Oman’s largest photography contest launched

Muscat: The Al Zubair Photography Competition, taking its place as one of the biggest photography competitions in the GCC, was unveiled by Bait Al Zubair Foundation on Wednesday,  January 23. The competition was launched on behalf of Mohammad Al Zubair to recognise talent in the visual arts in Oman and award captivating photography in the region.

The Al Zubair Photography Competition will grant one of the biggest prize packages ever awarded for a photography competitions in Oman and the GCC. Three winners will be selected, with RO4,000 awarded for the first place winner, RO 2,000 for the second, and RO 1,000 for the third.

HE Mohammad Al Zubair’s professional photography has earned him numerous awards and several published photobooks dedicated to capturing the beauty of Oman. Describing his inspiration and reasoning behind the launch of the competition, HE Mohammad Al Zubair said, “This competition was created to recognise and award photographers dedicated to refining their craft and showcasing a unique perspective. It’s a chance for them to channel their artistic outlook by telling a visually compelling story through a single still photograph. This competition also serves as an opportunity for us to showcase the power of the medium in telling Oman’s story.”

This competition will explore the theme of architecture in Oman. Submissions are open on the competition website, www.alzubairphotography.com, from January 23 to March 31. The finalists and winners will be announced in April.

“Capturing the beauty of Oman is a passion that has driven me to travel around the country, document the people as well as the natural and urban landscapes. My love of Omani architecture and desire to capture its beauty in photographs inspired the theme of this competition. It is an opportunity for photographers to display the unique styles and intricate decorations in Omani architecture, ones that reflect our diverse culture, heritage and history,” HE Mohammed Al Zubair said.

In his address to the local media, Mohammad Al Farei, CEO of Bait Al Zubair said, “Over the past number of years, we have observed the growth of photography in Oman, and Omani photographers have gone on to garner high acclaim beyond the Sultanate’s borders and receive great recognition in prestigious international competitions and forums. We are confident that this contest will see talent of international level brought to the fore, and we cannot wait to witness the creativity and professionalism in the way contestants portray the interesting architecture we are privileged to experience in Oman.”

HE Eng. Sultan bin Hamdoon Al Harthi, one of the most experienced architects in Oman, who is also the Chairman of Omantel and Al Mouj, will join leading photographers in the region, Victor Romero, Catalin Marin, Henry Dallal and Khamis Al Moharbi, in judging the competition.

HE Eng. Sultan bin Hamdoon Al Harthi said, “The competition will encourage photographers to treat Oman’s architecture as inspiring works of art, using their creative eye to bring out their true beauty through photography with a unique touch that is their own.  We will be judging the photos completely anonymously based on the creativity, quality and originality of the work. We will look into each photograph’s overall impact and response to the theme. This is an opportunity for more photographers in the region to take the leap and express their creativity to the best of their ability.”

The Al Zubair Photography Competition is open to professional and amateur photographers over the age of 18. Photographs need to be of a high resolution and taken after 01 January 2015. Only one photograph, with no prior competition participation, can be submitted. High resolution photographs taken with a camera phone are also accepted. Submissions are currently open on the competition website at www.alzubairphotography.com. The competition’s official social media channels were also launched at the event and can be followed on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.

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