Canon reveals winners of its Moments that Matter photography competition

Winners of the Moments that Matter Canon photography sustainability themed competition 2022
(Image credit: Abbas Alkhamis / Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA)

Last year, in collaboration with the Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA) and Expo 2020 Dubai, Canon launched Moments that Matter. A photography competition based around important themes of sustainability. 

Photography enthusiasts were encouraged to drive meaningful change and sustainable action through the power of visual storytelling, by submitting images that highlight sustainable development issues.

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The sustainability-themed photography competition ‘Moments that Matter’ came into fruition by Canon, Expo 2020 Dubai and the HIPA announcing a challenge for photographers to help make a change. In a collective effort to do better, photographers aged 18 and above based in the EMEA region were asked to capture moments that best define humanity's relationship with the planet.

Participants were encouraged to submit five images that reflect ideals of sustainability across any of the four categories: ‘Moments that make us’ (Environment), ‘Moments that heal us’ (Human), ‘Moments that save us’ (Social) and ‘Moments that develop us’ (Economic). Six awards in total were provided including the grand overall winner and a People’s Choice Winner.

Winner of the Social Category, taken in Namibia by Dutch photographer Anne-Marie Vermaat (Image credit: Anne-Marie Vermaat / Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA)

A unanimous decision from the judging panel awarded Saudi Arabia based photographer, Abbas Alkhamis, as the grand winner of the competition receiving the first prize award of $8,000 (£6,086 / AU$10,713) and a Canon EOS R5 camera, as well as the prestigious opportunity to be part of the award ceremony expected to be held at Expo2020 in Dubai. The People’s Choice Winner will also receive a Canon R5 camera and lens whereas category winners will be awarded a gold coin. 

Alkhamis' winning image portrays several individuals digging a small well In Ethiopia's lower Omo Valley, where many tribes live in a primitive way and must extract water from the well for different uses. 

Photographer Mohamed Nageeb Nasr was selected by the public as the ‘People’s Choice Winner’ determined as the best participating photographer. Nasr is originally from Egypt but now resides in Qatar, and their winning image portrays a perfectly composed shot of a lady whom appears to be surrounded by a large quantity of fish. 

People's Choice winner (Image credit: Mohamed Nageeb Nasr / Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA)

The other winners selected specifically for each category include Gabriel Jimoh, a photographer from Nigeria and winner of the Economic category ‘Moments that develop us. Saif Khlaifat from Jordan is the official winner for the humanitarian category ‘Moments that heal us’. Winner for social category ‘Moments that save us’ was Anne-Marie Vermaat from the Netherlands, and Olga Timokhina from Spain was awarded a win for the environmental category ‘Moments that make us’.

Secretary General of HIPA, His Excellency Ali Bin Thalith, stated that “It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Canon and Expo 2020 Dubai and shed light on the significance of sustainability for our planet and people through a creative endeavor such as this. Photography has the potential to ignite emotions and actions as we have seen from the entries received. My heartfelt congratulations to all the winners.”

The competition was judged by an esteemed international panel of industry experts, that include Fiona Shields, head of photography at Guardian News and Media Group; Kathy Moran, the deputy director of photography for National Geographic magazine; Aïda Muluneh, Canon ambassador and founder of Addis Foto Fest; Brent Stirton, Canon ambassador and senior photographer at Getty Images, and Muhammed Muheisen, Canon ambassador, National Geographic photographer, and founder of Everyday Refugees.

Winner of the Humanitarian category (Image credit: Saif Khlaifat / Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA)

“The power of art and creativity to drive change is immensely impactful and this is evident through all the entries received for Canon’s Moments that Matter competition". Shares the Chief Experience Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, Marjan Faraidooni. 

Continuing, "the competition perfectly aligned with Expo 2020’s themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability with Canon’s corporate focus pillars of the ‘Future of the Planet’, the ‘Future of People in it’ and the ‘Future of what is Possible’...We are thrilled for all the winners and thankful to Canon for addressing this challenging conversation of sustainability by providing a creative platform to engage and encourage people.”

In alignment with the Dubai Expo 2020 theme, Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) hoped to promote the power of imagery in its ability to capture, preserve and share with the world some of the most inspiring transformative ideas showcased at the exhibition. For more information about the competition and its important message be sure to check out its website.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.