The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) is the world's richest photography competition, awarding a staggering six-figure grand prize to the winner, generously funded by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The award is free to enter and aims to encourage and spread the culture of photography across the entire world, with the latest announcement from the organizers revealing that the theme for the twelfth season will be Diversity.
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The twelfth and latest season of the HIPA world-renowned photography awards will open for entries beginning 01 April, 2023 via the official contest website, and will again feature four main categories for budding photographers to enter free of charge, with ‘Diversity’ serving as the main overall theme for this edition.
Other categories will include General (Color and Black & White), Portfolio (Story-Telling), as well as a new category, ‘Digital Art’, which will supposedly be a visual opportunity for digital artists to demonstrate technology capabilities. Although, this may be a concern regarding the uprising of AI-generated photography and associated copyright leading to bans across the industry of these images.
The Secretary General of HIPA, Ali Bin Thalith, has said that the new category will provide an opportunity with aims "to present works enhanced with meaning and nuances that boosted the overall work of art." The announcement also stated that what is meant by Digital Art involves enhancing your photograph digitally, so perhaps this situates outside of AI imagery and fits more into post-production.
The grand prize awarded to the winning photographer as well as international exposure is an astounding $120,000 (approximately £98,000 / AU$169,000), which is open to everyone participating in any of the four categories.
Ali Bin Thalith, Secretary General of the awards has also stated that “HIPA has been working on developing its knowledge and skills in order to continue achieving its vision of spreading the culture of photography. Our aim is to highlight the progressiveness of civilization and the evident bridges of communication between nations and cultures through the language of photography through the support of our communities around the world."
He further expands that, “Developments in global events are among the main drivers for prioritizing issues of concern to the public – both on an artistic and cultural level. From this standpoint, HIPA’s Board of Trustees chose the theme ‘Diversity’ as a crucial and culturally necessary topic in the global scene."
Continuing, "It is a platform for coexistence and the guiding principle of tolerance, acceptance of others, and appreciation of differences. The arts play a crucial role in improving the quality of human communication and confront the topics that counter the prosperity of civilization, such as extremism and racism, amongst others.”
A statement from the announcement of the new theme states that 'The photo that perfectly captures the artistic aspect of ‘Diversity’ translates and evokes a response from the audience. It is one that brings to reality the wonders of the world we live in, highlighting how different yet similar we all are as we share a kindred purpose."
The Awards have additional categories which are invitation-only to enter, and these include the Photography Appreciation Award, Photography Content Creator Award, and the Emerging Person/Organization in Photography Award.
Are you up to the challenge of capturing diversity through photography? Can you create digital art? Submissions to the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award will close at midnight on 30 June 2023 (UAE Standard Time).
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