Last year’s competition photos will be published in a book by StudioBasel. Image Credit: Courtesy: StudioBasel

Dubai: Shutterbugs in the Gulf can photograph the many cultural and religious facets of Ramadan for the 2012 International Ramadan Photography Competition.

Launched on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ramadanphotography), the non-profit initiative themed ‘Capture the Spirit of Ramadan’ by StudioBasel, the Oman-based architecture, branding and design firm, aims to educate viewers across the world about the holy month.

Spearheaded by the firm’s founder and chief creative director, Basel Al Misshal, it serves as a platform for photographers to share their creative work while delivering the essence of Ramadan, said Lina S. Ali, senior director of marketing at StudioBasel and team member of the competition.

Al Misshal told Gulf News, “Ramadan scenes are diverse and we expect a smorgasbord of photos covering special traditions to iftar gatherings and prayers at mosques around the world. This year we have a special surprise for the top Islamic architecture photos and look forward to receiving great ones from professional architecture photographers.”

Speaking to Gulf News, Ali said, “It is our social responsibility project, and doesn’t involve any financial gains.”

Ali said, “We received more than 1,000 photos last year of which 600 were selected and uploaded. We received photos from over 40 countries including almost all Arab countries, Africa, Asia, the UK and unexpected places such as Mauritius, St. Croix [the US Virgin Islands], Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

She added, “We are happy that many otherwise unknown photographers are being featured in international photo essays and media coverage and we hope to collaborate with local and international museums and galleries to exhibit some of these amazing works and create more exposure opportunities for these photographers.”

Amateur and professional photographers above the age of 18 can submit photos until the last day of Ramadan. Once submitted, the administration team will check for submission acceptance requirements including quality and resolution. At the end of Ramadan, accepted photos will be judged on impact and message, creativity, photographic quality and technique. There are cash prizes starting from $500 (Dh1,836) for the top three photos as well as for those chosen by the online community. Winners will be chosen on or around September 30, 2012.

For more info, log on to www.capturethespiritoframadan.org