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This amazing image of whales wins photographer $120,000 prize!

Image: Jasmine Carey
(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

Australian photographer Jasmine Carey has the world's biggest prize photographic competition this year – netting herself a cool $120,000 for her touching underwater image of a mother humpback whale with its calf in the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award.

The HIPA awards are now in their ninth year, and are known for their huge cash prizes which are funded by the Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin RashidAl Maktoum.

This year's main competition was on the theme of Water. Jasmine Carey's winning shot was taken in the Vavaʻu Islands in Tonga last year, using a Canon EOS 5D Mk IV in an underwater housing. 

In total, $424,000 in prizes were given out in this annual contest. Next year, the theme for the photo competition will be Humanity.

You can see the full gallery of this year's award winners below…

Water category winners

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

1st PRIZE WINNER - WATER
François Bogaerts | Belgium
The Downpour

This photo was taken in Iceland. The waterfall is called Dynjandifoss and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland (also known as the Fjallfoss or mountain waterfall). With this image, I wanted to capture the beauty of nature and portray how small and insignificant we are compared to this wild nature. By using a slower shutter speed (half a second), the water of the waterfall is shown as a beautiful bridal veil. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

2nd PRIZE WINNER - WATER
Shantha Kumar Samba Shivam Laila | India
What a problem!

People climb onto buses and cars submerged in flood waters to save themselves during the monsoons in Mumbai, India. Water has always been known as the essence of life, however in the recent past, due to climate change, water or the lack of it has become a destructive force. Droughts, floods, tsunamis have become more common now than ever. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

3rd PRIZE WINNER - WATER
Buchari Muslim Diken | Indonesia
Octopus Hunter

A portrait of a child looking for an octopus around the coast of a fishing village in Ambon, the Maluku islands. The lives of children here rely on the sea, where they are used to doing everything themselves from a very young age. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

4th PRIZE WINNER - WATER
Sourav Das | India
Save Me

At one point, a few children were playing and suddenly the sky collapsed and the rain came pouring down. There was no shelter in the area, until their father ran to save them from the rain. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

5th PRIZE WINNER - WATER
Yousef Bin Shakar Al Zaabi | United Arab Emirates
Water- The Secret of Life

This picture was taken near Bayan Olghi in Northeast Mongolia where there is a lake. This lake is a source of life, bringing fresh water for the village people. This spontaneous image of a father and his son was taken when they were drinking water from the lake after a painstaking walk from their home. 

Mobile Photography category winners

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

1st PRIZE WINNER - MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY
Apratim Pal | India
A Journey Outside Our World

In winter, when the flow of water is very low due to ‘Photochemical Reactions’, a moss like structure is formed and causes water pollution. It refers to the blend of such substances in water that invalidates it for use by humans, flora and fauna. Water pollution affects the whole world as water is the basis of life. A fisherman appears on his boat as if he belongs on the upper deck of the earth and is on a journey beyond our world. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

2nd PRIZE WINNER - MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY
Budi Gunawan | Indonesia
Refection

A crimson sunbird is hovering and quenches its thirst from the flower. This picture was taken approximately 50cm from the bird using artificial light and a reflector. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

3rd PRIZE WINNER - MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY
Abdullah Alshathri | Saudi Arabia
Spirituality of Colors

The Day of Sacrifice, is the tenth day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, during which pilgrims perform certain rituals, including the circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba, where with their movement a wonderful color palette is created. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

4th PRIZE WINNER - MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY
Fahad Faraj Abdulhameid | Saudi Arabia
Under the Rain

On a trip with my wife to the Sharjah Rain Room, I opted to avoid all professional photography gear and focus on enjoying our time together. But this moment had to be captured. A reflection of the reality of my married life. Two loving partners relying on each other, as a basis for a happy family. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

5th PRIZE WINNER - MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY
Navin Kumar | India
Sunset Transparency

The golden aromas of sunset combines perfectly with the power of thought. It is a story that was captured on the balcony of a mosque while celebrating a local festival, when suddenly a gust of wind blew and the 'Dupatta', which is a traditional female dress, fluttered into view. 

Portfolio category winners

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

1st PRIZE WINNER - PORTFOLIO
Christian Vizl MacGregor | Mexico
Kingdom of Beauty and Danger

The attraction to the sea makes this photographer a captive of what he can see under the waves. Wandering through the ocean and observing the beauty of the creatures in it, he is communicating with nature directly, always surprised by what he sees. Most people only see these creatures as a source of food but they have voices we can hear and rights we must preserve in the face of danger. Dangers of human destruction of this beautiful environment in several ways - overfishing, pollution, plastic, radiation, climate change and so on. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

2nd PRIZE WINNER - PORTFOLIO
Zhoufan Cui | China
Rafting People on Yalu River

The Yalu River, now the border between China and North Korea, has had a history of transporting wooden rafts for thousands of years. Every year between Spring and Fall, North Korean loggers cut logs in the Changbai mountains and release them along the Yalu River. The raft travels down the river to Zhongjiangjun, North Korea. With the development of the modern transportation industry, this will gradually fade out of history and become a valuable part of the world's cultural heritage. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

3rd PRIZE WINNER - PORTFOLIO
Atho Ullah | Indonesia
The Predator's Fins

Shark are known to be a killing machine at the top of the marine food chain. But since the 1990s, the number of Black Fin Sharks (Carcharhinus Melanopterus) has been declining. Based on research, millions of sharks are killed every year for their fins. The cost of shark fin soup ranges from US$ 70-150, which is rumored to be a cure for some illnesses even though it contains Methyl mercury which is dangerous to our health. Efforts to regulate fishing in Indonesia are not yet effective enough. Lack of awareness of the role sharks play in the marine eco-system poses a major threat to marine life. Pictures from one of the fishing ports in Indonesia. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

4th PRIZE WINNER - PORTFOLIO
Karrar Hussen | Iraq
October Anger

Peaceful protests are considered human rights around the world and are included in the Iraqi constitution, but the Iraqi government has reacted severely with the Rafidain youth who demonstrated in Tahrir Square in Baghdad in October 2019 demanding their rights. But the Iraqi lens remain witness to these events. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

5th PRIZE WINNER - PORTFOLIO
Fausto Podavini | Italy
Ethiopian Rituals

A representation of black Christianity in northern Ethiopia. This is an anthropological portfolio that wants to give back the country's identity that has been subjected to irreversible change caused by investments from both Europeans and Chinese. The daily lives of these believers are based on liturgical times. The rituality of religious festivities is melded into their everday activities. Young and old, men and women, all hold on to their beliefs and identity, by preserving their religion. They achieve this by resisting outside influence and not changing for any reason. 

Black & White category winners

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

1st PRIZE WINNER - GENERAL – Black and White
Talal Al Rabah | Kuwait
King of the North

In the northern corner of the globe, on the Norwegian Svalbard Archipelago, a polar bear was walking on an iceberg with the early morning sunlight touching him from behind creating an extraordinary silhouette. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

2nd PRIZE WINNER - GENERAL – Black and White
Anna Niemiec | Poland
The Silent Witness

Over two-hundred-year-old trees in the center of Szczecin in Poland; silent witnesses of many human stories. An old man strolls through these old trees in the quiet of Autumn, like seasons reflecting a passage of time. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

3rd PRIZE WINNER - GENERAL – Black and White
Sujan Sarkar | India

The Young Dreamers
Children are a symbol of unity and unity can make a positive change. Here the children in their playful mood are delivering this message to the world. They have the power to eradicate many of the curses of this world. The curses of poverty, illiteracy, hunger, pollution, diseases, etc. They have the power to make a better world. Children don't want to protect the environment; they want to create a world where the environment doesn't need to be protected. 

Color category winners

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

1st PRIZE WINNER – GENERAL - Color
Fahad Al Enezi | Kuwait
Snow Monalisa

An Arctic fox retrieves its food from an ice hole in Canada. In times of abundance, the fox stores food in separate pits 10cm underground and returns to it when needed to avoid losing its entire supply if another fox finds it. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

2nd PRIZE WINNER – GENERAL - Color
Yose Mirza | Indonesia
The Portrait of Sapa

Sapa is a Vietnamese girl living in Nha Trang. She suffers from 'Heterochromia', a condition caused by the increase or decrease in melanin and may be hereditary or the result of a genetic defect. She has unique expressive eyes - one brown and one blue. She is a descendant of the Chams tribe. 

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

3rd PRIZE WINNER – GENERAL - Color
Rashed Al Sumaiti | United Arab Emirates
One Soul Opposite Direction

In the Alaskan wilderness, two bear cubs scavenge for food on a beach. In the perfect moment, they were captured heading in opposite directions but in search of the same thing. 

Grand prize winner

(Image credit: Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award)

GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Jasmine Carey | Australia
Essence of Life

A mother humpback whale is seen resting with her newly born calf in the Kingdom of Tonga. The rain fell rhythmically in a soothing pitter-patter on the water’s surface, gently lulling them. As we floated and watched them, the sound of the rhythm faded just a little and the ocean calmed just enough for the tranquil pair to rise up, meeting the light rays just starting to break through the surface. 

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