Dubai photography competition shows off breathtaking snaps

A dark room used for developing photos. (Shutterstock/File)
Updated 13 March 2019

Dubai photography competition shows off breathtaking snaps

  • The award nurtures the art of photography by supporting international and national talents
  • HIPA awards photographers a total amount of $450,000 each year

DUBAI: The eighth Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) awarded Edwin Ong Wee Kee with the grand prize in a ceremony held at the Dubai Opera on Tuesday.

The annual competition celebrates the art of photography and aims to encourage international and national photographers to keep exploring the field by awarding a total of $450,000 to winners.

Every year, photographers are given a theme which they must interpret when shooting their submitted snaps. This year, the theme is hope, which was described by organizers as “an infinite fuel for life.” The winning image in this category will secure the photographer a prize of $25,000.

There are three other categories this year — portfolio or storytelling, the general submissions section and aerial photography. The general category is divided into two sub-categories; color and black and white.

Last year, HIPA introduced a set of awards to recognize the efforts of professionals whose work contributed to the field of photography; the photography appreciation award, the photography content creator award and the emerging person in photography award.

HIPA announced the winners via its Instagram page last week.

The panel awarded Tim Flach with the photography appreciation award. Flach is a London-based photographer, whose work focuses on the way humans affect animals.

“At this point in history, we are growing further away from the world of nature while we are increasingly in need of it, in terms of food, climate and other important issues. Many in our world still do not realize the gravity of the challenges that require us to protect nature more,” he said in response to winning the award, according to the HIPA website.

Meanwhile, Tom Ang received the content creator award. Ang was one of the founding members of an organization which grew into Photofusion, one of the largest independent photography resources in London.

HIPA awarded Emirati photographer Yousef Al-Habshi the emerging person in photography award for his work in the world of macro and micro photography, which has been featured in National Geographic magazine.


Disney tops earnings estimates ahead of streaming launch

Updated 10 November 2019

Disney tops earnings estimates ahead of streaming launch

  • Revenues in the past quarter were boosted by a 52 percent rise in Disney’s studio operation
  • Disney has become the biggest Hollywood player with the acquisition of studio and TV assets from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox
SAN FRANCISCO: Walt Disney on Thursday reported better-than-expected quarterly results, fueled by the release of blockbuster films “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” as it prepared for its new streaming television service.
Disney profit in the recently ended quarter was $1.05 billion, down from $2.3 billion a year ago, on revenue that grew 34 percent to $19.1 billion.
The slump in profits came as Disney absorbed key film and television operations of 21st Century Fox and geared up for its launch of the streaming service Disney+ that aims to compete globally against Netflix and others.
“We’ve spent the last few years completely transforming The Walt Disney Company to focus the resources and immense creativity across the entire company on delivering an extraordinary direct-to-consumer experience,” said Disney chief executive Robert Iger.
“We’re excited for the launch of Disney+ on November 12.”
Iger said the company reached a deal for the service to be on Amazon’s Fire TV platform, the latest distribution agreement for Disney+.
Disney shares were up more than five percent in after-market trading following release of the earnings figures.
Revenues in the past quarter were boosted by a 52 percent rise in Disney’s studio operations with box office hits “The Lion King,” “Toy Story 4” and “Aladdin” fueling gains.
The entertainment giant expects revenue in the current quarter to be boosted by the forthcoming release of a sequel to “Frozen” and the final installment of the “Star Wars” film saga.
It will thereafter take a “hiatus” from “Star Wars” box office films but has an array of spin-off shows planned exclusively for its streaming service.
Disney has become the biggest Hollywood player with the acquisition of studio and TV assets from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
However, integrating Fox into Disney has cost more than expected and the newly added studios have brought in less money than hoped.
Disney saw smaller revenue gains in its cable and broadcasting operations as well as its theme park division.
Iger would not disclose details of pre-sales of Disney+ subscriptions, but said the price — $6.99 monthly — has met with “great enthusiasm” by consumers.
The Disney+ online streaming service will debut in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands before gradually expanding internationally in Europe then rolling out worldwide.
Its films and TV shows will be available, along with the library it acquired from 21st Century Fox. That includes the “Star Wars” and Marvel superhero franchises and ABC television content.
Disney+ will also combine offerings from powerhouse brands including Pixar, with content from Hulu and sports network ESPN.
Apple last week launched a streaming television service that features a budding library of original shows starring big-name celebrities, aimed at winning over its gadget lovers at home and on the go.
The Apple TV+ on-demand streaming service launched in more than 100 countries at $4.99 per month.
Original Apple TV+ shows have so far been met with lukewarm early reviews, but the low subscription price and an offer of year-long memberships free with purchase of the company’s devices was expected to encourage viewers to tune in.
Netflix, meanwhile, has budgeted $15 billion this year for original shows, on top of the billions it has devoted to exclusive productions in recent years.
Amazon, which has deep pockets thanks to its e-commerce and cloud services, has also poured cash into original shows for its Prime Video service.
This sets up a potential spending war among the major streaming players, according to analysts.
Even more competition looms on the horizon, with AT&T’s Warner Media to launch its “HBO Max” in early 2020 after reclaiming the rights from Netflix to stream its popular television comedy “Friends.”
NBCUniversal’s Peacock service is also launching next year.