A FREE to enter International Photography & Film Awards with a prize pool value of over $50,000 USD across multiple genres. Photographers of all ages, backgrounds, and experience are eligible to enter the Xposure International Awards. We have also included a category for filmmakers. The panel of judges are looking to award an Overall Winner from the photography categories and a winner and runner-up from each category, including moving images & short films. The Jury is looking for unique, exceptional, and high-quality images.
Junior* (Special Rules & Conditions Apply)
Nature & Landscape
Short Film & Moving Image
In each category, there will be:
5 Additional Nominated Entries (Nominees)
In addition to the category winners, an overall winner will be determined from the highest single image score achieved, regardless of the category entered.
Prizes & Benefits
Overall Winner – $6,000 (USD) / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition
Category Winners – $3,000 (USD) / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition
Category Runner-up – $1,500 (USD) / Included in the Xposure festival exhibition / Flights and accommodation to the Awards Ceremony in Sharjah UAE
Nominees – Online Exhibition/image displayed during the Xposure Festival
* Junior Category for under 18 – UAE Residents. This is a restricted “Junior” category for residents of the United Arab Emirates under 18. non-cash prizes of digital camera equipment, and included in the Xposure festival exhibition.
* Junior Category under 18 ‘Winner & Runner-up’ non-cash prizes of digital camera equipment and included in the Xposure festival exhibition.
** This category is sponsored by Samsung Galaxy, who are providing supplementary prizes in addition to the main cash prize provided by Xposure.”
DEADLINE – 30 OCTOBER 2023 at 23:00 GST – Gulf Standard Time (Standard Time) is (UTC +4)
* Nominees will be notified the week commencing 25 November 2023
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 residents 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. IMPORTANT: Image and film filenames for upload should only use normal western characters & numbers. Special characters or symbols may prevent a successful upload.
For the film category, you can upload your file in MP4 format with a maximum file size of 900MB and running time between 3 minutes and 20 minutes. 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 2,700 pixels on the long dimension. (check for alternative variations in category descriptions) 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 minimum 1,500 pixels and be saved at 300 dpi, as a jpeg file. We can accept images that are up to 7 megabytes uncompressed if you cannot downsize the pictures. (Uncompressed means 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.
- To qualify, your photographs or films must be taken or produced in the past 3-years.
- A Photo entry consists of one photo or film, in addition to the completed Title, Caption, Place Taken. In the case of Short Films, you do not enter Place Taken or Caption.
- 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.
- Unless in a category specifically designed for photo manipulation entries should not include adding or removing content or staging a photograph to mislead the viewer. Adjustment of levels, colour, contrast, and brightness are permitted.
- 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.
- Nominated finalists will be notified and asked to submit High-Resolution TIFF and RAW files. These files will be used for verification before the final announcement of the winners.
- Short film entries can be in any language but if submitted with other than the spoken English language, then English subtitles should be present.
- The running time of film entries must be at least 3 minutes and no greater than 20 minutes. Entries that are less than 3 minutes, will be excluded from judging.
- The entries will be judged in accordance with the Judging Criteria, as defined in judging and awards. The photograph or film 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.
- Online entries must be made by a user registered online at our awards platform and by the authorized 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 organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address
JUDGING & AWARDS
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 featured in a gallery at the next edition of Xposure.
In each category, judges will award:
- One winner
- One runner-up
- Five shortlisted
The winner and runner-up from each category will be invited to the Xposure Festival Awards Ceremony (including flights and accommodation for the festival week) where the final outcome of the position will be announced.
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 or incorrectly categorised entries will be removed from the competition without notice.
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.
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.
Awards Committee Review
After the Jury has completed their scoring the shortlist will be automatically generated. A category shortlist will comprise the ten highest-ranking entries. For each category, the Awards Committee will apply additional scoring criteria that will either add points or deduct points to the shortlist. The outcome of the Awards Committee adjustments will produce the leaderboard of winners and nominees. The Awards Committee is made up of four leading Industry expert picture editors.
SHORT FILM JUDGING
Short films will be judged and scored following the criteria set out below. Short Films include video clips in MP4 format and can be any running length from 3 min to 20 min.
- One winner
- One runner-up
- Five shortlisted
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.
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 racist or otherwise offensive submissions will be removed from the competition without notice.
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.
- Characters & Dialogue
- Structure / Plot & Pacing
- 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.
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.
AWARDS & PRIZE GIVING
The winner and runner-up from each category PLUS the overall winner will be invited to the Xposure Festival Awards Ceremony where the final outcome of the position will be announced.
All Prizes will be issued at the Awards Ceremony.
N.B. In the case that a winner is unable to attend the prize-giving ceremony, any cash prizes will be transferred to the recipient by PayPal or BACS.
To help you understand each of the awards categories, we have provided a summary description of each Xposure International Award Category. 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 filmmakers. The Short Film category covers documentary, drama, action, or animation / stop motion genres.
Architectural Photography is the photographing of buildings and similar structures, both exterior and interior, that is aesthetically pleasing and accurate representations of their subjects. A large depth of field is usually employed so that the foreground and background (to infinity) are in sharp focus. Architectural photography typically shows either the exterior or the interior of buildings.
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; a photographer may take hand-held photographs.
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 phone, DLSR, or mirrorless camera and produced at a Junior level (entrants must be under 18 at the time of entry). Photos must have been taken in the past three years. Entrants must be residents of the United Arab Emirates.
Mobile Photography – refers to taking photographs with a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. This category is open to all photographers who have captured images using a mobile device. Both amateur and professional photographers are welcome to enter. All images must be captured and edited using a mobile device. The image resolution must be at least 1350 pixels on the longer side, and the file size should not exceed 5 MB. Only JPEG format can be submitted. This category is sponsored by Samsung Galaxy, who are providing supplementary prizes in addition to the main cash prize provided by Xposure.
Nature & Landscape Photography – is the art of capturing images of the natural world, including landscapes, wildlife, plants, and other natural elements. The goal of nature and landscape photography is to showcase the beauty of the natural world through images that convey the photographer’s unique perspective. Landscape photographers often use natural lighting and weather conditions to create stunning images conveying awe and wonder. Stitched images are permitted for panoramics in this category. On the other hand, nature photography focuses on capturing the details of the natural world, such as animals, plants, and other living organisms. It can involve capturing images of animals in their natural habitats or the intricate details of a flower or leaf.
Night Photography is a genre of photography that involves capturing images in low-light or dark conditions, typically after sunset or before sunrise. Night photography can encompass various subjects, such as cityscapes, landscapes, astrophotography, street scenes, and portraits. It often involves capturing artificial light sources, such as streetlights, neon signs, and headlights, which can create a dramatic and atmospheric effect in the image. This category is sponsored by Samsung Galaxy, who are providing supplementary prizes in addition to the main cash prize provided by Xposure.
Photojournalism involves capturing images of current events and news stories to inform and engage the public. This means using cameras to document events as they unfold, such as protests, conflicts, natural disasters, and social issues. These images are intended to convey a visual narrative, providing insight into the events and people they cover. A photojournalist who holds press accreditation may also enter the IFPA in addition to this category.
Portrait Photography or portraiture is a genre of photography that focuses on capturing the personality, character, and emotions of an individual or group of people. The primary aim of portrait photography is to visually represent the subject(s) in a way that reflects their unique qualities and characteristics. Portrait photography can be categorized into various sub-genres, such as formal, candid, environmental, and conceptual portraits.
Short Film & Moving Image
The short film category includes moving images & stop motion. To enter requires uploading your file in MP4 format with a running length of at least 3 minutes up to a maximum of 20 minutes, including credits to a maximum of 1GB in file size. The scope includes 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.
Street Photography should demonstrate impeccable timing and originality by capturing a candid snippet in time that conveys a story. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people. It can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic.
LICENSES & RELEASES
Publication of Winning Images Images will be on exhibition at the annual festival and published on the “Xposure Awards” 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 the copyright of their work. For the award, nominated and shortlisted pictures, copyright holders grant the organizers 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.
Organizers 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; Organizers 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 organizers, shall be collected at the Award Ceremony only.
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.