Emirates Photo Competition

Emirates Photography Competition

An annual competition organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage aims to develop the photographic movement in the United Arab Emirates, by attracting the largest possible number of photographers; encouraging amateurs and supporting professionals; establishing specialised workshops, meetings and seminars; holding personal and group exhibitions, inside the UAE and abroad; buying and selling photographs of the competition’s participants.

In its quest to become one of the professional competitions in the region, the Emirates Photography Competition is expecting to receive distinguished photography from various schools of compound work, panorama, positive and negative slides, negatives, modern digital image processors, and photographs of different sizes – all that fall under the common standards of the art of photography.

The competition has a main theme every year, where photographers are urged to take into account research and untapped aspects, in addition to four sections that change from year to year.

The fourth session of the Competition celebrates the French artist “Henri Cartier-Bresson”, (1908-2004) who is one of the symbols of photography in the last century, with an exhibition of his most important works. The focus of the main theme is on his innovative style of capturing life on the street, and reflecting the pulse of the photographic works in “Building Formation”.

Believing in the comprehensiveness of art, the intersection of the interests of humans in all places and at all times, and the belief that photos are able to create communication links and interactions between peoples, the Competition opens its doors for the participation of all photographers in the world – after starting as a trial in its first and second sessions, confined to UAE photographers only in the 1st and 2nd sessions, and to Gulf participants at the 3rd.

Sections of the competition

First: the main theme

Street photography

To take innovative photographs that translate the pulse of the street, and reflect diversity in cities, villages and the different environmental effects, of different patterns of people’s lives and professions – to the unlimited movement of everything.

As we celebrate this year the French photographer “Bresson”, it is advised that photographers are inspired by him, to benefit from his experiences and visions.

Second: general themes

1- Landscape & nature

The idea of nature does not end with what we see. Eyes may see what is invisible as well. Nature, in all its diversity, grants the artist permanent opportunities to interpret it differently. The creativity of the photographer and his camera, as expected by the viewer, is to surprise himself.

2- Portrait & people

Human beings are generally the memory of their history, and what they made since the beginning of creation. Their lives move between the visible and the invisible in studio photos of faces and groups, live reality, that can be captured by the heart before the eyes or the lens.

3 – Journalism photography

Since its beginning, one of the most important aspects of journalism photography is its change to undoubted conscience, a conscience feared by some, as it has assumed the responsibility of transmitting the hidden. Hence the role of journalist photos is not decorative, but to tell the truth.

4 – Sports & action

Every movement is magical in itself, more so if it was present within a comprehensive system in every sport. The camera lens can only see what the photographer challenges in every second, during a sports game or movement.


Grand Prize: Diamond Eye Award

Granted to the best work in on the main theme: 40,000 UAE dirham.

Main theme awards

Golden Eye Award: 15,000 UAE dirham

Silver Eye Award: 12,000 UAE dirham

Bronze Eye Award: 10,000 UAE dirham

General themes awards

Three awards each for each theme

Golden Eye Award: 15,000 UAE dirham

Silver Eye Award: 12,000 UAE dirham

Bronze Eye Award: 10,000 UAE dirham

Judging committee award

Six prizes, each worth 10,000 UAE dirham, given in the name of the arbitrators, to the best work from the viewpoint of each arbitrator for all themes.

UAE photo prize

Given to UAE photographers on the total works in all themes

Diamond Eye Award:

Presented by the National Library with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. It consists of: printing and publication an illustrated book and holding an exhibition.

Golden Eye Award: 15,000 UAE dirham

Silver Eye Award: 12,000 UAE dirham

Bronze Eye Award: 10,000 UAE dirham

Certificates of appreciation for outstanding work in all themes

The Competition awards certificates of appreciation to the winners, and certificates of participation to everyone. The winners will be invited to attend the opening of the exhibition and the distribution of awards.

Conditions and regulations:

For participants:

1 – The works submitted by photographers and artists are accepted from all over the world, whether they are professionals, amateurs, or students.

2 – Participants are entitled to take part in all the different themes of the Competition; whether one, some or all of them.

3 – Photographs must be submitted in the form of digital files on CD or DVD, while holding on the originals in case the Competition administration requests them. Images in print or by e-mail will not be accepted.

4 – Participants are entitled to participate in individual works or a sequence of up to 10 works, as long as the series does not exceed works, each work with 6 photos. Each single work constitutes one photo.

5 – The last date for registration and submission is December 31, 2008.

6 – Forms must be filled in English. They must include: artist’s name, number and titles of photographs on each CD or DVD, artist’s CV and a high quality personal photo. All sent to:

Emirates Photography Competition

Cultural Foundation

Abu Dhabi, P.O. Box: 2380

United Arab Emirates

For photos:

7 – Can be in colour or black and white, digital or film.

8 – Can be modified or treated as long as it is original.

9 – Must not include scripts, like time and date of photograph or signature of the photographer.

10 – Must be in JPG, TIFF, and the quality of no less than 300 dpi. Low quality images or unprintable ones will not be accepted.

11 – The Competition welcomes: individual or sequence photos, compound work, panorama, positive and negative slides, negatives of all sizes (small, medium, or large), digital images, treated photos, as long as they fall under the common standards of the art of photography.
12 – The Competition will not accept photos that have participated in previous sessions of the Competition.

Participants must:

13 – Declare that the ownership of the image rights in full (including all the elements in the image and creative ideas related), and that it is not copied or combined with any of works of others.

14 – Declare that the rights of the pictures submitted were not given, sold, licensed, suspended, or belong to any other party which would prevent dealing freely with them.

15 – Declare that they have the approvals of all persons who are in the picture, for publication in books or other publications, or exhibitions under the conditions above.

16 – Authorise the Competition to let the photos be exhibited by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage within and outside the UAE.

17 – Authorise the Competition to reproduce them or to re-authorize a third party to reproduce all of the images, and distribute them in the media, but in keeping with the moral and material rights of the photographer.

Other conditions:

18 – The Competition administration has the right reject any photo that does not meet the requirements, objectives or themes, without giving any reasons.

19 – Participants are not entitled to a withdrawal their photos after submission.

20 – The terms of participation are final, and taking part means meeting the conditions mentioned above. Works that do not meet them this will be ignored.

For more information contact:

Cultural Foundation
P.O.Box: 2380 Abu Dhabi, UAE
Mr. Bader Al Nomani
Tel: +971 2 6195310
Fax: +971 2 6210205

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