involved in judging National and International Exhibitions since 2001 and am deeply involved in the organisation of the Northern Counties International Salon.

David Tay Poey-Cher

David TAY Poey-Cher was CEO of Singapore’s leading magazine publisher until his retirement in 2006. He is also one of the leading figures in Singapore’s photographic circle. In 1982, he became the first photographer to be awarded the Cultural Medallion, Singapore’s apex arts award, for his artistic achievements and contributions.

His highly acclaimed works of photographic art and contributions have also won him many awards and honours including the Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society (FRPS), Master Distinction of The International Federation of Photographic Art (MFIAP), and its Honorary Excellence Distinction (HonEFIAP).

Tay has been on the Arts Advisory Panel of the National Arts Council from 1992 to 1999, and has been the President of The Photographic Society of Singapore since 1990. In 2008, he became the first Asian to be elected as a member of FIAP’s Directory Board.

Over the years, Tay has organized many major international photographic events including the World Photo Congress (1980), World Camera Show (1994), Photo & Imaging Asia (2001 & 2003), ClickArt: World Meet of Photojournalists 2003, FIAP Nature Biennial (1987), etc.

Tay has been actively involved in combining his philanthropy with his art. He has raised funds through photography for many charities to help the less fortunate in our society. He has also distinguished himself in community service. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1998, and was awarded the Public Service Star (BBM) in 2006 in recognition of his contributions to the Singapore community.

Hugh Merrell

Hugh Merrell founded Merrell Publishers in 1993. Headquartered in London, it is an independent, award-winning publisher of books and exhibition catalogues of outstanding quality on all the subjects closest to Hugh’s heart: photography, art, architecture and design.

Merrell Publishers is unique: in its dedication to quality of editing, design and production; in its collaboration with authors, photographers, museums, foundations, private collectors, brands and companies; in its determination to publish only a carefully selected number of new titles each year; and in its international sales and distribution.

Major publications include Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, Louis Faurer as well as important surveys of Cuban photography, Los Angeles photography, camera-less photography, architectural photography, etc.

Hugh has also been a judge for the Association of Photographers and, for the last two years, the International Photography Awards. He acquired a medium-format camera (Mamiya RZ67) a number of years ago and is still trying to do it justice.

Jill Sneesby

JILL SNEESBY B.A., Hon MPSSA, MPSSA, FPSSA(Dux), ESFIAP, EFIAP is partner in the successful J&B Photographers, based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, which is acknowledged internationally for passion and skill in the world of nature and photography.

Jill is currently 1st Vice President of the Photographic Society of South Africa (PSSA) having previously served as President, the first female to hold this position. She is a member of the Honours and Awards Committee and is PSSA Overseas representative for the CPA and is the FIAP Liaison Officer.

She is much sought after as adjudicator and educator. During her term as President Jill adjudicated in Austria (Al Thani Award for Photography 2010), China (6th China International Press Photo Contest & China 13th International Photographic Art Exhibition) and India (FIAP 15th Nature Biennial). She has lectured at the Natural History Museum in London, UK, the 1st International Wildlife Convention in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, the 75th Anniversary Convention of the Photographic Society of America in West Yellowstone, USA, the 15th FIAP Nature Biennial in Bangalore and the China 13th International Photographic Art Exhibition in Lishui.

Jill has won numerous awards for her work. She is a multiple award winner in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition in the UK, the Windland Smith Rice International Awards in the USA, the AGFA Award and the Fuji Getaway Awards in South Africa as well as the inaugural winner of a Toyota Landcruiser in the Africa Photographic Awards.

Joe P. Smith

Artistic Management (University of Perugia)

Joe comes for a fine art background and has been in photography since 1979. He is a member of the Malta Photographic Society of which he won the coveted Photographer of the Year Award in 1995, and also a Fellow of the Malta Institute of Professional Photographers, a Fellow of various UK organisations and a Master Photographer of The Societies (SWPP).

His preference is for monochrome photography especially that depicting the performing arts and his name has become synonymous with pictures of Jazz musicians who performed in the Malta Jazz Festival of which he has been the official photographer since the first edition in 1991. Many of his Jazz pictures can be found on the websites of renowned musicians who played in the Festival. Environmental portraiture and social documentary are also two fields that Joe specialises in.

In 2008 made headlines when he was awarded the overall prize in a EU-wide photo contest with the theme of Cultures on my Street to commemorate the Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

In 2009 Joe published his first book entitled “Survivors” which is a social documentary work on the ageing population of a medieval town in Malta.

Joe has exhibited and judged extensively locally as well as overseas and has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards. For the last 5 years, he has also delivered masterclasses for SWPP during the annual Convention and also in Dublin.

Martin Charles

Martin has been in the industry for over 32 years covering many aspects of Professional Photography including Industrial, Commercial, Automotive, Advertising, Fashion, Editorial, Wedding photography & Portraiture. Over almost the entire period of his professional career he has been actively engaged in the training of photographers from the four corners of the world covering every major discipline.

In recent years Martin has faced a hectic training schedule educating photographers in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Canada, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Abu Dhabi, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and of course, The United States of America where his popularity as a powerful and effective trainer who really gets results is building rapidly. So much so he is now in constant demand, particularly PPA Affiliate Schools

Martin is a highly respected trainer and judge with so many Professional Organisations as well as many of the worlds leading representative bodies.Since 2009 Martin has been the Chairman of Judges for the CBRE Photographer of the Year Awards. This competition attracted over 10,000 entries in 2011 in its remit to cover the EMEA and near East region. In 2012 it will be Worldwide due to its phenomenal success. ( HYPERLINK “” for further information).

Martin has also developed qualifications and competition systems in a number of countries, the latest venture being in Denmark for the DFF organisation that represents professional photographers in many disciplines. ( HYPERLINK “” His education and training programs have been extremely successful and in 2012 the system is planned to be extended to Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland and Iceland.

Martin’s reputation as an educator and judge of photography is truly worldwide and as a result his popularity as a trainer calls him to the four corners of the planet. His 2012 education programs will be covering a wide range of subjects including stills and movie production with a DSLR.

Nick Smith

Nick Smith is a well-known traveller, author and photographer. He has held several high-profile editorships including Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, where he is a fellow. During his time on Geographical he won several journalism awards, including PPA Magazine Editor of the Year. Among his current positions he is European Editor of the Explorers Journal, the magazine of the Explorers Club in New York, where he is also a fellow. He is also a Consultant Editor on Outdoor Photography magazine in the UK.

He has been a judge on many photographic competitions including several years chairing the panel on the Geographical Photographer of the Year. In 2012 he has been invited to sit on the panel of the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year competition.

He has also been a judge on the Thomas Cook Travel Book of the Year.

Nick Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed ‘Travels in the World of Books’ and has travelled extensively in six continents as well as the North Pole, reporting back from more than 50 countries. He has worked with numerous wildlife charities in Africa and is currently working on a lion rehabilitation project in South Africa, as well as photographically supporting a charity helping to build a training academy for the Bushmen people in Botswana and Namibia.

Riccardo Busi

Born in 1958 in Florence (Italy), Doctor in Political Sciences, master in Diplomatic Career and in International Organizations.

He is General Secretary of The International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) since 2002.

Travel and Nature photographer, he is presently coordinator and trainer of photography courses and workshops and collaborator of “Panda Photo” Photographic Agency – Rome.

He has actively participated in shows and competitions realizing from 1980 to today more than 330 personal and collective exhibitions and projections. He has gathered more than 1000 admissions in international competitions and over 200 awards. Five times FIAP World Champion in Nature: Finland 1999 (CLP), South Africa 2001 (CLP), Australia 2003 (CLP), Croatia 2006 (CLP and PI). Once FIAP World Champion in Projected Images (Belgium 2011) and three times FIAP Gold Medal in Projected Images World Cups (Finland 1999, Belgium 2002 and Indonesia 2009). In 2007 he won the Second FIAP World Cup for Clubs, and in 2011 the 60th Anniversary FIAP Cup “Children of the World” in Singapore.

Judge in more than 200 national and international competitions since 1982, he has taken part to international juries in 22 different countries.

Thanks to the results obtained he received many distinctions and Titles: Master FIAP (MFIAP); Guest Professor of Shandong University of Art and Design – Jinan, China; Senior adviser of Art of Lishui Phot. Association – China; Hon. Fellowship of Saudi Photographers’ House; Hon. Fellowship of Bangladesh Phot. Society and many others.

Romain Nero

Born in the South of Luxembourg, on August 13th 1967, Romain Nero joined the Ministry of Finance after High School graduation and went on to a four-year term in the State accounting school. With the earned degree he accepted his first position of head of the accounting services of the National Water Supply Company SES. During three years he gained extensive public accounting experience and earned promotions to CEO of the Administration and Treasure Department.

Romain Nero took up photography in the early nineties. His first reportage collections originate from journeys to various continents. The joining of a local photo association in 1998 made him extend his photographic know-how on studio shootings and opened the way to the successful participation on international salons. Followed personal and group exhibitions in Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia and, annually, in Luxembourg. Ten of his photos are part of the “Collection Nationale of Luxembourg” a series of 69 pictures of Luxembourg, exhibited from 2007 on, throughout the world.

In 2003 he joined the National Federation of Photography where he was elected General Secretary; in 2007 the functions of FIAP Liaison Officer were added.

Romain Nero is a qualified member of the National and International Pool of Salon Judges in Luxembourg.

In 2010 he was offered the ESFIAP award for international merits from the direction board of FIAP; in 2011 he gained the EFIAP bronze distinction.

Besides many awards he gained in numerous national and international salons, Romain Nero is the winner of the National Championship in Luxembourg for 2010 and 2011.

Stu Williamson

After a successful musical career, Stu directed his artistic talents toward photography in1981.

With a passion for creating images that are artistic and vibrant, he has since then strived to keep himself at the forefront of the photographic industry, achieving worldwide acclaim for his portraiture and fine art work.

Establishing himself in Cornwall in 1983, Stu developed an increasingly expressive and theatrical approach to photography. With an appreciation for music, he focused much of his attention on photographing live bands and recording artists.

Having achieved recognition in the UK over the last 25 years, Stu since then has judged on the qualification panel for the British Institute of Professional Photographers and the Master Photographers Association and is currently on the judging panel for the joint BIPP and MPA Photographer of the Year Award.

Stu’s is a winner of many international Photographic Awards such as Europe’s Leading Kodak Gold Award, and the Society of Wedding Portrait Photographers Award as the International Photographer of the Year for 2010/2009 and Master Photography Association Finer Art Award as Photographer of the Year.

Syed Javaid A. Kazi

Born 18th February, 1945 in Jullundhar (India), Syed Javaid A. Kazi now lives in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Kazi was awarded the “Master-FIAP” distinction in 2000 becoming the first ever Pakistan photographer to receive this distinction. Got Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS) in 2003. He was awarded Fellowship of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) in 1989. One of the leading exhibitors from Pakistan, he has been listed amongst the PSA “Top 25 Exhibitors” several times. In recognition as a photographer and for his significant services for the promotion of photographic art, he has been honored by major photographic societies around the world. His work is part of the permanent collections of several prestigious societies and galleries. Kazi’s work has been exhibited all over the world and extensively published. His latest publication “Churches of Pakistan” published by Constellation Plus has just been launched.

Syed Javaid Kazi is frequently invited as a jury member to judge photo events, both at home and abroad.

Kazi has been conferred with the President of Pakistan’s Medal for “Pride of Performance” in the field of culture (photography).

Syed Javaid Kazi is currently the President of the Photographic Society of Pakistan and country representative for FIAP and PSA. He has represented Pakistan at many international forums of photography.

Terry Jeavons

A creative image-maker with 40 years experience working as an art director in both the corporate and publishing sectors. During this time he has directed many photographic assignments and collaborated with some of the UK’s leading professional photographers creating images for publication.

Since 1992 Terry has concentrated on the design and production of illustrated books for the global market, including many titles covering the world of photography – its history, practical application and artistic genius. This has involved the judging and selection of several thousand photographic images for inclusion in the books.

Notable titles include: Women of Molise by renowned Magnum photographer Frank Monaco, Timeframes: The Story of Photography by Ian Jeffries, Capturing the Light: An inspirational and instructional guide to landscape photography by Peter Watson, Queen Elizabeth II: A unique pictorial review of the last 80 years, and The Book of Islands by Philip Dodd & Ben Donald.

His latest publishing project is the design of Henry Dallal’s photographic study of The Royal Cavalry of Oman.

Also an illustrator, painter and photographer, Terry currently lives in the United Kingdom.