Nature

Introduction

Mother Nature is in everything that we touch; she is in everything that we see. She inspires us every day. A force to be reckoned with, she can be both cruel and kind in equal measures. There are so many words to express her, yet not a single word can capture her.

Photography speaks without words, connecting us through powerful imagery. Nature is so expansive that there is never a moment where one is not inspired to photograph her. She has so many dimensions to explore. Whether it be by land, air or sea, her beauty can be captured in her landscapes, wildlife, flora and fauna, vegetation, marine life, people or simply her breathtaking sunrise or sunset.

Nature, like any other subject, is captured from the perspective and lens of a photographer; each having a unique story to share. Nature in all her magnificence – past, present and future – is the theme for the eleventh season of HIPA’s competition. Inspire us with your masterpieces.

The Eleventh Season presents the community of photographers with a popular genre of photography characterised by exploring, identifying and capturing the personality and emotion of people and creatures around them.

Portrait photography has catapulted the careers and subsequently worldwide fame of many iconic photographers and the faces they have photographed. This is the opportunity for you, as a photographer, to portray what is hidden behind the faces of people and creatures on this planet and convey the uniqueness through your lens.

Returning for the sixth consecutive season will be the Portfolio category. This category once again demonstrates its strength throughout the years of competition, challenging photographers to showcase their storytelling skills through a series of photographs.

Similarly, the General category - an all-time favourite - is back to allow photographers with an outstanding eye for visual composition to express themselves through black and white or coloured submissions.

What's New

  • Nature will be the main theme of this 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 30th November 2021 at 11:59 pm (UAE local time)
  • There are THREE Special Awards for the Eleventh Season and they are; ‘The Photography Appreciation Award’, ‘The Photography Content Creator Award’ and the ‘Emerging Person/Organization in Photography Award’.
  • Other categories are; General, Portfolio and Portrait.
  • The General category will have two sub categories: Colour and Black and White.
  • Participants are allowed to submit Black and White photographs 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 and to be suitable for publication.
  • Participants are requested to submit the raw/original camera files at the same time of submitting their photographs.
  • In the Portfolio category, participants are required to submit 5-10 photographs telling one story

 

Categories

Nature

Mother Nature is in everything that we touch; she is in everything that we see. She inspires us every day. A force to be reckoned with, she can be both cruel and kind in equal measures. There are so many words to express her, yet not a single word can capture her.

Photography speaks without words, connecting us through powerful imagery. Nature is so expansive that there is never a moment where one is not inspired to photograph her. She has so many dimensions to explore. Whether it be by land, air or sea, her beauty can be captured in her landscapes, wildlife, flora and fauna, vegetation, marine life, people or simply her breathtaking sunrise or sunset.

Nature, like any other subject, is captured from the perspective and lens of a photographer; each having a unique story to share. Nature in all her magnificence – past, present and future – is the theme for the eleventh season of HIPA’s competition.

Inspire us with your masterpieces.

Portfolio (Story-telling)

The Portfolio category returns challenging photographers to showcase their storytelling skills through a series of photographs.

A strong photographic story delves into the heart of a subject 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.

General 

This category remains a favourite among photographers who have an outstanding eye for visual compositions that do not necessarily fall into any of the other categories.

Year after year, the General category has gained quality and diversity, not to mention numbers, boasting over a third of entries registered in HIPA.

Participants have two opportunities to participate in this category; one for black and white, to give deserved substance to this classic art-form, and the other for colour, giving participants the option to dazzle the jury and viewers with their vibrant compositions.

Portrait 

A popular genre of photography characterised by exploring, identifying and capturing the personality and emotion of people and creatures around them.

Portrait photography has catapulted the careers and subsequently worldwide fame of many iconic photographers and the faces they have photographed. The beauty of portrait photography lies in the ability of the photographer to decide how they want their audience to see and feel when they view their portraits.

This is the opportunity for you, as a photographer, to portray what is hidden behind the faces of people and creatures on this planet and convey the uniqueness through your lens.

 

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 organization 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

NATURE

Position Prize Money
1st $20,000
2nd $18,000
3rd $16,000
 4th $10,000 
 5th $6,000  

Portfolio (Story Telling)

Position Prize Money
1st $25,000
2nd $22,000
3rd $20,000
 4th $18,000 
 5th $15,000 

General

Black & White
Position Prize Money
1st $15,000
2nd $10,000
3rd $5,000
Colour
Position Prize Money
1st $15,000
2nd $10,000
3rd $5,000

PORTRAIT

Position Prize Money
1st $15,000
2nd $13,000
3rd $11,000
4th  $9,000 
5th  $7,000 

Special Awards

PHOTOGRAPHY APPRECIATION AWARD $20,000
THE PHOTOGRAPHY CONTENT CREATOR AWARD $15,000
EMERGING PERSON/ORGANIZATION IN PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD $10,000
   
GRAND TOTAL $450,000
 

Rules

Please read these rules (the Rules) before submitting your photo(s) and/or video(s) (the Photo(s)) to HIPA's Eleventh Season's Competition ‘Nature’ (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:

SUBMISSIONS

  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 10:00 on 1st September 2021 until 24:00 on 30th November 2021, UAE local time, (i.e. GMT +4). Submissions made after the deadline will not 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(s) to 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 and to be suitable for publication.
  4. You are kindly requested to upload the original Photo(s) (RAW) or the Photo(s) without any editing on 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 the minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 Photo(s).
  7. All submitted Photo(s) (must not contain any tag(s), signature(s), initial(s), frame, 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(s) is 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. Photos(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 30th November 2021, 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.

THE PRIZES

  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.
  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.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

  1. Submitted Photo(s) must be a single work of original material created and/or taken by you, must not contain any materials owned or controlled by a third party for which you have not obtained a license, permission or approval to use, must not infringe the copyright, trademark, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity.
  2. Upon reaching the final stage of judging, you grant HIPA, a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free, sub-licensable right and license to use, publish, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, create derivative works, distribute, have distributed, print, promote your submitted Photo(s), in whole or in part, in any form, in all media forms now or hereafter known, anywhere in the world for any purpose, related to the Competition, the publication in HIPA promotional digital and/or printed materials and formats broadcast such as on HIPA magazines, printed leaflet and brochures, HIPA website and/or through other public online feeds, promoting subsequent competitions and/or the work of HIPA generally.
  3. You must obtain, solely bear the cost for, and provide HIPA within seven (7) calendar days of any request to do so by HIPA, with any or all of the following:
    1. A signed written consent, release and/or permission of each and every identifiable individual person(s) appearing in your submitted Photo(s), clearly authorizing you to use their picture or likeness for submitting the Photo(s) in the manner contemplated by the Competition, and authorizing HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known. Please click here to download the draft of the Model Release Form.
    2. A signed written license from the copyright owner of any sculpture, artwork, or other copyrighted material that appears in your submitted Photo(s), authorizing HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the relevant entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known;
    3. A signed written license from the owner of any private property included in your submitted Photo(s), authorizing HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the relevant entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known; and
    4. A signed written license or release letter from a person who has the right or is able to assert any right over the Photo(s) (e.g. employer, agency, etc) authorizing HIPA. HIPA to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the relevant entry(s) for all purposes, in any media now or hereafter known. Please click here to download the draft of the Release form.
    5. If you have been announced as a winner of the Competition (in any category), you grant to HIPA, a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free, sub-licensable right and license to use, publish, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, create derivative works, distribute, have distributed, promote your winning Photo(s), in whole or in part, in any form, in all media forms now or hereafter known, anywhere in the world and for any purpose, including but not limited to: display at a potential exhibition of winners, publication of a book featuring select entries in the Competition, publication in HIPA materials and/or online highlighting entries or winners of the Competition, and promoting the work of HIPA generally.

LIABILITY

  • You hereby hold harmless, release, indemnify and discharge HIPA and its partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers and representatives from all liability, claims, judgments, demands, controversies, agreements, damages, actions and causes of action whatsoever, arising out of or related in any way to the Photo(s), the Competition or the conduct of the Competition and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded, whether in law or in equity, no matter what the cause or nature, and you further waive any claims that you may state or assert against HIPA in association with the Competition or any of its associated activities, or in any way related to or resulting from the Photo(s), Competition even if such injury or claims results from or is caused by the negligence or gross negligence of HIPA, in whole or in part. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless HIPA from any claim arising out of your participation in the Competition including, without limitation, all claims brought or asserted by any third party as a result of any injury or loss that you or they may sustain in any way associated with your participation in the Competition.
  • If HIPA, at its sole discretion, is of the opinion that you have breached any of the Rules, HIPA has the right to disqualify you from the Competition, and in such circumstances you must re-pay to HIPA all costs undertaken by HIPA in relation to your Submission(s) and participation in the Competition and the awards ceremony, including but not limited to (if and to the extent applicable) any travel costs incurred by HIPA, and re-pay the Competition prize money and return any trophies or certificates at your own cost to HIPA.
  • Under no circumstance HIPA will be liable for any:
    1. lost, late, misdirected, stolen, illegible or incomplete Submissions;
    2. error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, submitted Photo(s);
    3. problems, failures or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing;
    4. incorrect or inaccurate information, caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Competition or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the Photo(s) and/or the Submissions; and/or
    5. injury or damage to any Participant or to any computer related to, resulting from or in connection with the Competition.
  • If, for any reason, the Competition is not capable of being conducted as anticipated, due to computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of HIPA, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Competition, HIPA reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Competition as deemed appropriate, disqualify any Participant, and/or select winners from all eligible Photo(s) submitted prior to the termination, cancellation, modification or suspension. HIPA reserves the right to correct any typo-graphical, printing, computer programming or operating errors at any time.

GOVERNING LAW

  • The Competition, your Submission(s) and the Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Emirate of Dubai and the applicable federal laws of the United Arab Emirates, and any aspects or disputes arising out of or in connection with the Competition and/or your Submission(s) will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dubai courts (as established by Law No. (3) of 1992 and Law No. (13) of 2016).

FAQ

Rules and Regulations:

What is new this season?

  • ‘Nature’ is the main theme of the Eleventh Season of competition.
  • Other categories in the Eleventh Season are: General, Portfolio and Portrait Photography.

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.

Who can participate in the competition?

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

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

All participants in the Special Awards are exclusively selected by HIPA.

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 to take part on your behalf.

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 may submit only (1) Photo in each relevant category of the Competition including the sub categories under the General category, except for the portfolio category, where you must upload between 5-10 photographs.

How do I submit photos for the competition?

You can submit your photo(s) 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 or any other photography competition?

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

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

Yes, as long as you possess the copyright for the photograph, and did not win any moral or material prize.

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

No, that is not allowed.

What is meant by “commercial purposes”?

The use of a photograph 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

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 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 or both languages 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) in any format when uploading their submissions, the HIPA system accepts up to 38 different RAW types.

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.

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, and be suitable for publication.

Are panoramic photograph(s) accepted?

Yes, they are.

Can I submit photograph(s) that have been taken before 2020?

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 for portrait photo(s)?

Yes, a model release form will be required upon request from HIPA if you reach the final judging stage.

Is contemporary or conceptual photography allowed in the competition?

Yes.

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 name and 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.

Judging

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. In this stage, judges check all submitted photographs and check their compatibility with our rules and regulations. (Photographs here are marked either as qualified or not qualified).

Stage 2
Qualified photographs then move on to the first stage of actual judging by a group of 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 qualified 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, in addition to verifying all terms and conditions, and the result of this stage determines the winners in each category.

Is the judging anonymous?

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

How will I be notified if I win 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 according to the achieved score.

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 a 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 from HIPA's offices in Dubai, UAE.

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

No.

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 or any of its partners to use winning photos in our publications and all noncommercial purposes.

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.

Judges

John Stanmeyer

John Stanmeyer is an award-winning photographer, Emmy-nominated filmmaker and educator, dedicated to environmental, social, and humanitarian issues that define our times. For more than 15 years, John has worked nearly exclusively with National Geographic magazine, producing over 19 stories, resulting in more than 14 covers.  Between 1998 and 2008, John was a contract photographer for Time magazine. His years with Time resulted in 18 covers. 

In 2001, John co-founded the prestigious VII Photo agency with six of the world’s leading photojournalists. Today VII represents more than 30 photographers from around the globe. 

John is an Emeritus member of VII and is a member of Ripple Effects Images, a collective of artists and storytellers working on women, empowerment and equality. He is the recipient of numerous honours, including the prestigious Robert Capa Award, POYi Magazine Photographer of the Year, and the World Press Photo of the Year in 2014. 

John lives with his dogs, Elfriede the Great Dane, and her sister, Eleanor, in the southern Berkshires of western Massachusetts.


Barbara Davidson

Barbara Davidson is a three-time Pulitzer Prize and Emmy award-winning photographer and filmmaker. In 2020, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

A staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times until 2017, Barbara spent much of the past decade photographing women and children trapped in a culture of poverty and guns. 

Barbara was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for her 2011 project, ‘Caught in the Crossfire’. She also received the 2011 Emmy Award for the same project – an intimate story on innocent victims trapped in the crossfire of deadly gang violence in Los Angeles.  Her coverage of the San Bernardino mass shooting earned her a Staff Pulitzer Prize, in 2016, for Spot News. 

While at the Dallas Morning News, her photographs were part of a team that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for breaking-news photography, for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina.  She was twice named Newspaper Photographer of the Year by the Pictures of the Year International competition, first in 2006 and later in 2014.

Barbara's photography is a vehicle for relaying intimate stories of human suffering and resilience throughout the United States and internationally.  In Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel, Gaza, Kenya and Somalia her images capture the essence of humanitarian crisis in the wake of war, while her photographs from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Sichuan earthquake in China reveal the horrific aftermath of natural disasters.  Beyond war and natural disasters, she has travelled widely for news assignments in Yemen, Nigeria, Rwanda, Nepal and throughout the United States and Canada.

Since leaving the L.A. Times, Barbara has served as lead creative and director of Volvo’s SC60 Moments, an innovative campaign that used the car’s safety camera system to create a photo exhibition. Photographs from the shoot were curated in an exhibition which premiered in London. The accompanying ‘making of’ film has attracted more than 1.5 million views. 

She was also the lead photographer and curator for the Global partnership to ‘End Violence Against Children’ where she documented the plight of children across three continents.  Currently, Barbara is working on her Guggenheim Fellowship travelling across the country making portraits, using an 8x10 film camera, of gunshot survivors.

In addition to her photographic work, Barbara curated a photography column ‘reFramed’ for the Los Angeles Times. She mentors emerging photographers around the world. 

She was born to Irish immigrants in Montreal, Canada, and graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography and film studies. She is a dual citizen of Ireland and Canada.



Marsel van Oosten

Marsel van Oosten is a professional nature photographer with a background in advertising and graphic design.

Marsel is a nature lover with a deep concern for the natural world. Successful conservation starts with awareness and he hopes that his images will make people aware that Mother Earth needs our protection and inspires them to take action.  In his work he tries to simplify, to get rid of the extraneous: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

His images have won many awards around the globe, and he is the world’s only nature photographer to have won the Grand Slam: the grand titles Wildlife Photographer of the Year, International Nature Photographer of the Year (2x), and Travel Photographer of the Year.  His images are featured in galleries and museums, are used worldwide in advertising and design, and he is a regular contributor to National Geographic. He is also a Nikon brand ambassador, a death metal connoisseur, and a recovering Nutella addict.

Marsel currently lives in South Africa with his wife Daniella Sibbing running specialized nature photography tours through their company, Squiver. 


Sarah Marino

Sarah Marino is a full-time nature photographer, photography educator, and writer who splits her time between a home base in rural southwestern Colorado in the United States and nomadic traveling throughout North America. 

Sarah’s portfolio features a diverse range of subjects including grand landscapes, intimate landscapes, abstract renditions of nature, and creative portraits of plants.  Sarah’s teaching, through speaking and in-person workshops, ebooks, and video tutorials, focuses on personal expression, seeing opportunities in any landscape, photographing nature’s small scenes, and a slow style of photography focused on exploration and connecting with nature.  Sarah seeks to promote the responsible stewardship of natural and wild places through her photography and teaching.


Jaime Culebras

Jaime Culebras is a biologist and professional photographer who dedicates his efforts to conservation and environmental education.  He holds a masters in Environmental Education and another one in Biodiversity and Conservation in Tropical Areas.  

He has been living in Ecuador for more than 10 years, where he works as a reptile and amphibian researcher and has co-authored several papers on biogeography and descriptions of new species.  His photography work has been published in prestigious journals including National Geographic.  

Jaime has received numerous photography and conservation awards including World Press Photo, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and the Montphoto WWF Conservation Award in 2017 - promoting the conservation of reptiles and amphibians of Chocó in Ecuador, Colombia and Panama.  He was awarded the Conservation Photographer Award for the Spanish Association of Nature Photographers for his work in spreading Ecuador’s biodiversity and its threats. 

Jaime is co-founder of Photo Wildlife Tours, an initiative that intends to arouse the wonder and amazement of those who accompany the tour to know nature; and support various research, education, conservation and sustainable tourism programs, and research associate of Andean Condor Foundation Ecuador.

His greatest interest is to spread the existence and importance of threatened species, promote love towards reptiles and amphibians, as well as the fight against illegal trafficking of species and the human-snake conflict.


Raed Ammari

A Jordanian photographer based in the USA, Raed Ammari is a dentist by profession and a photographer at heart.  His love for photography was inspired by his father’s paintings, which he has been exposed to since childhood. 

For Raed, photography is a way of expressing the artist inside. He has studied many styles and is partial to photography with a twist of fine art.  His main areas of expertise, and style he is most passionate about, are portraits and macrophotography. He loves to amaze people with something they have not seen before through macrophotography and to show the beauty of humans with various artistic touches through street portraits.

His work has been published in many international magazines and he has participated in several international exhibitions including in the USA, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Russia, China, England and Malaysia. During his photography journey, he has received multiple awards for portrait, travel, and macrophotography. 

Raed’s publication, ‘The Homeless Project’, portrays the human side of the homelessness; and highlights the raw and spontaneous expression of the people involved, their struggle and the emotional distress they go through living on the streets. 


Winners

Nature Category

 

Gannet Storm

A northern gannet swims in an artistic hail of bubbles created by diving seabirds. The handsome northern gannets lead a dualistic existence. In the nest, their newborn is carefully nurtured and a couple’s bond is reinforced by pointing sharp beaks to the sky as they tenderly stroke their white necks together. In flight, hunting mode takes over, and piercing yellow eyes, fringed with blue circles, scour the sea for prey.

Their long wingspan and streamlined bodies make flying look effortless, gliding along with just the occasional pulse of their wings. When fish are spotted, the gannets fly into the wind and stretch out their wings as brakes, precisely adjusting their position in relation to their quarry. Hitting the frigid water faster than an Olympic diver, these incredible birds have evolved air sacs in the head and chest to survive these repeated heavy impacts. From underwater, the sound was thunderous as streamlined, white torpedoes pierced the surface.

I wanted to create a novel image of these handsome seabirds and resolved to try and capture their movement through a slow exposure. The speed of the gannets led to innumerable failures but in this frame we retain strong eye contact with the gannet, even as the scene is artistically softened.

Jumeirah

A species of Mollusca Gastropoda larva encountered in the sea at night near Komi Island, Okinawa, Japan. It's actually very tiny, infact the size of the conch in the middle is only 3mm, and the overall 20mm. Around the conch is a swimming organ called velum, which is lined with cilia.

It's a cautious creature, and even if they feel a slight threat, the velum will retreat into the conch. The beauty of this species reminded me of Palm Jumeirah, one of the beautiful landscapes of the UAE.

Fireworks

Flowering field of paepalanthus wildflower at dawn in Veadeiros Tablelands. This is a rare plant that only grows in a few high altitude Cerrado locations in the central plateau of Brazil. This wildflower reflects light giving an appearance that has its own light when photographed in the backlight of sunrises and sunsets. The Cerrado is the most biodiverse savanna in the world and unfortunately is being destroyed by expansion of the agro-industry and uncontrolled deforestation. Most rivers in Brazil originate in the Cerrado including many rivers in the Amazon.

The deforestation of the Cerrado is causing an environmental catastrophe. In addition to mass extinction, drying up water sources will face a water crisis in the near future and this is already happening. Only a few refuges in the cerrado are fully preserved in some conservation areas. The place where this photo was taken is being divided into lots for sale and unfortunately this place will not exist in a short time. This plant is popularly called Sempe Viva (always alive) and is considered a symbol for the preservation of this incredible biome.

Nature's Warning Call

Some moments and their visual narratives are intellectually so strong that it leaves a great impact on the human mind to think and act with more responsibility. I found this moment most evoking; a wake-up call from nature to understand its power and our disregard in the name of development for many years.

I captured this dramatic moment on an early winter morning under heavy fog. The 'Gray Francolin' bird was perched on a tree branch calling out loudly, while people stood watching this moment from a distance. It’s high time we listen to the voice of nature and protect its richness which is essential for life on this earth.

How Did You Get There?

After a grueling three hour boat ride, an arduous trek through the thick jungle in crocodile-infested waters at waist depth and carrying cameras over our heads, I finally made it to my final destination. Climbed a huge tree and waited for the nearby orangutan to climb up and pass me.

I purposely wanted to get the beautiful sky as well as the subject facing me. Since the orangutan only likes to face upwards as it climbs, I knew the only way I could combine these two elements in one frame was to be above the orangutan and point downwards to capture its face and perfect reflection of the sky in the still water below it. The most challenging part of this experience was staying calm while the orangutan was in front of me.

Ribbon of Fire

For months, the volcanic eruption at Fagradalsfjall in Iceland was a constant show of bubbling red lava steadily erupting from the ground, gradually filling the small valley.

Several weeks later, the eruption stopped and the volcano was silent. When I walked to the eruption site, I found a red strip of lava flowing down the hill into the valley, the molten rock gushing like glowing red water. A stunning moment from Mother Nature that never ceases to amaze us.

Portrait Category

Relaxing in the Rain

Kibande, a mountain gorilla from the Rushegura Mountain Gorilla Family in Uganda, is relaxing under the rain drops. The way the drops land on her face and the way she holds the small piece of wood in her mouth, caught my eyes.

Laila

Among the picturesque landscapes of a village in Indian Kashmir, the face of a girl named 'Laila' shines, who was helping her family while they worked on the farm.

Side of a Sadhu

The Sadhu is considered a religious ascetic or holy person in Hinduism and Jainism who has renounced the worldly life. Sadhus engage in a wide variety of religious practices. Some practice asceticism and solitary meditation, while others prefer group praying, chanting or meditating.

Family Fighter

He deserves the title 'Family Fighter' despite being 70 years old. Realizing that his income as a farmer is not enough to meet his family's daily needs, he must fight tirelessly from dawn to dusk to provide food for his family.

Bianca

A portrait of a young woman in all her innocent, simple and natural beauty without artifice, both inside and out, which aims to be a personal reinterpretation of Johannes Vermeer's painting: 'The Girl with a Pearl Earring'. The blur of the leaves in the foreground that frame the face and highlight the eye, brings out the personality of a subject who, despite her shyness, reveals the simplicity and purity of her soul.

General - Colour Category

Matrix of Boats

Fishermen's boats lined up neatly when anchored to avoid super typhoon No. 9 - the strongest super typhoon to hit Quang Ngai (my hometown) in 30 years that had completely destroyed 325 houses and damaged more than 140,000 houses.

Colourful Lifestyle

The inhabitants around Inle Lake (the second largest lake in Myanmar) lead a colourful lifestyle; drying their colourful cotton clothes in the sun.

Workers

An ordinary day on the port of the Nagarbari river in Bera, Pabna, Bangladesh. The day labourers work here from dawn to dusk to unload product from the vessels.

General - Black & White Category

Flour War

Taken in Papua Indonesia, a group of kids playing flour war to celebrate their graduation at school. Despite their poverty and the poor condition of their school, they create happy moments together.

Mount Fuji and Gate Bridge

Mount Fuji is the most famous mountain in Japan. Tokyo Gate Bridge, as its name suggests, is the gateway to Tokyo Bay. In a sense, they are symbols of Tokyo and Japan. Mount Fuji, a symbol of nobility, purity and exclusivity in Japanese culture; and the Gate Bridge symbolizes commuting and communicating.

The Millenary 'Sotolines'

The Sotolín (Beaucarnea gracilis) is an endemic plant of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, a nature reserve with a very dry climate. The tree has adapted to its conditions and accumulates water in its thick trunk to survive the dry season. They grow about one centimeter per year and are very long-lived. Tthe specimens in the photo may be more than two thousand years old

Portfolio Category

Cold Pursuit

As a biologist, I am fascinated by changing seasons and their effect on the wildlife populations at our planet's extremes, where conditions can shift dramatically. As temperatures steadily drop to -22°F on the Fishing Branch River in Canada's Yukon, for example, young bears like this ice-covered female must forage non-stop for fish, carrion, and other sources of nutrition until it is time to sleep for the winter.

Dwindling resources force her typically isolated, nomadic species into close proximity, so she must be on the lookout for big, lumbering males or protective mothers with their cubs at every moment. I hope images like this will help underscore the struggle of life in the wild and convince us to rethink actions that jeopardize the survival of our animal cousins. Our urgency in dealing with the existential threat of climate change will make all the difference for her future and those like her.

Code Morse

At the molecular level, water has a 'memory'. It remembers and stores information about a substance that was once dissolved in it, even if the substance is diluted in it to almost 'zero' concentration. Water is a self-organizing system that stores environmental information, physical and chemical effects. Ice 'remembers' the prehistory of the liquid phase, building up crystals in a certain order.

On a planetary scale, the phenomenon of freezing and melting of water, along with evaporation and condensation of water, plays the role of a gigantic purification process, in which water on Earth constantly purifies itself. The author of the series observes how the forms of ice are changing, trying to convey their natural cipher, similar to the Morse Code. And it opens not literal, but figurative similarity with the Morse Code, catching alternation, rhyming, "tunes" in the forms of ice, carrying messages of civilization about the state of the Blue Planet

A View From Above

A scene, viewed from above, was unattainable until recently. This series of an ordinary construction site breaks its usual monotony, producing artistically abstract visuals that captivates and harmonizes in their color, symmetry and composition.

Architectonic

December 2, 1971, is the day we can say the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was born. Since then, the country has been like a phoenix bird rising from the ashes. The first tallest building in the UAE was the Dubai World Trade Centre. Completed in 1979, it ruled the city's skyline as a towering statement of intent; a symbol of Dubai's ambitions as a regional financial center and rising economic force. A 39-storey building standing at 489 feet high, at the time, was the tallest building between Mumbai and Athens.

The region’s original architectural aesthetic was inspired heavily by the local culture, following construction customs passed down through generations. The designs were crafted to maximize simplicity, scalability, and climatic control. Over the decades, Dubai has developed some of the most innovative modern architectural buildings across commercial, residential, and public sectors. The Rashid Hospital and Dubai Petroleum, built in the 70s, are both prime examples of early modern architecture in the region, leveraging modern aesthetics. The projects showcased the best of design innovation through the effective use of modern planning, sustainability, and design. From the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, to the latest architectural brilliance at Expo 2020, the list is astounding. As an aspiring photographer, it is my vision to capture these iconic structures through my lens.

Behind the Ballet

These behind-the-scene photos are from the daily life of ballet artists. While the viewer sees a solemnly beautiful picture of the performance, we plunge into the world hidden from the eyes of ordinary people. The world with their laws, hopes and triumphs, pain and fatigue, delight and courage, incredible work committed to their art.

SPECIAL AWARDS

Kurt Mutchler is an editor-at-large at National Geographic magazine. He was awarded the 2021 Magazine Picture Editor of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). He was also presented with the Magazine/Media Visual Editor of the Year in Pictures of the Year International (POYi), and Magazine Picture Editor of the Year by the NPPA for his work in 2018.

His work has been recognized by the Overseas Press Club of America, The Association of Magazine Media, Society for News Design, and The Society for Publication Designers.

Kurt has worked at National Geographic magazine since 1994 where he has held many positions, including photo editor, deputy director of photography, executive editor of photography, and senior science photo editor. He is a former adjunct professor at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington, DC, where he taught photojournalism. Prior to joining the magazine, he was the photo and graphics editor of The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Louisiana.

With more than two decades of photographic contribution, Kurt has deservedly earned The Photography Appreciation Award. His body of work has produced more than 130 stories including 30 cover stories. He is an eminent example of the pivotal role that behind-the-scenes workers add to the photography industry; a role that rarely gets the spotlight.

Majed Sultan Al Zaabi is a computer engineer with an extreme passion for photography. He is active on social networks, providing photography-related content and showcasing how to produce content across social networks. For over 20 years, he has devoted his talent at excelling in the field of wildlife photography and documenting charitable projects in Africa.

Majed is especially passionate about sharing knowledge and providing in-depth details by recording videos on YouTube. He started his channel in 2007 to explain the basics of photography, use of various equipment and photo editing; carrying it through to today’s fast-paced world of social media.

Majed has won many international awards and achievements. In 2021, he won in the ‘Animal Portraits’ category of the Natural History Museum’s ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ competition in London. The competition which is held yearly is considered to be one of the largest wildlife photography competitions in the world.

Many of his works have been published in the National Geographic magazine, as well as participating in special photography programs on National Geographic Abu Dhabi. Majed is a brand representative of Nikon Middle East and North Africa. He has organized more than 30 tours for photographers from the Gulf to go to photograph wildlife in Africa – and many of them have achieved global achievements from his tutelage.

Majed has hosted numerous photography courses both in person and online, from the basics to advanced photography workshops, including photo editing, wildlife photography courses and lectures documenting charitable projects in Africa. His last course was about the secrets of Instagram, which is how to create professional content for social networks. Making content daily has become part of his life. His goal is to create a great impact on those around him and spreading positivity and happiness through these networks.

This deserved Award places Majed in the circle of inspiring influencers that invest their talent and creativity in spreading knowledge; engaging with the community on the quality and simplicity of the content they provide. Majed is on his way to world fame with confident steps.

Turjoy Chowdhury is a visual storyteller and researcher working in the Indian subcontinent, across Asia, as well as in the USA. A photographer of National Geographic Magazine and a member of The Photo Society of NatGeo, Turjoy primarily works on long-term projects focused on the history of war and conflicts, geopolitics, human rights and social issues. After graduating in Architecture, he became a full-time humanitarian photographer.

Turjoy constantly keeps experimenting with visual approaches and storytelling formats. He likes to deal with complex stories and produces work to raise thought-provoking questions. Often his work explores dark places and dark stories to shade light in the darkness.

He has worked on the aftermath of the Syrian civil war that deals with the psychological aspect of the refugees. His project ‘Beyond the Mushroom Cloud’, the story of the atomic bomb explosions in Japan, stands against the use of nuclear weapons to promote world peace. In the USA, Turjoy explored the personal stories and emotions of the immigrants, where he used photography as a medium for freedom of expression and inclusion. He has witnessed the Rohingya refugee crisis and intensively worked in the Rohingya camps. There, he produced the body of work ‘Born Refugee’ that deals with complex identity politics and citizenship issues with a very subtle approach. His photographs for the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) during the refugee crisis also helped raise over 20 million pounds of funds for the survivors.

His work has been exhibited globally and appeared in the National Geographic Magazine, Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, The Sunday Times, The Wall Street Journal and many more.

Turjoy was nominated for the ‘Tim Hetherington Trust: Visionary Award 2020’ for his ongoing multidisciplinary creative research project, ‘Genocide'71 - A Memory Map’. He also received the UNICEF Photo of the Year Award, National Press Photo Award (NPPA), Picture of the Year International (POYI) Award, LensCulture Emerging Talent Award and Photo Philanthropy Activist Award.