A grand prize of US$120,000 and overall prize money of US$389,000 has been announced for the Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA) in Dubai.
The awards, established last year by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, to raise interest in photography, are open to submissions from around the world.
The second season of competition is titled â€œBeauty of Lightâ€ and will be looking to build on the success of the first season of competition which attracted competitors from 99 countries.
This year, the competition will receive entries in four categories â€“ Beauty of Light, Emirates, Black and White, and general.
Beauty of Light
Light was adopted as a key element in this yearâ€™s award because of its importance in the art of photography, says Ali Khalifa bin Thalith, the secretary-general of the trust organising the awards.
â€œLight can be the difference between a good picture and a wonderful image.
“Our understanding of light and our ability to capture it through a camera lens would not have been possible, had it not been for the efforts of the scholar Al Hassan Ibn Al Haytham.
“His findings and principles in the field of optics, a century ago, helped lay the foundations for modern day photography.
“To commemorate the anniversary of his contributions, the grand prize at this yearâ€™s HIPA award will be dedicated to the beauty of light in photography, which was greatly influenced by the findings of Ibn Al Haytham.”
There are no restrictions on what photographers may choose to submit for this category, so long as the influence of light is clearly demonstrated. The winner of the award will be the photographer who successfully illustrates an effective use of light in their submission.
The other category is Emirates. â€œThis category was specifically designed for photographers to test their appreciation of the United Arab Emirates and its many icons through photography.
“From its unique desert dunes to the sky high towers of the sprawling business districts, photographers are challenged to capture the many wonders found in the United Arab Emirates.
â€œThe challenge is also set for photographers to unearth previously undiscovered or unheard of locations and to tell the story of the UAE through the lenses of their cameras.
Black and White category
â€œBlack and white photography creates an image of nostalgia that is sometimes unmatched by coloured photographs. A simple artistic expression in black and white format can set a tone, date and place in history with minimal effort.
â€œA photographerâ€™s ability to deliver a strong and lasting message in black and white is a true testament to the expressive skills they possess.â€
Submissions will not be solely judged on their effective use of the two colours but will be considered for other additional factors such as the use of lighting and effective application of shades in the photograph.
This is for anyone with overall photography skills without any boundaries or restrictions.
“Competitors are open to submit any photograph theyâ€™ve captured which may not be eligible for any of the three other categories. Our hope is to generate interest and awareness by making it accessible to all, including the worlds very best photographers.”
This yearâ€™s awards will also uniquely try to recognise the contribution of researchers in the field of photography who may not be photographers themselves. An award of US$25,000 will go to a person with the most articulate research or scientific report regarding the field of photography.
Photographers can submit entries from 1 September 2012 until midnight on 31 December 2012 (UAE Time).
More details will be released on the soon-to-be-launched awards website.