International Photography & Film Awards

A FREE to enter International Photography & Film Awards with great prizes across several genres. Photographers of all ages, backgrounds, and experience are eligible to enter the Xposure International Awards. We have also include a category for film-makers. The panel of judges are looking to award an Overall Winner from the photography categories and additionally a winner and runner-up from each category including moving image & short-films. The Jury is looking for unique, exceptional and high quality images.

Landscape Photography
Portraiture
Architectural Photography
Photojournalism
Aerial & Drone Photography

Travel Photography
Macro Photography
Junior Category*
Sharjah Government Open**
Short Film & Moving Image

In each category, there will be:

1 Winner
1 Runner-up
5 Shortlisted photographers

In addition to the category winners, there will be an overall winner determined from the highest score achieved, regardless of category entered.

Prizes & Benefits
Overall Winner  – $3,000 (USD) / digital imaging equipment / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Publication in the Xposure Year Book

Category Winners – $1,500 (USD) / digital imaging equipment / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Publication in the Xposure Year Book

Category Runner-up – $750 (USD) / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE /Publication in the Xposure Year Book

Shortlisted – Online Exhibition  / displayed during the Xposure Festival

* Junior Category for under 18 – UAE Residents
A restricted “Junior” category for residents of the United Arab Emirates who are under 18. (Alternate prizes apply – see below) In addition to the main prizes of best overall entry, all winning and shortlisted photographers of each category will be included in the publication of the Xposure Year Book and featured in a gallery at Xposure.  In each category, there shall be awarded:

  • Junior Category under 18 ‘Winner’ – Photo equipment and included in the Xposure festival exhibition  / Publication in the Xposure Year Book / Invitation to the Awards Ceremony.
  • Junior Category under 18  ‘Runner-up’ – Included in the Xposure festival exhibition / Invitation to the Awards Ceremony.

**Sharjah Government Open – This is a restricted category specifically for individuals who are in the employment of the Sharjah Government.

Competition Entries
Online entries will be accepted from 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020 at 23:00 GST – Gulf Standard Time (Standard Time) is (UTC +4) 

Finalists will be notified by 15th July 2020.

Term
The Awards opens for online submissions on 1st April 2020 and closes on 30 June 2020, at 11:00 pm GST (the Entry Deadline).  All entries must be received by the Entry Deadline.

Who may enter?
This competition is FREE to enter and open to all nationalities over the age of 18. There is a Junior Category for under 18’s resident in the UAE.
Employees of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, and each of their affiliates, subsidiaries and agents, are not eligible to enter or win a prize in the main categories, however, there is a restricted category for Sharjah Government employees.

How to enter
For the photography categories, images must be submitted through our online awards platform at XPOSURE AWARDS  The images should be suitable for public display, printing and publication in the Xposure Year Book. The JPG file format should be used and the preferred resolution is 300 dpi and preferably in a ratio of 3:2

For the film category, you can upload your file in MP4 or AVI formats with a maximum file size of 1GB. Scripts together with other information may be referenced. Uploads are accepted through the awards platform in the respective category.

More detail for photo submissions

  • The preferred image size should be close to 5,000 pixels on the longer dimension. We accept images that were not captured at this resolution as long as they are over 2700 pixels on the long dimension. For more information on electronic submission guidelines see our FAQ.
  • To enter electronically, you must first register online. Once the registration process has been completed, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. Just log into the competition and follow the instructions to upload images from your computer. Digital images should have a long dimension of at least 2,700 pixels and saved at 300 dpi 28cm, or larger, as a jpeg file.  We can accept images that are up to 8 megabytes uncompressed if you cannot downsize the pictures. (Uncompressed is the size you see in Photoshop’s “Image Size” display which represents the count of pixels in the image. It is not the file size on your computer’s hard drive viewable on your desktop.) Images may be colour profiled in sRGB, Adobe-1998, or not colour-managed.
  • You may enter up to ten (10) images or films per user distributed in any ratio across the awards categories and each entry must be allocated to the category selected from the drop-down selection box. (see categories). To enable entrants to submit across multiple categories only one image may be uploaded at a time with the exception of stories in the TAPSA section.
  • To qualify, your photographs of films must be taken or produced in the past 3-years.
  • An entry consists of one photo or film, in addition to completed Title, Caption, Place Taken and Date Taken.
  • Each submitted photograph, in its entirety, must be a single work of original material taken by the competition entrant. By entering the contest, the entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that he or she has full power and authority to enter the photograph and that the photograph does not infringe any copyright or violate any other intellectual property rights. The entrant agrees to indemnify Sharjah Government Media Bureau from any and all third party claims arising from the photograph.
  • Photographs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud, provided that entrants are prepared to submit a release form as described below in “Third Party Releases/Licenses.” When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close-up of another person’s art.
  • Photographs that include a watermark or name that is not part of the original image capture will be disqualified.
  • The entries will be judged in accordance with the Judging Criteria, as defined in judging and awards. The photograph must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of the Sponsors, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content. Photographs deemed inappropriate will be disqualified without notice.
  • On-line entries must be made by a user registered online at our awards platform and by the authorised account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorised account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, internet domain owner, or other person or organisation (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.

PHOTOGRAPHY JUDGING

The panel of judges is looking to award the overall winner of the annual international photography awards and the overall best picture from all photography award categories.

In addition to the main prizes, all winning and shortlisted photographers will be included in the publication of the Xposure Year Book and featured in a gallery at Xposure 2010. In each category, judges will award:

One winner
One runner-up
Five shortlisted photographers

The winner and runner-up from each category will be invited to the Xposure Festival Awards Ceremony where the final outcome of the position will be announced.

Qualification
All submitted images will be screened by the Moderators to ensure that no offensive or culturally sensitive material is presented to the Jury. Submissions will either be approved or rejected at this stage. Any offensive submissions will be removed from the competition without notice.

Judging Procedure
Round One – Entries will be judged from artistic merit and overall impact
Round Two – Entries will be judged from the composition, technical quality and effectiveness of expressing the category theme

Round One Process
The VIP jury (the “Judges”) will independently review each entry and apply a credit rating on the basis of Overall Impact and Artistic Merit. The collective credit ratings from this process form the round one score.

Short List Round One
The 25 highest ranked images in each category will go forward to round two. In the case that two or more images are in ranking position 25 all those images with the equal 25th point score will go ahead into round two.

Round Two Process
In Round Two the judges will apply a credit rating on the basis of Photographic / Technical Quality, Image Composition and Effectiveness in expressing the category theme.

The Judges individually consider the three aspects (criteria) for each image and allocate credits on each element. The collective scores will determine the ranking. Should one or more images be placed equally in ranking 1, 2 or 3, there shall be a final “Tie-Break” round of judging.

Tie-Break Process
If a tie-break is required, the judges will consider the respective images once again based on the criteria of Originality. The Judges will apply a credit rating of 1 to 6 in the Tie Break process. Decisions of the Judges are final and binding.

SHORT FILM JUDGING

Short films will be judged and scored following the criteria set out below. Short Films include video clips and can be any running length from 3 min to 18 min.

One winner
One runner-up
Five shortlisted filmmakers

The winner and runner-up from this category will be invited to the Xposure Festival Awards Ceremony where the final outcome of the position will be announced.

Qualification
All submitted films and video clips will be based on a URL submission to your video clip or film hosted on Vimeo, YouTube or any other suitable platform. Any offensive submissions will be removed from the competition without notice.

Judging Procedure
Round One Process
The VIP jury (the “Judges”) will independently review each entry and apply a credit rating on the basis of Merit. The collective credit ratings from this process form the round one score.

Short List Round One
The 25 highest ranked video clips / short films will go forward to round two. In the case that two or more entries are in ranking position 25 all those in the equal 25th place score will go ahead into round two.

Round Two Process
In Round Two the judges will apply a 1 – 8 credit rating on the basis of seven criteria.

  • Concept.
  • Theme
  • Style/Tone
  • Characters & Dialogue
  • Structure / Plot & Pacing
  • Presentation
  • Commercial Potential

The Judges individually consider the criteria for each video clip / short film and allocate credits on each element. The collective scores will determine the ranking. Should one or more entries be placed equally in ranking 1, 2 or 3, there shall be a final “Tie-Break” round of judging.

Tie-Break Process
If a tie-break is required, the judges will consider the respective entries once again based on the criteria of Originality. The Judges will apply a credit rating of 1 to 6 in the Tie Break process. Decisions of the Judges are final and binding.

To help you understand each of the awards categories we have provided a summary description of each of the Xposure International Award Categories. Considering the technical advances in photographic equipment with the capabilities of recording high-resolution movies, we have added a new  “Short Film” category for the benefit of film-makers. The Short Film category covers genres of documentary, drama, action or animation / stop motion.

Landscape Photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes. Landscape photography is done for a variety of reasons.

Portrait Photography or portraiture in photography is a photograph of a person or group of people that captures the personality of the subject by using effective lighting, backdrops, and poses. A portrait picture might be artistic, or it might be clinical, as part of a medical study.

Architectural Photography is the photographing of buildings and similar structures both exterior and interior, that are both aesthetically pleasing and accurate representations of their subjects. A deep depth of field is usually employed so that both the foreground and background (to infinity) are in sharp focus. Architectural photography typically shows either the exterior or the interior of buildings.

Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images.

Macro Photography is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects and living organisms like insects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size.

Drone & Aerial Photography is the taking of photographs from an aircraft or other flying object. Platforms for aerial photography include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) and balloons, Mounted cameras may be triggered remotely or automatically; hand-held photographs may be taken by a photographer.

Travel Photography is a genre of photography that may involve the documentation of an area’s landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. A travel photo should be an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations

Junior Category – (under 18 – restrictions apply)
The Junior category is separate from the main awards and open to all types of still photography recorded by a phone, DLSR or mirrorless camera and produced at a Junior level (entrants must be under 18 to enter). Photos must have been taken in the past two years. Entrants must be resident in the United Arab Emirates.

Sharjah Government Open – (Employees of Sharjah Government)
This open category is specifically for individuals in the employment of Sharjah Government at time of entry and who remain in the employment of Sharjah Government at the time of awards. Any socially accepted genre of photography is valid and the judging criteria remain similar to other categories.

Short Film & Moving Image
The short film category includes moving image & stop motion. To enter requires uploading your file in MP4 or AVI format with running length of up to a maximum of 15 minutes including credits to a maximum 1GB in file size. The scope can be either documentary, drama, action, animation / stop motion or news. Stop motion is an animated-film making technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames. This does not include computer-generated animation.

Publication of Winning Images Images will be on exhibition at the annual festival, published in the next Xposure Year Book and also on the “Xposure” official website.

Rights Reserved Sponsors reserve the right not to award all prizes in the event an insufficient number of eligible entries meeting the minimum judging criteria are received, as determined by Organisers and Judges in their sole discretion.

Entrant Licenses & Releases
If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and if any persons appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, before submission of the photo. Any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner outlined in these Official Rules without additional compensation.

Third Party Licenses & Releases 
Copyright holders retain copyright of their work. For awarded, nominated and shortlisted pictures, copyright holders grant the organisers unlimited, non-exclusive use of high-resolution images for activities promoting Xposure in all media. Awarded images will be published in the Xposure Yearbook and the SGMB Public Archive.

Limitation of Liability 
By participating, entrants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Sharjah Government Media Bureau, and each of their respective partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest or any Contest-related activities and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder.

Organisers and Sponsors assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorised access to Contest entries or entry forms;. Organisers are not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, online computer systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to this Contest.

Conditions This Contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations of the United Arab Emirate. Certain restrictions may apply. Entries void if the Sponsor determines the entry to not be an original, or if the entries are illegible, incomplete, damaged, irregular, altered, counterfeit, produced in error or obtained through fraud or theft.

Participants also agree (a) to be bound by these Official Rules; (b) that the decisions of the Judges are final on all matters relating to the Contest; and (c) if he/she wins that Organiser / Sponsor may use each winner’s name, photograph, likeness, and/or voice in any publicity or advertising relating to the Contest or future promotions without compensation or approval. Any International state and local taxes, fees and surcharges on prizes are the sole responsibility of the prize winners. If the selected winner(s) of any prize are/is ineligible or refuses the prize, the prize will be forfeited and Organisers, in their sole discretion, may choose whether to award the prize to another entrant.

Prizes that are formed as Educational Programs or Workshops are only available on the date and time specified in the general entry information. Any other physical prizes of any type that may be awarded by sponsors or organisers, shall be collected at the Award Ceremony.

Right to Cancel or Suspend If for any reason the Scholarship is not capable of running as planned, due to infection by computer virus, bugs, worms, trojan horses, denial of service attacks, tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Organisers that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual(s) who tamper with the entry process, and/or to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest.