A picture is worth 40,000 dirhams

Amateur and professional photographers are being urged to enter the third Emirates Photography Competition to help preserve the heritage of the nation.

Baqir M Jawad's award-winning photo from the 2008 Emirates Photography Competition.
Powered by automated translation

Amateur and professional photographers are being urged to enter the third Emirates Photography Competition to help preserve the heritage of the nation.

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) hopes the 2009 competition will be an incentive to capture the beauty of the country's animals, desert and cities.

The photography competition, which is part of the Emirates Film Competition, is open to residents and nationals from the GCC.

Entries will be accepted until Dec 31 for exhibition in March.

Bader Al Nomani, the director of the competition, said: "We hope the entries submitted will reflect the beauty of the desert, camels and other parts of nature as well as aspects of the community so that they can be well remembered for generations."

Abdullah al Amiri, director of the Culture and Art department at Adach, said: "We want to award those who put an effort into promoting images of heritage across the region and aspects of our culture.

"The art of photography reflects the sentiments of people and until recently it has not been given enough focus in the Arab world."

The main theme of the competition will be street photography. It has been inspired by the late French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Photographers will be asked to capture the nature of life on the street. This, according to Mr Nomani, will be the most popular section of the competition.

Other categories will cover four general themes: landscape and nature, portraits and people, journalism photography and sport and action.

Prize money of Dh15,000 (US$4,000) for first place, or the Golden Eye Award, Dh12,000 for the Silver Eye and Dh10,000 for the Bronze Eye will be distributed for the main theme and for each of the four subsidiary themes.

There will also be six prizes of Dh10,000 given by individuals on the judging panel for their favourite piece. Although the competition is open to the entire GCC, there will be an additional prize for the best work from a UAE photographer across all themes.

The overall winner, across all categories, will receive the top award, the Diamond Eye, which carries a Dh40,000 prize.

The exhibition will begin on March 10 next year and run for one month. Winners will be announced during the exhibition. There will also be a display of Cartier-Bresson's work.

The Abu Dhabi International Photography Association, which is made up of professionals from all over the country, will support the competition.

"There will be a special section on the website where a professional can post his photos as well as his CV and biography," Mr Nomani said. "This will encourage communication within the photographic community."

Mr Nomani will also host workshops, meetings and seminars, holding personal and group exhibitions.

The workshops and seminars, which are open to anyone from the GCC, will be held in Abu Dhabi in February.

Applicants for both the workshops and the competition itself will be able to apply through the website.

Last year's winners were Majed al Zarouni, from the UAE, who won the general theme, Eisa al Teneji, for the people and portraits theme, and Mohammad al Taei, from Oman, who won the prize for the desert theme.