UAE residents shine in regional photography and video competition

Canon Middle East’s Dynamic World 2012 sought images that "capture the emotion or feeling of the moment".

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The title of Canon Middle East’s regional photography and video competition was “Dynamic World 2012”. The brief, says judge Tonya Colson, was to produce images that “capture the dynamic world.

Specifically, I was looking for images that "capture the emotion or feeling of the moment”. More than 1,000 aspiring filmmakers and photographers from 13 countries took up that challenge and entered the contest, which was organised by Canon in an attempt to foster the development of emerging talent in the region.

This year, reflecting the growing popularity for using DSLR cameras to record short HD films, the competition was extended to include a video category. Here, the UAE came into its own, with residents Noushad Pallikkal and Lewis de Mesa snagging first and second place respectively with their videos Dubai Creek and Emirates Winter.

De Mesa, a keen amateur Filipino filmmaker whose first short film featured at the 2008 Gulf Film Festival, describes his four-minute-long time lapse video as “a tour of the famous and hidden places in the UAE; a glimpse of the modern and natural beauty of the country”.

He began shooting Emirates Winter in January 2011 and four months, 300,000 images and 4,000km later, transformed a series of stills – capturing both remote landscapes and commonplace scenes – into a stunning time-lapse video. Having won a Canon 550D for his efforts, he is now working on a new project called Abu Dhabi and Beyond.

In the photography section, the overall prize went to Shiv Mandavia from Kenya for his entry titled “Storm”. The judges also selected a winner from each participating country. Sanjay Pradhan’s “The Champ” – an action shot taken during the finals of the DMX motocross in March – was picked as the UAE favourite.

Despite being passionate about photography since his school days, the 33-year-old Pradhan, who is originally from Orissa, India, had to be coerced into entering the competition by his wife. He says that the win has encouraged him to continue indulging in his passion for photography and that he will focus on sports and travel in particular.

To view the winning photos and submissions for the Canon Middle East Dynamic World 2012 competition, visit