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HUAWEI XMAGE Awards Celebrate Photographers From MEA

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Huawei announced the 57 winners of the XMAGE Awards 2023. The competition, which spotlights photos taken with Huawei devices, named three Grand Prize winners, 17 Best-in-Category winners, 34 Runner-up winners, and three Honorable Mentions.

This year’s winners were selected from more than 600,000 entries received between April 7 and August 15 from participants from nearly 100 countries. After China, the five countries with the highest number of entries were Malaysia, Türkiye, Poland, the Philippines, and the UAE. The most popular phone models used were the HUAWEI P60 Pro, HUAWEI P40 Pro, and HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro.

Out of the 17 Best-in-Category winners in the Global XMAGE Awards, one hails from Egypt. Sadek Khafagy won the award in the Outdoor category for his work titled “Reflection.” His image captures the striking beauty of the unique rock formations of The Wave in Arizona. After a rainy day, water pools in this area reflect the oranges and yellows of the layered rock walls and bright blue sky. Khafagy’s photograph masterfully depicts this vista in perfect symmetry.

A number of photographers from the MEA region have won special awards from the Huawei community. The UAE, being one of the countries with the most submissions, bagged 10 out of the 15 MEA XMAGE Awards dolled out in 2023. Their images told rich visual stories from breathtaking landscapes, glistening architecture, and the diverse culture of the UAE. Talented photographers from Saudi Arabia and South Africa also earned Special Awards. The special awards had gold, silver and bronze winners in several categories ranging from Portraits and Art&Fashion to Hello Life and Outdoor.

Gold Winners: In the Art&Fashion category, the image “Art-Chitecture” captures a unique architectural design with excellent composition that almost makes it look like a flower. The portrait “Drying Up” is a monochrome shot of a man drying hotel towels, full of a sense of story. And “Water Drop” in the Hello Life category was a creatively inverted macro shot of a water droplet against a surreally colourful background.

Silver Winners: In Hello Life, “Golden Summertime” encapsulated the radiance of summer in a vivid splash of golden sunset colours. The portrait “Behind the Mask” shows an Emirati girl with her eyes conveying deep emotion behind her traditional face mask, a poetic image that celebrates cultural heritage. The joyful “Best Buddies” image depicts the silhouette of children at the beach against the colourful hues of the evening sky, representing the innocence and sincerity of childhood friendship.

The expressive portrait “Innocent Beauty” masterfully uses chiaroscuro lighting to accentuate the doe-eyed gaze of a young girl. In the Outdoor category, the “Skyscrapers” feature tiny window cleaners rappelling down the gleaming facade of a soaring skyscraper. This photo contrasts immense architecture with small human figures.

Bronze Winners: The serene “The Kite Runner” captures a solitary young boy silhouetted against a misty dawn sky as he tries to fly his kite. The cinematic “Life Sun” depicts the blazing sun casting dramatic rays through the immense desert landscape of Al-Ula. Another spectacular shot titled “Kyrgyzstan Postcard View” documents the culmination of a rewarding 9-hour mountain trek, showcasing the cascading valleys and jagged peaks revealing themselves in a breathtaking panorama.

The “The Last Light” is an atmospheric landscape taken at dusk, the fading sun casting the mountainous terrain in an ethereal glow. The “Night Under the Galaxy’s Lights” places an SUV in the middle, framed by the dazzling sweep of the Milky Way and some light-painting trickery. The image titled “There is No Love Like Snail Love” playfully highlights nature’s wonder through two spiralled gastropods tenderly exploring each other’s shells. And the portrait of a farmer carrying a woven basket on his head demonstrates excellent cultural storytelling.

Through unique perspectives, artistry, and storytelling, these 15 photographers from the Middle East and Africa have proven themselves at the forefront of their field.

“Dragon Clouds” by Domcar Calinawan Lagto from the Philippines, “Airshow” by Piotr Cebula from Poland, and “Fearless Eagle” by Dou Chuanli from China were awarded the Grand Prizes. Each Grand Prize winner will receive 10,000 USD (before tax) from the XMAGE creation fund, to support their photography and to encourage them to continue using Huawei devices in the future.

The 17 Best-in-Category winners and the 34 Runner-up winners were selected from each category, and will each receive $1500 and $1000, respectively.

The HUAWEI XMAGE Awards showcase how the XMAGE brand has inspired users’ creativity in mobile photography. Mobile imaging is a powerful lens for capturing life’s precious moments and as a tool for stimulating visual ideas. The HUAWEI XMAGE Awards has come a long way since its launch in 2017. The contest has inspired individuals to create magnificent photographs with their phones. It has also become a platform for showcasing wonderful images that provide glimpses into photographers’ perspectives on the world and their daily lives. Today, the XMAGE Awards has emerged as a prominent global photography event, igniting a wave of enthusiasm among individuals to express their emotions, exude confidence, and unleash their creativity through mobile photography.

The full list of award winners is available here: https://consumer.huawei.com/en/campaign/xmage

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Events

NVIDIA to Host NVIDIA Studio Nights in Partnership with Microsoft

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NVIDIA, in partnership with Microsoft, has announced the second edition of NVIDIA Studio Nights – a regional event to focus on content creators who are designing with the power of the NVIDIA Studio platform and RTX GPUs. NVIDIA Studio Nights will be held on 15 February 2024 at the twofour54 Community Hub in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. This year, the event will feature six creative categories, including the previously featured 3D Design, Digital Art, Videography and Photography, with a special emphasis on the newly introduced CGI and NVIDIA Canvas Art categories.

Creators will have the opportunity to enter their work for consideration in each category before the event, with the best in each walking away with coveted prizes and trophies courtesy of NVIDIA Middle East. The free-to-attend event will offer opportunities for networking with NVIDIA experts and learning through interactive presentations on content creation and workflow optimization.

Chantelle Tavid – Head of Marketing, NVIDIA MENAT said, “Our inaugural NVIDIA Studio Nights was very successful last year, and we are extremely excited to be doing it again to support local content creators. NVIDIA Studio Nights is the perfect opportunity to see the limitless creativity that is possible when designing with NVIDIA Studio, and we know that the community appreciates a space such as this to interact with each other. We can’t wait to see the entries in this year’s competition go even bolder and more creative than what we received last year. NVIDIA Studio Nights embodies our commitment to hosting artists, fostering community, and celebrating the incredible talent of local artists, all while showcasing the transformative power of the NVIDIA Studio platform and RTX GPUs.”

NVIDIA Studio Nights will offer visitors the opportunity to get a hands-on experience with how the industry-leading RTX GPUs paired with NVIDIA Studio drivers can dramatically improve and accelerate challenging tasks in leading design applications, having the newly launched Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 devices introduced and available to test. From AI-driven object removal to smoother 4K video playback, NVIDIA Studio drivers are designed to let you truly create at the speed of your imagination.

NVIDIA Studio is much more than just a GPU – one of the advanced features that comes with RTX GPUs is the fact that all top creative apps are accelerated by AI which results in artists being able to create faster and better. There are over 75 creative apps that are accelerated by AI on RTX GPUs, which include top apps for photography, videography, rendering and broadcasting such as Adobe Premier Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Blender, and Adobe Photoshop.

“Created by Microsoft, Surface devices are thoughtfully designed with you at the centre, adapting in versatile ways to how you work, learn and create. In collaboration with NVIDIA Studio Nights, we are proudly bringing Surface Laptop Studio 2 – our most powerful laptop ever – to the creative minds of UAE, and can’t wait to see, what you do with it,” said Adam Labancz, Surface Category Lead, Middle East and Africa at Microsoft.

Winners will each receive a Microsoft Laptop Studio 2, along with a Surface Slim Pen 2. Through the power of 13th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA RTX GPUs, drawing, sketching, and designing on the Microsoft Laptop Studio 2 is natural and exciting, with a seamless transition from a canvas for drawing to a powerful touchscreen laptop. The ultra-versatile design with multiple form factors and input options allows creators to work smarter with AI tools in Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 apps

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Events

Dubai Police Esports Tournament Conducted in Partnership with ZOWIE and eXTREMESLAND 2023

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The Dubai Police General Headquarters accomplished a significant milestone in their continuous commitment to building a safe and inclusive digital environment, with the successful conclusion of their 3rd eSports Tournament. This event was much more than just a gaming platform, it acted as a venture to engage the esports gaming community, promote digital literacy and security, and raise awareness about online safety.

The eXTREMESLAND 2023 Counter-Strike 2 Middle East Championship, which was held on December 10 at the esteemed Dubai Police Officers Club, was one of the event’s main attractions. Several teams from throughout the Middle East competed in this esports event, and the winning team will get to represent the prestigious Dubai Police in the grand finals in China on January 26–28, 2024.

Ever since the inaugural eXTREMESLAND CS: GO Asia Cup took place in 2016, eXTREMESLAND has been hosting successful gaming events and aiming for annual excellence. It covers more than 32 nations in the Middle East, Asia, and Pacific areas. With an enduring impact on the competitive gaming scene, eXTREMESLAND has emerged as a key player in the development of esports in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Initiating the competition was a big deal since it gave emerging players a chance to show their gaming skills in front of local and global audiences.

The forward-thinking strategy of eXTREMESLAND has been instrumental in elevating gaming skills in these areas as well as driving the expansion of esports overall. Players now have the chance to compete at the top levels of professional gaming thanks to eXTREMESLAND’s tournaments, which have emerged as a catalyst for the identification and advancement of up-and-coming talent. The Middle East and Asia Pacific esports scenes are thriving as a result of eXTREMESLAND, with individuals and teams finding newfound success on the international gaming stage.

eXTREMESLAND has made a big contribution to the global esports narrative by offering a platform that surpasses geographical boundaries and embraces diversity. This has elevated the status of esports in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East in the global arena. Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East, expressed his enthusiasm about the event with great fervour. “We’re incredibly excited to be part of this platform and hosting eXTREMESLAND 2023. Dubai Police has shown a progressive approach that values the wide range of interests and emotions of its community by embracing the eXTREMESLAND 2023. This gesture not only demonstrates Dubai Police’s modern outlook and excellent support for the gaming community but also their dedication to building a robust gaming community in the heart of UAE.”

Twelve elite teams competed in the Counter-Strike 2 event, showcasing their distinct tactics and gameplay abilities. The winners will now have the privilege of competing in the eXTREMESLAND 2023 CS2 Asia Cup on behalf of Dubai Police. The Four04 Esports staff oversaw and assisted in the tournaments. First Lieutenant Saeed Adel Al Suwaidi, from Dubai Police General Headquarters, commented on the partnership with BenQ Middle East, “Our collaboration is not just about hosting an Esports Tournament. It’s about creating an interactive platform where we can engage with our youth, educate them about the potential pitfalls of the digital world, and equip them with the knowledge they need to navigate it safely. This initiative reflects our commitment to leveraging popular platforms to drive meaningful conversations around online safety.”

 

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Creator Tools

Sony MEA to Host Creators Convention in Dubai Tomorrow

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Sony Middle East and Africa will roll out the red carpet on 16 December for content creators and photographers from UAE to an electrifying day at the Creators Convention. At this event hosted at Garage Studio in Dubai’s buzzing Al Quoz neighbourhood, Sony Middle East and Africa will not only celebrate creativity but take it to newer heights.

What can one expect at the event?

  • Inspiring sessions by industry experts and top content creators
  • Hands-on workshops where you can dive into the latest techniques with some of the coolest digital imaging devices and accessories
  • Thought-provoking keynote addresses and networking opportunities to connect with fellow creators

The event will kick-start tomorrow (16th December, 2023) at 2:00 PM. You will need to bring your SD cards along for the event. Registration for the event is being accepted, here.

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