UAE-based Mario Bejagans Cardenas received a gold medal for his photograph Exquisite at the Al Thani Award for Photography 2013. Tech specs: camera: Canon EOS 50D; lens: 27mm; shutter speed: 1/160; aperture: 5.6; ISO: 100 Image Credit: Supplied

There are countless photography competitions worldwide, ranging from small village contests to the ongoing global Great Nature Project, where National Geographic Kids magazine recently set the Guinness World Record for the 
largest online photo album of animals (104,022 recorded).

Competitions give both amateurs and professionals a chance to engage with others passionate about the industry, improve their art, earn recognition from their peers and in most cases, win cash or prestigious prizes. 
GN Focus looks at some regional competitions inspiring photographers.

The Hamdan International Photography Award

Photographers from across the world can participate in The Hamdan International Photography Award established by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince 
of Dubai.

This year’s theme of Life in Colour has four categories, namely Life in Colour, General or Entrants’ Choice, Faces and Night Photography. The competition is open for online submissions only, until December 31. Register at www.hipa.ae

The Al Thani Award for Photography 2014

Founded by art collector Shaikh Saoud Bin Mohammad Bin Ali Al Thani, entries are accepted for two sections — a theme-free general section and the special theme for the year, which is Face the Faces.

Organised on behalf of the Qatar Photographic Society by Trierenberg Super Circuit in Austria, where the judging will also take place, the competition is looking for photographs of people across all races, social backgrounds and ages. The aim is to capture the human face as a reflection of emotion and life experiences. The top prize is $80,000 (about Dh293,836) cash, plus a luxury edition Leica M6 camera. Download an entry form at www.supercircuit.at. The closing date for submissions is November 17.

The annual Emirates Photography Competition

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority under the patronage of the International Federation of Photographic Art, the American Photographic Society and the United Photographers International, this event is open to photographers from all nations, amateur or professional. Although the next edition is yet to be announced, last year’s winning photographs have been on display since May and will be up until August 16 at Gallery 3, Manarat Al Saadiyat Visitors’ Centre, Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi.

National heritage

Equestrian photographs or those on falconry and UAE heritage can be submitted to a competition at the International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi from September 10-13. 
Participants must provide three photographs and a brief description on the work with a CV and photograph of themselves. The prize for first place is Dh5,000 and the deadline for submissions is August 30, for local participants and later for international entries.