Sultan Bin Ahmed fetes winners of Xposure photography awards in Sharjah - GulfToday

Sultan Bin Ahmed fetes winners of Xposure photography awards in Sharjah


Sheikh Ahmed Bin Sultan presents the Xposure grand prize to Alena Grom from Ukraine during the ceremony in Sharjah on Sunday. WAM

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC), acknowledged the outstanding contributions of photographers at the 8th edition of the Xposure International Photography Awards.

The awarding ceremony, held on Sunday evening, served as a platform to honour and recognise the exceptional talents within the global photography community.

In the presence of Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), winners and runner-ups were presented their awards in 10 diverse categories, as well as an overall winner, all sharing part of an impressive prize pool of $60,000.

The grand prize was won by Alena Grom from Ukraine for her emotionally riveting shot, “Stolen Spring IV,” which showcased the impact and seasons lost through war. This profoundly moving piece captured the respect and attention of the judging panel and served as a testament to the photographer's ability to capture resilience and hope.


Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the 2023-2024 edition of the Xposure International Photography Awards received over 25,000 entries from 190 countries, including China, India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Egypt, the USA, and the United Kingdom. With categories ranging from Architectural to Nature and Landscape Photography and the newly added “See Sharjah” category, the awards aim to celebrate and recognise visual storytellers through a diverse range of subject matter.


As many as 32 qualified industry professionals and critics served as impartial judges and the awards received worldwide response, including dedicated awards for Junior Photography to encourage the next generation of photographers. As an extra level of recognition, winners and runner-ups also received feedback and review from five of the respected jury members, namely, Eric Meola, Giles Clarke, Britta Jaschinski, Katrin Elsmann, and Wiktoria Michalska.

 Recognising global masters for their craft

 The inaugural “See Sharjah” category unveiled a captivating journey into the heart of the Cultural Capital of the Arab and Islamic world. With an impressive 660 submissions, this novel category contained the subcategories of Cultural Heritage, Nature and Scenic Beauty, People and Daily Life, and Urban Landscapes. Each photograph depicted a unique perspective, highlighting Sharjah's rich heritage, natural allure, daily life, and urban scenery.


Sulaiman Eid Alhammadi claimed victory in the Cultural Heritage subcategory with his evocative photo, “Authenticity and Place,” while P.A. Shukkur from India secured the runner-up position for “Warmup - Preparing Camel For Race.” The Nature and Scenic Beauty subcategory saw Salem Alsawafi as the winner for “Majestic Al Faya Mountain,” with Mohammad Anabtawi as the runner-up for “Night Whispers.”

Moving to People and Daily Life, Rajesh Balakrishnan Menon emerged victorious with “Happening Sharjah: Today and Everyday,” while Ahmed Ginawi took the runner-up spot for “Khorfakkan.” In Urban Landscapes, Majid Al Bastaki claimed the top spot with “Beeah's Architectural Symphony,” while Sara Goli received the runner-up award for “Architecture Hunting.”

Showing the accessible nature of photography in this day and age, the Mobile Photography Category, proudly sponsored by Samsung, recognised Naitao Li from China as the winner for “On the Songhua River,” with Joy Saha from Bangladesh as the runner-up for “Plastic Bottle Recycling.” Also sponsored by Samsung, Filip Hrebenda from Slovakia earned the runner-up position in the Night Photography category for his exceptional work titled “The Night Hunter,” while Xuejun Long from China clinched the winning title with his photograph, “Drooling.”

Sponsored by Canon, the Junior Photographers Category celebrated Jamal Bazzari from the UAE as the winner for his captivating work, “A Face Mirrored in Water,” while Rithved Girishkumar also from the UAE secured the runner-up position for his work “Reflections and Ripples: A Black Winged Stilt’s Tranquil Moment.”

In the Photojournalism Category, also sponsored by Canon, Patryk Jarcaz from Ukraine emerged victorious with his impactful photograph, “Kids learning how to ride a bicycle,” while Karam Al Masri from Syria claimed the runner-up position with his poignant piece, “In Syria, The Tragedy Never Ends.”

The final category sponsored by Canon was Nature and Landscape Photography, where Budi Gunawan from Indonesia was honoured as the winner for his stunning image, “Fight,” with Lung-Tsai Wang from Taiwan receiving the runner-up recognition for “Microspur1.”

The Architectural Photography category crowned Murat Bakmaz from Turkey as the winner for “Line And Light,” with Sarah Wouters from Thailand as the runner-up for “The Eye Of The Future.” The Aerial Photography category honoured Isbaella Tabbachi from Italy as the winner for “Tree of Life,” while Rakesh Pulpa from India received the runner-up award for “Fishermen’s Art.”

Finally, in the Portraiture Photography category, Fede Kortez from Switzerland claimed victory with “Cowries Le Symbole De La Richesse,” and Vladimir Karamazov from Bulgaria secured the runner-up position with “A Memory of the Past.”

As the evening of artistic excellence came to a close, a special mention was made to the support provided by both local and global entities in advancing the realm of photography. Sharjah Media City (Shams), Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, and Sharjah Performing Arts Academy were thanked for being key contributors as well as an array of trade exhibitors, who have helped to shape the industry’s trajectory with their state-of-the-art equipment and technologies.


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