He will join a jury of international experts, including acclaimed Arab photographers, who will start the long process of selecting the winners of EPC 2012 in October.
In the meantime, the EPC has announced that entries will be accepted until September 30. Photographers, professional or amateur, individuals or photo clubs from anywhere in the world may enter their best shots.
“This year, we expect even more entries than in 2011, partly because this year we increased the submission deadline to the end of September to give photographers more time, and partly because the competition is now part of the Photographic Society of America, so it gained even more exposure,” Bader Al Nomani, director of the EPC, told Khaleej Times.
Last year, the competition attracted over 15,000 submissions from 134 countries and the quality of those pictures were better than ever. In fact, since the EPC has been held under the patronage of the International Federation of Photographic Art and began accepting worldwide entries a couple of years ago, the quality of its photographs improved dramatically and, as a result, the UAE photographers have become more creative and technically skilled with their work. Cash prizes amounting to $135,000 are also an incentive to send in the best work.
As always, the seventh 2012 EPC has a main theme — Cultural Reflections — as well as several other themes. “By focusing the contest’s theme on cultural reflections, we hope it will excite photographers, professional and amateur, to capture the essence and diversity of the world we live in and look forward to sharing the entries with a wide audience to foster the concept of understanding cultures,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director-General of the ADTCA.
EPC 2012 also pays tribute to the work of celebrated Iraqi photographer Murad Al Daghistani (1917-1982), who was a leader in contemporary Arab photography. Mai Murad Al Daghistani, daughter of the late photographer, said the tribute went beyond the “personal” and it strengthens inter-cultural exchange.
“The UAE capital is keenly honouring Arab symbols of art, thought and culture, and promoting them on an international level, through the organisation of such international cultural events that are pushing the boundaries of learning and thought,” she added.
The competition’s general themes include environment, portrait, sports, close-ups and Future Image through Future Eyes for photographers under 21 years.
For the first time, the EPC will also feature a special prize recognising Fine Arts in Photography, which will award three gold medals to the best works that represent innovative ideas that contribute to the developing of photography. The Noor Ali Rashed Award will pay tribute to Emirati photographer Noor Ali Rashed (1929 - 2010), whose work has contributed to the documentation of life within Emirati society.
Winners of EPC 2012 will be announced during an award ceremony in November. The winning photographs will then be displayed in a two-month exhibition, which will run from mid-November at the Manarat Al Saadiyat art exhibition centre on Saadiyat Island.