An amateur photographer won an international competition with a prize of 120 thousand dollars. The picture was staged

Money from the winner will not be taken away.

Photo winner of the HIPA competition and backstage  Petapixel Collage

The winner of the Hamdan International Photography Award, organized by the emir of Dubai, was a resident of Malaysia, Edwin Ong Wee Kee. He received 120 thousand dollars for a photo of a woman from Vietnam with a child.

Among the jury members were Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum himself and a representative of the Department of Culture and Art of Dubai. They noted that the photographer captured the “tense moment”.

[The photo captures] the feelings of the mother, who, despite the disturbances in speech, retains hope and fills her children with a sense of confidence.

from the description of the winning photo

After the award ceremony, the authors of the PDN Pulse photoblog complained that the non-professional received the prize of the “largest competition open to the world community” According to photographers, the Malaysian calls himself an “enthusiast” and works as a doctor in a clinic of traditional Chinese medicine. Edwin took a picture by accident – due to an unexpected stop during a photo tour to Vietnam.

On March 18, the founder of Street Photo Bangladesh Magazine, Ab Rashid, who also participated in the journey, showed that about 10 people with cameras had gathered at the same time. As it turned out, the winning photo of the competition was not accidental, but staged – the local people were given something like a photo session.

Behind the scene Photo by Ab Rashid
Photo winner of competition photo by Edwin ong Wee Ki

New circumstances do not violate the HIPA rules. This is a competition that focuses not on journalistic work, but on photography in principle. However, as Petapixel emphasizes , many professional photographers may be unhappy that one of several similar images took a prize of 120 thousand dollars. “We all know that winning the competition not only brings a lot of money, but National Geographic also makes you sleepy with exotic work all over the world,” the Pics of Asia community noted .

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