SHARJAH: Photography is unquestionably the most popular form of art practised today; everyone is a photographer. And, for the past three years, Xposure International Photography Festival, hosted by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, has been creating a vibrant creative and educational space for professional and emerging photographers in the Arab world, hobbyists as well as lovers of art.

Themed “Inspiring Moments,” the third edition of Xposure concluded at Expo Centre Sharjah, registering its biggest triumph yet.

The four-day event attracted 10,000 visitors who had been able to meet 90 internationally-acclaimed photographers and exhibited 700 of their best-known images in 30 individual exhibitions. 

A gala award ceremony saw Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council and Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, honour winners of the 10-category Xposure International Competition that received 13,500 submissions this year from 112 countries.

Negin Homayounpur was judged winner of the Short Film category; Robin Yong scooped the Travel Photography award, the Macro Photography category saw Andy Abdul Halil as the winner while Patricia Soon was recognised with the Architectural Photography award.

The award for Photojournalism was won by Antonio Renuncio, and Natasha Mandal took the Photo Manipulation category prize. Street Photography was won by Sujan Sarkar, while Samah Al Khuffash was crowned the champion in Best of the Emirates category. The Junior Category, which celebrates young photographers under the age of 18 years residing in the UAE, was awarded to Shivani Srikanth for a captivating piece titled “Balance.”

Finally, the tenth category titled Sharjah Government Open which has been added to the list of Xposure awards this year, and is especially dedicated to recognising the emirate’s public servants who practice the art, was awarded to Ahmed Albairaq.  

The Overall Winner, a surprise category announced at the awards ceremony, went to Manaswi Jinadra for a spectacular photo of the desert she titled “The Shadow Shepperd.” 

Winners of Xposure’s Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award – Linus Escandor; Stephanie Foden; Ranita Roy; Dan Giannopoulos; and Sharafat Ali were also honoured on the occasion. A certificate of appreciation was awarded to ex-TAPSA winner, Thomas for his contribution to making this edition successful.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said: “Sharjah has been and will always be committed to supporting culture, and will continue educating the UAE community in the practice and appreciation of the arts. Photography and culture are two fascinating subjects that can be combined to encourage and educate, to develop creative talent and personal skills, while building confidence and self-belief.”

The SMC Chairman said: “Everyone has a different approach to photography; every photographer is looking for a unique outcome through the application of their craft – Xposure 2018 celebrated all these unique perspectives on one platform. Through the festival, we seek to highlight the beauty in diversity, and showcase it to the world. I thank everyone for being here and contributing to yet another inspiring edition of the festival, and look forward to hosting more creativity and outstanding talent next year.”

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