Sheikh Hamdan photography contest: 10 striking images that celebrate diverse marine life and culture

The winners of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award for April and May have been revealed

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Tranquil seas and an Indian folk dance are among the winners of an Instagram photo contest.

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA), an international competition first launched in 2011 under the patronage of the Crown Prince of Dubai, has unveiled the winners of its April and May editions.

The former asked participants to submit photos based on the theme The Sea, while the latter sought entries under the banner of Traditions. Five winners were selected for each category, with successful candidates coming from the UAE, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Oman, India and Turkey.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the 10 winning entries.

“The photographic lens is always on the endless pursuit of mystery; and under the sea is one of its favourite hiding spots," HIPA's secretary general, Ali bin Thalith, said of the themes. "The sea has long captured the interest and adventurous spirit of photographers all around the world. The quality of submissions reflects the awe-inspiring nature of our marine life.

Photos are also a great ambassador for sharing what holds great meaning and value in our lives; our traditions. All across the globe people have their own unique rituals and cultures and photography provides a beautiful platform to communicate and share our stories."

The competition also bestowed a People's Choice Award on one winner from each category, with the lucky contestants scoring a new camera each.

The April prize went to Indonesia's Arief Adhari, for his snapshot of the Talsayan Sea on the island of Dirawan, taken in 2017. "Some whale sharks were swimming near traditional fishing boats," he said of the image.

May's winner was Mayank Prajapati, of India, who captured a folk dance during the annual Gangaur Folk Art Festival in Udaipur, Rajasthan. "The picture is entitled Harmony, where gratitude, simplicity, harmony of colors and movement stand out," he said.